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Nest Construction and Function 2012

Posted on 24. January, 2012.

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The first international conference to focus on the many aspects of nest construction and function in birds will take place in Lincoln in September 2012. Organised by Charles Deeming, Editor in Chief of Avian Biology Research, the conference will form the basis of a future special issue.

Nest Construction and Function 2012 at the University of Lincoln

Location: Brayford Campus, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
09:00 Monday 10th September 2012 to 13:00 Wednesday 12th September 2012
Hosted by Dr Charles Deeming, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK


This meeting will be the first international conference that focuses on the many aspects of nest construction and function in birds. The meeting is open to all scientists and researchers dealing with nests and will include talks from a selection of invited speakers from around the world. In addition, there will be ample time for delegates to present 15 minute talks on any subject associated with nest construction and function. Posters will be accommodated and time dedicated to allow delegates to peruse these presentations at leisure. It is anticipated that much of the talks will involve non-invited speakers. All aspects of nest function will be considered at the meeting including the following themes:

  • Factors determining nest location
  • Significance of construction materials
  • Nest construction methods and cognition
  • Factors affecting nest construction
  • Micro-climate within nests
  • Functional properties of nests and materials during incubation and rearing
  • Nests are signals
  • Evolution of nesting environments

If you wish to contribute please complete the call for papers form and return it to Charles Deeming ( by April 27th 2012. The proceedings will be published in full as a special issue of Avian Biology Research (

The meeting will be held over three days at the modern city centre campus of the University of Lincoln (, in the East of England. Lincoln is well connected by road and rail to other parts of the UK and has a 11th Century castle and the third largest cathedral in Britain in a medieval street layout based on an old Roman settlement.

Fees for the meeting are £200 per delegate, which will cover Registration, a copy of the Proceedings as a CD-ROM, all refreshments, a reception and a conference dinner. Bona fide students will pay a reduced rate of £140. Access to accommodation is not directly provided but delegates can book on-line a variety of hotel and guest house options (see additional information).

More details about the meeting and Lincoln can be found at

Presentations already offered

Confirmed invited speakers
Caragh Heenan (University of Adelaide, Australia) – Factors influencing the thermal properties of cup-shaped nests

Juan Moreno (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, Madrid, Spain) – Nests and nest building as signals

Dan Ardia (Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA) – Nest microclimate and reproductive performance

Talks offered
Caragh Heenan (University of Adelaide, Australia) – Factors influencing morphology of cup-shaped nests

Charles Deeming & Mark Mainwaring (University of Lincoln & University of Lancaster, UK) – Relationship between environmental temperature during nest construction and thermal properties

Mike Hansell & Douglas Russell (University of Glasgow & Natural History Museum, UK) – Nests in museum collections: What is there and what should there be?

Mark Mainwaring (University of Lancaster, UK) – The energetic costs of nest building in birds

Posters offered
Charles Deeming, Jo Surgey & Chris du Feu (University of Lincoln, Nottingham & Beckingham, UK) – What the use of coloured nest material by tits in a British Woodland tell us about nest construction.

Sue Healy (University of St Andrews, UK) – Cognition and Nest Building