The 40th Annual Professional Biology Conference and AGM

May 10, 2019

Thompson Rivers University Conference Centre, 805 TRU Way, Kamloops, BC.

See information on Accommodations

Forty years already!  The Association of Professional Biology is pleased to host the 40th Annual Professional Biology Conference and AGM at the TRU Conference Centre in Kamlooops, BC.  An event not to be missed!  It offers a unique opportunity to learn from leaders in various applied biology fields, and build connections across industry, government and conservation organizations.

Join us for a day of plenary sessions on Friday May 10 and take advantage of continuing professional development opportunities offered on May 9 and 11.  Workshops and field trip to be announced.

Theme:  “Resilience in Practice”

Species at risk, population declines, ecosystem functions, economics, and science… where should we be putting our efforts?

The intensity of wildfires and extreme weather is increasing as the effects of climate change continue to spread. Biology Professionals have critical role in addressing these issues, while being faced with some of the greatest challenges in effecting change. We work in the trenches of environmental planning as roads are built, forests are harvested, and decisions are being made to manage the land base, decisions which are often fraught with competing interests are being made.

There is opportunity to build resilience in practice. Diversity in ecosystems increases chance for survival through redundancy, new growth where old growth is lost, and advantage gained by mixture of specialists and generalists responding to the chaos of nature. Resiliency in ecosystems can reduce the threat of fires and buffer against the extremes of weather, but we are seeing evidence that of a planetary-wide breaking point.

A goal of this year’s AGM is to invite speakers to talk about the different priorities and approaches that are being advocated by government that, in turn, frames how we respond as a profession. Species at risk are a legislated priority, but what about the common species whose populations face continued decline? What about migration? Fish passage through culverts has been restricted as much as the migratory pathways of amphibians are being fragmented by the construction of roads.

Should we be focusing our efforts and financial resources on the rare and endangered or the common and abundant organisms that are important for the ecosystem services they provide? Billions of western toad tadpoles filter through mountains of sediment in aquatic ecosystem across the province and that is something we might want to sustain as well. How does this relate to the economics or science in our practice? These are the difficult questions that we will be addressing through lively debate in our 2019 AGM, which is being held at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

Who should attend:

The APB annual conference attracts Biology Professionals, natural resources managers, researchers, industry representatives, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations. Whether you contributed to successful project implementation, developed policy or guidelines that influences practice within the applied biology community, or you just want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to network and learn from the experience of others, this conference is for you!

Call for Abstracts

For our 2019 AGM and conference, the APB is inviting speakers to address the issues of priority.  Given our conference theme, we look forward to a diverse range of abstracts being submitted.

Example topics include:

  • Valuing common species
  • Species at Risk and Ecosystems at Risk Legislation
  • Declining populations, homogenized landscapes, and loss of genetic diversity.
  • Resilience and cumulative effects.
  • Ecosystem services and functions.
  • Declining population, homogenized landscapes, and reductions in genetic diversity.
  • Migration and shifting climates.
  • Can professional reliance address the Anthropocene mass extinction?

We are welcoming abstracts until March 31, 2019.

Guidelines for Submitting Abstracts


Dr. Kevin Gaston

Professor of Biodiversity & Conservation, University of Exeter, England.

Dr. Kevin Gaston is Professor of Biodiversity & Conservation, at the University of Exeter. He was the founding Director of the Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter (2011-17). He has received multiple prestigious awards, including the Honorary Doctorate, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2017), the International Ecology Institute (ECI) Prize in terrestrial ecology (2017), the British Ecological Society Marsh Award in Ecology (2013), and the ISI Web of Knowledge Highly Cited Researcher (2003-Present).

Dr. Gaston’s research addresses a wide range of conservation issues, including the effects of artificial light on wildlife, improving urban greenspace, ecosystem services, and technological advances for use in ecological science. His presentation to the APB will focus on the importance and value of conserving common species to challenge some widely held notions about priority in conservation science. He has published well over 500+ articles, multiple books, and edited volumes into these topics including:

The biological impacts of artificial light at night: from molecules to communities.
Gaston, K.J., Visser, M.E. & Hölker, F. (eds.).  2015. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Urban ecology.
Gaston, K.J. (ed.) 2010. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

See research and publications form Dr. Gaston.

Tradeshow 2019


To celebrate our 40th AGM, the exhibition will be setup in the beautiful Rotunda, a unique space for tradeshows and cocktail receptions. The exhibition will run all day, concurrent to the plenary sessions, and carry on with the APB Reception from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm on Friday May 10.

This year 2 styles of booths are offered to accommodate the room’s features:  The full-size 8’ x 8’ booth, and the half booth with a table and drape backdrop only.

Please see Booth Reservation Form for more details.


Dr. Michelle Marvier

Professor, Santa Clara University, California

Dr. Michelle Marvier is a professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University. She has published over 40 articles, and she currently serves on the editorial board of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Her research into new approaches to conservation has caused a stir in the halls of traditional thinking on this topic. As noted in one of her recent publications: “Soule (2013) describes some of the work of my colleagues and I as belonging to a ‘chimeric movement’ that ‘does not deserve to be labeled conservation’.” This has not deterred Dr. Marvier from moving forward on her passion in conservation science. Dr. Marvier is interested in a new conservation science that brings people and communities into balance as co-beneficiaries of conservation action.

“As scientists we must follow the data where they lead, regardless of whether the answers fit with our preconceived notions. Nowhere is this more at issue than in environmental science where some answers are uncritically accepted as right and good, while other answers can land us in a lot of hot water with our peers.”

Dr. Marvier has developed unwavering commitment to science as she teaches her students to develop scientific habits of mind to counter confirmation bias, to critically question the conventional wisdom, and to strive for effectiveness rather than righteousness. To help foster this kind of thinking more broadly within the environmental community, Dr. Marvier has focused her energy in recent years on two book projects:

Effective Conservation Science, Data not Dogma.
Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman (editors). 2017. Oxford University Press.

Conservation Science, Balancing the Needs of People and Nature. 
Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier.  2014.  WH Freeman & Co.

See research and publications form Dr. Marvier.

Conference Agenda

Stay tuned for more details on plenary sessions and speakers.

MAY 10, 2019

Registration  - Continental Breakfast will be served
7:00  am -  9:00 am

APB 40th AGM

8:15 am - 9:10 am

Opening Keynote - Dr. Kevin Gaston
9:10 am - 9:40 am

Plenary Sessions
9:40 am - 4:00 pm

Closing Keynote - Dr. Michelle Marvier
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Spacial Ecology and Statistics Using GIS and Effective Design

Saturday May 11, 2019
Alpine Room, TRU Conference Centre, Kamloops.


Mark Thompson, MSc, MEd, RPBio
Senior Research Ecologist
DWB Consulting Services Ltd.

Stay tuned for more details.