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Durban: The unique biodiversity it offers

The International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU), which has convened the world’s largest summits on avian biology since its first congress in 1884, will partner with the University of KwaZulu-Natal to organize the 28th IOCongress® in Durban, South Africa, 15–19 Aug. 2022.

Recently, more than 1,600 scientists and other professionals came together for the IOCongress2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia in August 2018. Durban hosted the event the one time it was convened in Africa in 1998.

The IOCongress2022 will provide both the core traditional IOCongress where ornithologists can meet, network, present their work in person, and experience the birding environment of southern Africa, and a virtual IOCongress where ornithologists can fully participate without having to travel to Durban. All symposium and oral presentations, posters, workshops, round table discussions, and exhibits will be accessible live or in pre-recorded form for every conference delegate regardless of their location. This will allow participation in any part of the IOCongress at any time, removing the usual limitations of parallel sessions and lack of time to see and take part in everything of interest at the conference.

The traditional in-person IOCongress will provide the core event and the catalyst to make the larger, virtual conference exciting and immediate. In-person attendees will have a more immersive conference because every presentation, Q&A session, and everyone will be accessible, balanced by exciting local birding opportunities and field trips.

Virtual attendees will benefit by taking part fully in a real, live event, with its spontaneity, immediacy, and excitement. All virtual participants will have the opportunity to attend sessions in the live IOCongress in small break-out groups, re-creating either the randomness and chance meetings that often make a conference, or the reunion of already established groups of conference colleagues.

Everyone, whether attending in person or virtually, will be fully connected to each other through the conference platform, allowing meetings and networking to function much more easily.

All IOCongress contributions will be both pre-recorded and live, allowing participants to switch between in-person and virtual attendance.

Professor Colleen T. Downs, National Research Foundation SARChI Research Chair, Centre for Functional Biodiversity, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, will serve as convenor for the event, appointed by Professor Dominique G. Homberger, IOU president and alumni professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Contributions for inclusion in the IOCongress™ 2022 conference can now be submitted.  Click here for more information.

Request for more information

If you are interested in possibly attending the IOCongress in 2022 and would like to receive all updated information regarding the conference.

Click here to register.

Back a Birder

Should you wish to sponsor or contribute to a young academic attending the congress please email either for more information:

Dr Sandi Willows-Munro
Dr Eli Bridge 

Funding Support of Attendance

Requests for partial support of attendance will be considered starting in February 2022.

Please click here for more information.