We are excited to announce the workshops running at Ecology Across Borders, 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 available: 

  1. Ticketed longer pre-conference workshops (up to 4 hours) on the afternoon of Sunday 12 December.
  2. 1-hour workshops over the lunch break on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 December.
  3. Limited online workshops for those with virtual registration passes.

Pre-conference workshops

Monday 6 December, 14:00 – 15:30
ONLINE: Careers outside of academia
Chris Jeffs, BES Engagement & Outreach Manager
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, from policy and science communication to industry and environmental management. The session will include an overview of careers and provide practical advice on how to pursue those roles and utilise your transferable skills.

Tuesday 7 December, 13:30 – 17:30
Online: £15

ONLINE: Early careers pre-conference day
Amy Padfield, BES Senior Education & Engagement Manager
BES Early career working group representatives

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 Ecology Across Borders 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.

Wednesday 8 December, 14:00 – 15:30
ONLINE: Addressing helicopter research in ecology
Journal of Applied Ecology Senior Editors

This workshop will focus on “helicopter research” in ecology, where scientists from wealthier regions collect and analyse data from lower income regions with little/no involvement of local researchers. We will gather practical ideas on how the BES could tackle this issue, building on ideas in the recent JAE editorial.

Sunday 12 December, 14:00 – 18:00
In-person: £25

The below four workshops will all take place in Liverpool as in-person only, on Sunday 12 December.

Analysis and interpretation of stage-structured population models via RCOMPADRE, Rage, and ipmR
Sam Levin, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
Roberto Salguero-Gomez, University of Oxford
Owen Jones, University of Southern Denmark

Stage-structured population models have become a dominant approach in the toolbox of ecologists. However, these tools typically require a high degree of training and quantitative expertise. With so many resources available to apply, quantify, and interpret demographic outputs from state-structured population models, taking a first step towards learning them can be daunting. In this workshop, we will, by making no assumptions about prior demographic knowledge of the participants, walk with them through the philosophy, parameterisation, analysis, and interpretation of matrix population models (via the new R packages Rage and RCOMPADRE) and integral projection models (via the new R package ipmr).

Analysing metabarcoding data for environmental DNA and diet analysis
Helen Hipperson, University of Sheffield
Kathryn Maher, University of Sheffield

Sequencing DNA barcodes from mixed sources of DNA is an increasingly used way to survey biodiversity, whether analysing dietary content from faecal-derived DNA or monitoring aquatic species from water-derived DNA. This workshop will give a hands-on overview of metabarcoding with barcoding genes to target particular taxa. Using an example data set of 12S sequences derived from Lake Tanganyika eDNA we will go from raw sequence data through to assigning taxonomy to the sequence variants.

Introduction to conservation social science for ecologists
Rebecca Jefferson, Human Nature

This workshop will introduce you to the disciplines, methods and data types used in conservation social sciences. We will explore why social and natural sciences are both essential to achieving a healthy planet for all. We will bust a few of the myths which often surround social sciences. You will gain knowledge and confidence to engage with these valuable subjects in order to enhance your understanding of the sites, species and ecosystems which you research.

Lunchtime workshops

Lunchtime workshops will take place for 1 hour over the long lunchtime breaks of the conference. These are free to attend and no pre-booking is required. Those indicated as ONLINE will be available to both the virtual and in-person delegates.

Monday 13 December, 13:15 – 14:15

Mapping the connections between ecological processes and climate change
Orly Razgour, University of Exeter/BES Climate Change SIG
Vicky Boult, University of Reading

To better prepare for the future of our planet, it is essential to understand how climate change affects, and is affected by, ecological processes. In small groups, participants will map the cascades linking ecology and climate change in their own area of interest, and identify where input from climate science might advance ecological understanding and vice versa. Cross-disciplinary discussions will contribute to participants generating new research ideas and collaborations. Individual cascades will be combined into a systematic map from which we will pull out key themes and commons needs, and propose a way forward. The workshop is broadly aimed at anyone interested in the impacts of climate change on ecological processes and biodiversity.

Nature-based solutions: delivering multiple environmental and societal benefits
Daniela Russi, BES Policy Manager
James McBreen, IUCN

This workshop will discuss the design and application of nature-based solutions (NbS) to address the climate and biodiversity crises, while delivering a wide range of environmental and societal objectives. The speakers will present the BES’ seminal report on NbS and the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based SolutionsTM, looking at case studies in different habitats and discussing key elements, challenges and solutions with the audience. The objective will be to help establish a common understanding of the NbS concept and to provide practical examples of application of the IUCN Global Standard to increase the effectiveness, sustainability and adaptability of NbS interventions.

Challenging conversations: how to be an effective ally
Karen Devine, BES Head of External Affairs
Bushra Abu Helil, REED network

As the 3rd in our series of annual challenging conversations, and following on from requests from the wider community, this year the workshop is being led by the REED network and will focus on how individuals can be effective allies in their places of work/study to create more inclusive spaces for all.

The workshop include group discussions focussed around examples of discrimination based on ethnicity and how individuals at all career stages can act as allies for their colleagues and students.

Please note: our challenging conversation series tackle difficult topics but they are a safe and confidential space for people to talk, to learn and to make positive change.

Promoting your research
Rowena Gordon, BES Assistant Editor, Functional Ecology
Samantha Ponton, BES Assistant Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology
Davy Falkner, Media Relations Officer
Kirsty Scandrett, BES Senior Assistant Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology

You’ve produced a great piece of research and now the world needs to hear about it! In this interactive workshop you’ll learn how to find the newsworthy hook in your research and some straightforward tips for how to write engaging blogs and press releases to share your research with a wider audience, including other researchers, the general public and the media.

Interdisciplinary peer review
Emilie Aimé, BES Senior Managing Editor
Simon Hoggart, BES Senior Assistant Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology

Interdisciplinary research is increasingly important for the ecological community. We have recently published a guide to interdisciplinary research as part of our Guides to better science series, and our Journal People and Nature regularly publishes interdisciplinary research. In this interactive workshop BES journal editors and staff will cover the basics of how to peer review with a particular focus on reviewing interdisciplinary work.

Training ecologists for the future
Lesley Batty, University of Birmingham
Dan Forman, University of Swansea

We are currently seeing significant shifts in the employment and the educational landscape and this raises questions of how we see ecologists of the future, particularly in the context of global environmental change. This workshop seeks to explore the skills needed by future ecologists (whether they are practitioners or researchers). Prior to the event a survey will determine the key skills needed in the future and then within the workshop we will bring together researchers, teachers and practitioners to explore the ways in which these skills can be taught and assessed at different stages of an ecologist’s career.

ONLINE: Pre-registration in ecology and evolution
Antica Culina, NIOO-KNAW
Shinichi Nakagawa, The University of New South Wales

Preregistration of a study consists of specifying the research plan in advance of the study.  The main purpose of preregistration is to distinguish predictions (one’s initial plan) from post-dictions. Many incorrectly believe preregistration is only suitable for confirmatory (hypothesis-driven) studies, but not for exploratory studies (e.g., some types of genome sequencing, taxonomic work). In this workshop we will discuss the benefits of pre-registration, and differences and similarities between pre-registration and registered reports. We will then introduce a novel modular pre-registration system that will facilitate pre-registration in ecology and evolution, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this system with the participants.

Tuesday 14 December, 13:45 – 14:45

Open Access made clear
Andrea Baier, BES Director of Publishing
Emilie Aimé, BES Senior Managing Editor
Sponsored by Wiley

PlanS came into force in January 2021 and the UKRI Open Access policy was announced in August 2021. Join this session to ask an expert panel your questions and hear from them what these policies mean to you and how you can comply when publishing your research.

Building eco-social competency through songwork
Ash Brockwell, London Interdisciplinary School
Injairu Kulundu-Bolus, Rhodes University

‘Eco-social competency’ refers to the ability to be an empathetic participant in the wider community of life – not just a passive observer. This workshop explores how songwork, a non-competitive and non-judgemental practice of collective singing, can strengthen our sense of interconnectedness with other-than-human lives and local ecosystems. Informed by decolonial and ‘Triple-T’ (transformative, transgressive and transdisciplinary) educational praxis, Ash and Injairu will introduce the principles of songwork and share songs from England and South Africa respectively.  This workshop is for everyone who loves to sing, everyone who thinks they can’t sing, and everyone in between!

Inclusion and representation in curricula
Karen Devine, BES Head of External Affairs
Amy Padfield, BES Senior Education & Engagement Manager

Lesley Batty, BES Teaching and learning SIG
BES Education Committee

What do we mean by “Decolonising Curricula”, how can we showcase the diversity of scientists and their contribution to the global knowledge base.

With the environment the 2nd least diverse employment sector, how can we ensure that we use student curricula to support and inspire a broader diversity of students to pursue careers and post graduate research in Environmental, ecological and related disciplines?

With many universities actively decolonising their curriculum this workshop provides a space for anyone involved in curricula development and student progression to share their experiences of what is and isn’t working.

Creating and navigating successful co-designed research opportunities
Marc Cadotte, University of Toronto
Holly Jones, Northern Illinois University
Erika Newton, BES Senior Managing Editor

“Co-designed” projects are planned and executed in cooperation between conservation/management practitioners and academic researchers to achieve real-world impact. But at what point in the research process should co-design begin? What does good co-design look like? In this interactive workshop, practitioners and researchers will share their experiences to facilitate and encourage best practices for successful co-designed science and outcomes.

How to engage with policy: the experience of ECRs
Daniela Russi, BES Senior Policy Manager
BES Policy Team

Early career researchers will present their experience on engaging with policy in the context of a report led by the BES Policy Team on protected areas. They will discuss the process that led them to answer policy questions on protected areas, and use their research to inform policy. Learning about their journey will be useful for other ECRs who want to engage with policy.

Using sound to measure biodiversity with Acoustic Indices
Fran Tattersall, Wildlife Acoustics
Paul Howden-Leach, Wildlife Acoustics

Wildlife sound recording offers a cost-effective way to survey vocal species. Modern recorders can be left out in the field for many months, easily collecting terabytes of data. Traditionally these recordings have been analysed using manual or semi-automated methods to identify individual species and count vocalisations, but this is a laborious process. Acoustic Indices are an emerging method that looks at the totality and complexity of sonic energy in a recording and relates this to aspects of biological diversity, usually at a community level. In this workshop we will look at the principles behind Acoustic Indices and provide an overview of how they work. We will then demonstrate how to calculate some of the Acoustic Indices in Kaleidoscope Pro and look at the kinds of data they provide.

ONLINE: Mindful Science for Ecologists: towards a more productive, creative and happier scientific life
Ana Pineda, PhD, I focus and write and Research Institute CIBIO, University of Alicante (Spain)

Being a scientist is one of the most beautiful professions out there. But it can be hard. In this workshop we´ll focus on how you can implement a mindful approach to your scientific life, to boost your productivity, creativity, and happiness. I will share two aspects of each category that are having the strongest impact on the students of “I focus and write”, a personal project where I coach academics. You´ll have several moments to reflect on different aspects of your scientific work and make a plan to improve what is not working. You can also get a “workshop bag” here with several resources to help you implement that mindful approach.

Other networking opportunities

Carers coffee
A chance to meet with other carers over a coffee.

Freshers’ function
The annual meet and greet is for anyone new to the our annual meetings, or new to scientific conferences.

Getting the most from mentoring
The BES values mentoring as an important way to support our members. We have delivered mentoring in some capacity since 2009 with mentors providing professional support to mentees in areas including career changes, work-life balance and career development opportunities. Join this breakfast session to hear about the development of a new mentoring programme at the BES and to find out more about how you can get involved.

LGBT+ Mixer
A relaxed and informal opportunity to mix and chat for ecologists from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum over refreshments.

Meet the plenary speaker
Opportunity for early career ecologists to meet our plenary speakers and to ask questions in a small and welcoming setting.

REED Network Mixer
A chance for any ecologist who feels racial and ethnic discrimination is having an impact on their education and career to meet the REED network and socialise.

Smaller welcome mixer
Join us to network in a friendly and welcoming environment to allow those who would benefit from a smaller number of people and additional support in going into the welcome mixer.

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.

Women in ecology networking
Networking for women in ecology with a specific topic in discussion – returning to work after a career break.