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From 12 to 16 September, the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ), the largest ecological association in the German-speaking world, will take place in the Neues Augusteum at Leipzig University. Under this year’s motto – “The future of biodiversity – overcoming barriers of taxa, realms and scales” – more than 1,000 participating ecologists will explore and discuss the biodiversity challenges of the future.

The conference will take place under the auspices of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv). iDiv has made a name for itself as a hotspot for biodiversity research. Seeing the bigger picture is part of everyday work here – and is becoming increasingly important in the face of pressing issues such as climate change and global biodiversity loss. As host of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ), iDiv is now bringing more than 1,000 ecologists to Leipzig to explore precisely these and other challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The keynote speeches by renowned international speakers will also address these very challenges: Leonore Fahrig (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Esther Turnhout (University of Twente, Netherlands), Vojtech Novotny (Czech Academy of Sciences and founder of the New Guinea Binatang Research Center), and Lilian Busse (Vice-President of the German Environment Agency, UBA). In addition, six symposia will focus on selected topics of biodiversity and ecology. The full programme is available on the conference website.

The theme of this year’s conference has been chosen to reflect current challenges and developments: “The future of biodiversity – overcoming barriers of taxa, realms and scales”. In the coming years, it will be important to develop appropriate strategies to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – at international, but also at national and EU level. Only an integrated approach, bringing together different research fields, can support the implementation of these legal frameworks.

The conference will be the organisation’s first annual conference to be held in person in the German-speaking region since 2019. Interest in the event has been overwhelming: for the first time, the conference was fully booked well in advance, with over 1,000 delegates. The opening will take place on Tuesday, 12 September, at 10am in the Auditorium maximum (Audimax). Speakers include the Rector of Leipzig University, Professor Eva Inés Obergfell, the Mayor of Leipzig for Environmental Affairs, Heiko Rosenthal, GfÖ President Professor Christian Ammer and the conference chairs Professor Nico Eisenhauer (iDiv, Leipzig University), Professor Aletta Bonn (iDiv, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ) and Professor Henrique Pereira (iDiv, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg).