Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear Biogeographers:

The International Biogeography Society is "moving into high gear" to get ready for the 4th IBS meeting in January of 2009 in Merida, Mexico. For more information you can check our new website (http://www.biogeography.org/). Please note that the registration fee is reasonable and includes lunch and the banquet.

We have four ½-day symposia planned: 1) Patterns & Processes in Biotic Exchange, 2) The Biogeography of Disease, 3) Asian & American Disjuncts, and 4) The Biogeography of Extinction. Poster sessions are an important part of our meeting and we invite posters that cover all areas of biogeography. We also have three popular Workshops: Visualizing Evolution, Spatial Analysis, and Communicating Biogeography.

Check out the website for more information on all of these. And there are some exciting new developments to look for as well:

First I am pleased to announce that Carsten Rahbek and the board of the Nordic Ecological Society (NES; Ecography) have agreed to sponsor one of our symposia, "The Biogeography of Extinction". Having such sponsorship is critical to keeping the costs of the meeting reasonable. In addition, invited speakers for all symposia will be offered the opportunity to submit a paper to a special issue of Ecography. Collaboration between IBS and NES should help both societies. In addition, this idea fits in well with one of the current goals of IBS: seeking to broaden the awareness of our society and to increase collaboration with other likeminded societies and journals. I would like to thank Carsten Rahbek along with Miguel Ara├║jo and Jack Williams for originating the proposal for potential sponsorship and to NES for approving it.

Second, for the first time the presentations in the symposia are of varying length and involve IBS members from different stages of their career.

Third, this meeting will have, also for the first time, ½ day of concurrent sessions of contributed (oral) short papers. Anyone submitting a poster abstract can ask that it be considered for one of
these sessions; a committee has been set up to evaluate the submitted abstracts and select the ones that will be asked to present a short paper (15 min).

Fourth, IBS has been successful in acquiring funds that can be used to help support travel costs for students. Details of these awards and application material will be posted on the IBS website by October 1. Thanks to Jack Williams, George Stevens, Mike Dawson, and Dov Sax for their help with this effort.

Finally, there will be awards presented at the business meeting for the best posters. Our local host for the meeting is Ella Vazquez from UNAM, our Vice President for Conferences is Dave Hafner, and Lois Alexander is our web master: without a large commitment of time from all of these members this meeting would not be possible.

I will conclude by asking you to please consider sponsoring a graduate student so that we continue to attract the young members of our society to our meeting. I encourage you to register now; we are operating on a first come first served basis for all attendees and posters.

See you in Merida!

Vicki Funk, President of IBS

P.S. The link has been re-established and you may now access the journals on line again (thanks Rob and Lois)!

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