European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB)

statistics ESEB membership

Some History and General Information

The European Society for Evolutionary Biology 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 the journal; see also Steve Stearns' account of the early days of the ESEB. Since its foundation, the ESEB has grown and matured, with its membership reaching 1700 in 2013 (see graph), 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. Since 2009, ESEB is registered as a Public Benefit organisation in The Netherlands (Tax number: 8080.77.223). 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 board of the journal.

Distinguished Fellows of ESEB

John Maynard-Smith
Stephen C. Stearns
Rolf Hoekstra

Past Presidents of ESEB

General Members’ Meeting

Every two years all members of the Society are invited to the General members’ Meeting, which takes place during the biennial ESEB congress. The meeting minutes are publicly available:

Financial Reports


The ESEB constitution is available in PDF format in English. Members may request a copy by sending an email to the ESEB office (

ESEB Congresses

The congresses are held every other year.
The next congress will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland in August 2015 and will be organised by Nicolas Perrin.

Past Congresses

Joint Congresses

The congresses are held every six years jointly together with the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), and the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB).
The next congress will be held in 2018.

Past Congresses



Last updated September 30, 2013. For suggestions or comments please send an e-mail.