Call for thematic sessions

We are now welcoming submissions for thematic sessions at our 2022 Annual Meeting.

Thematic sessions provide a high-profile forum for the discussion of timely, innovative, and important questions, provide local ‘flavour’ within the programme, and showcase integration among disciplines.

We support submissions from across the full spectrum of ecology. However, for this meeting, we are particularly interested in considering proposals with a focus on:

30 by 30: Protected area management
As the pace of global change accelerates, so too must the pace of conservation, and we are only eight years from the Global Deal for Nature deadline of 30% of the Earth’s surface protected by 2030. Submissions for this topic could discuss whether 30 by 30 will be enough, whether we are on track for this target and, if not, what needs to change.

Cultural and social landscapes
To solve the most pressing ecological challenges of the 21st century we must understand how humans interact with ecosystems. How do human landscapes interact with ecosystems, and how can we leverage an understanding of these interactions to better conserve, restore, and manage the natural world?

Mobilising natural history collections to enhance biodiversity research
Across the globe there is a rich history of natural history collections, making clear that citizen scientists have been a major part of ecology throughout the discipline’s history. What new and innovative ways can we find to make use of these precious resources, and to collect, safeguard, and share more collections in the future?

New approaches for improving ecological forecasting
Recent advances in computing power, statistical approaches, and data sharing mean ecologists can finally realise their ambitions of a truly predictive discipline. This topic explores new approaches that show the best promise and showcases the fundamental theory and policy questions that we can now answer.

Shifting baselines in ecology, conservation, and restoration
Governments all over the world are planning major restoration and conservation initiatives, balancing contrasting and often conflicting objectives. What did our natural world look like, and how do we move forward from what we have now?

All proposals will be evaluated by the BES Events Committee. The selection process is competitive, we receive more applications than we can cater for in the programme. Proposers will be notified of the outcome in July.

Please note, we do not offer funding for thematic sessions, but encourage thematic organisers to consider sponsorship opportunities if funding is required.

Thematic sessions should be planned as in-person sessions.


Thematic sessions usually comprise of one 30-minute plenary and six additional 15-minute talks. Organisers are responsible for ensuring that the presentations are correctly ordered within the session, speakers submit their abstracts, speakers register for the meeting, and for chairing the session.

Creating an inclusive environment for ecologists

We are committed to promoting an inclusive ecological community and all thematic session submissions must consider equality and diversity. Each proposal should be developed with the BES equality and diversity statement in mind and this will be considered as a criterion when scoring applications.

The organisers and speakers should reflect the diversity of the ecological community. Consider reaching out beyond your own networks and the usual suspects when selecting speakers.

Consider the content of the session. Our Annual Meeting attracts academics, practitioners, and educators across all career stages and working across many disciplines. Try to consider more than one audience when developing your session.

Please submit the proposal, using the correct form at the bottom of this page, to the Events Team by 17:00 (BST), Friday 10 June.