Post provided by Dominic Henry, Res Altwegg & Jasper Slingsby

Do you have a passion for biodiversity, and a flair for numbers? Would you like to network with like-minded individuals? Perhaps it’s time to find out more about cutting edge research at the interface of statistics and ecology? If the answer to any of these questions is “YES!”, then you need to check out ISEC2022.

The Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation (SEEC) invites you to ISEC2022 in Cape Town, South Africa, 27 June – 1 July 2022; the first International Statistical Ecology Conference (ISEC) to be held in Africa!

Registration is open and we would like to welcome all of you to join this exciting event, either in person or virtually. You need to hurry though, the early bird registration with great rates closes on 1st April 2022.

There are many great reasons to participate in ISEC2022. We’re going to breakdown our top 6!

1. In-person networking is back!

Credit: Chris Oosthuizen

We’ve all had a tough couple of years and if you take a minute to think about it you’ll realise that the July 2018 was the last time the ISEC community got together in-person to share in all that a conference can offer! That’s far too long in our books. So, for those of you who can travel to Cape Town, the conference will be a great opportunity to connect with old friends in person, make new friends, and generally just benefit from all of the good things that come along with face-to-face interactions. We’ll be taking the necessary COVID precautions to make sure that the event is safe for all joining. If you’re not able to join in person then never fear, ISEC2022 is a fully hybrid conference. We are going to do our best to make the virtual experience as engaging and fun as possible.

2. Cape Town & South Africa!

It’s true that we’re slightly biased, but we think Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with incredible levels of biodiversity right on your doorstep. Cape Town is perhaps the most biodiverse city in the world, situated within the Cape Floral Region Global Biodiversity Hotspot. With over 9000 plant species in the region and incredibly high levels of endemism there is a wealth of unique wildlife to explore and immerse yourself in. Over 3000 of these plant species occur within the City’s boundaries! A visit to the incredibly picturesque, world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will give you a great feel for this diversity. If animals are more your thing then we’ve got some pretty special ones too (African Penguin anyone?).

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is the heart of the city and is very easy to access from the conference venue. TMNP contains one of the few remaining African Penguin colonies in South Africa. Visitors are able to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures. If ticking off a penguin is something you’ve wanted to do then there is no need to make the arduous trip to Antarctica! The highlight for many people is a visit to the tip of the Cape Peninsula which has vast and incredible ocean and mountain vistas, amazing plant and bird diversity, endemic antelope and cheeky baboons.

Apart from the wildlife and natural beauty, Cape Town also has a rich cultural heritage. The oldest city in South Africa, ”The Mother City’s” cultural heritage spans 300 years, with diverse colonial influences and indigenous cultures coming together to fascinate visitors with a rich experience.  Enjoy traditional and exotic restaurants, diverse music and theatre, or experience Cape Town’s beautiful landscape when going on a wine tasting tour. We’ve got some great prearranged tours available – see here for more information.

3. 290 presentations!

Credit: Chris Oosthuizen

Abstract submission has closed and we were thrilled by the enthusiastic response from the ISEC community. The scientific planning committee has worked hard to review the abstracts and we now have a final tally of 228 oral presentations and 62 poster presentations. In terms of presentations that’s over 3400 mins of engaging content! Given the breadth of topics that will be covered there is bound to be something that interests all of our attendees. In order to accommodate all of these fantastic talks we’ll be running 4 parallel sessions. There is no need to be torn between two sessions that you might want to watch – all talks will be available as recordings for you too watch in your own time. If you’re wondering about the type of the talk and poster topics then take a look at this impressive list: abundance estimation, animal movement, big data, biodiversity, capture-recapture, citizen science, community dynamics, disease ecology, distance sampling, epidemiology, evolutionary ecology, fisheries, individual-based models, integrated population models, metapopulation dynamics, multispecies models, occupancy models, population dynamics, spatial ecology, species distribution models, and survey design. Phew!

On top of all of these great contributed talks we have an exciting line up of plenary speakers including

  • Dr Iadine Chadès, CSIRO Brisbane, Australia

Talk: Decision analysis and adaptive management for conservation

  • Dr. Beth Gardner, University of Washington, USA

Talk: Spatial capture-recapture

  • Dr. Olivier Gimenez, CNRS Montpellier, France

Talk: Statistical ecology, hidden Markov models and the management of large carnivores in Europe

  • Dr. Joseph Ogutu, University of Hohenheim, Germany

Talk: Hierarchical Bayesian state-space modelling of age-and sex-structured wildlife population dynamics

  • , Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

Talk: Challenges and opportunities for conservation in Southern Africa

  • Dr. Luthando Dziba, South African National Parks, South Africa

Talk: We need to do more to halt biodiversity loss!

See our plenary speaker webpage here for more information on our guest speakers.

4. Workshops!

Credit: Chris Oosthuizen

There is a long tradition of ISEC hosting amazing pre-conference workshops. ISEC2022 is no different and we’re proud to say that we’re offering 6 outstanding workshops on the weekend leading up to the conference. These include:

  1. Modelling environmental DNA data
  2. Tidy Data Manipulation and Animal Movement Modelling in R
  3. Hierarchical modeling with NIMBLE
  4. Bayesian Analysis of Capture-Recapture Data with Hidden Markov Models in NIMBLE
  5. Advances in quantifying space-use and habitat-selection of animals
  6. Hidden Markov models for animal movement and other ecological data

The week before the workshop, Marc Kéry and Michael Schaub will hold their popular 5-day workshop on integrated population models. Watch this space.

There is still availability for the workshops so book your spot now to avoid disappointment! Visit our website here to learn more about the workshops and how to sign up.

5. Don’t miss the conference dinner at the Gold Restaurant

The conference dinner is going to be one to remember. It will be a culinary tour around Africa with lots of entertainment and a chance to learn to drum!

6. Cape Town!

Did we mention how great our city is?

Need to know more? Please get in touch!

For more information on ISEC2022 visit our website at

Keep up to data by following the official ISEC Twitter account @ISEC_stats_ecol or follow our Facebook page @ISECstatsecol

To learn more about SEEC go to or on Twitter at @SEEC_UCT