Birds and net zero | #BOUasm24

24 October 2024


HYBRID | York, UK & Zoom & X (Twitter)
BOU autumn 2024 conference

Hybrid format: in-person and online

This will be the first BOU conference delivered as a hybrid event, both in-person at Novotel York Centre in York, UK and online via Zoom. Speakers are encouraged to attend in person, but delegates will have the option to register to attend either in-person or online.

In-person venue (Novotel York Centre)

Call for abstracts

The call for abstracts for oral and X(Twitter)-only presentations is open. Please submit your abstract for an oral or X(Twitter)-only presentation via the relevant link below. Speakers are encouraged to attend in person.

Registration will open in late summer 2024. Registration will be required to deliver an in-person oral presentation. No registration is required to deliver an X(Twitter)-only presentation or participate in the parallel X(Twitter) conference.

Submit your oral presentation abstract* here. Deadline: 30 June 2024 (09:00 BST)

Submit your X(Twitter)-only presentation abstract here. Deadline: 31 August 2024 (09:00 BST)

* Please note that all oral presenters are asked to deliver a parallel presentation on X (Twitter), for which full guidelines and support are provided. See ‘Our parallel conference format’ below for details of the parallel X (Twitter) event.


Registration is not yet open, but rates can be viewed here

Conference theme, aims and scope

Reaching the global target of net zero carbon emissions is essential to avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change on species and ecosystems. However, in achieving net zero, we must minimise the environmental impact of decarbonising the energy industry.

Renewable energy developments have the potential to impact birds in a number of ways, from the negative, for example through collisions with turbine blades, displacement from important habitat, and barriers to movement, or positive, for example through foraging or nesting habitat provision. However, there is considerable uncertainty in the population-level consequences on birds due to a lack of mechanistic understanding linking behavioural changes and demographic consequences.

The pressing need to sustainably meet our energy demands is driving the rapid implementation of new technological and analytical approaches, offering new research opportunities to better understand the ecological mechanisms of impact and their consequences at species- and ecosystem-levels, the interactions of multiple pressures, informing how we can best avoid, mitigate or compensate for negative effects.

This conference aims to showcase the latest research into the ecological impacts of, and the mechanisms behind, our transition to net zero on birds, explore novel analyses, methodologies and technology providing solutions to previously unanswered questions and connect researchers, policy-makers and industry stakeholders.

This conference will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Area-based impacts: understanding collision risk, displacement and barrier effects;
  • Indirect impacts: food webs, habitats and ecosystem function;
  • Cumulative impacts and understanding uncertainty;
  • Understanding population-level impacts and demographic consequences;
  • Unlocking new evidence: novel approaches to meeting evidence gaps
  • Finding effective solutions: mitigation and compensatory measures


Aonghais Cook

The Biodiversity Consultancy, UK

Unlocking new evidence: novel approaches to meeting evidence gaps

Michael Heath

University of Strathclyde Glasgow, UK

Ecosystem approaches to understanding impacts

Cat Horswill

ZSL Institute of Zoology and University College London, UK

Understanding population-level impacts and demographic consequences

Plus more keynote announcements to follow!

Our parallel conference format

The BOU strives to make all our events inclusive and accessible. To help achieve this we run all in-person and virtual Zoom conferences as dual platforms events with a Twitter (X) conference running alongside the main in-person/virtual event.

Every presenter at an in-person/virtual event is required to tweet a summary of their presentation as part of the parallel Twitter event. We will also include additional Twitter-only presentations during the breaks of the in-person/virtual event.

For example, our BOUsci20 virtual Zoom event attracted an ‘in-the-room’ audience of 375 registrants, but the parallel Twitter event had over 550 participants, an ‘in-the-room’ audience of >1,600 people and a wider reach of 750,000 – from right around the world.

Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter is genuinely open access as you don’t even need an account to follow the Twitter event content. The BOU knows Twitter inside out having championed its use to promote ornithological research for the last decade and we’ve been running and sponsoring Twitter conferences for some years. Because of this, take-up within our community is very high – 75% of BOU2019 delegates were on Twitter!

Presenters will be provided with extensive guidelines on how to tweet your presentation on Twitter, and you will be able to use either your personal or institute account. If neither of these are available, then we the BOU social media team will be on hand to discuss other options for you to present your work on Twitter.

See also Presenting at a Twitter conference

Scientific Programme Committee

Aly McCluskie | Chair | RSPB, UK
Katherine Booth Jones | Scottish Government, UK & BOU Meetings Committee
Kate Searle | UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Chris Thaxter | BTO, UK

Misty morning (top banner) | Susanne Nilsson CC BY-SA 2.0 Wikimedia Commons
Barn Swallows (top small) | Don McCullough CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia Commons
Birds and turbines (bottom) | Rob Stoeltje CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia Commons

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