The COST SMARTER Working Group and Core Group meetings were held in Montpellier, France, 23-25 May 2014. The venue was the School of Ingenieurs of Agronomy at Montpellier SupAgro. The meeting was preceded by a special COST SMARTER session on ragweed at the European Weed Research Society’s 4th International Symposium on Weeds and Invasive Plants. The special SMARTER session was held on Thursday 25 May, and included presentations by Prof. Heinz Müller-Schärer from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland (Chair) and Dr Carsten Ambelas Skjøth from the University of Worcester in the UK (Vice-Chair).
The main SMARTER meeting kicked off in the morning of Friday 22 May with a workshop on monitoring Ambrosia populations, which was attended by members of the Task Force on Population Dynamics. Working Group meetings convened on Friday afternoon, and continued again on Saturday morning. Many of the participants also continued their discussions during the SMARTER dinner that was held in the old centre of Montpellier on Friday evening.
The Working Group meetings finished on Saturday 23 May with an excursion to view three different Ambrosia species (A. psilostachya, A. tenuifolia, and A. artemisiifolia) at sites with different habitats. The excursion concluded with dinner at a “little French restaurant on the road”, by the historic and picturesque Roman aquaduct “Pont du Gard”. After a busy few days, the SMARTER meeting came to an end at Sunday lunchtime, 25 May, after the Extended Core Group Meeting.