2015 Annual Meeting
13 – 16 December
EICC, Edinburgh

Fáilte! Welcome!

We are delighted  that our 2015 meeting was be held in Edinburgh, at the innovative and welcoming EICC, with local organising from the University of Edinburgh

We had an action packed programme including keynote addresses from Luigi Boitano giving our BES Lecture, Josephine Pemberton the Tansley lecture, Pat Monaghan 12 Months in Ecology and Bill Sutherland delivering the Presidential Address. We had a diverse and exciting number of Thematics, Workshops, and, of course, our regular array of oral and poster sessions to fill the programme. And, as usual, our fantastic social programme – from Gala Dinner, Poster Sessions, Social events, Fun Run and post-meeting tours, plus this year we had our Early Careers and  Fringe Events.

Meeting Overview

8 EICC Exterior May 2013 credit Malcolm Cochrane 11 EICC-Logo

Located in the heart of Scotland’s beautiful and vibrant capital city, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) is a magnificent events venue.  The incredible facilities include a series of impressive adaptable auditoria, spacious reception areas and flexible suites, including the spectacular 1200 raked-seating Pentland Suite, offering the utmost flexibility by sub-dividing into three separate auditoria in minutes at the touch-of-a-button.

Edinburgh has a lot of wonderful things to offer our delegates, such as art galleries, museums plus fascinating historical sights.

Plenary Speakers

Luigi Boitani: BES LECTURE
Luigi Boitani
‘Large carnivores in Europe: science, ethics and politics, and the challenge of maintaining viable populations in human-dominated landscapes‘

Luigi Boitani is Professor of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology at the University of Rome, Dept of Biology and Biotechnologies. He has been President of the Society for Conservation Biology (2009-11).
His main scientific interests are on a) the social ecology of carnivores, particularly wolves and bears on which he has been working since 1972; b) patterns and models of species distributions based on GIS tools; and c) planning and conservation of protected areas, with emphasis on Africa and Europe where he has contributed to the management plans of more than 25 national parks. He has lectured widely in North America and Europe.
He has been member of the IUCN’s SSC and WCPA since 1973 and has served as member of the SSC Steering Committee since 1994. He is the Chair of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe, a SSC Specialist Group that is a regular advisor to the European Union on carnivore conservation issues. He is President of the Fondation Segré in Geneva. He is author of more than 320 scientific papers, 10 books and 80 technical reports.

Pat Monaghan: 12 MONTHS IN ECOLOGY
Pat Monaghan
Pat Monaghan has spent most of her scientific career at the University of Glasgow, where she is now the Regius Professor of Zoology (the first woman to hold this positon since the chair was established in 1807). She did her PhD at Durham University on the problems associated with urban gulls, which included studies at nesting colonies and of the transmission of disease. Following further studies on gull demography and behaviour, Pat then worked on the effects of food shortages on seabird populations, and the conflicts between seabird conservation and fisheries management, involving projects on several seabird species at colonies in northern Britain and Norway. She then began studies on the effect of early life conditions in shaping individual life histories, which involves studies at many different biological levels including physiology and molecular biology. Her work is mainly or birds and currently focuses on trade-offs between growth and longevity, and the mechanisms driving effects that can span whole lifetimes. In addition, Pat has long term interests in environmental and species conservation, and in this context has been involved in a long term study of choughs in Scotland with several other colleagues, and in committee work with several government agencies and charities. Pat is also a keen proponent of women in science, and is involved in a number of initiatives in this sphere, aimed at both established and younger researchers.

Josephine Pemberton: TANSLEY LECTURE

Josephine Pemberton is Professor of Molecular Ecology at the University of Edinburgh. She is known for her involvement in two long-term, individual-based studies of wild vertebrates: red deer on the Isle of Rum and Soay sheep on St Kilda, and for pioneering methods for estimating genetic relationships in natural populations, including genetic parentage analysis to recover pedigrees and more recently, genomic approaches. Genetic relationships between individuals have allowed for a variety of important issues in ecology and evolution to be addressed in her study populations, including understanding and quantifying the determinants of individual fitness, estimating selection on and the heritability of traits and predicting their microevolution, understanding the maintenance of genetic variation and quantifying the impact of inbreeding depression. In other studies her group have documented the gradual introgression of Scottish red deer by introduced Japanese sika genes. She is interested in wildlife management issues, having sat on the Deer Commission for Scotland Board for five years and having recently published, with Scottish Natural Heritage, a booklet for deer managers on deer management messages arising from the Rum deer project. She is a very strong proponent of long-term studies and much exercised by the challenges of maintaining raw field data collection.

Bill Sutherland
William Sutherland, BES President and Conservation Science Group, University of Cambridge.
Bill Sutherland first attended the BES conference as an undergraduate and well remembers the excitement and inspiration of that meeting. Since then he has gained enormously, both academically and socially, from the society. He was thus delighted to reciprocate when asked to be president.
He holds the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology, University of Cambridge, is a Professorial Fellow at St Catharine’s College, an Associate Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy and is on the Management Committee for the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. He has written six books, edited five others and published over 400 scientific papers.
He was awarded the Marsh Award for Ecology, Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society London, Marsh Award for Conservation Biology, Ecological Engagement Award of the British Ecological Society and the Distinguished Service Award of the Society for Conservation Biology. He is on the Advisory Committee Synchronicity Earth, Natural England Science Strategy Committee and Natural Environment Research Council Science and Innovation Strategy Board.
He is particularly interested in developing new means of linking science and practice. While much of this is relates to conservation biology some of these methods have been used for a wide range of other topics including international development, global food security and the future of Antarctic research.
Thematic Topics

Climate change in the Arctic; linking ecological and biogeochemical responses
Lorna Street, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Marc Macias-Fauria, University of Oxford, UK
Isla-Myers Smith, University of Edinburgh, UK
Mathew Williams, University of Edinburgh, UK

Digging deeper- Advancing our understanding of how soil biota drive and respond to plant invasions
Wayne Dawson, University of Konstanz, Germany
Maarten Schrama, University of Manchester, UK

Dispersal processes driving plant movement: challenges for range shifts in a changing world
Cristina García, CIBIO/InBIO, Portugal
Etienne Klein, INRA, France
Pedro Jordano, CSIC, Spain

Ecological and evolutionary risks to agriculture and food production
Helen Hicks, University of Sheffield, UK
Rob Freckleton, University of Sheffield, UK

Hidden herbivory: ecosystem consequences of soil-plant–herbivore interactions
Sue Hartley, YESI, University of York, UK
Alison Karley, The James Hutton Institute, UK
Adam Frew, University of West Sydney, Australia

Integrating ecology and evolution to understand infectious disease
Amy Pedersen, University of Edinburgh, UK
Tom Little, University of Edinburgh, UK
Sarah Reece, University of Edinburgh, UK
Emma Cunningham, University of Edinburgh, UK
Richard Ennos, University of Edinburgh, UK
Andy Fenton, University of Liverpool, UK

Integrating ecosystem services into spatial planning decision making
Alina Congreve, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Iain Cross, St Mary’s University Twickenham, UK

Making best use of ecological evidence
Neal Haddaway, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden

Making the most of microbes in ecosystem science: soil microbial ecology in global change models
Nick Ostle, Lancaster University, UK
Emma Sayer, Lancaster University, UK
Jeanette Whitaker, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster, UK

Pollination services: from individuals to landscapes
Graham Stone, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, UK
Pat Willmer, University of St Andrews, UK

Predicting the future: Ecological forecasting in a changing world
Chris Clements, The University of Zurich, Switzerland
The ecology of disturbance in a conservation context
Jeroen Minderman, University of St Andrews, UK

The role of large-scale experimentation in applied ecology and conservation
Kirsty Park, University of Stirling, UK
Kevin Watts, Forest Research, UK

Turning the rewilding of Great Britain into reality
Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London, UK

Using ecology to guide public health policy
Nick Golding, University of Oxford, UK
Jess Metcalf, Princeton University, USA

30 years of the St Kilda Soay sheep project: Looking ahead
Dan Nussey, University of Edinburgh, UK
Josephine Pemberton, University of Edinburgh, UK
Loeske Kruuk, University of Edinburgh, UK

Communicating ecology: Improving the traditional journal model.
Dr. Parthiba Basu, University of Calcutta, India
Dr. Barbara Smith, Coventry University

Do you speak Python? A short introduction to alternative languages for data analysis.
Susan Jarvis, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Duncan Procter, York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis, University of York

Beyond the GPS – Novel biologging methods to track animal behaviour and energy expenditure
Luca Borger, Swansea University
Emily Shepherd, Swansea University

Do ecosystem service approaches deliver biodiversity conservation?
Rob Brooker, Chair, Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Science & Technical Group (STG), The James Hutton Institute

Playing games to resolve conservation conflicts: game theory in research and policy
Dr Nils Bunnefeld, University of Stirling

Choosing ecologically sound food: an opportunity to shape the BES catering policy.
Steve Peel, on behalf of the Agricultural Ecology Group and the Climate Change Ecology Group

Building an ecological time machine
Jonathan Silvertown, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Ashworth Laboratories, University of Edinburgh
Rob Marrs CEcol, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool
Jerry Tallowin, Rothamsted Research

Conservation: The next generation
Catherine Stokowska, University of Sheffield, PhD Student, BES Conservation SIG Student rep
Stuart Patterson, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, PhD Student, BES Conservation SIG Student rep

Knowledge discovery in ecological data
Dr. Marko Debeljak, Jozef Stefan Institute
Dr. Aneta Trajanov, Jozef Stefan Institute

How to be a better citizen’s scientist
Alan Jones, Earthwatch Institute
Martha Crockatt, Earthwatch Institute

Bring your own app: Digital technology to enhance research (an interdisciplinary perspective)
Karen Devine, British Ecological Society, External Affairs Manager

The Global Research Alliance Modeling Platform (GRAMP) – a virtual laboratory for biogeochemical ecosystem modelling
Dr Benjamin Jackson, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen

The future of Data Archiving – Any Questions?
Simon Hoggart, BES Publications Team, Journal of Animal Ecology
Kate Harrison, BES Publications Team, Ecological Reviews
Alice Plane, BES publications team, Journal of Applied Ecology

Maximising the Exposure of Your Research: Search Engine Optimisation and why it matters
Chris Grieves, BES Publications, Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Jenny Meyer, BES Publications, Journal of Functional Ecology
Lauren Sandhu, BES Publications, Journal of Ecology

Using the COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database for comparative plant demography
Owen Jones, University of Southern Denmark

Speeding up ecological and evolutionary computations in R; essentials of high performance computing for biologists
Marco D. Visser, Departments of Experimental Plant Ecology and Animal Ecology & Ecophysiology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Online Programme

We are pleased to announce that the full programme is now available to view online via our Annual Meeting App!

You can also download the full programme in PDF.

Useful links:

Oral Session Overview

Read the 2015 AGM Agenda here. Our BES Annual Report 2015, which is a 12 month retrospective of the activities and initiatives of the Society.

The BES is pleased to announce our 2015 sponsors:
Oxford University-blue logo
PLOS_bio (B&W)

And our list of exhibitors:
• Annals of Botany
• AoB Plants
• Cambridge University Press
• Cobweb
• Conservation Evidence
• Ecological Continuity Trust
• Edina
• Oikos
• Oxford University Press
• Pelagic Publishing
• Taylor and Francis
• New Phytologist
• Royal Society
• NBC Bird Solutions
• Newcastle University

BES Annual Meeting 2015 Sponsorship and Exhibition Brochure