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Spotlight: Simon Fraser University

We sit down with Dr. Tony Williams, the Treasurer and member of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) to chat about the incredible support from Simon Fraser University, the Faculty of Science and the Department of Biological Sciences for IOC 2018.

The whole journey started in 2014 when we secured the Congress at the previous IOC meeting in Tokyo, and SFU has been a strong supporter of IOC, and a key sponsor, since those early days.

SFU professors and students are immersed in the Congress on many levels. Dr. Bob Elner (emeritus Environment Canada and Adjunct Professor in Biology) is the Local Convener – doing all the heavy lifting. Dr. David Green is second-in-command on the LOC, I am the Treasurer, and David and I are members of the Scientific Program Committee sorting through and evaluating over 900 submitted abstracts. Dr. Rob Butler (emeritus Environment Canada and SFU Outstanding Alumnus (Biology) 1998) has been organizing the public-orientated Vancouver International Bird Fair that - for the first time - is an integral component of the IOC.

Sneak Peek at the Congress and Cutting-edge Ornithological Research

During the Congress, a unique guided tour will be led by SFU Biology Grad students. The tour will include a visit to the poster session, a scientific talks, access to the Expo, and opportunities to speak with bird experts from around the world. Click HERE to see more details!

Talks presented by SFU professors

  • On Thursday (August 23) at 4:30pm, Dr. Ron Ydenberg is presenting a talk on continental-scale raptor recovery and impacts on migrant shorebirds.
  • Dr. John Elliott (Environment Canada and SFU Adjunct) has 5 presentations during the week! Trust me, you will want to stay until Sunday (August 26) to listen to him speak on Avian Ecotoxicology in the Anthropocene: 50 Years Since Silent Spring.
  • Dr. David Green also has various presentations and is chairing a session on Tuesday (August 21) on Community and Landscape Ecology.

Supporting the next generation of ornithologists

The Department of Biological Sciences provided funding to support 13 SFU biology graduate students to attend and present their research at the Congress on everything from sandpipers to zebra finches, highlighting ornithological research in the Department.

Birds and Yoga

Last but not least, I want to give a special shout out to Kate Fremlin, an MSc student in Biology and fellow ornithologist. Besides her busy work as a professional biologist, Kate is a certified yoga instructor (so Vancouver!), Kate will be leading morning yoga session on Tuesday & Thursday at 7am for the Congress delegates, and a public yoga session on Saturday at 9am for everybody to join. Sign up today!

Thank you SFU, Faculty of Science and Biological Sciences for helping make IOCongress2018 a success!