Professional associations in ethology

Credit: Atos International

Credit: Atos International

Professional associations embody and further the professional or scientific field they are concerned with. Through their websites, they are an extremely useful source of job and internship listings, mailing lists, newsletters, links to other associations, as well as information on conferences, meetings, grants and awards, courses, programs and workshops. This is why I think it is a good idea to learn about them, perhaps join one or two that are closest to your interests and/or geographical range, but at the very least bookmark their websites and subscribe to their mailing list if they have one.

I have compiled a list of animal behaviour associations that are ‘field’-specific, rather than taxon-specific (except may be for the very last one), dividing them in ‘generalists’ and ‘specialists’. It is possible that I failed to mention one or more that you may think should be included here. If so, don’t forget to mention it in the comments.


The International Council of Ethologists‘ [ICE] website features an extensive list of associations organized by country or continent. Plus, it co-organized ‘Behavior 2013’, happening in August in Newcastle, UK, which gives reason to look forward to their next conferences (I think).

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology [SICB] has 7 awards and scholarships for students, a rather impressive listing of jobs and fellowships, TONS of information and resources, and an annual meeting. The society is structured in divisions by sub-fields and there is one for animal behaviour.

The Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior [SQAB] has a journal – Behavioural Processes, an annual symposium, links to lab pages from members, as well as an announcements list and a Yahoo! eGroup that can be subscribed to.

The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour [ASAB] is based in the UK. It organizes meetings at least thrice a year and offers a rather wide range of grants, even to undergraduates. It also provides links to some other associations according to research topics. Its journal is Animal Behaviour.

The Animal Behavior Society [ABS] concerns North America but it is related to ASAB through Animal Behaviour. It offers a total of 15 different grants and awards (!!!) and its ABSNews forum always has interesting postings.

The Australasian Society for Study of Animal Behaviour [ASSAB] provides student research grants and a variety of student prizes.

The Société Québecoise pour l’Etude Biologique du Comportement [SQEBC] is based in Québec, Canada, so its website can be viewed in either French or English. It contains brief explanations about certain research areas, a directory of university departments in which animal behaviour is studied, and, finally, a list of associations and journals. It also has a mailing list.

The Société pour l’Etude du Comportement Animal [SFECA] is French. It has directories, an active mailing list, offers awards to either french or foreign scientists, including young researchers.

The Ethologische Gesellschaft concerns German-speaking countries and the Netherlands. It awards the Niko Tinbergen (for post-docs) prize every other year and funds research. Its booklet ‘Etho News’ is published twice a year and is available on their website, as are job vacancies and an index of research institutes. Its journal is Ethology.

The Argentinian Association for the Behavioural Sciences [AACC] meets once a year. Its website contains, among other things, a list of publications and links of interest (all in spanish).

The Sociedad Portuguesa de Etologia [SPE] is Portuguese. I can’t read the language so I don’t have much more information.


The International Society for Behavioral Ecology [ISBE] has conferences every other year and a journal – Behavioral Ecology. It posts available positions and gives an award for excellence in research.

The Comparative Cognition Society [CCS] has a database of papers published by their members, 3 communication resources that you can sign up for, a YouTube channel and a Facebook group. The CCS Research Award honors contributions to our understanding of animal cognition. You can also find on its website photos of past conferences.

The International Society for Comparative Psychology [ISCP] hosts a biennial meeting. On their website, there are links to numerous other associations, information about their meetings, but most notably, free online issues of the International Journal of Comparative Psychology.

The Spanish Society for Comparative Psychology [SEPC] has meetings every year and a Facebook group.

The International Society for Neuroethology [ISNE] hosts congresses in addition to meetings on more specific topics. It offers awards to students, young and confirmed researchers. Its website features educational resources, links, and job opportunities.

The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology [SBN] offers lots of awards. You can find links of interest on their website but information on jobs is visible only to members.

The International Society for Applied Ethology [ISAE] organizes international congresses and regional meetings. It posts employment opportunities and other useful information.

The International Society for Human Ethology [ISHE] has a biennial conference, a biennial summer institute and 3 awards for doctoral students.

You can find a search engine and more information on scholarly societies here.


3 thoughts on “Professional associations in ethology

  1. argylesock

    I’ve found it very useful to be part of professional associations relevant to my science. The conferences in particular are great opportunities to find out what people are doing and to showcase your own research. Displaying a poster can find you new ideas, new collaborators, and feedback before you publish.

    1. Ria Pi Post author

      For sure! I’ll go to my first conference in April, though only as a “tourist”, and I can’t wait. I’m also a big fan of mailing lists because, through them, I learn about existing research groups, trending topics, the sort of jobs that are available and the positions’ requirements. I find that it’s especially useful for student to know what to expect employment-wise.

  2. Pingback: 8 Tips for Seeking Internships in Science | Behaving Animals

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