Latebreaking Poster Abstracts

A group of ecologist discuss an informal poster session with the presenter.

Call for Latebreaking Poster Abstracts

2020 ESA Annual Meeting
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 2 – 7, 2020
Deadline: 5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)
Thursday, April 30, 2020

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

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.

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 for all meeting participants and ESA staff. 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, ESA members and authors of ESA publications must adhere to the ESA Code of Ethics.

COVID-19 Event Updates

ESA is committed to holding an Annual Meeting in August where you can present your research.  ESA is closely monitoring updates from local and national public health authorities regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The in-person meeting originally scheduled for August 2-7 in Salt Lake City, will become either a hybrid meeting that would offer virtual attendance in addition to in-person attendance, or become entirely virtual. Note that the hybrid option will allow you the option of presenting virtually by sending your presentation ahead of the session or attending  in person.

COVID-19 mitigation recommendations are in place to protect human life, and as a scientific society, we will use the data to inform our decision on the type of Annual Meeting that will be held. We hope to have more information from the health experts to make a firm decision in May, after which we will open registration. The health, safety, and well-being of our members and staff are our priority. Rest assured that ESA will communicate the decision to you in an email and on ESA websites.

We ask that you remain optimistic and plan to participate in the meeting and attend as best you can. ESA has set up an events status page which is being updated regularly to reflect current information. The Meetings Committee has posted a statement here.

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 login and password will be automatically emailed to you when you begin an abstract submission. You may log in to view your abstract at any time by logging in here.

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 (2019, 2018, 2017). 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 Jennifer Riem ( and include the abstract ID number.

Link To Submission Form

About Contributed Poster Abstracts

We invite submission of abstracts for latebreaking poster presentations for the 2020 ESA Annual Meeting. Abstracts are encouraged to address the meeting theme “Harnessing the ecological data revolution” if appropriate, but doing so is not necessary. We welcome submissions that report interdisciplinary work, address communication with broad audiences, or explore ways of teaching ecology at any level. Posters presentations are 90 minutes long and give presenters an opportunity for extended discussion and networking. Individually submitted contributed abstracts will be grouped together to create poster sessions organized around a common theme. Abstract authors will rank their preferred session themes as part of the abstract submission process. Latebreaking poster sessions are 5:00-6:30 pm on Thursday. By submitting an abstract, you are indicating you will be available during this time.

New in 2020

The meeting program in 2020 will have some new and exciting changes to improve the overall experience for attendees and presenters.

Changes that will affect contributed poster sessions include:

  • More focused sessions: Shorter oral and poster sessions (90 minutes).
  • More time to network: Longer coffee breaks (30 minutes).
  • Easier to follow schedule: One consistent schedule for all oral session types.
  • Fewer conflicts: No overlap between talks and posters.
  • No Friday presentations: Talks and posters will be scheduled Monday–Thursday.
  • More time for hands-on learning: Workshops, short courses, and field trips added on Friday.

Abstract Submission Guidelines

 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 and must follow standard grammar and punctuation rules. Abstracts that do not meet this guideline will be rejected.

Helpful information about abstract entry

  • For every author listed, their name, institution, and email are required information.
  • Missing coauthors are a very common issue. Be sure to check to make sure everyone has been included. This is under People, the second step in the process. You can follow your progress at the top of the screen.
  • The presenting author is the corresponding author who will receive all communications, including acceptance and scheduling notifications, from ESA. In order 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. The first author is designated by default, and this can be adjusted by editing the author list. The presenting author’s name will appear in bold text.

Session assignment

During abstract submission, you will rank 3 themes to guide the grouping of your presentation into a session with similar presentations. Consider the themes carefully.

Latebreaking poster sessions are 5:00-6:30 pm on Thursday. By submitting an abstract, you are indicating you will be available during this time.

One presentation rule

Each person is allowed to submit only one abstract where they are listed as presenting author. This rule is enforced in order 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 and Poster Sharing

There is no abstract fee to submit an abstract for a poster. This year we will offer poster presenters the opportunity to upload their poster to be made available in the online program a few weeks after the conference. Sharing your poster in the online program is optional.

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 Meetings Committee.

Editing abstracts

Because the submission deadline is very close to our final preparations of the program, editing these abstracts is not possible after the submission deadline has passed. Proofread very carefully.

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 will open in April.


When submitting an abstract, presenters should be reasonably confident that they will attend the meeting and give the presentation as scheduled. The presenting author should notify ESA as soon as possible if a presentation needs to be cancelled. Please cancel by May 1 at the very latest to minimize gaps in the final meeting program.

Presentation Guidelines

  • Poster presenters are required to be present for the duration of their scheduled 90 minute session.
  • Presenters are encouraged to hang their posters before the Exhibit Hall opens at 11:00 AM on the day of their presentation. This allows attendees to browse posters throughout the day. Poster presenters will be able to enter each morning to hang their posters before the hall opens (make sure you are wearing your badge).
  • Each presenter should remove their poster at the end of the poster session.
  • Poster sessions provide an opportunity for extended discussion and networking. A cash bar and complimentary light snacks will be available.
  • There is no poster size requirement except that the poster fits on the provided board. Poster boards are landscape format with dimensions 8 ft wide x 4 feet tall (2.4 m wide x 1.2 m tall). The poster is NOT required to take up all of the space provided, only to fit comfortably within that space. In practice most posters are smaller than the board, typically in the 4-5 ft wide x 3-4 ft tall range.
  • Pushpins are the only method allowed for attaching the poster to the board. These will be supplied on site.
  • Poster presenters may not use audio-visual equipment. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate the space and logistical requirements for such equipment.
  • Poster presenters are welcome to bring handouts, such as 8.5×11 copies of their posters. We recommend bringing an envelope for any handouts that can be attached to the poster board using pushpins.


Important Dates

April 30, 2020 Abstract submission deadline.
May 28, 2020 Notification of acceptance sent to presenting author.


Dr. Kiona Ogle
Program Chair
School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
Phone: (928) 523-6200
Jennifer Riem
Science Programs Coordinator
Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036 USA
Phone: (202) 833-8773 x 218