Sponsored Symposia

SSE Symposium Instructions

The Society for the Study of Evolution supports symposia (typically two) at its annual meetings in order to highlight new topics, provide new perspectives, or generate new syntheses. The exact configuration of symposia may vary from year to year, but proposals should tentatively assume six half-hour slots. The exact timing will be confirmed at the time a proposal is accepted. Funding is provided ($9000 per symposium) to offset registration and travel costs of the speakers and organizers[1].

Symposium proposals may be submitted by any SSE member and must include:

  • A title and list of organizers, with affiliations.
  • A synopsis of the symposium theme (one page). This synopsis should clarify what is novel or synthetic about the symposium and why it would be of interest to the membership of the society.
  • A statement that the symposium and its participants are unique among recent SSE sponsored symposia (one paragraph). Symposia from the past three SSE meetings should be consulted to ensure that there have not been recent related symposia (see below). In case of overlap, the proposal must differentiate itself clearly from the recent symposium. If the proposed topic helps fill a gap in the areas covered by past SSE symposia (e.g., in terms of sub-field or taxonomic focus), this should be highlighted.
  • A list of speakers, including institutional affiliations, career stage (i.e., student, postdoc, junior scientist <10 years post-PhD, senior scientist), and tentative title. Organizers may or may not be speakers.
  • A description of how the topic of each speaker’s proposed talk fits together with the theme of the proposal (one page). This is particularly important in cases where the connection of a title to the topic and/or to the field of evolution is less clear. This section should provide a rationale for how the talks will fit together to support the theme of the symposium.
  • A statement that all potential speakers have been contacted and agree to participate in the symposium.
  • A diversity statement detailing the ways in which the organizers have ensured that the speakers reflect an array of perspectives (one paragraph). Symposium organizers are expected to take into account gender, seniority, nationality, and other aspects traditionally underrepresented in Society symposia when preparing proposals.
  • A reference section.

In evaluating proposals, SSE Council considers the novelty of the topic and likely interest among its members. Sub-fields or taxonomic groups that have been underrepresented in past symposia will be considered preferentially. The Council seriously considers the diversity of participants as a criterion for symposium funding. In addition, Council will favor those proposals whose topics concern newly emerging fields, fields ripe for syntheses, and fields and participants different from those that have been included in recent Society symposia.

[1] The SSE Council accepts requests for additional funds for child support if this would allow a speaker to attend. This request can be made in item (7) by stating: “Additional funds are requested for child care to facilitate the attendance of [specify number] speakers.”


Recent SSE Symposia

2018: [Not applicable. Joint meeting with ESEB.]

2017: Evolution 2017, Portland, Oregon

  • Evolution in Urban Ecosystems [Organizers: Emily Puckett and Jason Munshi-South]
  • The Impact of Stress on Genetic Variation [Organizer: Laurie Stevison]


  • How and why? Towards an evolutionary physiological synthesis [Organizer: Chris Muir]
  • Co-evolving genomes: Cooperation and conflict in cytonuclear interactions [Organizers: Justin Havird, Geoffrey Hill, and Daniel Sloan]


  • Epigenetics and Evolutionary Processes [Organizers: Joshua Banta and Christina Richards]
  • The multiple dimensions of biodiversity science [Organizers: Ana Carnaval and Christopher Dick]
  • When Gene Flow Really Matters: Gene Flow and Applied Plant Evolutionary Biology [Organizer: Norman C. Ellstrand]

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