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 follow the latest government advice in forming our responses to the coronavirus outbreak. Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our staff, visitors and all those attending and travelling to our events and activities. We are encouraging everyone to follow the helpful NHS advice on how best to avoid catching and spreading the virus.

Following UK Government advice, 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, for which you can find details here.


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

SIG events

Given the latest advice on avoiding spread of coronavirus and increasing moves towards reducing social interactions, we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone a number of our Special Interest Group (SIG) events. We are contacting all those booked on these events.

We will work with the individual Special Interest Group organisers to rearrange the events in the autumn, as we want as many of our members and wider community as possible to be able to benefit from these events for their science and their careers.

The SIG events intending to be postponed for later this year are:

The SIG events being postponed until 2021 are:

The SIG events that have been cancelled are:

A separate BES Policy workshop on nature-based solutions will now take place online with participants joining remotely.


Applying for a Grant

In this time of uncertainty, it is important to us that the ecological community still has access to funding, and as such our grant rounds will remain open for applications.  

We understand that with organisations closed and new working from home responsibilities, applicants may not be able to meet the current deadline of 17:00 (GMT) Friday 20 March. We will therefore be extending the deadline to 12:00 (BST), Friday 03 April. 

Please be aware that our grant system, Flexi-Grant, will be unavailable between the 21 – 22 of March as they undertake essential maintenance. You will be able to continue your application as normal from Monday 23 March. 

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 6 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 a number of scientific conferences and events around the world are now being cancelled. 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:

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