BES Macro SIG – Cardiff Conference 2024

A British Ecological Society specialist interest group conference for researchers at any academic career stage in macroecology and/or macroevolution.

The Macroecology SIG invite you to join their 2024 conference, taking place at the University of Cardiff (Sir Martin Evans Building) on 11-12 July with an early career day on 10 July.

Key information

  • Organisers: Macroecology SIG Chair, Joseph Bailey; local host lead Dr Tom Rhys Bishop . 
  • Start: 10:00 – 11 July.
  • End: By 17:00 – 12 July.
  • ECR Day: 11:00 – 10 July.
  • Student plenary registration and submission deadline: 17:00 (BST), 3 May.
  • In-person registration deadline: 17:00 (BST), 31 May.
  • Online registration deadline: 17:00 (BST), 28 June.
  • Conference Contents: two workshops, a poster session, short and long talks, three plenaries, a photograph competition, and vegetarian lunch and refreshments (other dietary requirements will be accommodated).
  • ECR Day Contents: food and refreshments, networking opportunities, discussion and activities around issues ECRs face in science and academia, and solutions for tackling them.

Please email with queries.

Who should attend?

We aim to be highly inclusive and welcoming – anyone of any career stage who is interested in ecological and/or evolutionary patterns over broad spatial and/or temporal and/or taxonomic scales should attend!

What is the ‘BES Macro SIG’?

The British Ecological Society has special interest groups. The Macro group’s members are interested in the strengths and limitations of integrating concepts, questions and data across taxonomic, spatial and temporal scales, and the links among the disciplines of macroecology, macroevolution, palaeontology, conservation and others. Learn more at

Applying to speak

Attendees can apply to present

  • short talks (5 minutes + questions),
  • long talks (10 minutes + questions),
  • and posters.

Please send a title to to apply.

Student plenary

The student plenary is a staple of BES Macro! Any student in (or nearly in) the final year of their PhD, or who has completed in the past year, should apply for this prestigious talk as part of the registration process. It provides an extended platform for you to share your work with the BES Macro network, so please apply! And, supervisors, please encourage your students to apply.

The talk will be 30 minutes long plus a 15-minute Q & A, and unlike for short and long talks, we require a title and abstract (max 250 words) from student plenary applicants. These will be reviewed anonymously by the organising committee to choose the winner. We hope that any unsuccessful applicants will still attend the meeting and present their research as short talks or posters, but if not, we would give a full refund on request.

We will be able to offer financial support of up to £500 + free registration to the student plenary speaker to cover costs and/or travel. We require student plenary applications by Friday 3rd May, 17:00, to allow for sufficient time to process applications, contact the applicants (expect to hear from us within 3 weeks), and make arrangements. We also encourage international students to apply, but note that we will not be able to assist with visa applications except by providing a letter confirming the position of student plenary at the conference.

Plenary speakers

We have two incredible plenary speakers lined up, to be later joined by the student plenary! They will each speak for 45-minutes, with a Q & A to follow.

Dr Cristina Banks-Leite

Reader in Conservation Ecology, Department of Life Sciences (Silwood Park), Imperial College London, UK.

  • Title: How much habitat is enough?
  • Abstract. Leaders from 196 nations committed at COP15 to protect 30% of the surface of the earth for nature conservation by 2030. But will this be enough? Or is it too much? In this presentation, I will talk about ecological thresholds as a way to estimate the minimum amount of habitat required to preserve biodiversity, and how the position of thresholds changes across biomes world-wide. I will show how this local scale response of biodiversity to habitat changes is driven by macroecological processes occurring at regional and global levels. I will argue it is high time we stop pretending a one-size-fits-all solution will solve global environmental issues, and instead we should embrace ecological complexity to develop environmental policies that work for people and nature alike.

Dr Sarah Perkins

School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Wales, UK.

Title and abstract will be available soon, but you can read about Sarah’s work at

Our thanks

The committee thanks the event’s sponsors Global Ecoloogy and Biogeography (Wiley), Journal of Animal Ecology (BES), and Methods in Ecology and Evolution (BES,., as well as thanks the host team at University of Cardiff and our plenary speakers.


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.

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.

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