Minutes 2nd Council Meeting

Minutes 2nd Council meeting

EOU Council meeting

Saturday 31 August 2019, at 09.30, Room: “EOU room”


  1. Attendance and apologies for absence, welcome to new council members

Jan-Åke Nilsson welcomes the new and continuing council members and the former council members who could attend.  Attendants:

Officers: Jan-Åke Nilsson, Barbara Helm, Alfonso Marzal (until 11:00), Oli Conz, Susi Jenni-Eiermann

Council: Nayden Chakarov, Jordi Figuerola, András Liker, Sara Lupi (until 10:30), Mark Mainwaring,  Erik Matthysen, Zoltán Németh, Andreas Nord, Peter László Pap, Suvi Ruuskanen, Arseny Tsvey, Wieland Heim

Former Council: Tamer Albayrak, Elena Arriero, Andrey Bushuev, Jan Engler, James Reynolds, Judy Shamoun-Baranes

Apologies:  Blandine Doligez, Arne Hegemann, Toni Laaksonen, Petra Sumasgutner, Alexander Mischenko

Absences noted: Mateo Griggio, Grzegorz Neubauer, Valentyn Serebryakov, Alexandre Roulin


  1. Co-opting of members to council

Petra Quillfeldt and optionally a representative of the Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz e. V. (HGON) as the new local organizers and Susanne Jähnig as responsible person for the Twitter account will be co-opted.


  1. Minutes of the Council meeting of 26 August 2019

Draft-Minutes will be circulated after the conference. Every attendant is asked to give his/her comment.


  1. Matters arising from the minutes unless taken up elsewhere

Barbara Helm: The Scientific Program Committee (SPC) chair should be appointed. Judy Shamoun-Baranes and Jim Reynolds were asked to serve as chair. Judy thanked but rejected because of the additional workload, Jim will reflect on the offer. Erik Matthysen: The main tasks of the SPC chair are to put the program together, while reading of abstracts can be delegated to the committee. The Online Oxford System is very easy to load and review abstracts, but less suitable for preparing the booklets; for this Zoltan Barta’s script from 2017 was of great help.

Further discussion:

Judy Shamoun-Baranes: What will we do to balance gender ratio? Summary of the discussion: Exact ratio is not known, but apparently about twice as many male than female delegates were symposia conveners. Problem: In total there were not as many submissions that a choice could be made.  Possible steps: Councils should encourage female researcher and in general young scientists of both sexes to submit more symposia proposals. Apparently young scientists do not dare to organize a symposium. Senior researchers who give a plenary could organize a symposium and invite young scientists of their respective research field. Number of symposia should not be fixed, however it is preferable to always have an equal number of parallel symposia.

  • In the call for submissions young scientists should be addressed
  • Inclusion of tick box for gender and stage of carrier (voluntarily)



  1. Experiences from the present conference

Officers and council thanked Peter Pap for what has been a wonderful conference. They also thanked Erik for an excellent programme.

Peter Pap appreciated the help of a financial expert to prepare the budget. He also advises to have some extra money (5’000-10’000 €) for unforeseen events. The account of the Cluj Conference is not yet finished, but most probably there will be a surplus of about 6’000 and 8’000 € (total income: 99’234 €, costs: ca. 97’636 €) after transfer of the per-delegate fee to the EOU (currently flat of €10).


  1. Helm: Were the tools Martin Muir created useful? P. Pap: About 5-10% of the basic design was useful. It was essential to have a web designer, Gabor Bóné. He will pass over all information to the next convener. Martin Muir has already the necessary information. The Facebook and Twitter accounts could be continued. Jan Engler: The EOU Twitter account has 750 followers, the Cluj account 200. To avoid a redundancies the official EOU Twitter account should be used. Peter Pap will update the guidelines and pass them over to the next convener.


Nayden Chakarov: Will there be a press release? The conference was present in the Romanian Media; however the question is, whether the conference should be more present in the social media. Options to become more visible to the public: Organisation of a public day for local people (e.g. invitation of students, good experience by Suvi Ruuskanen at the Evolutionary Biol. Conference in Turku), a video presentation at the AOS, advertisement via the BTO, the World Seabird Conference.


  • Would organisation of child care be an option?
  • Time keeping during oral sessions should not be done by the chair, or the chair should be the last to speak. Clock on the screen was very helpful. Plenary speakers should be notified about the time left.
  • Name tags: Name should be more visible, carton instead of plastic. It was very convenient to have all information on the tag instead of giving coupons.
  • Roundtable: They took place very late; however they should not take place in parallel to symposia. Alternative timetables are possible, e.g. having a long break during the day and evening talks.
  • Dinner at last day? Many people leave the conference after the last symposium. Therefore it was held the day before.
  • Could the conference be extended by using the first day?


  1. Scientific committee for 2021

Councils willing to serve in the scientific committee: Tamer Albayrak, Jordi Figuerola, Jan Engler, András Liker, Zoltán Németh, Jan-Åke Nilsson, Andreas Nord, Mark Mainwaring,  Alfonso Marzal, Peter László Pap, Suvi Ruuskanen, Petra Sumasgutner

Optional: Elena Arriero, Sara Lupi


  1. First thoughts about the 2021 conference (and possibly beyond)

Oli Conz has booked the venue (University of Giessen) for 6-10 September 2021. He will start the organisation together with Petra Quillfeldt and members of the HGON (Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz) after the Cluj conference. His aim is to have a sustainable conference.

Discussion: Shall the EOU restrict to vegetarian diet during the conference? Opinions are controversial about the pros and cons of vegetarian food.

  • Diet is a personal matter and should be decided individually. The decision which type and composition of food (local, organic, ratio of meat versus vegetarian) will be offered is left to the local convener.


Tamer Albayrak would like to prepare a proposal for 2023 in Turkey, either in Izmir or Antalya. András Liker would like to prepare a proposal for Hungary. Since his plans are still vague, this proposal might eventually be an option for 2025. There was also a very tentative offer by Turin, Italy.

Comments: Concerns were raised that the venue in Antalya (very touristic seaside resort) might not be suited for a conference. There might also be constraints due to blocked hotel rooms by tour companies.

  • Tamer Albayrak and András Liker were asked by Jan-Åke Nilsson to prepare a proposal


  1. Remaining businesses not settled during the 1st council meeting



  1. Matters arising from the General Meeting 30 Aug. 2019

Nayden Chakarov: Proposal to have a press release in form of an open letter with a statement about the environmental problems with current EU practices in relation to farming.

  • Nayden is asked to prepare such a letter to be circulated among council.


  1. Opportunities to meet in 2020

World Seabird Conference, Pan African Ornithological Conference, North American Ornithological Conference


  1. Any other urgent business

Jan Engler: EOU should become a stronger lobby for nature conservation on EU scale and maybe work together with BirdLife office in Brussels.


Nayden Chacarov: EOU should give a clear statement on EU agriculture laws (see also at 9).


Olli Conz: More outreach is planned for next EOU conference, inviting conservation organisations to increase visibility of EOU research.




Sempach, 8 September 2019

Susi Jenni-Eiermann

EOU Secretary

with contributions from the Council