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Birds in the entangled bank: advances in food webs theory and practice

19 November 2014
Peterborough, UK

The past decade has seen significant advances in the theoretical understanding, construction, analysis and application of complex species interaction networks. Ecological networks describe the interactions between species, the underlying structure of communities and the function and stability of ecosystems. While there have been many bird-oriented studies focussing on particular interactions, such as seed dispersal mutualisms and predator-prey relationships, there have been few attempts to embed birds within wider ecological networks. Recent advances in ecological network theory and molecular techniques amongst others offer the opportunity to study complex interactions across multiple trophic levels from local to landscape scales.

This multi-disciplinary conference aims to bring together those studying birds, insects, plants and other taxa, to facilitate integration of research across trophic levels. Network theory provides an exciting analytical framework to study species interactions in a wider ecological context. After introducing the concept of ecological networks, speakers will present a blend of state-of-the-art methods and stimulating case- studies to demonstrate the potential of this approach in ornithology and wider conservation practice.

 Conference aims

  • To bring together ornithologists, entomologists, botanists and others studying species interactions across trophic levels at all scales
  • To showcase new and emerging theory and practice in ecological networks to stimulate further advances
  • To highlight the applications of new molecular techniques to understand bird food webs
Keeping in touch
  • On the web
  • Follow on Twitter and Facebook using #BOU2014


It's getting busy over at #theBOUblog. Here's some recent posts

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Arjun Amar | Percy FitzPatrick Institute, SA

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Birds in time and space: avian tracking and remote sensing

31 March - 2 April 2015
University of Leicester, UK

This conference will highlight the role of telemetry in understanding the ecology and behaviour of free-living wild birds. Continuing advances in instrumentation and miniaturization are rapidly making remote-sensing of movements, activity and physiology available and cost-effective for all but the smallest species. This conference will showcase and consolidate the most recent research arising from these advances, emphasizing the value of telemetry for both testing theory and aiding conservation and management. The advantages of integrated and multifaceted approaches will be a key feature of the conference, as will new developments and opportunities in this rapidly-advancing field. It will cover the following topics:

  • Integrating telemetry of movement, activity and physiology;
  • Individual-based studies;
  • Multi-season, multi-population and multi-species studies;
  • Future perspectives and developments.

Conference aims

  • To emphasise the value of telemetry in understanding the ecology and behaviour of free-living wild birds;
  • To showcase the most recent advances in remote-sensing of movements, activity and physiology;
  • To highlight the advantages of integrated and multifaceted approaches in both theoretical and applied contexts;
  • To consider new developments and opportunities in the gathering, analysis and sharing of telemetric data.
Submit a poster
If you wish to submit a poster, please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and short biography of the presenting author by 31 October. Keeping in touch
  • On the web
  • Follow on Twitter and Facebook using #BOU2015

Making social media and the web work for you


The BOU's Steve Dudley has written a series of articles aimed to help authors get more out of social media for their research and publications.

What do you mean you "don't know how to optimize your paper for SEO?"

The benefits of blogging about your research

What is Altmetric?

Making social media and the web work better for you
Image credits: 
Top left: Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia famosa nectaring on Leonotis flower © Steve Garvie 
Top right: Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus © Steve Dudley
Copyright © 2014, British Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved.

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