97th ESA Annual Meeting
Portland, Oregon
August 5 - 10, 2012

Submission Deadline: May 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM Eastern

Authors have one last chance to submit an abstract for the ESA Annual Meeting! All abstracts accepted under this invitation will be presented during the Latebreaking Poster session on Friday, August 10, 8:30-10:30 AM. Abstract titles for posters in this session will be printed in the official conference program and the abstracts will appear on the online program.
The theme for the 2012 meeting is "Life on Earth: Preserving, Utilizing, and Sustaining Our Ecosystems". Abstracts related to this theme are highly encouraged, but submissions may address any aspect of ecology and its applications. We also welcome submissions that report interdisciplinary work, address communication with broad audiences, or explore ways of teaching ecology at any level. Please follow the guidelines described on this page when preparing and submitting your abstract. ESA will review all abstracts and reject any that do not follow the guidelines.

A. One Presentation Rule
B. Guidelines for All Poster Presentations
C. Evaluation and Acceptance of Abstracts
D. Abstract Submission
E. Corrections
F. Cancellations
G. Penalties and Fees for Cancellations/No-Shows
H. Summary of Deadlines
I. Begin Submission Process
A. One Presentation Rule
To encourage broad participation, each person is allowed to be the presenting author on only one abstract. Contributed oral, contributed poster, symposium, organized oral, and organized poster presentations are included in this rule.

  • A person may serve as a non-presenting coauthor on several abstracts.
  • Serving as a session organizer and/or moderator for a symposium, organized oral session, or organized poster session does not violate the rule.
  • Organizing and/or presenting in a workshop or special session does not violate the rule.

Exception to the One Presentation Rule:
An author may submit an abstract for a second presentation only if one abstract is directly related to a) ecology education or scientific outreach or b) the history of ecology as a science or of ESA. Historical topics are now exempted in recognition of the ESA's Centennial in 2015.
Please contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Riem if you have questions about whether an abstract fits these criteria.  
B. Guidelines for all Poster Presentations

  • Poster sessions provide an opportunity for discussion in a relaxed setting.
  • A presenting author is required to be present for a scheduled 2 hour period while the poster is being displayed.
  • Poster boards are approximately 2.4 m wide x 1.2 m tall (8 ft wide x 4 feet tall).  Posters should be at least 5 cm (2 inches) smaller on each margin than the poster board. These are maximum dimensions for each poster; there is no width x height requirement except that the poster fits on the board.
  • Pushpins will be supplied and are the only method for attaching the poster to the board.
  • The presenter may not use audio visual equipment but is welcome to bring along handouts associated with the poster.  

C. Evaluation and Acceptance of Abstracts

  • Accuracy of the abstract is the responsibility of the author(s). Abstracts will be REJECTED if they do not comply precisely with the guidelines on content and format listed here and on the submission website.
  • Abstracts may be submitted before all analyses and conclusions are in their final form, but authors MUST report some specific preliminary results. Vague statements such as “results will be discussed” will result in abstract rejection. Authors who cannot yet report any specific results and expect to be able to do so by May should submit to the Late Breaking Poster call (May 10 deadline). Abstracts primarily based on work for which data cannot yet be reported will be REJECTED if they are submitted for this call.
  • Abstracts must use standard English and follow English syntax, grammar, and punctuation rules. Poorly written abstracts will be REJECTED.  
  • Abstracts must be based primarily on new, unpublished material. Reviews of past work are generally not permissible outside of symposia or other special sessions.

D. Abstract Submission 
Indicating Preferences for Session Assignment:

  • Although the Latebreaking Posters are all presented together on Friday morning, we will group the posters together into thematic sessions based on the preferences authors indicate during abstract submission.
  • We have listed likely session themes, based on submissions and sessions from prior meetings, in ‘pull-down’ lists under five categories: 1) ecological concepts and processes; 2) ecosystem or habitat; 3) ecological applications, tools, and techniques; 4) subdiscipline; and 5) taxonomic or functional group. 
  • You should rank 3 of these themes (1 indicates most preferred), to guide our grouping of posters.  Each of your preferred themes may be selected from any of the 5 categories. You may, for any of the 3 choices, elect to enter a theme not on the lists provided; to do so, check the ‘other’ box, and enter a brief term in the space provided.  Please use this option only if you are unable to find an appropriate theme in the lists provided.
  • Please note that these themes are designed to identify similarities among posters for purposes of grouping, not as keywords for searching the program. Highly specific terms (e.g., species names, place names, particular techniques, etc.) are not useful here.  Attendees will be able to search the full text of your abstract in the program to find abstracts including specific terms.

Submitting Abstract and Author Information:
Follow the on-line instructions to submit your abstract.  Follow these general guidelines when entering your abstract:

  • Abstracts may be no longer than 400 words in total and must include information on both a) Background/Question/Methods, using up to 200 words and b) Results/Conclusions, using up to 200 words. We encourage each contributor to identify the objective of the study in the first of these; be explicit about the results of the study in the second of these. Abstracts without explicitly stated results will not be accepted.
  • Exception: If you are presenting a non-traditional research study, it is still expected that your poster addresses some question. It is understandable that such abstracts will lack specific data in the “Results/Conclusions” section; however, every abstract and poster should have a “take-home message.”
  • When entering your title, capitalize the first word, proper nouns, and the first word following a colon. The title is limited to 255 characters (about 15 words). Do not type the title in all capital letters. Place a comma before the word "and" in a series. Do not end your title with punctuation.        

Example: Fecal glucorticoids: A non-invasive method for measuring stress in river otters, brown bears, and red deer

  • For each author, enter the full first name, the first letter of the middle name, and the full last name.  Do not add punctuation after any of the names. 
  • Only the first line of text in an author’s affiliation will appear in the official conference program; this should be the name of your institution.  Do NOT enter department name on the first line of an author’s affiliation.  Do not end a line with any type of punctuation.
  • Symbols, special characters, and fonts are available from a pull-down menu of codes on the abstract submission form. Enter them by selecting from this menu.
  • Notification of Receipt:  You will be notified of receipt electronically using the e-mail address entered on the submission form.  If you enter an incorrect address, you will NOT receive notification.  Your abstract will be assigned an Abstract ID Number.  Please do not forget this ID number as it will be required for future communications. 
  • Notification of Acceptance:  You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of your abstract via e-mail by June 7, 2012.

Example abstract from the 2011 meeting program.
If you encounter problems during abstract submission, contact Jennifer Riem.
E. Making Corrections

  • You may view your abstract by going to: http://eco.confex.com/eco/2012/cfp.cgi and entering your Abstract ID Number received at the time of submission.
  • Edits can be made directly to the abstract until the abstract deadline, May 10, 2012. Unfortunately, edits are not possible after this date since we will be finalizing the program in late May.  Be sure to double-check your abstract when you submit!

  F. Cancellations
The deadline for cancellation without risk of penalty is May 1, 2012.

  • Since the cancellation deadline is BEFORE the submission deadline for Latebreaking Poster abstracts, you should be confident in your attendance at the Friday morning poster session at the Annual Meeting before submitting your abstract for review.
  • If unanticipated circumstances prevent attendance for a scheduled presentation, the presenting author should attempt to find another person to make the presentation. A coauthor is ideal, but the substitute presenter does not necessarily need to be a coauthor. You do not need to notify ESA if you are able to arrange for a substitute presenter.
  • If cancellation is unavoidable, the author should notify Jennifer Riem by email as soon as possible. Please let us know as soon as possible if you will not be able to present your poster, even if you are cancelling on a date close to or during the Annual Meeting.  If you would like us to consider waiving the applicable penalties, please include a brief reason for the cancellation.

For more information on ESA’s cancellation policy, continue reading through the next section.
G. Penalties and Fees for Cancellations/No-Shows
Late cancellations and failures to give scheduled presentations (no shows) are disruptive and leave costly gaps in the program that are distracting to all attendees.
Therefore, ESA has adopted the following cancellation policy and fee schedule (all values are in US dollars):

ESA’s late cancellation and no show policy:
In all cases where cancellation is unavoidable, the author should notify Jennifer Riem by email as soon as possible.

  • The deadline to cancel without penalty is May 1, 2012. After May 1, 2012 authors are charged a late cancellation fee.
  • After May 15, 2012, authors are charged a late cancellation fee and banned from presenting at the 2012 Annual Meeting.
  • Presenting authors who do not notify ESA of cancellation and fail to present at the scheduled time (no shows) are at risk for the late cancellation fee and a 2 year presentation ban (2013-2014).
  • The late cancellation fee is $60.00 US Dollars for oral presentations and $40.00 US Dollars for poster presentations.

Exceptions: Cancellation fees and penalties may be waived for extenuating circumstances. Consideration will be made on a case by case basis. Please include a brief reason for the cancellation if you would like us to consider waiving the applicable penalties.
Cancellation fees and penalties may be waived for extenuating circumstances. Consideration will be made on a case-by-case basis. Please include a brief reason for the cancellation if you would like us to consider waiving the applicable penalties.
Fees for cancellations will be processed and decisions regarding bans from future meetings will be made after the Annual Meeting.

H. Summary of Deadlines
May 10, 2012 (5:00 PM Eastern): Deadline for proposal submission
June 7, 2012: Notification of acceptance sent out

I. Begin Submission Process
To begin the submission process, please click here.
For further information consult the ESA meeting web site or contact the Program Chair, Tom Jurik, or Program Coordinator, Jennifer Riem:

Dr. Brian C. McCarthy
Department of Environmental & Plant Biology
Ohio University
Athens, OH  45701

Phone: 740-593-2979
Fax: 740-593-0053
Email: mccarthy@ohio.edu

Jennifer Riem
Program Coordinator
Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA

Phone: (202) 833-8773 x 218
Fax: (202) 833-8775
Email: jennifer@esa.org