Upcoming: BES Macroecology Conference 2018

The annual BES Macroecology conference is drawing close. Faith Jones, a PhD student at the University of St Andrews and member of the conference organising committee, tells us what we can look forward to at this year’s event.

The annual BES Macroecology conference will soon be upon us. This year BES Macro takes place on the 10th and 11th of July, directly after the inaugural BES Quantitative Ecology conference. We expect over 100 keen self-identifying “macroecologists” from institutions around the world to descend on St Andrews, where the conference will be held.

800px-United_College_University_of_St_Andrews Oliverkeenan
The conference will be held at the University of St Andrews this year. Photo: Oliver Keenan

We have four invited plenary speakers with a wide range of expertise: Professor Bob O’Hara (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Professor Anne Magurran (University of St Andrews), Dr Nathalie Pettorelli (Zoological Society of London) and Professor Brian McGill (University of Maine). We will also feature a student plenary speaker, Alex Skeels from the Australian National University. Alex’s talk, Reconstructing the geography of diversification across the tree of life, was selected from a pool of excellent applications from postgraduate students.

Our invited plenary speakers: Professor Anne Magurran (top left), Dr Nathalie Pettorelli (top right), Professor Bob O’Hara (bottom left) and Professor Brian McGill (bottom right)
student Plenery
Our student plenary speaker, Alex Skeels, will join our invited speakers at BESMacro 2018

All other talks will be 5-minute presentations highlighting a diversity of taxa, timescales, and career stages. Session topics include conservation, palaeoecology, cultural evolution, and methods in macroecology. There will also be a poster session on the evening of the first day, where over 20 posters will be presented alongside a wine reception.

Of course, a conference is more than just presentations. We have three fascinating workshops planned, catering to the wide interests and needs of the macroecology community. One workshop, run by the Science Ceilidh Band, will explore arts as an outreach medium for science and will cumulate in probably the world’s first macroecology-themed ceilidh (a traditional Scottish dance). For those preferring a more technical workshop, we have an instructor from the Software Carpentry initiative to provide an introduction to version control and why it matters. Our third workshop will provide delegates with the opportunity to share useful macroecology tools through quick-fire demonstrations. We also have some discussion sessions, topics to be announced soon.

No Scottish event is complete without an evening ceilidh, and BES Macro 2018 is no exception. We have invited the fantastic and unique Science Ceilidh Band to stay on after their workshop, so delegates will have the pleasure of dancing the night away to science themed dances such as the Dashing White Blood Cell and Strip the Double Helix. Most excitingly, we will also try our newly-choreographed macroecology dance!

Registration for this conference is closed, but you can still join in on the fun by following #BESMacro2018 on twitter during the event.

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