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2019 Annual Meeting

From August 11-16, 2,800 ecological students and professionals congregated at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville for a week of science, networking, and bridge-building under the theme of “Bridging Communities and Ecosystems: Inclusion as an Ecological Imperative.” The 104th ESA Annual Meeting was held in partnership with the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, but the theme of inclusion and connection extended much further, as ESA made deep efforts to focus on communication and community engagement, diversity and inclusion among meeting participants, policy in and out of science, education, and career development.

Living Up to Our Theme

Inclusion — both human and scientific — was at the fore of the Annual Meeting. As the Extending the Tent initiative continued to explore ways to bring more diverse people from more diverse backgrounds into the Society, we nonetheless faced the challenge of welcoming all to our event despite a new state law that legalized discrimination on religious grounds and other states responding by enacting travel bans. The Governing Board responded by setting up a special travel fund, supported by member donations, that distributed more than $30,000 in total to 75 individuals who lacked institutional support to attend.

On the ground, the leadership, staff, volunteers, and Louisville community extended a warm welcome and ensured that all who joined us felt safe and comfortable.

And, as has been the case ever since they were added to the Annual Meeting agenda, the Diversity Luncheon and Diversity Forum both proved to be hot tickets. The Diversity Forum included a panel discussion featuring Dr. Steward Pickett and Natalia Lopez and a facilitated reflection. The Diversity Luncheon featured a moderated panel of scientists whose personal stories of challenge and success could inform and inspire all who attended.

Plenary Sessions

For the first time, ESA captured every plenary session and keynote address on video. These special sessions and deep dives into important research are available for the entire ecological community to view and share!

Opening Plenary Keynote

All the Variations Matter: Bridging Disciplines and Communities to Study Diversity in Life History and Sexual Behavior
Karen Warkentin

Scientific Plenary and Awards Ceremony

Resilience, Recovery and the Ecology of Change
MacArthur Award winner Katharine Suding

New Phytologist Trust Keynote

The Ecology of Cultivated Landscapes: Theoretical, Methodological, and Ethical Considerations
Diane Pataki

USSEE Plenary

How Long-term Urban Systems Research Has Informed Interdisciplinary Social-ecological Approaches in an Era of Convergence Science
Dan Childers

Recent Advances Lecture

P-values and Cultural Values: Creating Symbiosis among Indigenous and Western Knowledges to Advance Ecological Justice
Robin Wall Kimmerer



As we do every year, ESA was proud to present awards to the people behind the best work in ecology. Read more about each of the award recipients and Fellows of the Society for 2019.

2019 was also a special year, as in addition to celebrating the 100th birthday of our flagship journal, Ecology, we also celebrated the career and contributions of outgoing Editor-in-Chief Don Strong in a special reception sponsored by Wiley.

Career Central

For the second straight year, ESA hosted a career center in the exhibit hall. For 2019, more than 35 hours of unique programming were scheduled, allowing participants to explore career fields, learn practical job readiness skills, dive deep into data tools, and navigate career issues like tenure and professional awards. We also included roundtables on professional development and diversifying the membership, and dedicated sessions on sexual harassment and the ESA Code of Conduct for ESA Events.

Environmental Offsets

ESA donated more than $13,800 to Louisville Grows to offset the environmental costs of the society’s 104th Annual Meeting. Louisville Grows is a non-profit with a mission to promote a just and sustainable community through urban agriculture, urban forestry, and environmental education in the meeting’s host city of Louisville, Kentucky. Learn more about this incredible organization and its work.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Gold Level

Licor logo

Wiley Publications Logo



Silver Level


Bronze Level