New chair of BES meetings announced

Pete Manning is to be the next Chair of the British Ecological Society’s Meetings Committee.

Pete Manning
Pete Manning, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Change Centre

A plant and ecosystems ecologist at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Change Centre in Frankfurt, Germany, Pete will chair the Committee which sets the direction for the Society’s programme of conferences and events.

He will take over the role when the current Chair, Zoe Davies of the University of Kent, steps down at the end of her term at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Birmingham this month.

Pete is excited to be taking up the role, saying: “One of my first experiences as a young ecologist was to attend the BES Annual Meeting in Leicester way back in 1998. And since then, give or take a few, I’ve been every year since.

He adds: “In that time ecology has grown from being a small-scale and local discipline led by individual naturalists to an international ‘big science’ performed by large, coordinated and interdisciplinary teams. BES meetings have played a key role in enabling this transition, and I hope to maintain the BES meetings as leading international ecology conferences, while further developing them to meet the needs of a community which is changing rapidly in its practices and culture.”

Pete’s research interests are in biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services. He completed his PhD at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Dorset before working at Imperial College London, Newcastle University and the University of Bern in Switzerland. He has been a group leader at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Change Centre since 2015. Pete is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology and has been closely involved with BES publications for some time.

Richard Bardgett, President of the BES, said: “I want to pass on our sincere thanks to Zoe as she steps down as Chair of the Meetings Committee for her excellent work in guiding the development of our fantastic programme of meetings. I am delighted that Pete has agreed to take up the role and look forward to all he will bring in making sure our events continue to be a great success, reflecting and communicating the very best in ecological science.”