Abstract Submission  

General  Instructions

  • Registration and abstract submission is a three step process. Watch this YouTube video if you need assistance.
  • Step 1. Register for the conference through the Whova portal.
    • Once your registration has been received, you will be sent a link for abstract submission via email
    • Whova calls all payments “tickets” so you will purchase a “ticket” for meeting registration. You may also choose to purchase a “ticket” for the BEM Banquet (Saturday, April 13th at the SC Aquarium) and/or a “ticket” for the 2024 BEM Conference shirt (long-sleeve rashguard).
    • If you don’t wish to have all of these “tickets” on the same credit card, there is an option to pay for your registration only and then do an “add-on” registration to pay for the banquet and t-shirt using a different credit card.
    • Early registration deadline is March 1st, 2024. Final registration deadline is March 24th, 2024.
  • Step 2. Indicate if you are planning to present.
    • Whova calls presenters “speakers” and only the person making the presentation should indicate “yes” they plan to present.
    • Attendees that are co-authors but not the “speaker” should answer no when asked if they are presenting.
  • Step 3. If you indicate you are presenting, you will receive a “speaker profile” link.
    • The “speaker” will be responsible for submitting the presentation title, abstract, and co authors.
    • Whova calls presentation titles “sessions” and presentation abstracts “session descriptions”
    • Indicate a preference for an oral or poster presentation.
    • Add your “session” title, your “session description” abstract, your co-authors attending the meeting, and your co-authors not attending the meeting.
    • Select three topics from the list below to help the organizers to group similar presentations in the same rooms.
    • Presentations will be assigned to topical rooms as they are submitted, so early submissions will get priority of topics and presentation mode.
    • Abstract submission deadline is March 24th, 2024.

Presentation Submission Instructions

  • Authors (presenting author should be listed first)
  • Author Affiliation (list institutional affiliation in same order as authors)
  • Session Title (add your poster or talk title here)
  • Session Description

Abstract Submission Instructions

A. General Information

  • Abstracts on any marine benthic ecology topic will be accepted.
  • Only ONE abstract per presenting author is permitted. 
  • When registering, participants will be instructed to indicate their preference for an oral or poster presentation. Time slots for oral presentations are limited so the program committee reserves the right to change oral presentation submissions to poster submissions if necessary. Authors will be informed if so.
  • Oral and poster presentations will be grouped by topic area for scheduling so authors must designate their top three choices for topic areas from the following list.

B. Topics

1. Anthropogenic Impacts
2. Aquaculture
3. Benthic Monitoring
4. Biodiversity
5. Biological Invasions
6. Chemical Ecology
7. Climate Change
8. Community Ecology
9. Coral Reef Ecology
10. Deep Sea Ecology
11. Ecophysiology
12. Ecosystem Ecology
13. Fisheries
14. Habitat Sustainability & Restoration
15. Hard-bottom Ecology
16. Kelp Ecology
17. Life History Strategies
18. Population Ecology
19. Recruitment / Larval Ecology
20. Seagrass Ecology
21. Saltmarsh Ecology
22. Soft-bottom Ecology
23. Symbioses
24. Trophic Relationships

C. Abstract Submission

Each abstract will be submitted using a Whova form. Please fill out the required sections and click submit when finished. You will not be allowed to submit the form until all required sections have been filled out. You will receive a copy of your responses after you submit your abstract. Please have the following prepared before submitting your abstract:

  • Presenting author's “speaker” contact information (institution, address, email)
  • Presenting author's status (undergraduate student, graduate student, professional)
  • List of co-authors attending the meeting (if applicable)
  • List of co-authors not attending the meeting (if applicable)
  • Presentation preference (poster, oral, no preference)
  • Preferred presentation topics (specify your top 3 possible topics from the list above)
  • A Presentation title “session” (no more than 150 characters)
  • Abstract “session description” (no more than 200 words)

D. Example Abstract

Speaker: Michael J. Childress (Clemson University, Clemson, SC, mchildr@clemson.edu)
Status: Professional
Co-authors: Tokea G. Payton (attending), Kylie M. Smith (not attending)
Presentation Preference: Oral presentation
Topics: 9 coral reef ecology, 24 trophic relationships, 7 climate change
Session: Increasing heat load drives macroalgae abundance more than parrotfish biomass in the middle Florida Keys coral reefs (character count = 116)
Abstract: Understanding how rising sea surface temperatures (SST) influence coral reef trophic interactions is a fundamental question for the protection of this endangered community. Metabolic theory suggests that warmer temperatures may increase consumer biomass faster than primary producers, leading to a stronger top-down influence in trophic cascades. We examined this hypothesis over the past decade by following macroalgal, hard coral, and parrotfish abundance with annual heat load in the Florida Keys. Heat load (cumulative daily SST anomaly) showed a significant, decade-long increase. Coral cover remained unchanged, while turf and fleshy algae, and parrotfish increased with heat load. The best fit structural equation model indicates that heat load positively influences algal biomass directly and parrotfish biomass indirectly. These results do not support the metabolic theory prediction and instead suggest that bottom-up forces driven by warmer winters may be driving increasing macroalgae abundance. (word count = 140 words)