Meetings Code of Conduct

ABS 2024 Code of Conduct

ABS meetings, open to ABS members and those interested in the science of animal behavior, are among the most respected scientific meetings in the animal behavior community. ABS is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and ABS staff. All participants including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, ABS staff, and service providers are expected to abide by the ABS 2024 Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all ABS meeting-related events including those sponsored by organizations other than ABS but held in conjunction with ABS events, in public or private facilities.

Expected Behavior

  • All participants, attendees, ABS staff, and vendors are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, ABS staff and suppliers/vendors.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert ABS staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, ABS contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • In accordance with ABS policy, request permission from speakers to audio record presentations. Request permission of the Executive Committee and the speaker to video record presentations. 
  • Respect presenters’ requests to refrain from disseminating the contents of their presentation on social media or other public platforms. Presenters wishing to opt-out of media dissemination are encouraged to indicate their wishes by including a logo in their presentation, available here.

Unacceptable Behavior                        

  • Harassment, intimidation or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, ABS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest will not be tolerated.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations; threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, ABS staff member, service provider or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall or at other events organized by ABS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other ABS contracted facilities will not be tolerated.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • ABS staff (or their designee) or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, e.g., a verbal warning, immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund, or reporting to the offender’s employer.
  • ABS reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting.
  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify an ABS staff member or ABS volunteer in a leadership position. The notifier is not required or expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated seriously and investigated promptly. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.
Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 911 and locate a house phone, if available, and ask for security.

ABS shall not be responsible for any defamatory, offensive or illegal conduct of ABS meeting participants, and shall not be held liable for personal injury, property damage, theft, or damage of any kind suffered by the participants at or in connection with the ABS meeting.

ABS Allies
You may notice that some attendees are designated with a ribbon that reflects their status as ABS Allies. ABS Allies have been trained to offer support to ABS 2024 Annual Meeting participants who are targets of, or who witness, inappropriate behavior which potentially violates the ABS Code of Ethics and Member Conduct. ABS Allies are trained to listen, help targets or witnesses deal with what has happened, and to inform them of their options, including whether to report the conduct. ABS Allies will not participate in any aspect of investigating reports or sanctioning. ABS Allies also commit to creating safe spaces at the meeting by serving as active bystanders.

Reporting Code of Conduct Violations:

Safe ABS Officer Paula Brantner is available during ABS 2024 to assist attendees with reporting potential ABS Code of Ethics and Member Conduct violations.

Please contact Paula using any method below, and she will follow up with you if you wish to confidentially discuss the incident and what next steps you may wish to take. Your identity will not be shared with others without your consent.

To report a potential violation, please use the following form:

The reporting form is also available in Spanish:

If you prefer not to fill out the reporting form, please use one of these methods to contact Paula:
e: [email protected]
p: +1 202.688.7297