ATBC Newsletter – May 2016


  • Premier of the new ATBC logo at the Montpelier, France Annual Meeting
  • ATBC 53rd Annual Meeting in Montpellier, France, June 19-24: Reconciling conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
  • Conservation Asia: Sustainable landscapes for people, business and biodiversity in Singapore
  • ATBC Strategic Plan 2016-2020
  • Capacity Building Activities at Annual Conferences and Chapter Meetings
  • ATBC is now a member of IUCN
  • SECSCI (Student and Early Career Scientist) Chapter
  • Read Biotropica articles on your smartphone or tablet! But printed journal copies are available for purchase
  • New data archiving policy and data repository for Biotropica
  • Special thanks to Biotropica authors
  • Ways to get involved with ATBC
  • Benefits of your ATBC membership

Premier of the new ATBC logo at the Montpelier, France Annual Meeting

We all love the iconic Albizzia saman tree that has come to symbolize the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation for over 50 years. At the same time, we embrace change and seek new beginnings and the expanding role of ATBC globally. Several years ago, we embarked on a journey to develop an updated logo and new brand for ATBC. The details of our beautiful new design will remain a surprise until 19 June, 2016 in Montpelier. But don’t worry…let’s just say that the leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree. We hope you all come to love the new vibrant logo as much as we do!

Reconciling conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. What to expect at the ATBC 53rd Annual Meeting in Montpellier, France, June 19-24
Expect BIG THINGS! Join with 685 others to share knowledge, experience, and insights on how to move forward with our work in a world that desperately needs our contributions as tropical scientists and conservation researchers. Registrants are coming from 51 countries and will present 585 talks, 160 posters, and 7 keynote addresses. Be prepared for four full days of 72 oral sessions. Let’s get exhausted and enriched together! Plinio Sist and Pierre-Michel Forget are working very hard to bring you the best meeting possible, along with the organizing committee. Good things will happen here! And note that this meeting has achieved total gender parity among speakers and registrants! More info here!
Conservation Asia: Sustainable landscapes for people, business and biodiversity in Singapore
Conservation Asia 2016 ( is a joint meeting between the Society for Conservation Biology’s Asia Section and the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation’s Asia-Pacific Chapter. It will be held from June 29th – July 2nd in Singapore. Under the theme of “Sustainable Landscapes for People, Business and Biodiversity” the conference aims to break the mold of traditional conferences by inviting all stakeholders in the region beyond the usual academic and nonprofit circles, including business and industry. The meeting will employ multiple presentation formats such as speed talks, debates and lunchtime sessions in addition to regular talks, posters and workshops in order to be more dynamic and engaging. Student participation will be facilitated through scholarships and partnering students with a scientific mentor. Keynote speakers include Dr. Erik Meijaard from the NGO Borneo Futures and Dr. Ruth DeFries of Columbia University. There are currently over 550 delegates registered representing 39 countries giving a combined total of 42 symposia consisting of more than 430 talk, which includes 51 speed-talk and poster presentations. Workshop topics range from hard skills such as GIS and advanced statistics to soft skills such as communication, use of social media to disseminate science, and innovative ‘games’ to improve understanding.

ATBC Strategic Plan 2016-2020
In early 2014 the ATBC Council mobilized to develop a new forward looking strategy document that would both prioritize ATBC’s activities and provide a guiding path for the Association’s development over the coming years. To this end, the ATBC Council and Executive Board, as well as some invited ATBC members, got together for a day-long workshop immediately before the start of the July 2014 ATBC meeting in Cairns. This workshop generated a great number of ideas and suggestions, collectively reflecting not only what the ATBC membership has to offer, but also very considerable enthusiasm to build upon our knowledge and expertise for the sake of tropical biology science and conservation. The key issue was how to best capitalize on this expertise for the future. It is from this workshop that the strategic plan first began to emerge, with a view to define our values and priorities, and to develop pathways for our future activities. In the second half of 2014, Jaboury Ghazoul was given the lead in developing a text for the ATBC strategy. This text was informed by the Cairns workshop, but also by an extensive online survey distributed to all the ATBC members, to which we received a phenomenal response. Multiple draft texts were bounced around members of a small committee created for the purpose, and a revised draft was sent to the entire ATBC membership for feedback and comment. In April 2015, we completed a final draft that was given one last polish at the Council Meeting in Hawaii, in July 2015, and formally and adopted by the ATBC Council. Since then, the Strategic Plan has been beautifully formatted in color, and it can be downloaded here.

Capacity Building Activities at Annual Conferences and Chapter Meetings
The ATBC runs a wide selection of capacity building activities associated with annual conferences and Chapter meetings each year. These programs aim to meet the needs of upcoming researchers and conservationists and meet both their needs for new techniques and technologies, technical skills in core competencies (such as statistics, experimental design and spatial ecology) and soft skills such as applying for grants, and moving forward in academia. In addition to this we run mentoring programs at all of our meetings, which aim to pair students with a mentor in the fields they are hoping to move into and give them a tailored experience to work on issues they feel they would be most useful. Our mentoring activities provide the flexibility and a personal experience which allows the mentor and mentee to focus on anything the mentee would like support and advise on, from planning their conference experience, to research skills of advice on moving forward from their studies.
Capacity building activities aim to meet the needs of the next generation of future conservationists and tropical ecologists, and to work with our diverse network to create a stronger and more connected society for all members. Capacity building programs will be offered at the ATBC Annual Meeting in Montpelier and at the Asia-Pacific Chapter Meeting in Singapore. Six 45-minute lunchtime skill sessions are also being offered at the Montpelier meeting on writing blogs (Jaboury Ghazoul), getting your work published in the sciences (Stephen Turton), moving forward in Academia (Jennifer Powers), resolutions in conservation (Pia Parolin, Sophie Calmon, and Alice Hughes), writing and publication (Tomas Carlo) and meeting the Biotropica editors (Emilio Bruna). Ten lunchtime skill sessions are being offered at the Conservation Asia meeting in addition to eight capacity building workshops. If you are interested in joining the Capacity Building Committee, please contact Alice Hughes.

ATBC is now a member of IUCN
Last summer, ATBC applied to become a member of IUCN and we are now officially a part of this vital global international conservation organization. Tony Lynam and Alice Hughes will be representing ATBC at the IUCN annual meeting in Hawaii in September 2016.

SECSCI (Student and Early Career Scientist) Chapter
We created the SECSCI Chapter of ATBC in 2013 at the 50th annual meeting in San José, Costa Rica. Since then, we have organized successful events at each meeting to bring together students, early career scientists, and other like-minded ATBC members. The main goal of the SECSCI Chapter is to encourage the involvement of students and early career scientists in the Association and at annual meetings, to organize and promote activities that fit the interests of our members, and to encourage participation within this group and with all other members of ATBC. Past events we have organized include open annual meetings to discuss SECSCI ideas and a Hawaiian BBQ with KUPU (an educational program for local youths involved in the conservation of natural resources). At future meetings we plan to hold more social events to bring our members together, including a contest to choose a t-shirt design for the Chapter and a scientific photo/illustration exhibition.

Read Biotropica articles on your smartphone or tablet! But printed journal copies are available for purchase
You can now read Biotropica on your Apple smartphone or tablet – find our how here: Although we are now an online-only journal you can still get the printed copy of Biotropica sent to you if you want it (for an modest fee). Information on how to do so is at:

New data archiving policy and data repository for Biotropica

Recent years have seen an upsurge in the value placed by the scientific community on archiving in permanent repositories the data that serve as the foundation of published articles. In light of these important benefits to authors and the broader scientific community, the Editorial Board of Biotropica voted to implement a new Data Archiving Policy below for all manuscripts submitted after January 1, 2016. This policy, which you can read at, is an important and exciting step forward for Biotropica. We join an elite group of journals in our field that mandate data archiving, but in a way that meets the needs of our unique community of authors. First, our policy includes a generous embargo period of up to three years to ensure authors have ample time to publish multiple papers from more complex or long-term data sets. Second, our policy includes something that as far as we know is unique among data archiving mandates – language explicitly encouraging ‘Data Users’ to engage intellectually in true collaboration with ‘Data Generators’. Finally, the non-profit and NSF-supported Data Dryad was designed with ecological and evolutionary data in mind and is the repository of choice for many journals in environmental biology. While authors are free to archive in any repository that ensures data will be permanently archived, Biotropica will provide partial or complete waivers to offset the costs of archiving in Dryad to authors that cannot afford to do so. Some guidelines on archiving data, including links to articles that provide excellent suggestions on formatting, can be found here. On behalf of the Associate Editors, we would like to thank the Editorial Board, partners at Wiley, and the Data Dryad for working with us on these exciting changes.

Special thanks to Biotropica authors

We value your important contributions! Please keep sending us the exciting research that has made Biotropica a premier outlet for research on tropical biology and conservation.

Ways to get involved with ATBC:
  • Volunteer to teach skill sessions or become a mentor
  • Help to expand our capacity building program
  • Helping with fundraising for special initiatives
  • Sponsor a student or regular member who is unable to pay for membership
  • Get involved in establishing and supporting a regional chapter (Indian Ocean-Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America)
  • Contribute your ideas at the ATBC Town Hall Meeting in Montpelier!
  • Send your news to our newsletter! Let us know if you got a paper published, a grant, an award, or if you are teaching a new course in Tropical Ecology and Conservation field. Submit your item here.

ATBC membership

We are really glad you are part of the ATBC community! We would like to take the opportunity to remind you of your ATBC membership benefits:
  • Biotropica: The official journal of the ATBC with an Impact Factor of 2.084 (2014). Free access for articles;
  • Discounts for attending ATBC Annual Meetings: Annual meetings feature numerous symposia on cutting-edge topics and exciting post-conference field trips;
  • Support for Conservation Initiatives: The Association is playing an increasingly vigorous role in tropical conservation via the ATBC Conservation Committee, which is open to all members;
  • Be part of our chapters: Asia-Pacific Chapter and Student and Early Career Chapter. These chapters offer more focused opportunities for networking, meetings, and communication among members;
  • Awards: Including numerous travel awards to the annual meetings for students from developing countries;
  • Affordable Membership: Among the most affordable of all scientific societies, with major discounts for student members and those in developing countries;
  • Receive 35% discount on all Wiley books.