Symposia and abstracts

for Evolutionary Biology

ESEB2019 – European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Submissions for symposium proposals for ESEB 2019  (deadline 15.11.2018).

A defining feature of ESEB congresses is the “bottom-up” approach to determining the scientific content of each meeting. The vast majority of the scientific program is arranged in symposia topics that are suggested by ESEB members, and the symposium organisers then also play a major role in selecting the oral and poster presentations from the submitted abstracts. Symposia topics can be on any theme related to evolutionary biology: specific or broad, emerging or well established. A symposium normally consists of around 5–12 oral presentations, or which 1–2 are invited, with remaining abstracts in the theme being presented together in the poster sessions. Invited speakers typically have their congress registration covered (but not travel or accommodation), and have extended speaking time.

The call for symposium proposals is now closed. Thank you for your contribution.

You will be asked to provide:

  1. The names and email addresses of the primary organiser (for all communication) and max. three co-organiser(s) (as a replacement), who must be committed to attend the whole meeting.
  2. The proposed symposium title.
  3. A max 200-word explanation justifying why you feel your proposed topic warrants a symposium at the conference.
  4. The names of two invited speakers (please check beforehand whether they are indeed available).

Balance, in terms of gender, nationality and career stage of invited speakers and symposium organisers will be included as one criterion used by the scientific committee when selecting symposia and successful symposium organisers are expected to do the same when selecting oral presentations. More details on ESEB’s equal opportunity policies are available here, and advice on how to achieve a diverse lineup of speakers can be found below. ESEB also supports diversity via conference attendance aid grants.

Please note that symposium organisers are not allowed to present in the symposium they organise.

The deadline for submission is November 15, 2018. Proposals will be double-blind evaluated by the Scientific Committee, and the selected list will be communicated in January 2019. Enquiries about symposium preproposals should be directed to craig.primmer[at]

ESEB diversity committee tips for ensuring a diverse speaker line-up

We wish to encourage potential symposium organisers to take diversity (of gender, nationality and career stage) into account when proposing speakers for their symposium.

As ESEB members will be aware, research shows clearly that (gender) bias in academia is usually not the result of intentional acts of exclusion, but rather the effect of subtler mechanisms like implicit bias. Substantial concern has been raised about gender bias among invited speakers for symposia at previous ESEB (and other) meetings. The organisers of the ESEB congress acknowledge this concern and wish to ensure that symposia selected for the congress draw participants (both invited and those selected for inclusion when abstracts are reviewed) as broadly as possible to reflect the full research strengths of the fields represented.

Balance in terms of gender, nationality and career stage will be included as one criterion used by the scientific committee when selecting symposia.

TIPS for ensuring sufficiently diverse line up of speakers


  • Make a list of qualified women and minority candidates before deciding who to invite for your symposium. Databases such as DiversifyEEB are useful resources. Make sure you have more women and minority candidates on your list than you need for the symposium: analysis of previous conferences has revealed that invited women are twice as likely to decline invitations as invited men.
  • If invitations are declined, be aware that ESEB offers ”Congress Attendance Aid Grants” to increase the number of female speakers and poster presenters.
  • If it is difficult to attain equal gender representation due to low acceptance rates, consider inviting promising early-career scientists.
  • When deciding between equally qualified candidates, preference should be given to the female or minority candidate.
  • Consider a blind reviewing process of submissions for contributed talks, at least for the initial rounds, to create a ranking of the abstracts. However, before making final decisions, it may be helpful to know more about the participants to ensure diversity of gender, level of seniority, country of origin etc.
  • Read this paper with 10 simple rules for gender balance.
  • Contact the ESEB EO Initiative committee for help with reaching gender balance and diversity