Our work

We are the British Ecological Society: the oldest ecological society in the world.

We were established in 1913 and we have been fostering the science of ecology ever since. We have 7,000 members around the world and bring people together across regional, national and global scales to advance ecological science. Membership is open to anyone, anywhere.

Our vision is for nature and people to thrive in a world inspired by ecology. We rely on the commitment of hundreds of volunteers to help us – from the editors who work on our journals, reviewers in our Grants Review College, the teams behind each of our Special Interest Groups, the trustees and members of our Board of Trustees and committees to the helpers at our Annual Meeting – we could not do what we do without their effort and passion.

We actively value the diversity and wide range of perspectives that people from different backgrounds bring to their work, to ecology and to our Society. We are always willing to discuss potential collaborations and innovations, so please visit our staff page to find the most appropriate person to contact.


Membership is open to anyone, anywhere. We have a raft of benefits that cover the breadth of the ecological career.

  • Standard membership from £51
  • Student membership from £25
  • Concession membership from £25


We have eight world renowned journals and a book series in our publications portfolio:

Ecological Solutions and Evidence: An open access journal publishing articles with direct relevance for the management of biological resources and ecological systems

Functional Ecology: High-impact papers that enable a mechanistic understanding of ecological pattern and process from the organismic to the ecosystem scale

Journal of Animal Ecology: Publishing the best animal ecology research that develops, tests and advances broad ecological principles

Journal of Applied Ecology: Novel, high-impact papers on the interface between ecological science and the management of biological resources

Journal of Ecology: High-impact, broad reaching articles on all aspects of plant ecology (including algae), in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems

Methods in Ecology and Evolution: Promotes the development of new methods in ecology and evolution, and facilitates their dissemination and uptake by the research community

People and Nature: A broad-scope open access journal publishing work from across research areas exploring relationships between humans and nature

Ecology and Evolution: We partner with Wiley on this open access journal for quality research in all areas of ecology, evolution and conservation science

Reasons to publish in our journals:

  • Excellent journal metrics and global reach
  • Rapid publication times
  • No page charges
  • Support for data archiving costs via Dryad
  • Open Access option
  • High-profile international editorial boards

Ecological Reviews: Books at the cutting edge of modern ecology, providing a forum for current topics of long-term importance to the progress of the field.


We provide grants to promote excellent ecological research, support early career ecologists, help fund training and travel, and to communicate ecological science as widely as possible. In recent years, we have awarded over £400,000 (c. €460,00, $502,000).

In 2024 we updated our grants portfolio to further careers and support the entire ecological community.

  • Small Research Grants
    To support original research projects where there are no alternative sources of funding.
  • Long-term Research Grants
    This grant provides funding over 10 years for long-term ecological studies.
  • Synthesis Grants
    Fast-tracking innovative and impactful research by contributing £30k towards the formation of new synthesis groups.
  • Pedagogical Research and Development Grants
    Improving the education of future generations of ecologists by providing funding towards evidence-based learning.
  • Outreach and Engagement Grants
    Highlighting the importance of promoting ecological science to a wider audience, we support public engagement of ecology and/or to improve skills in science communication.
  • Connecting Ecologists to Other Disciplines Grants
    Promoting interdisciplinary skills by funding placements in different disciplines and sectors.
  • Training and Travel
    Supports the development of PhD students and postgraduate research assistants through training and attendance at events where they will be presenting their work.
  • Honours, Awards and Prizes
    We take great pleasure in recognising exceptional contributions in various fields of ecology.

We have set a target that 51% of our available grant funding will be used to support Ecologists in the Global South. 


We organise a number of diverse, innovative events throughout the year. Our Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to network with and present your research to 1,200 delegates from around the world; you can also hear the latest ecological science, develop skills with our careers programme and enjoy a social programme that is all within an inclusive, friendly environment.

  • 2019 Annual Meeting: Belfast, UK
  • 2020 Annual Meeting: virtual event
  • 2021 Annual Meeting: Liverpool, UK
  • 2022 Annual Meeting: Edinburgh, UK
  • 2023 Annual Meeting: Belfast, UK
  • 2024 Annual Meeting: Liverpool, UK
  • 2025 Annual Meeting: Edinburgh, UK


We support our members and combine their knowledge to promote ecological science and evidence informed solutions to policymakers. We offer training and development programmes for all career stages and work with members on briefings and consultation responses. Find out more and get involved.


We provide careers support to ecologists at all stages of their lives – especially at transition phases – with mentoring, training events, online resources and advice. We support the teaching of ecological science and fieldwork as an essential aspect of practical science.


We help our members communicate ecology to diverse audiences, through the provision of science communication training, funding and the opportunity to attend events including music festivals.


Our SIGs organise scientific meetings, field trips and innovative events and rely solely on the enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers. They are a great way of networking – wherever you are based – so contact them to see how you can get involved.