Social events

Find out more about the Social Events we’ll be running at BES2023!

As well as a packed programme of presentations and workshops, there are also many social and networking events, providing great opportunities to meet old colleagues and create new connections.

Ticketed pre-conference policy debate (In-person, 11 December)

Encouraging Hope and Urgency: Navigating the Biodiversity and Climate Crisis (Policy debate – Monday 11 December)

Join us for an inspiring event that explores the pressing issues of biodiversity and climate crisis on the island of Ireland. This in-person gathering will be chaired by Louise Cullen (BBC NI Environment Correspondent) and will take place on Monday 11 December at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
We will be hearing from Professor Peter Thorne (Maynooth University) , Professor John Barry (Queen’s University Belfast), Professor Yvonne Buckley (Trinity College Dublin), Jonathan Bell (RSPB NI) and Annika Clements (DAERA).

The event is open to all. Registration via Eventbrite has now closed.

Tuesday 12 December

Welcome Mixer sponsored by Field Studies Council

We’re excited to kick things off this year with a great social event giving you plenty of opportunity to  mingle before the conference begins!

Come and meet your fellow delegates at the main BES2023 Welcome Mixer. The Welcome Mixer takes place from 18:30 – 20:30 on Tuesday 12 December in the Exhibition Area (Hall 1) on Level 1 at the ICC.

Freshers’ Function

This event will be part workshop and part social event, and is for anyone new to our Annual Meeting, or new to scientific conferences. The workshop section aims to arm you with the tools necessary for successful networking. Whether you shudder at the idea of chatting to complete strangers, or don’t mind the process but would like your efforts to be more targeted and effective – this session is for you. It’s a great way to get to know your peers in an informal setting before the main Welcome Mixer. Meet us in the Arc Bar on the Ground Floor from 17:00 – 18:30 on Tuesday 12 December.

Workshop section run by Dr Joanna Bagniewska.

Wednesday 13 December

Mentoring Workshop Breakfast

Suitable for both early career, mid career and senior ecologists, mentoring is a way to help fellow ecologists fulfil their potential by providing unique perspectives and advice, inspire, and support each other. Join us for juice, teas and breakfast from 08:00 – 08:45 in the Arc Bar to find out more about how to get involved.

Poster Session 1 sponsored by LifeWatch ERIC

Poster Session 1 will take place in the Exhibition Area (Hall 1) on Level 1 from 18:00 – 19:30 on Wednesday 13 December. Group A posters will be presented (see the conference app for details).

Meet the SIGs & SIG Socials

Come and meet our Special Interest Groups on Wednesday 13 December to learn more and get involved. Our volunteer groups provide a focus of activity in specific areas of ecology and organise meetings and exciting events throughout the year. Find them at the Riverside Foyer, ground floor, 18:00 – 19:00.

After the meet and greet sessions, our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will be heading to various locations around Belfast for some friendly socials. You can meet the organisers at the Riverside Foyer at 19:30 to head to the venues together. Please check the conference app for details and locations of each of the events, as the socials will not be held at Belfast ICC.

Thursday 14 December

Christian Breakfast

On Thursday Morning of the conference there will be a Christian Breakfast hosted in the Arc Bar on the Ground Floor from 08:00 – 08:45. All are welcome to attend, and food, tea and coffee will be provided.

Speed Review

Have a paper idea reviewed fast – by an editor! The BES journals are running a speed review session where you can get an 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. Speed Review will take place in the Riverside Foyer on the Ground floor from 17:00 – 18:30 on Thursday 14 December.

Grants Drop-in

Talk to the Grants Officer and members of the Grants Committee about your research and outreach ideas. Get some grant writing tips and learn about our new grants portfolio, which includes new long term research grants, pedagogical grants and supporting Ecologists from the Global South. This will also take place in the Riverside Foyer on the Ground floor from 17:00 – 18:30.

Poster Session 2 sponsored by LifeWatch ERIC

Poster Session 2 will take place in the Exhibition Area (Hall 1) on Level 1 from 17:00 – 18:30 on Thursday 14 December. Group B posters will be presented (see the conference app for details). There will be a free drink available.

Intersectional Ecology Community Mixer hosted by the ALDER, EDGE, REED and SEED Networks

This year we’ll be joining together our four community networks into one large social event. Join us on Thursday 14 December 18:30 – 19:30 for an informal and relaxed opportunity to mix and chat with fellow ecologists over refreshments. Each network will have their own individual stand where you can find out more about joining the network, speak to the committee members, and enjoy smaller chats with other members of your respective network.

ALDER: Advancing LGBTQIA+ Diversity, Equality & Representation network

EDGE: Equity and Diversity for all Gender in Ecology network

REED: Racial and Ethnic Equality and Diversity network

SEED: Socioeconomic Equality and Diversity network

BES2023 Annual Meeting party

Join fellow ecologists at Belfast’s oldest family run pub to catch up with friends over a game of pool, make new connections in the quieter games room, or dance the night away until 2am!

The BES Annual meeting party will take place at Lavery’s pub from 20:30 Thursday 14 December until 02:00 on Friday 15 December.

This is a ticketed event. Your ticket will include two complimentary drinks and access to the full event including entertainment from a traditional Irish band! Booking has now closed.

Friday 15 December

Christmas Day

On the last day of the meeting, we invite you to start celebrating the holidays with Christmas Day! We encourage you to come to the meeting in festive attire (jumpers, ties, tinsel, and reindeer antlers – whatever takes your fancy) and tweet a photo of yourself to #BES2023. There will be a prize allocated to the best Christmas outfit!