Invitation from the IAVS President and Governing Board:
The 60th IAVS Annual Symposium 2017 in Palermo, Italy, is approaching fast and its preparation is underway. The annual meetings are always top events of the IAVS, places where people meet each other, present their scienti c results, discuss many
topics and initiate future collaborations. During the history of IAVS, the meetings were organized throughout the world (see the map next page). During the last 10 years we alternated between European and non-European venues. In 2017, the meeting
venue in the heart of the Mediterranean region will give the participants the opportunity to see precious Mediterranean ecosystems developed in long co-evolutionary processes with an active human society. The topic “Vegetation patterns in cultural and natural landscapes” expresses the genuine basis of vegetation science and its application in the modern, fast-changing world. This might be a reason why this year’s Symposium attracted many IAVS members to register. By now, 417 participants have registered coming from 57 countries (see the table next page for comparison with the last ten IAVS symposia). In total, the abstracts of 323 presentations were submitted, 168 of them will be presented as oral contributions. Moreover, the attendees will have a chance to listen to longer plenary lectures given by invited scientists that all have a closer relation to the main topic of the symposium. This year, the plenary speakers will be as follows: Jiquan Chen (Vegetation in Anthropocene: A postcard from Mongolian Plateau), Nigel P. Dunnett (Space for urban wildlife: designing green roofs as habitats), Ladislav Mucina (How to be a biome), David P. Ward (The hidden invasive species: the multiple roles of native invasive plants), and Nicklaus Zimmermann (Alternative forest management strategies to account for climate change-induced productivity and species suitability changes in Europe). Furthermore, a tribute will be given to F. Stuart Chapin (recipient of the von Humboldt award) and Sandro Pignatti (past president of the IAVS), and F. S. Chapin will also present a honorary lecture (Biogeography of social-ecological systems as a basis for predicting future change).
The Global Sponsorship Committee received 94 applications for nancial support from 38 countries, mostly from Brazil (22), Portugal and Russia (5 each), and Italy and Estonia (4 each). The evaluation process was not easy as the quality of applications was generally high, and only a limited number of applicants could be supported. Each application (including the abstract, a motivation letter and a CV) was evaluated by at least three (out of ve) committee members, based on several criteria such as the quality of the abstract and motivation letter, position of the applicant, country of origin and whether the applicant had received an IAVS award before (applicants from countries with high income or who had received the grant before had their grant adjusted by 70%). Finally, 29 awards (summing up to 19,530 Euros) were offered to applicants from 14 countries, mostly from Brazil (6), Estonia (4), China and Portugal (3 each), but also Indonesia and Iran.
We are looking forward to meeting you in Palermo in June! Pleasant journey and see you soon,
Martin Diekmann, President of the IAVS Riccardo Guarino, Organizer of the 60th IAVS Symposium Alessandra Fidelis, Chair of Global Sponsorship Committee Monika Janišová, Editor of the IAVS Bulletin