ABS 2024 Workshops


ABS 2024 Workshop Opportunities

The current list of ABS 2024 workshops are listed below. More information will be added as it becomes available. This list is preliminary and can change at any point.

In-person workshops are listed below. You must be registered for the conference to attend any of these workshops. Please note that pre-registration is required to attend most workshops. Space is limited and you can register for workshops when registering for ABS 2024.


Workshop 1: Field safety training with Field Inclusive, Inc.

Tuesday, June 25 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Co-Organizers: Nora H. Prior, Jen Hamel, Andrea Bierema, Laura Sirot, and Kasey Fowler-Finn
Location: TBD

You can register for this workshop on the conference registration form.

Many researchers and students in our community conduct field work. Risks are associated with field work, and such risks may be amplified for researchers of various identities, including those associated with race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language and religion. This workshop builds on the field safety workshop offered at the 2023 ABS annual meeting. The goal of this workshop is to provide the ABS community with: 1) an understanding of how diverse identities shape safety in the field, 2) tangible ways to support ourselves and diverse teams in the field, and 3) how to attract diverse students and colleagues to field work. This workshop will be run by Field Inclusive Inc., a registered US nonprofit dedicated to amplifying and supporting marginalized and historically excluded biologists and researchers. Field Inclusive was founded in 2022, and they have accomplished impactful work on field safety in our community. In addition to sharing their resources and expertise, Field Inclusive has programs and funding opportunities to support trainees in safe field work.

Workshop 2: Data Past, Present and Future: The Importance and Special Challenges of Future-Proofing Our Behavior Data

Tuesday, June 25th - 1:00PM - 5:00 PM
Co-Organizers: Anne Clark, Clara Voorhees, Peter Midford, Laura Sirot
Location: TBD

You can register for this workshop on the conference registration form.

The threats from anthropogenic change highlight our critical need to compare past with present as the basis of future scenarios globally. Especially in the field sciences, data on past conditions or events may lie only in hard copy fieldnotes or digital data sets in lost formats. Behavioral biologists join ecologists, conservation biologists, etc. in wrestling with problems of finding, rescuing, and interpreting historic data sources originating from different cultural contexts. Behavioral questions pose special challenges in leveraging past data as well as “future-proofing” current results for accessibility and use in fifty years. This workshop focuses on these challenges for anyone who investigates behavioral questions with data or teaches the process of behavioral research.   It is organized around three goals:

a. Illustrate the importance of finding and repurposing past data sets or preserving them for future using several published examples from the published EEB literature to highlight problems and solutions so far;

b. Consider behavior’s unique challenges against the backdrop of how semantic headings, controlled vocabularies (ontologies), etc. facilitate comparative studies of humans or cellular biology, from which we illustrate some best practices relevant to behavior data; 

c. Provide a setting where participants brainstorm a range of inter-related topics, e.g., preserving their own behavioral data, including media; the where and how of data set storage and maintenance; how cultural context and diversity must be considered in integrating past and current data; making ethograms more urgent and 'trendy' in the classroom.  Participants will combine these into clear actionable take-aways from the workshop.

Workshop 3: Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior: A professional-development workshop for pre-tenure faculty and postdoctoral researchers in animal behavior

Tuesday, June 25th - 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Co-Organizers: Gail Patricelli, Karan Odom, and Michele Johnson
Location: TBD

The future of Animal Behavior research depends on the next generation of scientists and leaders. The goal of the Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior (WFAB)  initiative is to advance the future of animal behavior science and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive scientific community, by providing support, mentorship, and networking opportunities for early-career researchers navigating the critical transition to permanent research and teaching positions. The WFAB workshop series will include panel and group discussions and activities for pre-tenure faculty and postdocs that facilitate:

·       Connecting with multiple mentors in the areas you need

·       Forging new collaborations

·       Achieving success in research, teaching, and service

·       Forming and maintaining long-term peer-mentoring circles

The 2024 WFAB workshop series will have three parts. Part I will be online (June 17, 2024), Part II will be in person at the ABS meeting (June 25, 8:30AM – 5PM), and Part III will be online (July 12, 2024). Part III will be focused on setting up peer-mentoring circles, which many participants describe as one of the best parts of joining our WFAB community. We ask that all workshop participants attend all three parts. You can learn more about WFAB and the details of this workshop on our website: https://www.weaving-the-future.net/

This workshop is limited to pre-tenure faculty and postdocs working in animal behavior science (for graduate students interested in professional development and networking opportunities, we recommend the excellent SIGNAL workshop). We particularly encourage women and scientists from marginalized groups in the biological sciences to apply.

You can register for this workshop on the conference registration form.

Workshop 4: Workshop 4: Conservation Behaviour in the Great Lakes

Tuesday, June 25th - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Chair: Kathleen Church
Location: TBD

The ABS conservation committee will host its biannual workshop in London, ON, on conservation behaviour in the Great Lakes, one of the largest freshwater ecosystems in the world. Conservation behaviour is the combination of behavioural ecology and conservation biology, whereby findings from behavioural ecology are applied to relevant conservation issues. Although conservation behaviour is a crucial component of the management and conservation of aquatic species, aquatic ecosystems tend to be underrepresented within conservation behaviour. During the workshop, several invited speakers will discuss their research on conservation behaviour in the Great Lakes, followed by a horizon scanning activity where workshop attendees will rank a shortlist of topics of potential concern for the Great Lakes over the next 25 years and discuss how conservation behaviour can be used to mitigate these impacts.

Fieldtrip: The workshop will be followed by a field trip to a Great Lakes field site and/or a tour of aquatic laboratory facilities at the University of Western Ontario.

You can register for this workshop on the conference registration form.

Workshop 5: SIGNAL: Peer-mentoring Circles for Graduate Students in Animal Behavior (Virtual prior to Conference)

Chair: Beth Reinke, Elizabeth Hobson, Delia Shelton, Alex Trillo, Ginny Greenway, Alycia Lackey, Caitlin Wells

This workshop will be held virtually before the conference. The exact date is TBD.

A challenge for scientists from underrepresented groups (URGs) in STEM is feeling isolated from their professional communities. Studies show that professional development is more successful when offered in a community context. Community helps develop the trust that is required for both discussing challenges and receiving feedback about ideas or newly acquired skills. Peer-mentoring circles can be an important way to help create community and supportive networking environments for scientists from URGs, allowing for their increased engagement and retention in STEM fields. The Supporting Inclusion in Graduate Networks and Leadership (SIGNAL) group proposes a workshop focused on building peer-mentoring circles for ABS graduate students. A major goal of these peer-mentoring circles is to offer support and networking opportunities for members that identify as BIPOC scientists. For the workshop, we will develop peer-mentoring groups that align with the needs of ABS BIPOC scientists by bringing in trained professionals to guide these processes. Our initiative extends ABS efforts at both the undergrad (Turner Fellows) and postdoc/early faculty levels (WFAB program) to enhance representation in animal behavior. Our ABS-funded workshops in 2021, 2022, and 2023 were successful and we are continuing to build support networks for the next cohort of graduate students. Our group also coordinated POP circle mentoring training for the 2022 and 2023 Turner Fellows.