The 8th Biennial Conference of the IBS

Tucson, AZ, USA (January 9-13, 2017)

The 8th Biennial Conference of the International Biogeography Society was held at the University of Arizona and the Tucson Marriott University Park, Tucson, Arizona from January 9-13, 2017.

The conference was marked by three plenary symposia, keynote lectures by the awardees of the society (Alfred Russel Wallace Award, the MacArthur and Wilson Award, and the Early Career Award), contributed paper sessions, and dynamic poster sessions in the evenings.  Over 400 scientists from 29 countries participated in the conference.

Organizing Committee:

  • Pedro Peres-Neto (Concordia University, VP of Conferences International Biogeography Society)
  • Karen Faller (International Biogeography Society)
  • Judith Bronstein (Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona)
  • Brian Enquist (Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona)
  • Dr. Stephen Jackson (Southwest Climate Science Center)
  • Dr. Jonathan Overpeck (Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona)
  • Dr. Benjamin Wilder (Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona)
Link to the official conference website

Schedule Overview:

January 9, 2017:  Workshops,  Fieldtrips & Welcome Reception (casual/drop in)

January 10/11/12, 2017:  Symposia, Concurrent Sessions, and Poster Sessions

3 Symposia were held at the University of Arizona on January 10th and 11th, with a mix of 15 minute talks and 5 minute mini-talks during the concurrent sessions on January 10th and 12th.  Poster sessions were held in the early evenings on the 10th and 11th.

The award winners for 2017:

  • MacArthur & Wilson Awardee – Jessica Blois (plenary talk on Jan 12th)
  • Wallace Awardee – Margaret Davis (presentation on Jan 12th)
  • Dissertation Awardee – Carsten Meyer (presentation on Jan 12th)

January 9 & 13, 2017:  Field Trips

1) Modeling large-scale ecological and evolutionary dynamics (Jan 10, AM)
Organizer: Rob Colwell, U. of Connecticut, USA. Speakers: Matthew Fitzpatrick, U. of Maryland, USA; David Nogués- Bravo, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark; Thiago Rangel, U. Federal de Goiás, Brazil; Felisa Smith, U. of New Mexico, USA; John W. Williams, UW-Madison, USA; Kathy Willis, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and U. of Oxford, UK.

2) Experimental macroecology (Jan 11, AM)
Organizers: Miguel Matias, Imperial College London, UK; Miguel Araújo, CSIC, Spain and CMECC, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark. Speakers: Miguel Matias, Imperial College London, UK; Vigdis Vandvik, U. of Bergen, Norway; Amy Freestone, Temple U., USA; Brian McGill, U. of Maine, USA; Vojtech Novotny, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic; Michael Kaspari, U. of Oklahoma, USA; Erica Crespi, USA; Sarah Supp, U. of Maine, USA.

3) Building up biogeography – process to pattern (Jan 11,  PM)
Organizers: Will Pearse, McGill U., Canada; Jonathan Davies, McGill U., Canada. Speakers: Susanne Fritz, (BiK-F), Germany; John Harte, UC Berkeley, USA; Luke Harmon, U. of Idaho, US; Sally Keith, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark; Will Pearse, McGill U., Canada; Daniele Silvestro, U. of Goethenburg, Sweden; Xiao Xiao, Utah State U., USA.; A. Marcia Barbosa, CIBIO/InBIO – UEvora.

JANUARY 9th (Monday):

Trip #1:  The Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum

A world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden.  There are two miles of walking paths, 16 individual gardens, 1,200 native plant species and 56,000 individual plants.  The animal collection currently includes 230 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds including a multi-species hummingbird aviary.  If you’ve never been there (and even if you have) – it’s fantastic!

Trip #2Tumamoc Hill

Take a short 15 min hike up Tumamoc Hill – through saguaro cacti and the desert to a fantastic lookout over the city.   Tumamoc Hill is an 860-acre ecological reservation, only 15 minutes from the Tucson city center.  Director Benjamin Wilder will take you on a tour through the buildings, going over the history of the site and research done there.  Hike to the top of the hill and watch the spectacular sun set over Tucson, then walk back down under the night stars, where you can bus back in time for the Welcome Reception at the Tucson Marriot University Park (conference hotel).

JANUARY 13 (Friday)

Trip #3Sabino Canyon / Mt. Lemmon

Sabino Canyon lies in the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north-east of Tucson.  Take one of two trams (Sabino Canyon tram or Bear Canyon Tram) depending on your interest. Spend a few hours hiking to Seven Falls (5.2 miles) or in Sabino Canyon, through giant saguaro cactus and other Sonoran flora like palo verde, cholla and prickly pear, as well as cottonwood and sycamore.  Return to the bus and head up Mt. Lemmon (9,157 ft) to check out the Sky Island – a meeting point between desert and forest ecosystems, with oak and pine forests and fantastic views!

NOTE:  Hiking to Seven Falls includes several stream crossings – sturdy shoes required.  Mt. Lemmon is also the southern-most ski hill in the US.  There very likely will be snow at the top (bring warm clothes) – this part is weather dependent.

Trip #4: Mission San Xavier del BacMadera Canyon / Tubac

Head south from Tucson, stopping briefly to take a tour of the historic Mission San Xavier del Bac – a Spanish-Catholic Mission, and oldest European structure in Arizona.  Continue on to Madera Canyon (a famous birding area) and hike along trails in the Santa Rita Mountains, 25 miles south of Tucson.  Vegetation along the road into the canyon is desert grasslands and farther up the canyon is juniper-oak woodland.  Spend a few hours exploring/hiking/birdwatching then take the bus back down into the historic/art community of Tubac with over 100 eclectic shops and art galleries to explore.


Trip #5Saguaro National Park  / Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum

Spend the morning watching hummingbirds, hawks and other desert critters  and plants at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden (similar to Jan 9th’s tour).  Take a docent-led tour, and/or wander around on your own.  After lunch, head to Saguaro National Park with your scientist tour guide John Wiens (U. of Arizona – Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and co-organizer of the Biogeography of Southwestern North America concurrent session).  Spend some time hiking around the western part of Saguaro National Park – Tucson is home to the iconic giant saguaro (US’ largest cacti), which is protected by this park to the east and west of Tucson.