Call for Symposia

American Ornithological Society (AOS) and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists–Société des ornithologistes du Canada (SCO–SOC), 8–12 August 2023

Post updated 1/19/23

Submission Deadline: 10 February 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET

We seek a varied suite of thematic symposia at the 2023 joint meeting of the American Ornithological Society (AOS) and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists–Société des ornithologistes du Canada (SCO–SOC) to be held in London, Ontario, 8–12 August 2023. We invite proposals for symposia that will cover a wide range of timely topics highlighting exciting advances in ornithological research, management, education, and conservation.

Symposia are an opportunity for an integrated synthesis of a new or timely topic that will have broad appeal at the conference, and include diverse perspectives and voices. The invited talks within a symposium should be focused around a central theme or question and allow for thorough coverage of that topic.

Regular Symposia 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 are 90 minutes long with 16 invited 5-minute talks. The final two time slots, totaling 10 minutes, can be reserved for a synthesis of the symposium.

Organizers and invited speakers for all symposia are expected to make their own travel arrangements and pay 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. Please note, only 15-minute oral presentations will be eligible for the student presentation award competition: neither lightning talks nor talks >15 minutes will be eligible. We ask that you share this information with prospective student participants. Symposium proposals with confirmed participants will be scored higher than those with unspecified participants.

Paragraph updated 1/19/23
We recognize that speakers with specialized expertise who may not be able to attend in person add value to symposia. For that reason, symposium organizers can include one pre-recorded presentation in the last time slot of each of their proposed sessions. The symposium organizer will have some added training and tech responsibility for this limited hybrid option. The virtual attendee ​cannot be a participant in the student presentation competition and will be required to pay a partial day fee​. The virtual attendee will be able to attend the symposium over Zoom but the session will not be open to other virtual attendees. ​Any additional questions can be directed to the scientific program committee at

Once accepted, organizers of symposia are expected to communicate with their speakers and coordinate their session. Speakers may present in their home language, but symposium organizers should strongly encourage all speakers to have bilingual slides to increase accessibility to conference attendees who speak other languages, and to follow other guidance to presenters (forthcoming).

Symposia submissions will be evaluated by the conference’s Scientific Program Committee based on the following criteria: 

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

Instructions for submitting proposals

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 (< 1,500 characters), addressing the appeal to a broad audience and the inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices
  • a one-sentence session summary (< 300 characters)
  • 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
  • range of desired dates (9–12 August)

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

All proposals for symposia must be received by 10 February 2023

Send questions to Emily Cohen, Steve Dinsmore, and Erica Nol, co-chairs of the Scientific Program Committee (via email to, with the subject AOS & SCO–SOC 2023 Symposium.

Proposals for symposia must be submitted through the online AOS Member Portal. You will need to create a free account on the Member Portal if you do not already have one.

Translation Resources

Please note that the symposia submission portal is in English. If English is not your primary language, the following documents and online language translation tools may be helpful:

  • Spanish translation of the submission questions (available soon).
  • French translation of the submission questions (available soon).
  • Traducción al español de las preguntas de presentación (disponible en breve).
  • Traduction française des questions de soumission (bientôt disponible).
  • Google Translate
  • DeepL

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