Field Trip (FT-2) is sold out.

Call for Contributed Abstracts

Submission Deadline

Thursday, February 23, 2023
5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific)

Meeting Dates

August 6 – 11, 2023
Portland, Oregon

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 are unable to complete your submission in time. The form automatically closes at 5:00 EST / 2:00 PST whether you have completed your submission or not.

Looking for abstract guidance? You can view the recordings of our workshop on titles and the workshop on abstracts with Bruce Kirchoff!

Important Note

A number of improvements have been made to the Annual Meeting program this year, including changes to the abstract submission and review processes. Learn more on the blog or watch our Q&A session with Program Chair Tim Nuttle.

Abstracts 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, ESA members and authors of ESA publications must adhere to the ESA Code of Ethics 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.

To submit an abstract, you will need to log in using an ESA member account. If you have been an ESA member or registered for an ESA meeting in recent years, you should already have an ESA member account. Your username and password to log in for the meeting are the same as for your ESA member account. If you have not been an ESA member or registered for an ESA meeting in recent years, you will need to create an ESA member account before you can submit. You do not need to pay membership dues to create an ESA member account or submit for the meeting.

Click the link below to begin by logging in. 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.

If you’re concerned about whether you can afford to attend, consider applying for a registration or dependent care grant!

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 (2022, 2021, 2020). 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

About Contributed Presentations

We invite submission of abstracts for individual contributed presentations for the 2023 ESA Annual Meeting. Abstracts are encouraged to address the meeting theme, “ESA for All Ecologists”, 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.

Preference for an oral or poster presentation

In recent years, the interest in presenting a contributed oral presentation has been much higher than presenting a contributed poster presentation. Starting in 2023, submitters of contributed abstracts will indicate their preferred presentation format (oral, poster, or no preference) at the time of submission. All accepted abstracts that prefer a poster will be scheduled as a poster.

Due to space limitations for oral sessions, it is likely some submitters who prefer to give an oral presentation will be scheduled to give a poster presentation. Among the abstracts that have indicated a preference for an oral presentation, the Program Subcommittee will schedule as many as such as space allows. The Program Subcommittee will make these selections randomly to give every submitter who prefers an oral presentation an equal chance of giving one. This decision will be communicated to all submitters at the time of abstract acceptance. Senior ecologists are encouraged to indicate a preference for a poster presentation to give early career ecologists and students a higher chance of being selected for an oral presentation.

About contributed oral presentations

Contributed oral presentations are scheduled for 15 minutes, with 12 minutes for each presentation plus 3 minutes for questions. Individually submitted contributed oral presentations will be scheduled in a session with other abstracts that have similar ranked themes. These sessions will be scheduled in 90-minute timeslots Monday through Thursday. All contributed oral sessions will have other types of sessions scheduled concurrently with them, including invited paper sessions (symposia, organized oral sessions, and Inspire sessions), workshops and special sessions.

About contributed poster presentations

Individually submitted contributed poster presentations will be scheduled in a session with other abstracts that have similarly ranked themes. These sessions will be scheduled for 5:00-6:30 PM (90 minutes) and could be scheduled on any day Monday through Wednesday. Poster sessions are the last scientific session each day to give presenters an opportunity for extended discussion and networking. There are no other scientific sessions that are scheduled concurrently with posters.

Sorting abstracts into sessions

Abstract submitters will rank 3 preferred session themes as part of the abstract submission process.  Individually submitted contributed abstracts will be grouped together to create sessions with a common theme, and then these sessions will be scheduled across the week. We do not know in advance which themes will become sessions or what days these themes will be scheduled for. The priorities during scheduling are to avoid conflicts for people participating in multiple roles (for example, organizing a workshop and speaking in a contributed oral session) and to minimize conflicts between sessions with similar topics. By submitting an abstract, you are indicating that the presenting author will be available during any of the possible time slots. We cannot consider scheduling requests for a specific day or time, or to avoid a specific day or time.

Abstract Submission Guidelines

The abstract guidelines have been updated for 2023 to allow for greater flexibility in the formatting and content of abstracts. We welcome submissions on a wide variety of ecological topics, including but not limited to research-focused studies, education related topics, applied ecological works, conceptual or theoretical contributions, and valuable resources to support ecological research.

Abstract guidelines

  • The body of the abstract may be up to 400 words maximum.
  • The abstract should not contain any headings.
  • All abstracts are expected to report on work relevant to the field of ecology.
  • All abstracts are expected to report on new contributions (i.e., contributions that have not been previously published). Note, a project that qualitatively or quantitatively reviews current understanding (e.g., published works, etc.), such as, but not limited to, meta-analyses, are considered “new work” if that project has not been previously published.
  • The abstract must report specific knowledge (quantitative, qualitative, or conceptual). The results, outcomes, or knowledge may be preliminary, but they may not be vague. Abstracts without explicitly stated results, outcomes, or knowledge will be rejected.
  • 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.

The content of the abstract must:

  • Provide sufficient background information to motivate the study or work to be presented.
  • Clearly articulate the goals, objectives, questions, or hypotheses of the study or work. Specific research questions or hypotheses may not be relevant to all abstract types, but the goals or objectives should be clear.
  • Clearly articulate the approaches or methods employed to arrive at the results, outcomes, or conclusions produced by the study. For abstracts reporting on a research project, the specific methods used should be summarized; for more conceptual, theoretical, applied, or other projects, the general approach or framework needs to be summarized.
  • Cleary summarize key outcomes or contributions from the work; these may be in the form of quantitative results (e.g., for research-focused studies) or qualitative outcomes or knowledge produced.
  • Conclude with one or more ecologically relevant take-home messages.

Example abstract structure

[Your background text here. Provide motivation or rationale for your study/work.] The goals [or objectives, questions, or hypotheses] of this study are [your text here.] Our approach to addressing our [goals, etc.] was [text here; describe methods, techniques, approaches, or similar]. Here we show [summarize key outcomes or knowledge produced]. In conclusion, this study suggests [your “big picture” ecologically relevant conclusion generated from your study/work].

Helpful information about abstract entry

  • For every author listed, their name, institution, email, and country are required information.
  • Missing coauthors are a very common issue. Be sure to check to make sure everyone has been included in the Authors step during submission.
  • 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. The submitter is designated by default, and this can be adjusted by editing the author list.

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.

One presentation rule

Each person is allowed to submit only one abstract where they are listed as presenting author. This rule is enforced to encourage broad participation. 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 fee to submit a contributed abstract. This fee is $35 for students and $60 for non-students. 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.

Next Steps 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. We will send an email to every submitter notifying them of the Program Subcommittee’s decision in April.

Editing abstracts

Light editing of accepted abstracts will be available for a short window (around 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.

Required revisions

In cases where an abstract is required to be revised, the submitter will have 2 weeks to formally submit a revised abstract. Submitters will be able to log back into the same form where they submitted their original abstract to submit a revised abstract. Submitters who revise will be notified of a final decision within 2 weeks of the deadline to revise.

Appealing rejections

In cases where an abstract is rejected, the submitter will have 2 weeks to formally appeal the rejection. Submitters will be able to log back into the same form where they submitted their original abstract to indicate they are appealing, add a note to make a case for the appeal, and submit a revised abstract. Revision in cases of rejection is not required, but it is highly encouraged to address reviewer comments. Submitters who appeal will be notified of a final decision within 2 weeks of the deadline to appeal.

Meeting registration and housing

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.

The website to book a room in our hotel block will also open in May. We encourage attendees to book housing within our hotel block to support the long-term success of the meeting. The number of hotel rooms booked inside our housing block each year affects our ability to book future meeting cities, including the amount of convention center space we can book. By booking inside the block, you are helping us secure future meeting venues that our attendees are interested in and sufficient space within those venues for all of our sessions.


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 Meetings as soon as possible if a presentation needs to be cancelled. Please cancel by May 1 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.

Funding to Support Meeting Attendance

ESA is happy to support access to the Annual Meeting by those who might not otherwise have funding to participate. There are multiple opportunities to apply for funding through ESA, which you can read about here. We will publicize each of these opportunities as they become available through our regular email updates sent to ESA members and meeting participants.  

Registration Grants 

Registration grants will be equal to the applicant’s base registration cost at the Early Bird rate. Any additional fees from field trips, short courses, ticketed social events, or other events will need to be paid by the attendee. Priority will be given to ESA members, especially those who are early career, transitioning careers, at minority-serving institutions, at community colleges, and in the private, nonprofit or government sectors. Applicants who receive funding will be emailed a coupon code to use when registering for the meeting.  

Dependent Care Grants 

Dependent care grants are available for ESA members who are primary caregivers who would not otherwise be able to attend the meeting in Portland due to these responsibilities. ESA will reimburse up to $500 for costs, including: in-person caregiving services, additional travel or lodging costs to bring a child, parent, spouse, etc. to Portland, and supplemental support (daycare, nursing, etc.) for time spent at the meeting. Caregivers should first apply for funding, and then if approved, they will need to submit receipts for products or services along with a reimbursement form. You may apply for a dependent care grant in addition to registration support. 

Other Funding Opportunities 

ESA members, especially students, are encouraged to seek support through their sections and chapters. Student support may include need-based grants or awards based on scientific work. Students are especially encouraged to apply for funding through the Les Real and Jim Brown Student Travel Award, which is funded by donations and administered by the Student Section.  

Students who are accepted as volunteers at the Annual Meeting will be able to have the base registration cost at the Early Bird rate reimbursed. 

Elected leaders in ESA’s sections and chapters are eligible for dedicated funding. 

Student Presentation Awards

How to Apply for the Buell and Braun Awards for Outstanding Student Presentations

The Buell and Braun Awards recognize one outstanding contributed oral presentation (Buell) and one outstanding contributed poster presentation (Braun) by a student at each year’s Annual Meeting. The deadline to apply for these awards is Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (2:00 pm Pacific Time). There is one application for this award, and all applicants will be considered for the award that applies to their presentation format. The students selected for these awards will receive a travel award, as well as a plaque and check for $500 at the following ESA Annual Meeting.

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. Please direct any questions to

Important Dates

Feb. 23, 2023

April 20, 2023

May 1, 2023

Abstract submission deadline.

Notification of acceptance sent to presenting author.

Deadline to cancel an abstract. This is also the deadline to make minor edits.


Program Chair

Tim Nuttle PhD CSE CWB

Principal, Oikos Ecology LLC

Meetings Team

Ecological Society of America