Sound the bells, get out the bunting and take up the cry, they said yes! The next conference hosted by the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE), held in Victoria, BC in May 2017, will feature a symposium organised by McLabbies Erin, Julia and David.

The title is “Ecology and Evolution in a Social Context”. The idea is that the social environment (the network of other animals you interact with) is a really important part of the natural world, both influencing how animals behave, but also being created by their interactions. This in itself is not a new idea, but it is only relatively recently that we’ve started to appreciate the role it plays in a wide range of ecological and evolutionary processes. We are bringing scientists together to highlight how the social environment matters in a diverse range of fields, from communication to sexual selection and the functioning of animal groups. We will also be seeing how the techniques used to study animal social behaviour are informing us on classical questions in ecology and evolution. We aim to end the symposium with a discussion on where our speakers think the field is heading.

Organising a symposium like this is great experience for when we hope to be organising entire conferences, working groups and possibly our own labs in the future. But it also means something we think is really important gets discussed at a major conference. By bringing together a diverse array of speakers, we’re confident that almost anyone will find something of interest, and that a bunch of different insights will arise.

Only one way* to find out though, so come join us as CSEE2017, and check out the symposium.

- David FIsher



*we’ll probably be tweeting a bunch during the symposium, so you may be able to keep tabs on what’s going on through that medium. But it won’t be nearly as fun!