BES Macro 2023

Are you interested in generalisable ecological or evolutionary patterns over broad spatial, temporal or taxonomic scales? Join the Macroecology Special Interest Group for #2023MacroBrum!

The Macroecology SIG invite you to join their 2023 meeting, taking place at the University of Birmingham (Geography building) this July.

Key information

  • Organisers: Macroecology SIG Chair, Joseph Bailey; local organising team led by Laura Graham. Please email with queries.
  • Start time: 09:00 on 12 July, with arrivals from 08:30. Arrive the night before for a group social.
  • End time: By 17:00 on 13 July.
  • Student plenary registration and submission deadline: 17:00 (BST), 4 May.
  • In-person registration deadline: The registration deadline has been extended to 17:00 (BST), 5 June.

Who should attend?

‘Anyone of any career stage who is interested in generalisable ecological or evolutionary patterns over broad spatial and/or temporal and/or taxonomic scales! We aim to be highly inclusive and welcoming. We particularly encourage postgraduates and early career researchers to attend. We also have virtual lower income country tickets available.

Some of the best moments at Macro meetings come from connecting people at different career stages, to everyone’s benefit, so we want to see a great range of people in attendance.

We look forward to seeing you!’

Joe Bailey (Chair), on behalf of the whole SIG committee and local organisers.


Attendees can apply to present short talks (5 minutes + questions), long talks (10 minutes + questions), and posters. Please send a title to to apply.

In-person attendance is strongly encouraged, but there is a virtual option available to those unable to attend in person. Learn more about the hybrid format on Eventbrite.

Student plenary

Any student in the final years of their PhD, or anyone who has recently completed their PhD, should apply for this extended platform to share your work with the BES Macro network. The talk will be 30-minutes, in addition to which there will be a 15-minute Q & A.

To apply, please send a title and abstract to by 17:00 (BST) on Thursday 4 May. Applications will be reviewed anonymously by the organising committee to choose the winner. We will be able to offer some financial support to the student plenary speaker, but may not be able to cover all costs.

Plenary speakers

We are thrilled to introduce our two plenary speakers. Each talk will be 45 minutes in length, with a Q & A to follow.

International plenary

Professor Cang Hui, Chair in Mathematical and Theoretical Physical Biosciences, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

  • Title: Formulating species turnover and accumulation with zeta diversity.
  • Abstract. Biodiversity is a complex and multi-dimensional concept, with its components varying across scales and sampling efforts. Macroecology aims to understand the variation and interrelations among these components. Set theory provides a mathematical framework to elucidate the relationships among the scale-dependent diversity partitions. While the standard scheme of biodiversity partitioning focuses on alpha and beta components, it is insufficient to provide a complete picture of biodiversity. Instead, zeta diversity is a powerful tool that can explain patterns of biodiversity components such as turnover, occupancy frequency, endemism, distance decay, and accumulation. Zeta diversity of order n simply describes the number of species common to n sites and declines along its orders. The regression of zeta diversity components against candidate assembly processes can help tease apart drivers of species turnover and accumulation and differentiate those contributed largely by rare versus increasingly common species. I provide an overview of zeta diversity and its applications in understanding biodiversity patterns and community dynamics, and end with a research agenda on how biodiversity patterns can be related to open ecological communities in transition with trait-mediated interactions under environmental change.

Host institution plenary

Dr Shan Huang, Assistant Professor in Paleobiology, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.

  • Title: The use (and fun) of fossil insights in understanding biodiversity and its future.
  • Abstract. Fossils are not just natural wonders to marvel at, but also a powerful tool for ecologists. We macroecologists are particularly concerned about the global biodiversity crisis today which can only be mitigated based on a deep understanding of biodiversity dynamics in relation to changes in the environment. The fossil record provides a direct window to a long history of biodiversity dynamics in space and time, including pervasive extinction events, under a variety of environmental changes. We can thus use fossil insights to build a baseline expectation of biological responses to projected global changes. In this talk, I will share some of my work that examines the fossil record in a biogeographic context and tries to provide insights for how biodiversity might change in the future. This general theme of my research is not taxon specific, although I will focus on two classic model systems where the frontline might be pushed the hardest: the terrestrial mammals and the marine bivalves. With some case studies, I hope to help promote discussions among ecologists, evolutionary biologists and paleobiologists to develop more integrative approaches to biodiversity research.


Our range of tickets includes in-person, virtual, BES member, non-member, and student/concession options as well as lower income country pricing.

Your ticket will get you access to a fantastic range of talks, posters, workshops (to be confirmed whether workshops will be available virtually), and networking opportunities. In-person attendees will also receive vegetarian refreshments, lunches, and soft and alcoholic drinks at the poster session. Anyone attending in person will also get access to all online resources.

If you are interested in becoming a BES member to purchase the BES member-rate ticket, you can find out more information and join here. Membership starts from £25, or you can get 12-months free membership if you are an undergraduate, masters, or first year PhD student.

Register on eventbrite

More information on this event is available on Eventbrite.

Code of Conduct

The BES code of conduct can be found online at the link below.

Code of Conduct