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 closed to visitors with BES staff largely working 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 broadcast a series of free online talks on the latest ecological research from mid-April to the beginning of September. You can catch up on all 20 talks from Ecology Live on our YouTube channel. We’ll be bringing the successful series back in 2021.

Visit our new Members’ 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.

As students and staff return to campuses, fields and offices this autumn we’ll be hosting  webinars on maintaining mental health for small groups of people, these webinars are for everyone who is concerned about the impact the current situation will have on their immediate and intermediate plans.


We invite you to a Festival of Ecology. Join us in December as the largest and most welcoming ecology conference in Europe – the British Ecological Society’s Annual Meeting – moves online this year. The online conference will have the great advantage of being accessible to even more people around the world. Join in wherever you are to share the latest research, meet new colleagues and develop your career.

While we would have loved to meet in person, having considered various options it is now clear that an online conference is the best way to prioritise health and safety and deal with the uncertainty brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, going digital allows us to run a large variety of activities over more days with the opportunity to catch up on things later that you might have missed. A real Festival of Ecology. Abstract submission and registration are now open!

The coronavirus pandemic has made the planning of a joint conference of the BES and the French Society for Ecology and Evolution (SFE²) uniquely challenging. Despite exploring several options, we have mutually agreed that the best option is to postpone the joint conference. Ecology Across Borders 2021 will now be held in 2021 and is likely to be confirmed for 12–15 December 2021 in Liverpool, UK. The two societies continue to look forward to working together on an excellent and welcoming conference next year.

We have postponed a number of our Special Interest Group (SIG) events until next year as a result of coronavirus. However, we are proceeding with some of our events on online platforms. Head over to our Events page to see what’s taking place and book your ticket.


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 with instructions from the BES, given that scientific conferences and events around the world have been 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.

Applicants can now use these grants to attend a virtual conference/course, to cover registration fees up to £250. In these circumstances, the applicant must provide proof of registration on acceptance, and meet the standard eligibility criteria. If you are unsure that your event meets the BES criteria, or for any other grant-related queries please contact:

Regional Fund

Due to COVID-19, we have decided to postpone assessment of applications to the Regional Fund involving public gatherings until further notice. However, applications remain open and are strongly encouraged for digital engagement projects.

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