Eurasian Grassland Conference 2020

17th Eurasian Grassland Conference

Grassland dynamics and conservation in a changing world

Tolosa, Spain

07– 13 September 2020


    Second call

    The 17th Eurasian Grassland Conference (EGC) will take place between 7-13 September 2020 in Tolosa, Spain. The conference is organized by the EDGG and the University of the Basque Country. It is supported by the Basque Government, the Government of Gipuzkoa, the City Council of Tolosa, the University of the Basque Country and Hazi (Public agency for rural, coastal and food development). The theme of the 17th EGC is Grassland dynamics and conservation in a changing world. The conference aims to improve our knowledge of the diversity and management of Palaearctic grasslands in face of global change. We intend to emphasize the following topics in four sessions: 

    1. Succession and species turnover in abandoned grasslands

    2. Biodiversity of urban grasslands

    3. Above and belowground grassland diversity

    4. Grassland conservation and global change

    5. Classification of Palaearctic grasslands and other open habitats

    Below given is an overview of the program. We invite you to register and join us in Tolosa!


    The registration link will be available on this page by the 1st March 2020. We invite you to join us in Tolosa. Deadline for the registration: 1st May 2020


    7 September

    8 September


    9 September

    10 September


    11-13 September

    Workshops, registration

    Talk and poster sessions including keynote lectures by

    Alfonso San Miguel and Monika Janišová, followed by a touristic tour

    Mid-Conference excursion, grassland party and auction

    Talk and poster sessions including keynote lecture by

    Frank Yonhong Li, followed by the general assembly and closing ceremony

    Post-conference excursion


    Sheep heard grazing on Violion caninae
    Mares and foul in Violion caninae
    Calf and cow in Gorbia mountain

    Views from Okolin mountain, Navarre (left) and Gorbea Mountain, Basque country by Juan Antonio Campos


    We are delighted to welcome three keynote speakers to the conference. Alfonso San Miguel, professor at the Department of Natural Systems and Resources in the Polytechnic University of Madrid, will provide an overview of the diversity of natural and semi-natural grasslands in Spain and their associated biodiversity, and on their conservation status after the changes in their management during the last decades. Monika Janišová, a researcher at the Institute of Botany in the Slovak Academy of Sciences, will present several examples of traditional nature-friendly farming practices on species-rich semi-natural grasslands in the Carpathian Mountains and emphasize the importance of traditional ecological knowledge. Frank Yonghong Li, a professor in the School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, China, will provide an overview of species diversity and vegetation dynamics of the Eurasian steppes in relation with climate and land-use changes, with a special focus on conservation challenges.

    Please visit the Keynotes page to find more information about keynote speakers.

    Alfonso San Miguel
    Monika Janisova
    Frank Yonghong Li

    Keynotes of the conference: Alfonso San Miguel,  Monika Janisova and Frank Yonghong Li


    The conference will be held in Tolosa (Basque Country, Spain, with 20,000 inhabitants), a historic town in the province of Gipuzkoa, 25 km away from the province capital, San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque), a famous touristic location, a 20-30 min. train journey away (, Gipuzkoa; The registration and conference sessions will be held in TOPIC, the Tolosa Puppets International Centre, in Tolosa city centre: Euskal Herria, 1. Please find detailed information about the venue, accommodation options, travel details and visa issues in the Venue page.

    Map of Tolosa, please click to see in Googlemaps.

    Registration, important dates and fees

    The registration interface will be open on 1st March on which you can register, upload abstract and access to preliminary invoice. Early bird registration and travel grant application deadline is the 20th April. The deadline for the late registration, abstract submission and post-conference application is the 1st May. Please visit the  Important dates page to find other deadlines. 


                                                             Early Bird Registration      Late Registration

                                                                 Until 20th April                    until 1st May

    Student IAVS members                             €150                                               €180    

    Students, not IAVS members                   €170                                               €200

    Other IAVS members                                 €200                                               €230

    Non-students and non-IAVS members   €220                                               €250


    The registration fee provides full participation in the conference, including registration and conference materials, admission to the conference, lunches and coffee breaks on 8th and 10th September, mid-conference excursion with lunch pack, grassland party, and Meet the Editors workshop. The basic registration fee does NOT include two optional events: the post-conference excursion (€275) and the workshop on Orthoptera (€20). Please visit the  Fees page to find the details about the payment, cancellation and refunding.

    Child care service

    A childcare service will be offered upon demand and free of charge. Please indicate during registration if you will need it.


    Cows near Bilbao (left) and mares and foal in Aralar Natural Park (center and right). Photos by Itziar García-Mijangos


    17th EGC offers two optional workshops on 7th September:

    • Meet the editors workshop will provide an opportunity to participants to meet with to meet with editors of high impact journals, ask questions about peer-review process and get useful. It will be facilitated by Didem Ambarlı. The workshop is free of charge.
    • Introduction to Orthoptera workshop will provide key aspects on the taxonomy and ecology of grasshoppers, katydids and crickets through a brief course indoors and practical activities in the field. It will be led by Rocco Labadessa who is an expert in insect ecology and conservation, with specific studies on orthopteran ecology and biogeography. This event is optional, with a fee of €20.

    Please visit Workshops page to find details on the workshops. Please register for the workshops during your online registration.

    Saga pedo
    Tylopsis liliifolia
    Prionotropis appula

    Saga pedo, Tylopsis liliifolia and Prionotropis appula by Rocco Labadessa


    17th EGC offers a mid-conference excursion to the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park on 9th September and a post-conference excursion in Navarre from 11-13th September. The mid-conference excursion aims to show participants the biodiversity-rich grasslands of the Cantabrian valleys and mountains in the Basque Country. Two optional excursions are planned: 1) Mountain walk to summits of Aizkorri mountain range, 1551 m a.s.l., led by Javier Loidi, where participants will enjoy hiking through forests, several grassland types, heathlands and rupicolous habitats near the summit; and 2) Visit two farms, meadows and pastures in Aralar and Aizkorri mountain ranges, led by Idoia Biurrun. In this second excursion farmers will show us the traditional management of meadows and pastures, including an exhibition of shepherd dogs working with the sheep herd, and we will also walk along beatufilul landscapes in the foothills and slopes of these two mountains. Both excursions with join at 19:00 for the Grassland Party nearby the Arantzazu sanctuary. The participants need to indicate in the registration, which mid-conference excursion option they will attend. Please find detailed information and photos at the link Excursions.


    Subalpine grasslands in Larra-Contienda

    Post-conference excursion (11-13th September 2020): This optional three-day excursion will take place mostly in Navarre, a highly diverse region where three biogeographic regions meet: Atlantic, Alpine and Mediterranean. The participants will have the opportunity to see grassland landscapes of those biogeographic units, and learn about their flora and fauna, as well as grassland use. We will visit heathlands, mires, meadows, mesic and dry grasslands, thorn-cushion scrubs, mediterranean grasslands and alpine grasslands, from the coast of the Bay of Biscay through the Basque-Cantabrian mountains south to the Ebro valley, from here to western Pyrenees, and back to the Cantabrian valleys and the sea-coast in the French Basque Country. Please visit Excursions link for more information.

    alpine grassland

    Alpine grassland in the Western Pyrenees. Photo: Idoia Biurrun.

    Grassland party

    The Grassland Party will take place on 9th September, near the Arantzazu sanctuary, where the participants of the two mid-conference excursions will join at around 19:00. The Sanctuary, located over a steep ravine at 750 m a.s.l., is the main entrance to Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, is famous for its great artistic and architectonic value. During the Grassland Party we will taste local food (cheese, vegetables, meat, etc.) and drink (cider, wine), and we will have the opportunity to see and listen to Basque traditional dances and music. An auction will again be organized for fund-raising purposes for future EDGG events. It will take place during the Grassland Party in Arantzazu. Conference participants are encouraged to bring grassland-related treasures from their countries. All items brought for the auction will be delivered upon registration, so that they can be exhibited during the first conference day.

    Aquilegia pyrenaica
    Centaurea nigra
    Salix pyrenaica

    Aquilegia pyrenaica, Centaurea nigra, Salix pyrenaica. Photos by Asun Berastegi

    Financial support

    Thanks to the EDGG’s mother organization IAVS, we can support a number of participants with travel grants. Travel grants will be awarded according to the IAVS criteria, based on income level and country of origin. They will preferentially be given to early-career and other financially constrained scientists. The support usually covers only part of the participant’s costs, according to the number of successful applications.

    Eligibility and requirements:

    • The applicants should be a IAVS member during 2020.
    • To qualify for a travel grant, active participation at the conference (oral presentation or poster) is required.
    • Only the presenter of the contribution will be supported so each applicant should apply with a separate talk or poster and she/he will be the presenter.
    • After the conference, grantees must provide a short report of the event, and some photos that can be used in Palaearctic Grasslands.

    Travel grants can be applied for during online registration until 20th April, including a short motivation letter. Applicants for IAVS travel grants must be IAVS members for the year 2020. Information about travel grants will be given at the latest by 31st May.

    Young Investigator Prizes

    As in previous years, prizes will be awarded to young scientists for excellent presentation of their research (orally or in poster form). For these purposes, young scientists (less than 30 years old) will be asked during registration if they wish to participate in the contest. An applicant can apply for one category (best talk or poster) in one conference. During her/his presentation, applicant needs to explain clearly her/his contribution to the work.

    Special Issue

    EDGG supports the visibility of the research presented in the EGCs. Studies presented in the conference will be eligible for submission to our regular special features in Tuexenia and Hacquetia. A special feature in the new IAVS journal Vegetation Classification and Survey is planned to welcome studies dealing with grassland classification as well as its application for management and nature conservation.

    We welcome you in Tolosa!


    Rana temporaria in Nardus grassland (left) and female Argiope bruennichi in wetland, Gorbeia mountain. Photos by Juan Antonio Campos

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