Call for Symposia

AOS & SCO-SOC 2021 Virtual Meeting

The submission deadline has passed.

We seek a varied suite of thematic symposia at the 2021 joint meeting of the American Ornithological Society and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists–Société de Ornithologistes du Canada (AOS & SCO-SOC 2021 Virtual Meeting) that will cover a wide range of timely topics highlighting exciting advances in ornithological research, management, education, and conservation. All conference content will be presented via the conference’s online platform using Zoom.

Symposia are an opportunity for an integrated synthesis of a new or timely topic that will have broad appeal at the meeting. Organizers are encouraged to consider topics related to the conference theme Birds of Many Feathers Flock Together,” although any subjects of broad interest in ornithology are welcome. The invited talks within a symposium should be focused around a central theme or question and allow for thorough coverage of that topic. Organizers may request one, two, or three 90-minute sessions. Talks should be multiples of 15 minutes and each symposium may include a summary or panel discussion in its final 1–2 15-minute time slots. 

Lightning Symposia consist of 5-minute invited talks that address a common theme/question in ornithology. Lightning symposia are 90 minutes long with 16 5-minute time slots. The final two time slots, totaling 10 minutes, are reserved for a synthesis of the symposium.

Information for Organizers. Organizers and invited speakers for all symposia are expected to pay for full conference registration. Organizer(s) of accepted symposia will be responsible for ensuring that the presenters in their symposium submit their final individual abstracts through the online abstract submission portal for general sessions in a timely manner. Organizers or their designee are expected to serve as session moderators. Instructions and deadlines will be provided to the organizers when they are notified of acceptance of the symposium. Organizer(s) are responsible for inviting and confirming participation by prospective speakers at their symposium. Symposium proposals with confirmed participants will be scored higher than those with unspecified participants.

Once accepted, organizers of symposia are expected to communicate with their speakers and coordinate their session. Live presentations are strongly encouraged, but pre-recorded presentations are acceptable if speakers are unavailable or without reliable internet access at the time of their scheduled presentation. Speakers may present in their home language, but we strongly encourage them to have slides in English (or vice versa) to help more people understand their talk. It is the individual’s responsibility to translate slides. 

Symposia submissions will be evaluated by the AOS & SCO-SOC 2021 Virtual Meeting’s Scientific Program Committee based on the following criteria: 

  • appeal to a broad audience, 
  • scientific strength, structure and organization 
  • proportion of confirmed speakers
  • relevance to the conference theme
  • geographic and topical diversity
  • the inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices

Proposals will include:

  • title 
  • organizer(s) who will be the point of contact and responsible for communicating with speakers (name, institution, email, and title)
  • session description and justification (< 250 words), addressing the appeal to a broad audience, connection to the conference theme, and the inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices
  • a one-sentence session summary (< 50 words)
  • format (one 90-minute session, two 90-minute sessions, three 90-minute sessions, or one 90-minute lightning session)
  • presenter information: name, affiliation, email, tentative presentation title

Only invited speakers who have committed to the session should be listed. 

All proposals for symposia must be received by 15 March 2021

Send questions to Anna Pidgeon (via email to, chair of the Symposia Subcommittee of the AOS & SCO-SOC 2021 Virtual Meeting Scientific Program Committee, with the subject AOS & SCO-SOC 2021 Symposium.

The submission deadline has passed.

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