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International Union for the Study of Social Insects

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News 26 January 2024

The section had a very interesting an productive winter meeting at Bristol on the 18th & 19th December 2023. At the Annual General Meeting, various section initiatives were discussed and approved:

A lifetime honorary membership for the section was given to Prof. Koos Boomsma, in recognition of his contribution to the IUSSI and specifically our section over the years (including stints as section and international president, and the donation of his Hamilton Award prize money to help establish the section archive and to secure the (digital) future of the international archive).

The option for three-year membership was introduced to the members - see the "joining" page

The section has now switched over to a web-based membership administration service, "joinit", which will simplify joining the section or renewing membership - see the "joining" page

The section also approved the provision of student grants for the forthcoming European IUSSI congress in Lausanne, and has now launched a call for applications - see the student grants page.

The wbmaster & archivist presented a brief annual report - see the archive page.


News 28 September 2023

A dedicated web site for the section winter meeting, to be held 18-19 December in Bristol, has now been set up, thanks to the hard work of Patrick and Christoph Grueter - You can find this at: https://socialinsects.wixsite.com/iussi2023

As usual, the winter meeting is only open to members of the section, but registration fees that include section membership are included. We have also taken this opportunity to introduce 3-year memberships, which are available in combination with the registration fee, or separate from the meeting (see also details on the "how to join" page)

One exception to the "section members only" rule is those from the global south who would like to attend virtually - see the above web site for details

News 4 July 2023

After his appointment as Secretary General at last year's international meeting, section member Mark Brown has produced his first newsletter, which contains much useful information about developments in the IUSSI in general, and forthcoming international and European meetings.

You can find the newsletter here.

News from the 2022 winter meeting

Thanks to Paul Eggleton for hosting the meeting at the Natural History Museum, London, and to all the organizers and helpers.

Congratulations to Christoph Grüter, who was elected as the new section treasurer. See the officers page for contact details.

News 11 December 2022

The webmaster's and archivist's report for 2022 can be found here: Webmaster Archivist report 2022


News from the 2022 International Meeting

The section was well-represented at the International IUSSI congrress in San Diego (3-7 July 2022), despite COVID-19 associated travel issues.

Congratulations to section member Patrick Kennedy, who was the recipient of the inaugural West-Eberhard award, and gave a talk on "Life advice for wasps".

Congratulations also to former section president, Mark Brown, who was elected Secretary General of the IUSSI at the meeting.

Other news can be found on the IUSSI international news page.

News from the 2021 Winter Metting

Despite switching to a virtual format last minute due to covid restrictions, the Winter meeting of 2021 was very successful with an excellent diversity of topics and speakers of all career stages. Our plenary talk by Dr. Claire Carvel was a fascinating and comprehensive overview of research efforts on bumblebee ecology and conservation in the UK – many thanks again to Claire! Prizes were also awarded for first and second place presentation and flash talks (in lieu of posters).

The previous president and secretary of the NW European section retired, having come to the end of their 3-year terms. Many thanks to Seirian Sumner and Michael Poulsen for their stirling work over the last few years.

At the meeting, the following officers were elected:

President: Elva Robinson

Secretary: Christopher Pull

Welcome aboard to both of them, and feel free to contact them if you have any relevant information (see the officers page). In particular, any items for the section newsletter should go to Chris.

Fabio Manfredini agreed to stay on as section treasurer for 2022, but will be replaced at the 2022 Winter Meeting, and David Nash will continue as webmaster.

News 7 December 2021

Dear NWE IUSSI members 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty, we have decided to move the NWE IUSSI Winter meeting to be predominantly online. 

If you have signed up to join in Oxford, Chris Pull is happy to still host a hublet at Oxford, so that the plenary can be attended in person and so that anyone who has booked non-refundable travel can still come. However, if you have registered to participate in Oxford but would be prefer to participate online instead, please let Chris know (christopher.pull@zoo.ox.ac.uk). 

If you have submitted an abstract to present a poster but would like to present a fire talk instead, please contact Chris Pull (christopher.pull@zoo.ox.ac.uk). 

The meeting will be free of charge for all attendees. If you have already paid, you will be contacted by Fabio Manfredini to arrange for reimbursement.

All registered attendees will receive a zoom link by email shortly before the meeting.

Lastly, we are still looking for members who are interested in running for president and secretary (see news item below), so don’t hold back!

Best wishes


News 13 November 2021

More details of this year's Winter Meeting, to be held in Oxford on 17 December are now on-line. Note that the deadline for absctarct submission for talks and posters is 1 December 2021, and that a limited number of travel grants are available for the meeting.

Nominations are being sort for the new section President and Secretary

After almost three years as President and Secretary, respectively, it is time for Seirian Sumner and Michael Poulsen to step down. Fabio Manfredini will continue as Treasurer until the 2022 Winter meeting.

The AGM at the upcoming Winter meeting will include a vote from the membership on the future President and Secretary. If you would like to nominate yourself, please email Michael (mpoulsen@bio.ku.dk) in advance or bring your nomination up during the meeting.

You can find a brief description of the tasks associated with these positions here, and the section terms of reference here.

News 27 March 2021

Site News: Many apologies if you have had any problems accessing the site over the past few months - The Copenhagen University IT department, which hosts the site, decided that all the old (and less secure) web servers should be shut down, including that hosting the International and NW European IUSSI web sites. This meant that they have been only intermittently available, and I have not been able to do many site updates because I have not had site access. The site has now been transferred to a new, and more secure server, so everything should be back up and running now (although it will take me a while to catch up with a few things). As a result of the new server, and a brand spanking new security certificate, you should now to able to access the saite at both https://www.iussi.org/NWEurope/ and https://iussi.org/NWEurope/, and the secure "https" form is preferred over the old "http".

Section News: The Section AGM took place at the virtual Winter Meeting 2020, and various decisions were made that are relevant to ll members. You can find a PDF document with the minutes of the AGM here: AGM2020minutes.

The most important decisiopn was probably that the subscriptions fees for the section have increased for the first time since 2004. The new rates are £20.00 for full members and £10.00 for student/reduced rate members. See more details, and access the subscription forms here.

During the 2020 Winter Meeting, Chris Pull volunteered to host the 2021 Winter Meeting in Oxford, which has subsequently been confirmed.

News 22 December 2020

The Winter Meeting of 2020 was held as a virtual event, over three afternoons (16-18 Decmber 2020) due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the unfamiliar format, the meeting was a great success, and we attracted some 150 participants

More news from the meeting will appear here shortly. Thanks to everyone who participated and made this another exciting winter meeting!

News 7 October 2020

Due to some (as yet unidentified) technical problems, several updates to the site made over the course of 2020 have not been successfully posted online... They have now been implemented.


News 28 February 2020

Section treasurer, Fabio Manfredini, has now completed his move to Aberdeen, and so details of officers, grants and subscriptions have been updated accordingly.

At the 2019 winter meeting, it was decided to establish several small section commitees for section social media, section PhD students and section Postdocs. More details of these will be added to the officers page soon, as will several suggested additions to the web site.


News 22 December 2019

The winter meeting of 2019 was once again hosted by Prof. Paul Eggleton at the Natural History Museum in London and it was an excellent day, with a crowd of about 75 social insect enthusiasts and a broad range of social insect taxa, research questions, and methods represented. Thanks to Paul for hosting!

Thinking a bit outside our social insect box, we had an excellent plenary presentation by Prof. Beth Okamura, Natural History Museum London, on colonial life in bryozoans. As always, we also had a brilliant set of talks and posters. From the student talks, Charlie Durant (University of Leicester) got first price for her excellent talk on phages in ants, with runners up being Samadi Galpayage (Queen Mary’s) on bumble bee play and Veronica Sinotte (University of Copenhagen) on social insect microbiomes. The price for best poster went to Alice Walker (University of Liverpool) for her work on ant effects on savanna herbivory rates and runners up were Rosie Knapp (University of Leeds) on dopamine and queen mandibular pheromone control in honeybees and Hollie Marshall (University of Leicester) on imprinted genes in social insects. Congrats to everyone!

During the business meeting, the most important decisions were to have another one-day meeting in London in 2020, followed by a two-day meeting in 2021, tentatively in Copenhagen. The business meeting also included the Treasurer’s report: The finances of the section are healthy and with 20 new members added during the winter meeting, the section now has about 150 members. After an extra year on the post, Elizabeth Duncan (Leeds) stepped down as Treasurer (thanks for all your hard work, Liz!) and Fabio Manfredini (currently Royal Holloway, soon Aberdeen) is the new Treasurer of the section. The President and Secretary discussed several new initiatives to increase visibility of the section, including adding PhD, postdoc/research fellow, and social media representatives to the section committee. A number of people expressed interest in helping develop this over the coming year, so sub-committees are now being formed.

Thanks to everyone who participated and made this another exciting winter meeting!


News 18 October 2019

Several updates have been made to the web site, including changes to ensure GDPR compliance.

The "Who's Who" page has essentially been removed (only the webmaster is listed there currently), since this gave personal information on members that they had not explicitly given permission to share after GDPR came into effect in May 2018. We will restore information here as and when members provide their explicit permission, and hopefully at the same time check that their details are correct, and which of them they are willing to share. We are currently examining whether there may be any issues with the "Who's Where" page, but this in general does not contain personal information.

The membership forms have also been updated to explicitly state what personal information we will hold and with whom we will share it. In brief: "Your personal details will be held in accordance with the EU/UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. Names, e-mail addresses and affiliations of members are stored in a secure file, only accessible to members of the committee, and used only for official NW European IUSSI communications. Names and e-mail addresses may also be shared with the central IUSSI committee for official purposes, but will otherwise not be shared."

In order for students to apply for funding from the section to attend international IUSSI meetings, students normally need to have been a member of the section for at least one year prior to the application deadline. However, students beginning their studies in October 2019 and registering as a member in October/November will pay their 2020 fees, and still be counted as being a member since 2019.

Two perks:
* Members receive a discount when registering for the winter meeting in London (Dec 16th).
* Students that register this October, are then eligible to apply for travel-funding for the EURO IUSSI 2020 in Toulouse, France.

Having a subscription to IUSSI is a great way to support the world of social insect research. Membership is cheap (£7.50 for students, £15 for full members). One additional perk of being a member is that it provides large discounts when registering for IUSSI conferences. Applications for section membership can be found here


News 29 September 2019

The section newsletter has now been re-imagined on-line, and is accessible to all: The September newsletter can be found at: https://sway.office.com/FthDa2n0HB7fLTen

"We felt the yearly format resulted in newsletters that were long and time consuming to read. Therefore, we are (provisionally) changing to a monthly format. We hope this will result in more engaging & easy to digest content. This format also allows us to make announcement such as new job opportunities."

Winter meeting 2019:

This year's winter meeting will be organized by Seirian Sumner and Paul Eggleton. It will be a one day meeting taking place on the 16th of December at the Natural History Museum of London. More information will be available soon! Each winter meeting is a great opportunity to see and/or present talks, and afterwards grab a beer to meet your fellow scientists.

Looking for a new section treasurer:

Elizabeth Duncan will be stepping down as the treasurer of the northwestern section of the IUSSI. Are you interested, or do you know anybody that would be? Let us know! The new treasurer will be chosen at the winter meeting, so make sure to let us know in time if you are interested. If you would like to volunteer, or know a suitable candidate (who must be U.K.-based), please contact anyof the section officers.


News from the 2018 winter meeting

The 2018 Winter meeting was a 1-day meeting held at the Natural History Museum, London on the 20th December.

At the meeting, two new officers were elected:

President: Dr. Seirian Sumner (UCL)

Secretary: Dr. Michael Poulsen (Copenhagen)

Liz Duncan agreed to continue as treasurer in the absence of a replacement candidate, but applications for this position are being sought with a view to a new treasurer being appointed at or before the 2019 winter meeting.

It was also decided that the membership fees would, once again, remain unchanged for 2017.


Roundup of news from the XVIII International congress in Guarujá, Brazil

The 2018 Hamilton award

The fourth Hamilton Award was presented to long-time member of the NW European section Jacobus (Koos) Boomsma. The award consisted of an engraved glass ornament, and a monetary award of US$ 1000, which Koos donated to the IUSSI to suppport the digitization of the union's archive.


New officer

Jennifer Fewell was elected as president at the general assembly meeting, in association with hosting the next international congress (see below)

Other officers that have agreed to continue in their posts are Madaleine Beekman (Secretary-General), Chris Star (Archivist) and David Nash (Webmaster)


New editor-in-chief of Insectes Sociaux

After 4 years as editor-in-chief, Michael Breed is stepping down, and will be succeeded by Miriam Richards.


Financial sub-committee

Joan Herbers stepped down from the committee, and has been succeeded by Rachelle Adams. The other members of the sub-committee, Mark Brown and Heike Feldhaar, remain in office.

The next international congress

The XIX international congress of the union will be hosted by the North American section, and will be held in San Diego, California in summer 2022.


For earlier news items, please see the archive of newsletters

This site is maintained and promoted on the Internet by David Nash email to: DRNash@bio.ku.dk
Last modified Friday, January 26, 2024