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Waterbird Society 2018 - Vancouver, BC

Fern Davies

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The Waterbird Society (WbS) will hold its 42nd Annual Conference and General Meeting at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada from August 19-20, 2018. Two full days of scientific sessions and symposia are planned. Full details will be available on the Society web page shortly (https://waterbirds.org/annual-meeting/).

This year, our annual conference is being held as part of, and will immediately precede, the 27th International Ornithological Congress (IOC), August 21-26, 2018; http://www.iocongress2018.com/. The Congress occurs every four years, since 1884, and is considered the oldest and most prestigious of meetings for avian scientists. As such, being part of the Congress will provide a unique opportunity to engage with the broader international ornithological community and will have a lot to offer in addition to regular conference. We encourage everybody to participate and take advantage of this event.

The Waterbird Society has two symposia at the IOC which will be of specific interest to members, including:

Speakers are needed – Send your abstract directly to the symposium conveners if you are interested in participating, and also submit it through the IOC (see below).

Other IOC symposia that relate to waterbirds and conservation can be found at: http://www.iocongress2018.com/symposia-descriptions (n.b. listed alphabetically, not by species group or theme).


(talks, posters, symposia and workshops/round-table discussions):

Abstract submissions for both the WbS and IOC meetings are open now. As our annual conference is being held in conjunction with the larger IOC, abstract submission and registration will be slightly more complicated than in other years. A table is that summarizes submission and registration processes and deadlines can be found at:


  • You can give an oral presentation at BOTH the WbS and IOC meetings, but have to submit a separate abstract for each meeting via different websites. 
  • Oral presentations as part of the IOC scientific program, and ALL paper posters and speed talks (electronic poster included): Abstracts for all of these categories must be submitted through the IOC process (http://www.iocongress2018.com/abstracts). Before you can submit an abstract to the IOC, you MUST first register via the IOC website. If you do not register, you cannot submit an abstract. Deadline for submission of abstracts through the IOC process is January 31, 2018.
  • Acceptance of oral presentations at the IOC is through a competitive process, where abstracts are peer-reviewed and ranked. Acceptance of an oral presentation is not guaranteed, but unsuccessful abstracts will be given the option to be presented as speed talks or posters.
  • Workshops/round-tables as part of the IOC scientific program: Abstracts for workshops or round-table discussions at the IOC are also due January, 31 2018 and must be submitted via the IOC website. These are great opportunities to include other researchers from around the world by having a theme or topic for a workshop. These can be casual or can be more formal with people presenting their research in short talks.
  • Oral presentations as part of the WbS scientific program: A portal to upload abstracts and instructions to presenters will be available on the WbS website soon (https://waterbirds.org/annual-meeting/2018-abstract-submission/). Deadline for submission of abstracts is April 03, 2018.
  • Symposia as part of the WbS scientific program: Anyone who would like to propose a Symposium for the Waterbird Society meeting, with a conservation or waterbirds theme, please direct questions to Dave Moore (dave.moore2@canada.ca). Proposals for symposia or workshops are due by February 15, 2018.

Registration is open now and early bird registration will end April 03, 2018. There is no additional cost of registration for the WbS meeting – it is included in the IOC registration fees. All registration occurs through the IOC website; please use the following link: http://www.iocongress2018.com/registration.

Remember, that you cannot submit an abstract for a poster, or for an oral presentation or workshop as part of the IOC, without first registering.


Travel awards to assist student attendance at meetings are available by applying to the Waterbird Society (https://waterbirds.org/awards/student-travel-awards/). Awards granted are fairly small and do not cover all expenses for meeting attendance, so students should seek additional sources of funding if support is needed for multiple expenses (e.g., airfare, hotel, registration, meals). Awards for student travel will also be available through the International Ornithological Congress (details to be announced).


For more information about the venue, registration, travel, accommodation, field trips and the location, please visit the IOC 2018 main page (link above).

For questions about abstracts, symposia or the scientific program please contact Dave Moore (Chair, Scientific Program – dave.moore2@canada.ca).

For questions about registration, accommodation, tours or field trips, please contact Pat Baird (Chair, Local Committee - pab7@sfu.ca).

An email blast this week will have information on accommodation. It is important to register as early as possible in order to obtain the best deals on hotels. A list of hotels and costs, as well as a list of example AirBNBs near the venue will be included in this email.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Clay Green
President (incoming), The Waterbird Society

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