Contributed Abstracts – Talks

Call for Abstracts & Contributed Talks

Meeting Dates

August 14 – 19, 2022
ESA & CSEE Joint Meeting
Montréal, Québec, Canada


Thursday, March 3, 2022
5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)

All ESA Annual Meeting proposal and abstract deadlines are 5:00 PM Eastern so that technical support and ESA staff assistance will be immediately available when submitters need it. If you begin your submission very close to the deadline, you are choosing to take a risk, and we will not make an exception if you don’t complete your submission in time. The form automatically closes at 5:00 EST / 2:00 PST whether you have completed your submission or not.

Proposals that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be considered.

ESA meetings, open to ESA members and those interested in ecology, are among the most respected meetings of ecologists in the science community. ESA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment. All participants including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, ESA staff, service providers and others are expected to abide by the ESA Meetings Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all ESA meeting-related events including those sponsored by organizations other than ESA but held in conjunction with ESA events, in public or private facilities. In addition, all ESA meeting attendees must agree to abide by the ESA Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy and the ESA Diversity Statement.

How to Submit

You must submit your abstract using the online submission form. Abstracts sent by email will not be considered. Click the link below to begin by logging in through ESA’s online system.

We have a new meeting platform this year which includes a new submission form for abstracts. If you have submitted for an ESA meeting in the past, things will look a little different, and we hope the process is more user friendly than before.

You will be able to return to the abstract to edit it until the submission deadline has passed. Information on how to do so will be included in two automated emails you will receive, first when you begin and then when you complete your submission.

About the 2022 Joint Meeting

This year’s annual meeting is a joint meeting with the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. Members of CSEE will be able to register for the meeting at the ESA member rate. CSEE members are welcome to submit session proposals and presentation abstracts through the usual ESA submission process and deadlines.

ESA is closely monitoring the developing situation with COVID-19 and the omicron variant. We continue to plan for an in-person meeting in Montréal. All speakers with accepted abstracts should plan to attend in person. If the meeting format changes, we will notify all session organizers and speakers by email. Virtual and in-person workshops and short courses will be offered to complement the in-person scientific program. If an in-person meeting is not possible, the meeting will be virtual, with all sessions held online. 

Before You Begin

Please read and follow the abstract guidelines carefully. They are provided here as a guide to help you plan in advance. You can start your submission, save your progress, and then return to complete it at any time before the deadline has passed. A copy of your submission will be automatically emailed to you when you complete an abstract submission.

If this is your first time submitting an abstract for an ESA meeting, we suggest reading some contributed abstracts from a previous meeting. Abstracts from recent meetings are available online (2021, 2020, 2019). If you are a student, we strongly encourage you to work closely with your faculty adviser as you develop your abstract. If you encounter problems during abstract submission, email and include the abstract ID number.

About Contributed Oral Sessions

We invite submission of abstracts for contributed oral presentations for the 2022 ESA Annual Meeting. Abstracts are encouraged to address the meeting theme “A Change Is Gonna Come” if appropriate but doing so is not necessary. We welcome submissions from any topic in ecology. This includes submissions that report interdisciplinary work, address communication with broad audiences, or explore ways of teaching ecology at any level.

Contributed oral presentations are scheduled for 15-minute timeslots. 12 minutes are allowed for each presentation plus 3 minutes for questions. Individually submitted contributed abstracts will be grouped together to create sessions with a common theme. Abstract authors will rank 3 preferred session themes as part of the abstract submission process. Each contributed talk may be scheduled Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. By submitting an abstract, you are indicating that the presenting author will be available during any of the possible time slots.

Submission Format

Abstract Guidelines

  • The body of the abstract is up to 400 words, split between the two sections (up to 200 words each): Background/Question/Methods, in which the objective of the study is clearly identified and the methods are described; and Results/Conclusions, in which specific results of the study are explicitly reported and their implications for ecology are briefly discussed.
  • The abstract must primarily report on new work within the field of ecology.
  • Reviews of previous work are not permissible for contributed talks and posters.
  • The abstract must report specific results. The results may be preliminary but they may not be vague. Abstracts without explicitly stated results will be rejected.
  • It is understandable that abstracts describing non-traditional work may lack quantitative data; however, it is still expected that the abstract will address some question and have a “take-home message” describing specific findings.
  • Abstracts must be clear. Poorly written abstracts will be rejected.
  • Abstracts must be written in English or French (in honor of our joint meeting this year) and must follow standard grammar and punctuation rules.

Helpful Information About Abstract Entry

For every author listed, their name, institution, email address, and country are required information.

Missing coauthors are a very common issue. Be sure to check to make sure everyone has been included. This is under the Author task, which is separate from the abstract body.

The presenting author is the corresponding author who will receive all communications, including acceptance and scheduling notifications, from ESA. To receive notifications from us on time, it is important to make sure the correct person is indicated and that their email is entered correctly. Any author can be designated as the presenting author.

Presenting Author Demographics

The submission form asks a few questions about the abstract’s presenting author to help ESA improve our services and monitor our efforts towards diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.  All information will be shared only in the aggregate to help us assess the diversity of our submissions. Abstract reviewers and the committee will not see this information for individual abstracts. It is required to answer each question, but you can select “Prefer not to answer”.

Session Assignment

During abstract submission, you will be asked to rank 3 themes to guide the grouping of your presentation into a session with similar presentations. Consider the themes carefully. You can look over the themes in this PDF document.

One Presentation Rule

Each person should submit only one abstract where they are listed as presenting author. This rule is enforced to encourage broad participation. You may present a poster or a talk, not both. This rule does not apply to coauthors. An author may be the presenting author on two abstracts only if one of the abstracts primarily reports on ecology education/outreach or is for an Inspire presentation.

Abstract Fee

There is a $60.00 fee to submit an abstract for a contributed talk. If you are unable to pay this fee due to a lack of funding, you can opt out during the payment step of abstract submission. The abstract fee covers technical costs associated with abstract submission and review.

Requirements for Travel to Canada

Passport and visa requirements

All attendees are required to have a valid passport that will not expire within six months of your trip (this includes the 6 months AFTER the meeting). To find out if you need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), complete the questionnaire on the Visit Canada page.

For US citizens traveling on an US passport (land, air, or sea) or an US passport card (land or sea) you are not required to have either a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

COVID-19 requirements

Our meeting venue (Palais des congrès de Montréal) requires all meeting attendees to wear a mask. Canada requires travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with proof of vaccination uploaded into the ArriveCAN app and a negative COVID-19 molecular test result (not antigen) before arrival. These requirements may change between now and August. You can learn more about travel requirements at Visit Canada, which reflects the most up to date information.

Travel Support for ESA Members

In November 2021, ESA’s Governing Board decided to offer Opportunity Fund grants to support member participation in the 2022 Joint Meeting. These funds are donations from members and are expected to provide an overall pool of at least $25,000 in funds for travel, dependent care, and registration grants. We hope to grow this amount beyond $25,000 through a spring fundraising campaign. We will announce an application process and deadline ahead of the abstract deadline in early March.

After Submission

Abstract Review

Peer reviewers will rate abstracts using the abstract guidelines included in this call. The ratings and comments provided by peer reviewers will inform the acceptance decisions made by the Program Subcommittee.

Editing Abstracts

Light editing of accepted abstracts will be available for a short window (1-2 weeks) after the acceptance notifications are sent. All presenting authors will receive instructions and a specific deadline by email. Edits are not possible after the editing deadline. 

Meeting Registration

The presenting author of every accepted abstract is required to register for the meeting and will be reminded to do so in meeting correspondence. Submitting an abstract does not register you for the meeting. Registration is a separate process that we anticipate will open in May.


When submitting an abstract, presenters should be reasonably confident that they will attend the meeting and give the presentation as scheduled.  We understand that planning ahead is particularly challenging this year, but the presenting author should notify ESA Meetings as soon as possible if a presentation needs to be cancelled. Please cancel by May 2 if possible, to help us minimize gaps in the final meeting program as well as receive an abstract fee refund if you paid the fee.

Student Presentation Award

Murray F. Buell Award for Excellence in Ecology

Murray F. Buell had a long and distinguished record of service and accomplishment in the Ecological Society of America. Among other things, he ascribed great importance to the participation of students in meetings and to excellence in the presentation of papers. To honor his selfless dedication to the younger generation of ecologists, the Murray F. Buell Award is given to a student for the outstanding oral paper presented at the ESA Annual Meeting. If you are a student (undergraduate or graduate) who is the presenting author of a contributed talk, and who is the sole or lead author of the talk, you are eligible to be considered. Talk formats other than “contributed” are not eligible. Talks will be judged on significance of ideas, creativity, quality of methodology, validity of conclusions drawn from results, and clarity of presentation. The students selected for these awards will be announced in a press release. The students will receive a travel award, as well as a plaque and check for $500 at the following ESA Annual Meeting. While all students are encouraged to apply, winning talks typically describe fully completed projects.

How to Apply for the Buell Award

The deadline to apply for this award is Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (2:00 pm Pacific Time).

To apply for the award, you must have already submitted an abstract. Please note the abstract ID number that you received in your confirmation email. Then, submit an online application by the deadline. You must complete the entire application in order to be considered. Visit the Buell and Braun Award page to read the complete application requirements and access the link to begin an application.

Presentation Guidelines

We will provide more information about how to prepare presentations after abstract acceptance.

Important Dates

March 3, 2022
Abstract submission deadline.

April 21, 2022
Notification of acceptance sent to presenting author.

May 2, 2022
Deadline to cancel an abstract. This is also the deadline to make minor edits.


Dr. Nyeema C. Harris
2022 Program Chair
School of the Environment
Yale University
(203) 432-2415

Jennifer Riem
Ecological Society of America

(202) 833-8773 x 213