Shaun Killen BW.png


Section Chair: Shaun Killen, University of Glasgow, UK

The Animal Section of the SEB has a diverse range of interests in whole-organism biology. But we are also interested at the links to cellular processes at lower levels of biological organisation, as well as associations between physiology, locomotion, and behaviour in the context of ecophysiology or ecology. However, the core theme is the biology of the whole organism.

The Animal Section has a number of special interest groups covering different areas of animal biology that you are welcome to join. These interest groups help to organise sessions at our Annual Conference and our Symposia. Each interest group is headed by a group convenor and, along with our co-opted member, make up the SEB Animal Section Committee.

Below is the list of animal biology interest groups - click on a group to find out more:


SEB Members are invited to submit proposals for Animal Biology sessions for our 2022 Annual Conference.  

For our 2022 Annual Conference, the Animal Section will be running three themes. Proposals are accepted for topics that sit within these themes, but we also welcome proposals in any area of the   Animal Section Interest Groups. Further information can be found below:

Find out how to submit a proposal here.


Individuals within the same species can differ substantially in their morphology, physiology and behaviour. This variation can arise from intrinsic factors, such as genetic inheritance, age, sex, and reproductive status, but also from environmental factors such as habitat quality, temperature, food availability, and social dynamics. The combined influence of these factors is complex and can cause permanent phenotypic effects that can carry-over to subsequent generations. Understanding the degree and source of individual variability are also key for understanding the ability of populations to cope with environmental change. For this theme, we seek contributions that explore this complexity and explore the eco-evolutionary implications of individual variation within species. 


The life cycle of animals includes transitions from one life-stage to another with the ultimate goal of successful reproduction. Studies of wild populations suggest potential changes in reproduction, development, and the timing of critical life-history events due to changes in environmental conditions, including climate change, with potentially broad consequences for population viability. Within this theme, we invite sessions focused on current research in animal reproduction and development, including fecundity, endocrine regulation, metabolism, mate-choice, breeding, as well as the ecological, evolutionary, and conservation implications of changes in these traits. Sessions may also include topics on other life-stage transitions and senescence, and how these are affected by ongoing environmental change.


Most animals experience variation in factors such as temperature, pH, oxygen availability, food and water. The physiological systems of animals have therefore evolved to optimise function in the face of this variation, which can either limit or enable animal performance. Adaptations can include “capacity” adaptations for gas transport, neuromuscular function, digestion, immune function that support locomotion, growth and reproduction when conditions are benign. Conversely, physiological systems must support survival when conditions are not permissible for growth and reproduction. These “tolerance” adaptations can, for example, allow some animals to endure temperature extremes, anoxia, drought, starvation etc. The physiological traits important for high physiological capacity can be quite different from those supporting physiological resilience at environmental extremes with many animals switching among physiological demands and selective pressures over various timescales. We call for sessions that review factors affecting physiological capacity, and physiological tolerance relevant to the environmental fluctuating conditions that animals experience over daily, seasonal and historical timescales.

Each year the Animal Biology Section organise a series of scientific sessions as part of the SEB's Annual Conference, alongside satellite meetings each year which are attached to the SEB Annual Conference as well as a symposium every two years. In addition, £5000 is available each year for the Plant Section to run a satellite meeting attached to the SEB Annual Conference.


Members are welcome to submit proposals for sessions at the SEB Annual Conference and for symposia and satellite meetings.

Find out more about how you can submit proposals *here*.