Abstract and Symposia

Guidelines for Symposia

For any Symposia related matters, including speaker abstract submission, symposia confirmation or general symposia enquiries, kindly email speaker@atbc2018.org.

  1. Symposium proposal submission are closed
  2. 31 January, 2018 - Notification of acceptance of symposium proposals
  3. 19 March, 2018 - Submission of revised and updated summary of symposium and confirmed speakers
  4. 15 April, 2018 Closed - Submission of symposium speaker abstract
  5. May, 2018 - Notification of time and date of accepted symposium
  6. 15 April, 2018 Closed - Deadline for symposium speakers to register as a delegate

The ATBC 2018 Organizing Committee is particularly interested in symposium suggestions that will fit the meeting theme: “Linking Natural History and the Conservation of Tomorrow’s Tropical Ecosystems”

We invite symposium proposals for ATBC’s 55th Annual Meeting to be held from the 1-5 July, at the Pullman Hotel in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Symposia are central to the scientific program of ATBC annual meetings. Each symposium should address a specific theme, with a goal of providing the research frontier on a topic of interest to many attendants, conceptual syntheses from contrasting views on scientific and conservation issues that are actively debated, or introducing novel perspectives and approaches. Proposals addressing the meeting theme, “Linking Natural History and the Conservation of Tomorrow’s Tropical Ecosystems”, are particularly welcome, but any timely and coherent topic will be considered.

This meeting will include up to 40 symposia. Each symposium will receive a 2-hour block. In rare cases, proposals with strong scientific merit of broad interest may be planned for two 2-hour blocks. Individual talks in symposia are 15 minutes-long (12 min presentation + 3 min Q&A). The symposium organizers are encouraged to allocate time to an introductory overview and/or a closing summary to promote conceptual synthesis or audience debate within the allocated time block. The symposium organizers also must be willing to accept requests from the ATBC 2018 Scientific Committee to accommodate additional presenters on the basis of scientific merits, topic compatibility and logistical reasons.

Symposium submission are closed.


All symposium proposals must adhere to the guidelines stated on the conference website and the Symposia Form. Inaccurate and incomplete information on these forms may result in the rejection of your proposal. All proposals must include:

  1. Title of the symposium
  2. Principal organizer (Name, institutional affiliation, e-mail). This person will be the point of contact.
  3. Co-organizer(s) (Names, institutional affiliations, e-mail). Only a maximum of 2 co-organizers are allowed.
  4. List of speakers (Names, affiliations, e-mails) and titles, listed in the anticipated sequence of their talks, indicating which speakers are confirmed and which are tentative.
  5. Description (< 400 words) and justification (< 250 words) that clearly summarizes the background, scope, goals or objectives of the symposium, and its importance and interests to ATBC members.
  6. Diversity statement (< 250). We strongly encourage symposia with a diverse mix of speakers in different dimensions, including academic discipline, sector (e.g. pure research vs practice), gender, career stage (e.g. including early career contributors), geographic representation, diversity of perspectives (e.g. representation of differing views on the same issue), etc.

All proposals will be peer-reviewed and ranked by reviewers selected by ATBC 2018’s scientific committee. The ATBC 2018 Scientific Committee Chairs may accept or decline your proposal, or offer you the opportunity to work with another symposium proposer, or to chair an organized oral session, workshop or special session during the meeting.

Decisions and alternative offers will be made by 31 January, 2018.

Symposium proposals will be assessed using the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit - likelihood of promoting significant advance in understanding of tropical biology and ecosystems, innovative or interdisciplinary approaches, likelihood of novel conceptual synthesis, etc.
  2. Broader impacts - integration of science with conservation issues, positive impacts on policy makers, utility to conservation practitioners, etc.
  3. Appeal to a broad audience among participants of ATBC 2018.
  4. Structure and organization that will provide synthesis or perspectives; in other words, symposia should NOT be simply a set of case studies or series of results from the same group of collaborators, and must avoid biases toward narrow perspectives of the symposium organizers.
  5. Relevance for the meeting theme and common scientific and academic interests of ATBC and OTS members.
  6. Speaker lineup - invited speakers may be a mix of well-established scientists, rising stars, or those providing novel perspectives, but each speaker should make a novel contribution to the symposium theme, and not just review previous work. Proposals with a large proportion of confirmed speakers will be favored.

All symposium speakers will be required to submit a symposium abstract by the submission deadline (31 March, 2018). Symposium organizers are responsible that all symposium abstracts are received by this deadline, and reconfirm participation by speakers by 31 March, 2018. All symposium abstracts will be peer-reviewed, and the ATBC 2018 Scientific Committee may communicate with the symposium organizers and require revisions of individual symposium abstracts if they do not meet the aforementioned criteria for symposium talks.


Symposia may be endorsed by internal groups within ATBC. Each group, such as the Students and Young Professionals Group, the Conservation Committee, or a regional chapter, may endorse only up to three symposia during the meeting. There is no guarantee that a symposium endorsed by a particular group will be accepted. Symposium proposers are required to provide the name, e-mail and group association of the person providing endorsement when submitting a proposal. The Chair of the Scientific Committee, then, will contact the endorser to provide an endorsement letter, which may be jointly prepared by multiple individuals.


The ‘one presentation’ rule will be applied to all symposium speakers; a presenter in one symposium is not allowed to present in another symposium, oral or poster session as the lead author. An attempt to present two symposium abstracts as a lead author will be automatically prevented by the system.

Symposium organizers will receive a warning from the ATBC 2018 Organizing Committee if multiple speakers in their sessions have not registered for the meeting before 1 April.


If your proposal is accepted, you will be responsible for ensuring that your symposium will be organized as proposed, and must be willing to accommodate requests for adjustment from the ATBC 2018 Scientific Committee. Cancellation and schedule changes will be very disruptive for the meeting. The symposium organizers must submit a revised and updated summary of the symposium description and an updated list of confirmed speakers by 15 April 2018. This summary should be 250 words or less. The ATBC 2018 Organizing Committee reserves the right to cancel a symposium if less than 50% of the speakers have not registered by 15 April, and will then reassign speakers to contributed oral sessions or other symposia. Accordingly, symposium organizers must maintain communication to ensure registration and participation by their invited speakers.

Symposium organizers will be informed of the time and date of their symposia by May 2018, and they are expected to communicate this to individual speakers in their session.


It is disruptive to meeting programs if any accepted symposia are cancelled. Submit a symposium proposal only if you are sure to attend the meeting and are willing to fulfil your responsibility as a symposia organizer. A principal symposium organizer, in case of unavoidable circumstance, may be replaced by one of the symposium co-organizers.

As a general rule, ATBC does not provide a financial assistance, stipends or free registrations to individual speakers. Symposia organizers must notify this clearly when they invite speakers. Individual symposium organizers are responsible for identifying funding sources for the speakers in their sessions if necessary. The ATBC 2018 Organizing Committee cannot accept symposium proposals with multiple speakers whose participations are pending financial support.

In unavoidable circumstances, in which a speaker must cancel, the author should immediately notify the symposium session organizer, whose duty is to identify a replacement speaker. The replacement would be ideally someone who is already a co-author, but the symposium session organizer may identify another suitable person. The name of the replacement speaker must be notified to the Program Chair as soon as possible, and even if it is the day before the session.

Any un-notified cancellation may result in the speaker’s name to be placed on a list that will be passed onto future meeting chairs.


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