It is exactly one week since the closing ceremony for the British Ecological Society centenary celebrations and Intecol 2013. The metaphorical confetti has been cleared, and the less metaphorical hangovers have finally subsided, giving an opportunity to reflect on what was an outstanding week of workshops, poster presentations, talks and general ecology based fun. Highlights from individual days can be found in our BMC Series blog: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3, and here an overview of the conference is presented, discussing the main themes and the on-going challenges faced by the ecology community.
There was a mind boggling array of parallel symposia and oral sessions – making decisions regarding which talks to go to pretty tricky! The conference had something for everyone, with themes ranging from maths and modelling, to parasites and pathogens, to climate change. There were excellent contributions from the ecology glitterati as well as outstanding talks from the next generation of leaders in ecology research, with many of the sessions including a number of students presenting high calibre exciting research.
With the conference theme this year ‘Into the next 100 years’, there was a large amount of research presented into sustainability and conservation – essentially considering how to ensure that we can preserve our world’s resources and survive over the next 100 years and beyond. This theme played out in many of the varied symposia on agricultural ecology, climate change, biodiversity and conservation, as well as some less obviously ecological themes such as disease resistance. Of particular note, many of the plenary speakers touched on these topics: Georgina Mace discussed the shift in ecological research towards the maintenance of future form, function and resilience of ecosystems; Bill Sutherland engaged the audience with a lively discussion on ecological and conservation decision making; and David Tilman discussed the importance of biodiversity in biomass production and the ecological puzzle of creating sustainable agriculture.
With such a successful week behind us, and already looking forward to the next meeting, we were on the edge of our seats for the announcement of the venue for Intecol 2017. It is safe to say we were not disappointed… see you in Beijing!
BioMed Central Ecology journals: