Workshops

We are excited to announce the workshops running at BES2022, including our Careers Development Training Programme.

Workshops are interactive sessions that encourage networking, skills development, and creative thinking. There will be three types of workshops at Edinburgh:

  1. Limited online-only workshops during the week of 12 – 16 December
  2. Ticketed longer (up to 4 hours) pre-conference workshops on the afternoon of Sunday 18 December. These are in-person only.
  3. 1-hour lunchtime workshops on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 December. These are in-person only.

To take part in the Early careers pre-conference day or one of the pre-conference workshops on Sunday 18 December, you must add the session to your booking when registering. All other workshops are included in the standard registration.

Full programming details will be available soon.

Online workshops (week of 12 – 16 December)

Careers outside of academia
Fiona Le Ray, BES Education Assistant
Amy Padfield, BES Senior Education & Engagement Manager

What careers are available to ecologists outside of academia? Join us to explore the range of careers available in the ecological sciences. The session will include an overview of careers and provide practical advice on how to pursue those roles and utilise your transferable skills.

Early careers pre-conference day
Amy Padfield, BES Senior Education & Engagement Manager
Fiona Le Ray, BES Education Assistant
Frank Harris, BES Assistant Editor, Functional Ecology

Join us for our early career ecologists pre-conference day aimed at PhD students and early post docs. The day will include tips on making the most of the BES Annual Meeting experience including tips on networking, navigating the conference and imposter syndrome. We will also cover key topics such as how to be a reviewer led by the BES Publications Team.

Why should practitioners care about publishing?
Rowena Gordon, BES Managing Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology
Minhyuk Seo, BES Assistant Editor, Ecological Solutions and Evidence

In this interactive workshop we will cover why publishing of grey literature is important for ecology and how the publication process works. We will focus on information sharing and forming strong links between practice and academia.

Pre-conference workshops (Sunday 18 December)

Analysis and interpretation of stage-structured population models using Rcompadre and Rage
Samuel Gascoigne, University of Oxford
Roberto Salguero-Gomez, University of Oxford

Demography is central to ecology. Matrix population models (MPMs) are popular demographic tools with important applications in research and management. We introduce the open-access COM(P)ADRE MPM databases, and the new Rcompadre and Rage R packages which facilitate MPM analysis. We focus on comparative life history analyses and population biology.

Ethics in the Field: A guide to local engagement and collaboration
Lydia Gibson, Columbia University & UCL
Julia Sauma, Goldsmiths

This workshop is focused on the ethical implications of undertaking research that has any form of engagement with local communities or stakeholders, from working in human-inhabited areas to collaborating with local knowledge-holders. We will guide participants to think beyond immediate interactions to evaluating the impact of their work in and upon marginalised and local spaces.

Storytelling with Data – Data visualisation meets graphic design to tell scientific stories
Gergana Daskalova, IIASA & University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jiri Subrt, University of Edinburgh

Our workshop is for anyone wanting to amplify their data visualisation skills to tell powerful scientific stories. Through individual and team activities and tutorials, we will take participants from figure conceptualisation and graphic design to the weaving of stories and the R code to make it all happen.

Lunchtime workshops

Considering bioacoustics monitoring as a survey and research tool
Paul Howden-Leach, Wildlife Acoustics
Fran Tattersall, Wildlife Acoustics

This workshop will explore how bioacoustics can be used as a survey and research tool, both as a stand-alone method or in conjunction with other techniques. Topics will include deployment methods, best-practices, and data analysis methods.

Defining the next policy priorities for ecology
BES Policy Team

Over the past year, the BES has been working on the Future of Ecological Research in the UK project which identified key priorities for future research in the field. In this workshop, we will discuss the conclusions that are relevant to ecologists who are engaging with policy. In a group activity, participants will take an ecological policy priority and plan how to effectively present evidence to decision makers, focusing on factors such as policy windows and timing, content, accessibility of information and target audiences.

Developing a collaborative approach to quantifying ecosystem traits
T. Luke Smallman, University of Edinburgh
Jessie Au, University of California-Davis

Ecosystem traits underpin ecosystem function and robust estimates are essential for forecasting ecosystem response to climate change and disturbance. This interactive workshop offers a networking opportunity for researchers seeking to understanding ecosystem traits from diverse perspectives. We will identify key scientific gaps and discuss new synergistic approaches.

Developing a practitioner-led ecological research agenda for the UK
Mark O’Connell, University of Gloucestershire
Rachel White, University of Brighton

Given the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis, it is critical that ecological research outputs are used to underpin conservation action. Currently, a significant amount of research is perceived as lacking utility for the everyday work of conservation practitioners – contributing to the research-implementation gap. This interactive solution-oriented workshop seeks participant input on the development of a strategic, prioritised and practitioner-led ecological research agenda for the UK.

Drawing for nature
Liam Kirkpatrick, Imperial College London
Matilda Dunn, Imperial College London

Arts-led dialogues are garnering increasing interest in social and environmental sciences. This interactive workshop allows participants to learn about and try their hand at applying drawing as a research tool. The workshop is intended for anyone, with any level of drawing ability, interested in novel and participatory approaches.

Drawing the big picture: how does your work translate into image?
Gabriela Rabeschini, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre

How to use graphical elements (e.g., space, colour, texture, shape, image, etc.) and their interactions (i.e., representations of connectivity, hierarchy, emphasis, causality, etc.) to build graphical abstracts of works, projects and ideas which capture their main components and messages in a cohesive, didactic and visually attractive way. No digital equipment is required!

Ethics in publishing
Phil Dooner, BES Head of Product Development
Kirsty Scandrett, BES Senior Assistant Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology 
Minhyuk Seo, BES Assistant Editor, Ecological Solutions and Evidence

In this workshop we will be discussing how research ethics need to be applied for publication. Covering human ethics, animal ethics, endangered species considerations, as well as consent to publish, authorship and plagiarism, this session will help with everything you need to know to publish ethically.

How to be an Associate Editor
Milly Anderson, BES Assistant Editor, People and Nature
Tom Pinfield, BES Assistant Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology 

This workshop is an introduction to all things editorial and is perfect for anyone who is just starting out in an editorial role (Associate Editor or similar) or wants to streamline their editorial decision-making. We will cover editor responsibilities, how to find reviewers and how to gain confidence in editorial recommendations. There will also be time to ask questions with editors.

How to review code
Jennifer Meyer, BES Managing Editor, Methods in Ecology and Evolution 

Many studies now use code in their analyses, so reviewers of manuscripts are often required to test and review the code itself. This interactive workshop gives an overview for best practice in reviewing code, covering practical tips and activities to put the tools to the test.

Making biodiversity mainstream: normalising the need for change
Sallie Bailey, RESAS, Scottish Government 
Jack Bloodworth, RESAS, Scottish Government

Governments globally are recognising the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity decline. While climate change has become embedded in wider policy and public awareness, biodiversity decline is generally less so. This workshop will bring together scientists and policy makers to identify why and to find solutions for ‘mainstreaming’ biodiversity.

Management strategies for mid-career ecologists
Amy Padfield, BES Senior Education & Engagement Manager
Fiona Le Ray, BES Education Assistant

An opportunity for mid-career ecologists to gain some tips and management best practice. Including key areas such as team, budget and meeting management.

Media interviews, providing your expertise
Davy Falkner, BES Media Relations Officer

You’ve been asked to give a media interview. But how do you make the most of this opportunity to share your expertise with potentially thousands of people? In this session you’ll learn how to effectively prepare for media interviews, develop and communicate your key messages, handle tricky questions and create the right impression. The session will help ecologists build confidence in engaging with the media and sharing their expertise and research with the world.

Policy Power Hour: essential tools for navigating the science-policy interface
Isabel Jones, University of Stirling
Chris Pollard, Forest Research

Policy Power Hour is for anyone – especially ECRs – interested in working with policy-makers in local, national and international contexts. The workshop focuses on knowledge-sharing, drawing on the experiences of researchers bridging the science-policy gap. Participants will gain skills to develop their own communication strategies for engaging policy audiences.

Safe, equitable, inclusive fieldwork
Karen Devine, BES Director of External Affairs

If fieldwork is part of your research then this workshop is for you! You may be planning your first fieldwork season or you may be experienced at fieldwork but would like to see it become more safe and inclusive. Or you may be a supervisor, wanting to improve support and guidance for students carrying out fieldwork. We will discuss proposals to develop safe, equitable and inclusive practices alongside a longer term view of what needs to change across the sector and how we make institutional change for everyone doing fieldwork. At the end of this workshop we will draft a short guide that will be made publicly available along with signposting of support and resources for everyone planning their next field season.

Working with schools and teachers: top tips for designing and running your own school outreach activities
Sammy Mason, Outreach Project Officer

In this session you’ll learn some top tips on how to design school outreach activities, including ideas for how you could take your own research or projects into schools. We’ll talk about our own experience of running citizen science projects in schools as part of the BES Connecting Schools to Nature project and offer advice on how to work with teachers to run your own events. At the end of the session there will be time to discuss your own ideas for school outreach activities and explore how to link your activities to the national school curriculum.

Other networking opportunities

Freshers’ Function

This annual meet and greet is aimed at those who are new to the BES Annual Meeting or scientific conferences and would like to get networking before moving on to the Welcome Mixer.

Meet the plenary speakers

An opportunity for early career ecologists to ask questions in a friendly and informal setting.

Meet the Trustees

An opportunity for those interested to meet the Trustees of the BES and ask questions in a friendly setting.

Mentoring programme networking

The BES is launching a mentoring programme for all members. This session will include an introduction to this scheme and networking for those already part of the programme and those interested in joining.

Open access drop-in session (at Wiley’s stand)

Methods in Ecology & Evolution has gone full gold open access! If you have any questions about open access publishing, what the flip means or why we believe it’s important, come chat to us and ask any questions you have.

Speed Review

Have a paper idea reviewed fast – by a Senior Editor! The BES journals are running a speed review session where you can get a Senior Editor’s opinion on your manuscript. All you need to do is sign up at the BES stand and bring along a figure or a key finding from your research to have a discussion and get some feedback.