A brief history of ISBE

In October 1986, the first International Behavioral Ecology Meeting was held in Albany, NY, USA, organized by Jerram Brown, Thomas Caraco, Christopher Barkan and David Steadman. There were 22 invited speakers from 5 countries who spoke on a wide variety of topics relating behavioral ecology to ethology, population ecology and evolutionary biology. In addition, 115 poster papers were presented. It was attended by 370 participants and hugely successful. The organizers had recognized that behavioral ecology was a mature discipline in its own right. They wished to initiate the creation of a formal society that would facilitate communication through newsletters and regular future meetings and to lay the groundwork for a possible new journal that would be affordable to all members. In a general assembly, it was decided that 1) additional meetings would be held dedicated solely to the field of behavioural ecology, 2) a new, international society would be founded and 3) the feasibility of establishing a new journal would be explored. A six-member council was established to found the new society, consisting of Malte Andersson (nominating committee), Jerram Brown (treasurer), Mart Gross (meeting coordinator), Donald Kramer (chairman and newsletter editor), Geoffrey Parker and Larry Wolf (new journal coordinator and nominating committee). Via the newsletter, a tentative society name and constitution were developed and voted upon (July 1988), nominations for officers were received and voted upon (August 1988) and issues involving a new journal were discussed. 

By the next meeting in October 1988, the fledgling society had a name, a constitution and a set of 8 officers. Following an open discussion led by John Krebs, a vote was taken in Vancouver for the executive council to pursue the publication of a journal, with progress to be reported in the newsletter. The executive council then appointed a subcommittee of John Krebs, Linda Partridge and Randy Thornhill to undertake journal matters, including contacting possible publishers and negotiating with them. It was decided the journal should have two editors, one located in Europe and one in North America. A large list of possible candidates for the editorial board was drawn up from suggestions by the membership and whittled down to sixteen. The aim was for the board to cover as wide a range of subjects, taxonomic groups and geographical areas as possible. It was also intended that the journal reflect the full range of interests of members of the Society, covering all taxonomic groups, theory as well as empirical work and the links between behavioral ecology and neighboring disciplines. Eventually, Oxford University Press (US) was selected from seven interested publishers and Staffan Ulfstrand and Donald Kramer were named as founding coeditors in July 1989. The name Behavioral Ecology was chosen and a call for papers went out. Following an excellent response from members of the Society, the first issue of the journal appeared in August 1990. From then on, membership in the Society included subscription to the journal and numbers increased dramatically to rise above 1,000 in 1992, peaking at about 1,350 in 1998, and have stabilized at about 800 since 2004.


The ISBE was founded in 1986, and the constitution drawn up by the 1988 meeting. It has since been updated in early 2016.

Executive Council Members of ISBE


President, President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer

1988-1990 John Krebs, Linda Partridge, Hugh Dingle, Martin Daly
1988-1990 Nancy Burley, Manfred Milinski
1990-1992 Linda Partridge, Larry Dill, Felicity Huntingford, Paul Schmid-Hempel
1992-1994 Larry Dill, Nancy Burley, Walt Koenig, Paul Schmid-Hempel
1994-1996 Nancy Burley, Tim Birkhead, Patricia Parker, Carl Gerhardt
1996-1998 Tim Birkhead, Steve Emlen, Patricia Parker, Carl Gerhardt
1998-2000 Steve Emlen, Nick Davies, Marion Petrie, Carl Gerhardt
2000-2002 Nick Davies, Malte Andersson, Marion Petrie, Walt Koenig
2002-2004 Malte Andersson, Jack Bradbury, Paul Ward, Walt Koenig
2004-2006 Jack Bradbury, Marlene Zuk, Paul Ward, Walt Koenig
2006-2008 Marlene Zuk, Patricia Monaghan, Robert Magrath, Walt Koenig
2008-2010 Patricia Monaghan, Kate Lessells, Robert Magrath, Walt Koenig
2010-2012 Kate Lessells, Gunilla Rosenqvist, Robert Magrath, Walt Koenig
2012-2014 Gunilla Rosenqvist, Nina Wedell, Robert Magrath, Walt Koenig
2014-2016 Nina Wedell, Ben Hatchell, Bob Wong, Walt Koenig
2016-2018 Ben Hatchwell, Andrew Cockburn, Bob Wong, Patricia Schwagmeyer
2018-2020 Andrew Cockburn, Rebecca Kilner, Bob Wong, Patricia Schwagmeyer


1988-1990 Nancy Burley, Manfred Milinski
1988-1992 Arne Lundberg, Randy Thornhill
1990-1994 Patricia Gowaty, Tim Roper
1992-1996 Anders Moller, Gunilla Rosenqvist
1994-1998 Rauno Alatalo, Mark Elgar
1996-2000 Anders Berglund, Janis Dickinson
1998-2002 Jane Brockmann, André Dhondt
2000-2004 Marty Leonard, Linda Whittingham
2002-2006 Nina Wedell, Hanna Kokko
2004-2008 Naomi Langmore, Mats Olsson
2006-2010 Rebecca Kilner, Michael Jennions
2008-2012 Bart Kempenaers, Maydianne Andrade
2010-2014 Laura Roxana Torres Aviles, Bruce Lyon
2012-2016 Marta Manser, Jutta Schneider
2014-2018 Doug Emlen, Marie Herberstein
2016-2020 Suzanne Alonzo, Amanda Ridley
2018-2020 Dan Blumstein, Claire Spottiswoode


Behavioral Ecology Editors

1990-1994 Donald Kramer
1990-1995 Staffan Ulfstrand
1993-1998 Larry Wolf
1994-1998 Marc Mangel
1995-1998 Paul Schmid-Hempel
1997-2002 Innes Cuthill
1998-2002 Ron Ydenberg
1998-2003 Gunilla Rosenqvist
1999-2004 David Westneat (Editor in Chief)
2000-2006 Andrew Bourke (Editor in Chief)
2002-2006 Marlene Zuk
2002-2007 Ian Owens
2003-2008 Anne Houde
2003-2011 Mark Elgar (Editor in Chief 2006-2011)
2004-2007 Goran Arnqvist
2004-2008 Naomi Pierce
2005-2010 Mark Hauber
2006-2009 Will Cresswell
2006-2011 Rob Brooks (Forum Editor)
2007-2009 Jeremy Field
2007-2013 Sue Healy (Forum Editor)
2007-2012 Hans Hofmann
2007-2010 Daiqin Li
2008-2011 Iain Couzin
2008-2012 Candy Rowe
2009-2011 Deborah Gordon
2009-2011 Michaela Hau
2009-2012 Ben Hatchwell
2009-2013 Gil Rosenthal
2010-2012 Regina Macedo

2011-present Leigh Simmons (Editor in Chief)
2011-2013 Sarah Pryke
2011-2013 Anna Dornhaus
2011-2014 Sarah Pryke
2011-present Leigh Simmons (Editor-in-Chief)
2012-2014 Wolfgang Forstmeier
2012-2014 Alexei Maklakov
2012-2015 Alison Bell
2012-2014 Wolfgang Forstmeier
2012-2016 Paco Garcia-Gonzalez
2012-2016 Shinichi Nakagawa
2013-2015 Nick Royle
2013-2015 Glauco Machedo
2013-2016 Johanna Mappes
2013-2017 Bob Wong
2014-2016 Madeleine Beekman
2014-2016 Marc Thery
2014-2018 John Fitzpatrick
2015-2017 Naomi Langmore
2015-2017 David Stephens
2015-2019 Louise Barrett
2016-2016 Suzanne Alonzo
2016-2018 Jonathan Pruit
2017-2018 Dan Papaj
2017-2019 Luke Holman
2017-2019 John Skelhorn
2017-2019 Anna Lindholm
2017-2019 Michael Taborsky
2017-2019 Andrea Griffith
2018-2020 Ulrika Candolin
2018-2020 Amanda Ridley
2018-2020 John Quinn

The Society archives have been organized since 1994 by Wendy King at the Université de Sherbrooke. They contain newsletters, copies of minutes of executive and general meetings, conference programs and abstracts, election results, officers’ correspondence and other important papers such as financial records, the constitution and the agreement with Oxford University Press.

Interested persons may contact the archivist at the following address:

Wendy King
Tel: 819-821-8000 ext 62061
Fax: 819-821-8049

Département de biologie
Université de Sherbrooke
2500 boul. de l’Université
Sherbrooke, Québec
J1K 2R1



The International Society for Behavioral Ecology is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Copies of recent financial reports filed with the US Internal Revenue Service or the society's exemption application may be obtained by contacting the Treasurer.