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Note that you will be able to include some virtual presentations in your symposia. The number of virtual talks should be limited to two for the six-talks symposia, or four for the 12-talks symposia (i.e., a third). The registration cost for virtual symposia participants will be announced in due time.

Submissions are now closed

The 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) will be held in Cartagena, Colombia from the 10th to the 14th of July 2022. ATBC 2022 intends to engage a range of academic disciplines, professional sectors, NGOs, practitioners and community leaders to communicate knowledge on tropical biodiversity and conservation.

The Local Organizing Committee invites symposium proposals for ATBC's 58th Annual Meeting that fit the meeting's theme "Conserving Tropical Biodiversity and Achieving Socio-ecological Resilience in the Anthropocene: Opportunities and Challenges" or proposals that are of general interest to the ATBC community.





Symposia are central to the scientific program of ATBC annual meetings. Each symposium should address a specific theme, falling into at least one of the following contexts:

  1. A topic of interest to numerous attendants;

  2. Conceptual syntheses with contrasting views on scientific and conservation issues that are actively debated;

  3. Introduce novel perspectives and approaches to research domains related to tropical biology and multidisciplinary research or perspectives for Conserving Tropical Biodiversity;

  4. Proposals that address the meeting theme, "Conserving Tropical Biodiversity and Achieving Socio-ecological Resilience in the Anthropocene: Opportunities and Challenges", are particularly encouraged.

Note: Symposia that were accepted in 2020

All symposia that were accepted back in early 2020 need to have updated information. To do so, please go to the main web page ( and select the menu “Calls” and then “Call for Symposia”. Then, choose “Submit a Symposium Proposal”, followed by “Start Symposium Proposal”. Then, go to “Type of submission” and select  “Accepted symposium in 2020 (Please select this option if your proposal was accepted for the cancelled ATBC2020)” and fill out all the fields. 

Proposals accepted in 2020 will be accepted again provided all appropriate information is given.

Important: If the required information is not provided by the deadline, we will assume that the proposal has been withdrawn.


Timeline associated with symposia

  • 23rd January 2022 - Extended deadline for submission of symposia proposals

  • 31st January 2022 - Notification of status of symposia proposal

  • 15th February 2022 - Deadline to submit revised and updated summary of symposium (if requested), and list of confirmed speakers

  • 11th March 2022 - Deadline to submit abstracts associated with each accepted symposium

  • 1st May 2022 - Notification of abstract acceptance

  • 20th May 2022 - Deadline for symposium speakers to register for the meeting

Application format

All symposium proposals must include:

  • Title: 15 words maximum.

  • Principal organizer (name, institutional affiliation, address, and email): Note that this person is the point of contact for the symposium and is responsible for communicating with the invited speakers.

  • Co-organizers (names, institutional affiliations, addresses, and emails). A maximum of two co-organizers are allowed.

  • Moderator (name, institutional affiliation, address, and email) if different from the organizers.

  • Potential speakers (name, institutional affiliation, address, email, and tentative talk titles) listed in the anticipated sequence of presentation. At least five speakers, not including the principal organizer, should have been contacted previously and indicated commitment to attending the ATBC 2022 meeting. Sessions with more than six speakers need to be justified. Each symposium will receive a 2-hour block. In some cases, proposals with strong scientific merit and/or of broad interest may be accepted 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 for an introductory overview and/or a closing summary to promote conceptual synthesis and/or audience debate within the allocated time block. If there are vacant timeslots in a symposium, the symposium organizers must be willing to accept requests from the ATBC 2022 Scientific Committee to accommodate additional presenters on the basis of scientific merit, topic compatibility, or for logistical reasons.

  • Description (400 words max): This should clearly summarize the background, scope, goals, and objectives of the symposium, as well as its importance and potential interest to ATBC attendees. The description should avoid overly specialized language; any biologist attending the meeting should be able to understand it. A revised version of this text will appear in the online program and will be accessed by attendees seeking additional information on the session.

  • Justification (150 words max): The justification should focus on how the review criteria (see below) are met by the proposal. It should not simply repeat the description.

  • One sentence summary (50 words max): A short version of the symposium description that will appear in the final program.

  • Additional comments, Optional (100 words max): Please let us know if you have special requirements.


Evaluation process and criteria

All proposals will be evaluated and scored by reviewers selected by the ATBC-2022 Local Organizing Committee. A symposia may be accepted, declined, or offered an opportunity to present the proposed work in a more appropriate format (organized oral session or special session). Organizers will be notified of the committee's decision by the 31st of January 2022.

Proposals will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit - likelihood of promoting a significant advancement in our understanding of tropical biology and conservation, innovative or interdisciplinary approaches, or likelihood of novel conceptual synthesis.

  • Broader impacts - integration of science with conservation issues, positive impacts on policy makers, utility to conservation practitioners, or otherwise.

  • Appeal to a broad audience - specifically among participants of ATBC 2022.

  • Structure and organization - in the sense that the symposium will provide insightful synthesis or perspectives. Symposia should NOT simply be a set of case studies or a series of results from the same group of collaborators, and must avoid biases associated with the perspectives of the symposium organizers.

  • Relevance to the meeting's theme, as well as common scientific and academic interests of ATBC 2022 attendees.

  • Speaker lineup - invited speakers are a mix of well-established and younger scientists, particularly those providing novel perspectives. Each speaker should make a novel contribution to the symposium theme, and not just review previous work. Proposals with a larger number of confirmed speakers and with a balanced gender representation will be favored.

All symposium speakers will be required to submit an abstract by the submission deadline (11th of March 2022). Symposium organizers are responsible for ensuring that all associated abstracts are received by this deadline, and for reconfirming speaker participation by that date. All symposium abstracts will be peer reviewed, and the ATBC 2022 Scientific Committee may be in contact with symposium organizers and require revisions of individual symposium abstracts.


Presentation rules

The ‘one presentation’ rule will be applied to all speakers at ATBC; a presenter in a symposium is not allowed to present in another symposium, oral or poster session.

Symposium organizers will receive a notice from the ATBC 2022 Organizing Committee if speakers in their sessions have not registered for the meeting in May 2022.


Confirmation of session

If your proposal is accepted, you will be responsible for ensuring that your symposium is organized in the correct manner. Organizers must be willing to accommodate requests for adjustment by the ATBC 2022 Scientific Committee. Organizers must submit an updated list of confirmed speakers, if necessary, by the 15th of February 2022. The ATBC 2022 Local Organization Committee reserves the right to cancel a symposium if fewer than 50% of the speakers have registered by the 20th of May 2022 and may then reassign speakers to oral sessions or other symposia. Accordingly, symposium organizers must maintain communication with the Scientific Committee to ensure registration and participation by their invited speakers.

Symposium organizers will be informed of the time and date of their symposia in early June 2022, and are expected to communicate this to individual speakers in their session.


Cancellation policy and financial assistance

It is disruptive for the meeting program to have accepted symposia cancelled. Accordingly, please submit a symposium proposal only if you are certain to attend the meeting and are willing to fulfil your responsibility as a symposium organizer.

In cases of unavoidable circumstances, the principal symposium organizer may be replaced by one of the symposium co-organizers. If a presentation must be cancelled, the speaker should immediately notify the symposium session organizer, whose duty it is to identify a replacement. The replacement would ideally be 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 sent to the Program Chair and Co-Chairs as soon as possible even if it is as late as the day before the session.

ATBC does not provide special financial assistance, stipends or free registration to individual speakers participating in a symposium. Symposium organizers should notify potential speakers of this policy when they are invited to participate. If needed, individual symposium organizers are responsible for identifying funding sources for the speakers in their sessions. The ATBC 2022 Organizing Committee cannot accept symposium proposals with multiple speakers whose participation is pending financial support.


Communication with speakers

If a proposal is accepted as a symposium, it is very important that the organizer communicates with speakers about its acceptance, confirming registration status, abstract requirements and deadlines, session scheduling information, and expectations for participation in the conference. Speakers should be made aware of the following:

  • When asking speakers to commit to the session, organizers should inform them that the session could be scheduled for any day of the meeting.

  • Inform speakers that if they fail to submit an abstract on time (no later than March 11th 2022) they will be removed from the session. It is the responsibility of the symposium organizer to ensure that speakers submit an abstract associated with their talk.

  • All speakers are required to register for the conference. ATBC is not able to provide special financial assistance, stipends, free or reduced registration, travel assistance, or paid lodging to session organizers or to individual symposium participants. Organizers are responsible for communicating this clearly to their speakers.

Contact information

For all questions regarding symposia please send an e-mail to

Call for Symposia

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