104th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America convenes in Louisville, Kentucky

Bridging Communities and Ecosystems: Inclusion as an Ecological Imperative;
11–16 August 2019

April 11, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Zoe Gentes, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, gro.asenull@setnegz


Environmental scientists, educators, and policy makers are gathering in the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky this August 11th through 16th, 2019, for the 104th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), co-hosted with the United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE). Ecologists from around the world attend the five-day conference, which is expected to host over 2,000 presentations this year.

ESA invites press and institutional public information officers to attend for free (see credential policy below). To apply, please contact ESA Public Information Manager Zoe Gentes directly at gro.asenull@setnegz. Walk-in registration will be available during the meeting.

Meeting plenaries and symposia will explore the meeting theme “Bridging Communities and Ecosystems: Inclusion as an Ecological Imperative.” The ecological community is transforming – inclusive approaches to ecology can build bridges between theory and practice, connect those working in disparate landscapes and disciplines, and incorporate diverse perspectives. Using inclusive approaches supports ecologists and the entire community to articulate socio-environmental connections, address widespread ecosystem change, take advantage of technological advancements and analytical techniques, and engage in interdisciplinary collaborations.

In the spirit of collaboration and inclusion, ESA is holding this meeting in partnership with the USSEE, one of many regional professional organizations within the umbrella society of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE). In addition to ESA’s scientific sessions and business meetings, USSEE will hold sessions focused on economics, human impact, sustainable development, and more.

Karen Warkentin, Professor in the Biology Department and the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, is opening the meeting Sunday, August 11th at 5:00 pm. Her plenary lecture, “All the variations matter: bridging disciplines and communities to study diversity in life history and sexual behavior,” will discuss how the discovery of widespread and diverse expressions of same-sex sexual behavior in animals calls into question research based solely on the reproductive function of sexuality. Both inclusive biology, which integrates perspectives from diverse human lives, and interdisciplinary perspectives from fields such as gender studies and queer theory, can increase the variation we notice, inform the questions we ask, and broaden our understanding of nature.

In addition to her role at BU, Warkentin is a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She is an integrative biologist whose research combines ecology, evolution, development, behavior, and physiology to understand variation in life histories. Warkentin is also interested in reproductive diversity and evolved and plastic variation in sexual traits.

Field trips explore the meeting’s theme outside the convention center, with a particular focus on the nexus of agriculture, waterways, and urban ecology. There are more navigable miles of water in Kentucky than any other state in the contiguous U.S.; 90,000 miles of streams provide one of the most expansive and complex stream systems in the nation. It also has an expansive park system, which includes one national park, two National Recreation areas, two National Historic Parks, two national forests, two National Wildlife Refuges, 45 state parks, 37,896 acres of state forest, and 82 Wildlife Management Areas.

Local ESA members will lead visiting colleagues to the Thomas More University Biology Field Station for fish and algae sampling on the Ohio River. On a walking tour of Louisville’s urban waterways, participants will view sites where ecological restoration is enhancing water quality near former landfills. Other field trips present the opportunity for participants to learn about sustainable and organic agriculture on research farms, about management efforts to protect 400-year-old forests, and about how the socioeconomic gradient across the city relates to urban biodiversity.


ESA Policy on Press Credentials

The ESA Press Office provides complimentary press registration to public information officers and institutional press officers, professional journalists representing media organizations, freelance journalists, photographers, videographers, bloggers, podcasters, authors, filmmakers, institutional science communicators, and student journalists, for the express purpose of gathering news and information to produce media coverage of ESA meetings.

Public information officers and institutional press officers who cannot attend, but would like to promote presenters from their institutions, are welcome to prearrange distribution of press releases and other author materials on the meeting website and in the on-site Press Room. Press officers may request copies of all abstracts related to their institution. For registration, more information, or help finding scientists in our meeting program, please contact Zoe Gentes at gro.asenull@setnegz or (202) 833-8773 x211.

Representatives of publishing houses, the business side of news media, political action committees or similar, and for-profit corporations, will not be accredited as press and will not be eligible for complimentary press registration. Editors of journals or other publications who do not report for or edit their outlet’s news section will also not be accredited as press and are not eligible for complimentary press registration.

Press registrants receive, at no charge, a badge that provides access to all scientific sessions, the press room and the press conference room. Some events and activities, including but not limited to invitation-only events and communications workshops, are not open to press badge holders.

Scientists who will be presenting at the meeting and who are also reporting from the meeting for a recognized media outlet may also be issued press credentials at the discretion of the ESA Press Office. Anyone who presents at the meeting must also register for the meeting and pay the appropriate fee as a presenter. These registrants should first register as press and indicate that they are also a presenter on their press registration form. These registrants should not register as a presenter until after being contacted by a member of the ESA Press Office who will provide additional information for registering as a presenter.

All press room badges are issued at the discretion of the ESA Press Office. Press room badges are non-transferable. All registrants must provide credentials regardless of whether they have received press registration for past ESA meetings.


On-site Press Room

Pre-registered press may pick up their credentials in the Press Room and enjoy coffee, tea, internet access, a printer, telephones, and an interview area. On-site registration will also be available.

Location: Kentucky International Convention Center, room TBD

Press Room hours:

  • Sunday, 11 August: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
  • Monday, 12 August –
    Thursday, 15 August: 7:30 am-5:30 pm
  • Friday, 16 August: 7:30 am-Noon



The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the worlds largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 9,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 3,000 – 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at https://www.esa.org.