Some His­tory and Gen­er­al Information

The European Soci­ety for Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy (ESEB) was foun­ded on 28 August 1987 in Basel (Switzer­land), with about 450 evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gists attend­ing the inaug­ur­al con­gress of the Soci­ety; Arthur Cain became the Soci­ety’s first pres­id­ent. The found­ing of the ESEB was closely linked to the launch­ing of the Soci­ety’s journ­al, the Journ­al of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy, with Steph­en C. Ste­arns as the first Edit­or in Chief, and the first issue appear­ing in Janu­ary 1988. See the edit­or­i­al open­ing of the journ­al; see also Steve Ste­arns’ account of the early days of the ESEB.

ESEB aims at sup­port­ing the study of organ­ic evol­u­tion. Beside pub­lish­ing the Journ­al of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy and co-pub­lish­ing Evol­u­tion Let­ters, the soci­ety organ­izes a bian­nu­al con­gress and sup­ports oth­er events to pro­mote advances in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. ESEB also sup­ports activ­it­ies to pro­mote a sci­entif­ic view of organ­ic evol­u­tion in research and education.

Since its found­a­tion, the ESEB has grown and matured, with cur­rently more than 1500 mem­bers, while the Journ­al of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy became a major journ­al in the field. This reflects the growth of the evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy com­munity in Europe and bey­ond, which the Soci­ety helped to foster.

The suc­cess of the ESEB would not be pos­sible without many mem­bers who devoted their time and effort to the Soci­ety and the journ­al: elec­ted officers, con­gress organ­izers, mem­bers of the coun­cil, com­mit­tees, and the edit­or­i­al boards of the Journ­al of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy and Evol­u­tion Let­ters.

ESEB is com­mit­ted to provid­ing a safe, inclus­ive and respect­ful envir­on­ment. Our Code of Eth­ics and Code of Con­duct out­line our val­ues and the stand­ards that we expect all our mem­bers, officers, board and com­mit­tee mem­bers and con­gress par­ti­cipants to adhere to. If you exper­i­ence, or are aware of, any form of inap­pro­pri­ate beha­vi­or with­in the con­text of ESEB activ­it­ies, and if you want to report this, or speak to us about it, you can con­tact our con­fid­en­ti­al­ity advisor Ms. Joanne Hard­ing (Work­force Win­dow Ltd,

In con­tact­ing our con­fid­en­ti­al­ity advisor in this way, your name would not be com­mu­nic­ated fur­ther and no actions would be taken without your con­sent. How­ever, the con­fid­en­ti­al­ity advisor may report the case in anonym­ized form to the ESEB Steer­ing Com­mit­tee. You can also report or speak about a case of (poten­tial) inap­pro­pri­ate beha­vi­or dir­ectly with the ESEB Steer­ing Com­mit­tee ( or with the ESEB Office Man­ager Dr. Ute Friedrich (; your case will then be brought to the atten­tion of the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee. The Steer­ing Com­mit­tee is respons­ible for hand­ling com­plaints, which may include involving an extern­al party or our con­fid­en­ti­al­ity advisor to invest­ig­ate the case, and for decid­ing on appro­pri­ate actions.

Constitution & Bylaws

The Eng­lish ver­sion of the soci­ety’s con­sti­tu­tion is avail­able here: ESEB Con­sti­tu­tion 2018 (EN). If you would like to receive the Dutch ver­sion, please send a request to the ESEB office (

The ESEB Bylaws are avail­able here: ESEB_Bylaws

Code of Ethics

ESEB Code of Ethics

Code of Conduct

ESEB Code of Conduct

Policy Plans

Annual Activities Reports

Annual Financial Reports

General Members’ Meeting

All mem­bers of the Soci­ety are invited to the Gen­er­al mem­bers’ Meet­ing, which takes place dur­ing the ESEB con­gress or vir­tu­ally in non-con­gress years. The meet­ing minutes are pub­licly available: