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Ernst Haeckel Prize 2017 awarded to Spanish ecologist Prof. Carlos M. Herrera

posted: 16 Nov 2017

Prof. Carlos M. Herrera has been awarded the 2017 Ernst Haeckel Prize by the European Ecological Foundation (EEF) for his outstanding contribution to European ecological science. He is an honoured biologist with a profound knowledge of species and species interactions; a respected teacher and a person who dedicates his live and work to nature conservation. The prize will be presented during the conference “Ecology Across Borders” in Ghent, Belgium, 11 to 14 December 2017. Prof. Herrera initially trained as an ornithologist, but his scientific work has subsequently focused on most facets of the evolutionary ecology of interactions between plants and animals, including plant-frugivore, plant-pollinator and plant-herbivore systems, as well as the plant-pollinator-fungi tritrophic system. Plant-animal interactions play a very important role in evolutionary processes at population level, i.e. within species and within rather short timeframes, as well as across large temporal scales, resulting in new species and whole new branches of the tree of life. The relationship between plants and their animal partners does not have to be beneficial for both partners, e.g. pollination and seed dispersal, but can be detrimental, e.g. herbivory, seed predation or carnivorous plants. Coevolution is the parallel evolution of two different species which interact with each other and adapt to changes in characteristics in the other species. At population level, coevolution faces strong historical and ecological constraints. At the same time there are many cases where plants and their more or less beneficial animal partners went through adaptive radiation together. This means that plant and animal species adapted to changes in characteristics of the other while small populations of the species established in new, isolated environments. The scientific work of Prof. Herrera aims at reconciling these seemingly opposing findings. More recently, Prof. Herrera started to evaluate the potential influences of microbes on interactions between plants and their animal pollinators. He studies ecological genetics and epigenetics of flower yeasts. Furthermore he incorporated approaches from population and molecular genetics, molecular phylogenetics, phylogeography, and chemistry into his research programme. His scientific publications include 230 articles/book chapters, and he is the author or editor of 10 books/monographs. In addition to his scientific activity, throughout his career he has extensively committed himself with scientific divulgation directed at raising public awareness on the social and biological values of biodiversity (80+ publications). He is also actively involved in transferring scientific knowledge to the conservation and management of Cazorla Natural Park in south eastern Spain, his principal study area and an outstanding biodiversity hotspot. Biographical notes Prof. Carlos M. Herrera (born in Sevilla, 1952) studied in the University of Sevilla, where he obtained a degree in Biology in 1974, and a PhD in Biology in 1977. In 1979, he entered the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) as permanent scientist in the Estación Biológica de Doñana (Sevilla), and he has been Professor of Research at the same institution since 1986. Selected awards and honours received include Spanish Premio Nacional Investigación Ciencias y Tecnologías Recursos Naturales, British Ecological Society President’s Gold Medal, American Society of Naturalists President’s Award, Ecological Society of America Honorary Membership Award, Premio Andalucía de Medio Ambiente, American Ornithologists’ Union Corresponding Fellow, Botanical Society of America Corresponding Member, Academia Europaea Elected Member, Spanish Society for Terrestrial Ecology Honorary Fellowship, Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology Honorary Fellowship.

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Obituary Prof. John Pantis, EEF President from 1999-2002

posted: 18 Oct 2017

Education Secretary General John Pantis, who was responsible among other things for the education of children of refugees, died on Tuesday after a long hospitalization. Before his appointment as a minister, Pantis served as a professor of ecology at the Biology department of the University of Thessaloniki. During his long career he was president of the board of the Thessaloniki Port Authority, deputy dean for economic programming and development at the same university, president and vice president of the European Ecological Federation, member of the advisory council on organic product certification in Greece, and president of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. Professor Pantis’ academic interests focused mainly in the structure and management of ecosystems and protected areas in general, the biodetection of the impact pollution has in urban environments, environmental education and landscape ecology. He had published a lot of articles in various prestigious international journals and served on the editorial board of several publications in his field.

BES, GfÖ & NecoV Joint Annual Meeting: Ecology Across Borders

posted: 24 Jun 2017

This is the first time the BES, GfÖ and NecoV have held a conference together and we are delighted to be working together to deliver a meeting of 1,200 leading ecologists from around the world in Belgium. The joint meeting aims to build closer ties between the vibrant academic ecological communities in Europe, and meets the strategic objectives of all three of the ecological Societies. The meeting will bring together ecologists to discuss the latest advances in ecological research across the whole discipline and will focus on the major environmental challenges at the European level. The meeting will be held in association with the European Ecological Federation (EEF). For registration and detailed information see link below.

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Web Ecology received an Impact Factor!

posted: 23 Jun 2017

Web Ecology, the Open Access journal of the European Ecological Federation has received an Impact factor of 0.94 in the last Journal Citation Reports, issued by Clarivate analytics (former Thompson). Web Ecology was already being indexed by Scopus, and by several other indexing services. This achievement has been possible by the European Ecological Federation, and by a long string of Editors, reviewers, and authors, which have believed in Web Ecology since its inception in 2000. But above all, this is a recognition to the work of each and every one of the European ecological societies, to which Web Ecology is and will be at the service not only as a natural outlet for scientific publications, but also as a forum for debate, and for scientific advancement. Our 2017 volume is still open, and we are looking forward to your submissions in any of our modalities, including standard articles, reviews, short communications, and Agora: Ideas and Concepts. For the moment, our publication fees are waived, thus being an excellent choice to publish your work in a quality journal fast, free, and in Open Access.

Round Table “150 years of ecology” | European Parliament, Brussels

posted: 20 Sep 2016

The Round Table “150 Years of Ecology: An Evolving Science Challenging Society & Citizenship”, to be held, at the invitation of MEPs Carlos Zorrinho and Elena Gentile, in the European Parliament in Brussels on 11 October 2016, start 14:00. The Round Table is the closing event of the celebrations organized for the 150th anniversary of Ecology (www.ecology150anniversary.net). It seeks to provide a forum for discussing the role of ecology as a science in the modern context of demographic and economic growth and globalization, which are pushing our societies beyond sustainability thresholds.

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The 150th Anniversary fo Ecology

posted: 19 Jan 2016

In 1866, Ernst Haeckel coined the word ecology to mention "relation of the animal both to its organic as well as its inorganic environment." This year falls the 150° anniversary of the definition of ecology. The EEF, together with other organisations, wants to celebrate it through a series of thematic initiatives

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EEF congress 2015 in Rome: "Ecology at the Interface"

posted: 3 Nov 2015

Ecology at the Interface: Science-based solutions for human well-being Ecology at the Interface , the 13th European Ecological Federation (EEF) and 25th Italian Society of Ecology (SItE)’s joint conference gathered in Rome ( 21st to 25th of September 2015) more than 700 scientists from all-over the world (representatives of 52 countries) discussing on new frontiers and perspectives of ecology for future societies. The conference registered a wide participation of Early Career scientists in ecology (almost 50% of the attendees) and a good balance between genders. The scientific programme (620 contributions) was organized in plenary lectures (9) and round tables (4) as stand-alone events; while symposia (29), contributed sessions (17) and workshops (6) ran in 7 parallel sections. The programme hosted a meeting of the Presidents of the Ecological Societies representing more than 20 societies, a one-day session of the ILTER annual meeting and a celebratory symposium for the Centennial of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Moreover 200 posters were displayed on the ground floor of the Congress Centre of Rome during the week of the conference. Given the importance of the theme, the conference obtained the Alto Patronato of the President of the Italian Republic.

Participate to the online public consultation on the effectiveness of the Birds and Habitat Directives

posted: 29 Jun 2015

This year is an important year for nature conservation in Europe. We are halfway towards the deadline imposed by the EU Biodiversity Strategy of halting the loss of biodiversity in the continent by 2020. Alongside these efforts, the Birds and Habitats Directives, the cornerstones of European conservation legislation, are up for a “Fitness Check” this year. The “Fitness Check” is a review of the legislations, and is happening under the European Commission’s ‘REFIT’ programme, assessing whether the Directives remain “fit for purpose”. The results of the fitness check could lead to changes in the legislation, and, given the current signals from the EU, not necessarily to the benefit of biodiversity. There is currently an Online Public Consultation, which is open until the 24th of July 2015, offering individuals and organizations an opportunity to respond to the fitness check. At SCB we are working to produce an organizational level response, but it is equally important for individuals involved in European conservation science and practice to contribute their personal feedback on the effectiveness of the Birds and Habitats Directives. Your participation in the online consultation is greatly appreciated, please share your thoughts and views on the subject. You can find the questionnaire online here: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/EUNatureDirectives. The overarching question being asked through this review process is, given that biodiversity loss is continuing apace in the European Union, are the Birds and Habitat Directives fit for purpose, which is to protect nature (biodiversity, ecosystem functions, services etc.) in Europe. There are of course a diversity of opinions as to whether or not the Birds and Habitats Directives are fit for purpose. However, evidence recently reported by the British Ecological Society suggests that: ‘when implemented well, the Birds and Habitats Directives are effective in delivering benefits for both biodiversity and people.’ We would again like to take this opportunity to encourage you as SCB Europe Section members to participate in the public consultation. We are also seeking “Final Remarks” (each person can make their own statement, up to 2000 characters through the online consultation). In this case, we are seeking messages and constructive recommendations for strengthening the Directives. You can send your “Final Remarks” to europe@conbio.org, mentioning whether you wish it to be published with or without your name attached. We hope to encompass a range of inputs, opinions and evidence that can offer a stand-alone document to support the refit process and take part in an important debate. To learn more about the ongoing debate about the REFIT you may visit: http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/blog/2015/06/12/debating-the-nature-directives-at-eu-green-week/ Thank you for your time and consideration. Piero Visconti, Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley, Guy Pe’er, and Stefan Kreft, on behalf of the SCB Europe Board of Directors

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EEF board elections October 2014

posted: 16 Jun 2015

Szabolcs Lengyel and Maurice Hoffmann were elected substitutes for Robert Bobbink and Andras Baldi , who stepped down from the post this year. Christophe Thebaud and Adrian Escudero remain as board members and will be substituted during the EEF congress 2015 in Rome

The 10th ALTER-Net Summer School : "An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" , 2-12 September 2015, Peyresq, Alpes de Haute-Provence, France.

posted: 19 May 2015

The deadline to apply is May 27th. The Summer School is open to young graduate and post-graduate scientists from both within and outside the ALTER-Net network partners, as well as young professionals in related fields. The aim of the Summer School is to create an environment for studying the challenges relating to biodiversity and natural resources in an inter- and trans-disciplinary way.

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Forthcoming: 13th Congress of the European Ecological Federation in Rome, 21st-25th September 2015

posted: 25 Feb 2015

2015 EEF Congress - Ecology at the Interface: science-based solutions for human well being The 13th European Ecological Federation (EEF) and 25th Italian Society of Ecology’s (S.It.E.) joint conference will take place in Rome from 21st - 25th September 2015. Information about registration and submissions is available on the Congress website.

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EEF Produce Position Paper for EPBRS Workshop

posted: 15 Apr 2013

The EEF produced a position paper for a European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) workshop, "Investing in Innovative Research for Nature and our livelihoods: Strengthening the research strategy to reinforce the ERA on Biodiversity”, held on 11 April. Six questions that need increased attention in ecological and biodiversity research in Horizon 2020 to contribute to the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity were highlighted by the EEF. The questions relate to patterns and drivers of biodiversity from genetics to ecosystem levels, how human welfare and ecosystem services are affected by biodiversity components and their interactions, and relations between biodiversity science and society.

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European Commisson Publishes Seventh LIFE+ Call for Proposals

posted: 21 Feb 2013

The European Commission has published a call for proposals to the LIFE+ funding scheme. Up to €278 million is available for co-financing of projects under three headings: Nature and Biodiversity; Environment Policy and Governance; and Information and Communication. The deadline for proposals is 25th June 2013.

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EU Budget Agreed by Leaders

posted: 18 Feb 2013

On 8th February 2013, leaders of the nations of the European Union agreed the budget for the EU for the next seven years. The deal represents a €34.4 billion cut to the 2007 - 2013 budget. However, due to concerted efforts by the scientific community, EU leaders have agreed that the funding for the Horizon 2020 (the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, 2014 - 2020) and ERASMUS (educational exchange for Higher Education students) programmes will grow in real terms over the period to 2020, compared to 2013 levels. This is in recognition of the particular contribution that both programmes make to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. The exact amount of the settlement for Horizon 2020 will be determined through meetings in due course. Although the budget will be less than the €80 billion settlement proposed by the European Commission, this is still a very positive outcome for science in the European Union.

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New BiodiversityKnowledge Network to be formed

posted: 30 Apr 2012

Ecologists in Europe can now express their interest in attending a meeting in Brussels on 21st - 23rd May 2012, aimed at developing a new biodiversity 'Network of Knowledge (NoK). 'BiodiversityKnowledge' is an initiative by researchers and practitioners, funded through the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), to help all in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services make better informed decisions regarding the use of natural resources. With the formation of the new Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on 21st April, decision-makers at an international level are taking seriously the need for evidence to inform decisions on the management of the Earth's life support systems. The new EU-level Network of Knowledge aims to bridge the science-policy interface at the European level. All researchers are invited to engage with the conveners of BiodiversityKnowledge to design and develop the Network. An initial meeting in Brussels from 21st - 23rd May will begin discussions on network design.

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