The Society has biennial meetings (in odd years) as well as off-year workshops (in even years), and offers student travel support for both types of events.

Biennial Meetings

The biennial gathering of the ISHPSSB is its main raison d'être: The Society was founded with the aim of organising a conference bringing together current research on biology as a discipline. In the year before a general meeting, bids are sought for hosting the next edition, and the Site Selection Committee announces the winning bid during the General Assembly of the Meeting.

Scroll further down, for the archival articles on previous meetings.

ISHPSSB 2025: July in Porto, Portugal

We look forward to welcoming you all in Porto, Portugal, and to the 2025 “Ishkabibble” conference to be held in the third week of July.

Located on the north-west coast of Portugal, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. Built on a hillside of the Douro River overlooking its mouth, Porto has a two thousand years history, going back to the Roman times. Since 1996, the Historic Center of Porto has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Aerial view Campus and Porto
The U.Porto building where ICBAS is based, next to Jardins do Palácio de Cristal and the Super Bock Arena conference center.

Awarded Best City Destination in Europe several times (World Travel Awards), Porto is one of the liveliest historical towns in Europe. Cosmopolitan since early times, the city is presently a vibrant cultural hub and its cultural features are key elements of the urban life. Porto is very well known for its architecture, of which both magnificent baroque and several modern and unique buildings stand out. The city is also renowned for the famous, internationally appreciated, port wine. Visitors can enjoy museums, cultural events in concert halls or theater venues, restaurants serving the local cuisine and a spirited nightlife. And there are also several Blue Flag Atlantic beaches within the city limits.

July is usually a dry period in Portugal and in Porto the average maximum air temperature is about 25 ºC. The daylight period in July is about 15 hours, with sunrise happening at 6 am.

Porto is well connected to major international destinations with direct flights within Europe and from some cities in North America and Brazil, although in these cases connecting flights are the most common. There are several low-cost options. Porto Airport is located at less than 15 km from the city center, and when arriving passengers have various public transportation options.

There are diverse accommodation options in the city center and in close vicinity of the conference venues. Major national and international hotel chains can be found within walking distance of the venues (or by public transportation to them). Currently, Porto receives many tourists during all seasons, so it is advisable to make reservations in advance.


The conference organization is an initiative of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Porto (ICBAS) as logistic host, in partnership with UPORTO/MNHC-UP, the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto.

Founded in 1911, the University of Porto (U.Porto) is a public university and a leading teaching and scientific research institution. Conceived as a multidisciplinary institution devoted to the life and health sciences, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, ICBAS) was founded in 1975. The MHNC-UP (Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto) was officially created in 2015 as the outcome of the fusion between the Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum of the U.Porto. It is committed to preserving, promoting, studying and raising awareness about our natural world, built up through education and research-related activities carried out by U.Porto. Other institutions in Portugal are associated with the conference organization through the members of the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC).

The organization is a transversal effort of a team gathering people from diverse disciplinary backgrounds (life and health sciences, history and philosophy of science, social sciences) and institutions (schools, research units and a natural history and science museum). LAC includes scholars from the Universities of Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon, the three oldest universities in the country, as well as NOVA University Lisbon, this way broadening the covered areas and, in a sense, following the ISHPSSB tradition of fostering cooperation across disciplines. The committee is supported by a group of advisors linked to the same three universities.

We will work in close relation with the Program Committee, co-chaired by Charles H. Pence and Kate MacCord, to hold a great, sustainable and inclusive conference.


Aerial view campus

ICBAS is located at the central campus of U.Porto, at the city center and next to a large public garden, Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. It is easily reached by walking or public transportation.

The building has rooms well equipped for these kinds of events, also taking into account accessibility. The rooms for the parallel sessions are close to each other, all on the same floor (side by side). The auditoriums and the small rooms are accessible also internally for people with reduced mobility (in these cases, the auditoriums must be accessed by the ground floor); accessible bathrooms are available. The building itself is accessible from street level, although the street is downhill. Considering auditorium size requirements, the plenary sessions are planned to take place in an auditorium located in front of ICBAS, on the other side of the street, in Super Bock Arena — Pavilhão Rosa Mota, at Jardins do Palácio de Cristal.

The welcome reception (organized by the MHNC-UP with the support of the House of the Arts) will be combined with an open program in the Hall of Biodiversity and the Botanical Garden. The conference dinner is planned to be held at the Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa) in the city center.

Regarding the virtual space, we will build on the Toronto 2023 experience and the post-meeting survey results.

Beyond the conference

The city of Porto can provide an amazing experience for tourists: those who love museums, architecture, gardens/parks or bars will have plenty to enjoy. Additionally, coming to Porto can be an opportunity to take small trips — one day or longer — to a few popular destinations in the North of Portugal, like the Douro Valley (the Alto Douro Wine Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or the Minho province; or to the Center and South of Portugal — Coimbra and Lisbon, for instance. A getaway to Galicia (Northwest Spain) is also a pleasant possibility.

Maria Strecht Almeida
Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee

Off-Year Workshops

Given the two-year ISHPSSB cycle, in even-numbered years a small number of events may carry the ISHPSSB name. The general parameters of, and how to submit proposals for, such events are detailed in the article on the Off-year Workshop Committee. The deadline for such proposals usually falls before Christmas following each biennial Meeting.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, workshops (just like the 2022 deadline) may have to adapt or be postponed, as happened in the previous cycle; so be sure to check the listed websites for any relevant updates. A thank you goes out to all of the organizing committees for their hard and creative work, and to the members of the ISHPSSB off-year workshop committee for evaluating the proposals.

Scroll down for the archive of past Off-Year Workshops.

The Call for Proposals can be found here. The deadline for funded workshops is now passed, but unfunded ones are still accepted on a rolling basis.

Matt Haber (chair), on behalf of the ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop Committee

Meetings archive

The ISHPSSB held its inaugural meeting on 21–25 June 1989 at the University of Western Ontario. Although meetings were envisaged to be annual (see the bylaws), by 1997 biennial meetings were sufficiently established to amend the bylaws to reflect this.

In 2001, the ISHPSSB Council approved the idea of sponsoring Off-Year Workshops or Conferences, and in 2004 student members proposed and organised the very first of these.

Below is all accessible data from past meetings. If you have (more detailed, preferably HTML) programmes not provided there, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Past Biennial Meetings

Off-year workshops from past cycles

Student Travel Support

ISHPSSB supports graduate student participation in our biennial meetings as well as off-year workshops. The Travel Support Committee administers ISHPSSB Travel Awards, which are currently funded by ISHPSSB and, for US citizens and students at US institutions, by the NSF via a grant to the 8 Societies. Any donations to the ISHPSSB travel fund are gratefully received by the next generation of scholars of biology!

The society has the financial means to support only a portion of students' travel costs. Travel costs include transportation expenses such as airfare, gas or mileage, but do not include other types of expenses such as conference registration, lodging and meals. Award amounts will depend on the total amount of funding available to ISHPSSB, the relative cost of travel between the students' locations and conference site, and the ability of applicants to access additional resources. For recent previous meetings, award amounts ranged from US$50 to US$1000, and averaged about US$300. This represented one-half to two-thirds of travel costs that remained for students once their institutional funds had been applied.