Minutes 1st Council meeting

Monday 26 August 2019 at 15.00 – 17.00; Room: “EOU Room”

Cluj, Romania



  1. Welcome to all, in particular to the new candidates for council election

Jan-Åke Nilsson welcomed the council and the candidates who could arrange to attend the meeting.


  1. Attendance and apologies for absence

Attendants of council:

Officers: Jan-Åke Nilsson, Barbara Helm, Alfonso Marzal, Oli Conz, Susi Jenni-Eiermann

Council: Elena Arriero, Andrey Bushuev, Jan Engler, Arne Hegemann, Wieland Heim, Toni Laaksonen, András Liker, Sara Lupi, Mark Mainwaring, Erik Matthysen, Peter László Pap, James Reynolds, Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Petra Sumasgutner

Candidates: Nayden Chakarov, Jordi Figuerola, Zoltán Németh, Andreas Nord, Valentyn Serebryakov, Suvi Ruuskanen, Arseny Tsvey

Apologies: Tamer Albayrak,  Zoltán Barta, Blandine Doligez, Alexander Mischenko (candidate), Madeleine Scriba,

Absences noted: Mateo Griggio, Marko Mägi, Grzegorz Neubauer, Alexandre Roulin, Matthias Weissensteiner


  1. Minutes of the last Council meeting of 22 Aug 2017 in Turku, Finland

The minutes were circulated by the secretary 4 September 2017 and 21 August 2019 before the 1st council meeting. The council approved the minutes without changes.


  1. Matters arising from the minutes

No matters were arising from the minutes that do not appear elsewhere on the agenda of this meeting.


  1. Arrangements for the Cluj conference

Peter Pap presented his report of the LOC. The preparations went without major difficulties. The number of registrations is within the expected range (about 360-400 delegates). The organization by a local professional company (“events design”) and the support by the web designer Gabor Bóné were of great help. Unexpected costs were the air conditions, necessary due to the extra-ordinary heat spell. Main goal was to organize the conference sustainably.  This was reached by e.g. offering re-usable bottles instead of plastic cups, ecologically justifiable lunch and arranging a mini-market with locally produced souvenirs


Erik Matthysen summarized his experiences as the head of the SPC. 11 symposia were submitted of which 2×2 symposia were asked to merge. Two of these did, the other two refused so one of them was accepted. Therefore, 1 additional symposium was invited after the dead-line for submissions. 44 poster submissions which were not chosen to be presented in an oral session, received the possibility to present their posters during a poster pitch session (1 minute per author). The two poster pitch sessions (2×22 minutes) were organized by Arne Hegemann after the plenaries in the afternoon.


  1. Treasurer’s report

Oli Conz has circulated his report which he will present during the General Meeting on 30 August 2019. The main expenses were pertained to the website (re-design, conference website, maintenance, hosting), the abstract management tool and the sponsoring for the EBBA2. Total expenses were 6204 €, the income is 3730 €. The financial statement was controlled by the auditors Reto Spaar and Johannes Kamp. Council agreed to recommend the report to the General Meeting.


  1. 2021 Conference:

Oliver Conz and Petra Quillfeldt have agreed to host the 2021 conference in Giessen, Germany. It will take place in the University of Giessen 6-10 September 2021. The venue is reserved.


  1. Fledglings

Wieland Heim gave his report from the Fledgling group.

  • The Fledgling Conference was organized by Dan Chamberlain, Enrico Caprio, Susanne Jähnig and held in Turin, Italy, 26-28 October 2018. 50 participants (B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD and Post-doc; 24 with talk) from 11 European countries took part. The plenaries were given by Dan Chamberlain, Barbara Helm and Daniela Campobello, the workshop on meta-analysis by Peter Batary. The conference was successful; the only problem was to find sponsors. Croatia offered to write a proposal for the next EOU Fledglings meeting in 2020.
  • The EOU Fledglings Evening during EOU2019 in Cluj will be organized by Jan Engler, Susanne Jähnig and Wieland Heim.
  • Fledglings’ event 2018 at IOC in Vancouver/Canada was organized by Robyn Womack and AOU. 120 participants took part during the question & answer session and the pub evening.
  • The EOU Fledgling Facebook group has 396 members.
  • The fledglings are looking out for young delegates to take over responsibility.


Questions/Answers: Q: Are the fledglings EOU members? A: There is certainly some recruitment for the EOU, however numbers are not known. Q: Shouldn’t the fledgling event during the EOU conference be announced? A: Wieland will remind the delegates tomorrow after the first plenary.


  1. EOU web-site and social media

The questions were how we could improve our web-site and our presence in social media. Jan Engler reported that the Twitter account has 122 followers. He recommended to use the existing Twitter account of the EOU website for the next EOU conference t and not to establish a new one.

Comments: The MLSG would like to be more active on Twitter (B. Helm). W. Heim: someone has to be appointed for this task. Up to now J. Engler and thereafter Robin Womack were responsible.

  • The council is asked to provide names of someone to take care of the twitter account


  1. Special Interest Groups

“URBICON” Urban Birds: Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo has started “The Urban Birds”. On 20 August 2018 at the IOC in Vancouver a Pre-Symposium, organized by the European Ornithologist Union, has taken place about “Applied aspects of avian urban ecology – an international initiative”. Co-conveners were Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo, Mark Mainwaring, James Reynolds and Petra Sumasgutner. Jim Reynolds: the aim of this network should be made clearer to the EOU members.

MLSG (Migrant Landbird Study Group): This group is independent, but was founded at the EOU and coordinates closely with the EOU for meetings. Wieland Heim is the connecting council member. A reorganization of the group is going on. Several members stepped back, but a new Executive Committee has been formed. A Satellite symposium for the EOU 2021 in Gießen is planned.


  1. Council report to the General Meeting (drafted during this meeting)

Jan-Åke Nilsson summarized what he will report: EOU activity at the IOC in Vancouver 2018 (Pre-symposium, booth with the possibility to register at the EOU, unofficial council meeting), changes of statutes, fledgling meeting Turin, pre-symposia of Cluj (MLSG, Ecotone-Telemety, biological data base management).

Comments: The Ecotone symposium was not well attended. Apparently there were misunderstandings in the registration process and communication to the participants. The registration process and communication about satellite meetings should be improved in the future.

Council agreed to the Council report to the General Meeting.


  1. Any other urgent business

Registration process for EOU members: not all delegates are EOU members. The disadvantage for a non-member is that his/her address is not included in the mailing list and he/she will not receive the information sent out by the EOU. The main reason why many EOU participants are not registered is that the website is fully visible, also for non-members. Possible steps to motivate website visitors to register: 1) a registration tick-box to become EOU member when registering at the conference, 2) building a wall on the website that not all information is visible (e.g. abstracts of the past conference). The second proposal was rejected, because we prefer to enable open access to the publications.


Gender ratio in the EOU (council, talks): Oli Conz asked what the council proposes to improve the gender ratio in the council and EOU in general. Summary of the discussion: While there was no problem to have a balanced gender ratio for plenaries, only few females submitted a symposium. When reviewing abstracts, gender is often not clear because of internationally less known given names. Although it might be difficult to have a gender balanced ratio because of other trade-offs (balance of research fields, countries, scientific quality), the council agreed that we should at least give a try. To have a basis for further discussions, the exact numbers should be known. Possibilities to improve gender ratio: 1) council members should encourage female researchers to submit symposia and talks, 2) abstracts should be reviewed anonymously, 3) an optional tick-box on the conference registration site where gender can be indicated.


Post scriptum:

Statistics made by Erik Matthysen:

Plenary speakers: 3 female, 3 male (50% males)

Symposium conveners (those effectively present at the meeting): 7 female, 12 male (63%)

Symposium keynotes: 5 female, 5 male (50%)

Symposium non-keynote talks: 15 female, 25 male (62%)

Oral sessions: 46 females, 74 males (62%)

Posters (early July list): 72 females, 99 males (58%)


  1. Arrangement for next Council meeting (Saturday, 31 August, 2019, from 09.30)

No comment


Sempach, 7 September 2019

Susi Jenni-Eiermann

EOU Secretary

with contributions by the council