Coronavirus and the British Ecological Society

The latest on our events and activities during the coronavirus outbreak. This page is updated regularly as new developments arise.


The British Ecological Society continues to be guided by the latest government advice in forming our responses to the coronavirus outbreak. Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our staff, members and all those involved in our activities. We are encouraging everyone to follow the helpful NHS advice on coronavirus.

The BES office in London is now closed, but BES staff are continuing to work from home. The quickest way to get hold of staff is by email, and you can find details here.

New for the coronavirus lockdown period

The British Ecological Society is broadcasting free online talks on the latest ecological research. Join us for Ecology Live, and watch an online seminar from a top ecologist every Thursday at 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET / 22:00 SGT.

We are also doing short interviews with photographers and judges behind our annual photography competition. Tune in on Instagram Live every Wednesday at 16:30 BST/ 11:30 EST / 21:00 IST for Capturing Ecology: Behind the Lens.

Visit our new training hub for developing your science communication and public engagement skills at home. From website building to podcast production, there is something for everyone in our diverse range of new webinars & resources.

We will be running webinars on maintaining mental health for small groups of people every two weeks for the duration of the lockdown. For early career ecologists, researchers and students, the webinar is for everyone who is concerned about the impact the current situation will have on their immediate and intermediate plans.

Summer schools

Our two summer schools will take place this year, though we are changing our plans in light of coronavirus.

Rather than week-long residential courses in the field for 16–18 year old school students and undergraduates, we are working hard to organise digital teaching programmes that offer the same in-depth insight into ecological research, its applications and a variety of career opportunities.

The Undergraduate Summer School will take place 27–31 July as planned, and all students have been selected and notified. More details will be available soon for participants.

The 16-18 Summer School has been postponed to October, once students have returned to school. We will open up this opportunity once our programme has been finalised.


We continue to follow the latest government advice to understand how the coronavirus pandemic may affect our Joint Annual Meeting, Ecology Across Borders, in Edinburgh this December. As it stands, we are continuing to make plans for the event, but making considerations for various scenarios that might arise in the coming months. We will update the community as and when there are any changes.

We have postponed a number of our Special Interest Group (SIG) events until next year as a result of coronavirus. However, last month we held our first online SIG event and are planning more events to be held on online platforms in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our Events Page to see what online events will be taking place in future.


We continue to focus on the high-quality service and short turnaround times expected of the BES journals. While we know some of you will be using your time to focus on writing and publishing, we recognise that many authors, reviewers and members of our editorial boards will be facing challenging circumstances and will need more time to return revisions, reviews and recommendations.

Therefore, we’re continuing as normal but encourage you to contact your journal’s Editorial Office if you need any additional time or assistance. We wish you all well.

Editorial Office contacts:
Ecological Solutions and Evidence
Functional Ecology
Journal of Animal Ecology
Journal of Applied Ecology
Journal of Ecology
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
People and Nature


Current Grantholders

For those that have recently been awarded funding, but have not yet claimed your award, we have extended the grant conditions to allow for funding to be claimed up to 12 months after the award date, increased from the standard six months. We strongly advise you do not claim your award until the project start date is certain. 

If you have already received your award and there are delays in the project due to COVID-19, as long as the project itself is not changed, then we will continue to take a pragmatic approach to requests for extensions.

Travel Grants

Travel grant holders should have received an email from the BES, given that scientific conferences and events around the world are being cancelled or postponed. We will do our level best to make sure you’re able to use your grant wherever possible to benefit your science and your career.

We are advising that grant holders do not book any travel or accommodation currently, but wait to nearer the time when it becomes clearer whether the event will take place.

For any grant related queries please contact:


The price of membership was due to have a small increase in 2020. This would have taken effect whenever members were due to renew after 6 April. Given the coronavirus pandemic, we have postponed this fee increase for three months until 6 July.

General information

We will continue provide prompt updates where our activities are affected, on this page and by getting in touch with those involved.

You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for our regular activities.

If you have questions about coronavirus and specific Society activities, please email