American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

Letter on Evolution 2018

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Dear SSE, ASN and SSB members,

As many of you are aware, the 2018 meetings are jointly sponsored by the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Society for Systematic Biology (SSB), and the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), with the goal of strengthening international networking and collaboration. The Joint Congress will be held in the beautiful coastal town of Montpellier, France, following the successful first Congress in Ottawa in 2012.

Just as the first Joint Congress followed the North American meeting style, this Congress follows typical ESEB style, with, for example, limited presentations organized into topical symposia. We are incredibly thankful to ESEB for hosting this Congress and for their tremendous organizational efforts and financial support.

We are delighted by the overwhelming interest in this year’s meeting, with over 3500 applications for talks and posters. However, concerns have been raised that the number of abstract submissions is many more than can be accommodated (800 talks and 1200 posters), which could lead to a large number of members being unable to present. We would like to emphasize that the numbers are difficult to gauge at this point, because abstracts can be submitted without cost or a commitment to attend. We also want to assure you that symposium organizers have been given strict instructions to diversify their speakers among a number of axes, from gender to career stage.

Nevertheless, the number of submissions is certainly much larger than attendance at any of our meetings over the past decade (typical attendance at an Evolution Meeting is ~1500, with 2450 at the previous Joint Congress; and wasn’t anticipated. We apologize in advance if we are unable to accommodate everyone who wants to present. Please be assured that we will pay close attention to the numbers and adjust as needed for future meetings.  

Because this year’s meeting venue can accommodate 2500 attendees in total, if you would like to attend the Joint Congress, we strongly suggest that you register early. Meeting registration will open in mid-March; please stay tuned for more information about this.


Hopi Hoekstra            Sharon Y. Strauss        Susana Magallón
SSE President            ASN President            SSB President