by Fanni Takács

Despite of chilly wintertime we found so much joy in hosting our III. ÉLVONAL Conference in Debrecen, 10-12 January 2020.

These busy days were filled with 26 exciting presentations, brainstorming group discussions whilst we inspired each other with new ideas and shared experiences in various theoretical and practical issues concerning conservation research.

Here we would like to say thank you for all invited speakers and for all the more than 70 guests from 13 countries who came along to meet us on this homecoming shorebird conference.

Hope to see you soon.


III. ÉLVONAL Conference programme

 Scroll down for feedbacks.

“This was my first Elvonal conference. Knowing the conference organizers, I expected this will be mostly the conference on behavior of waders.  However, it turned out that it was of a much wider scope covering a variety of issues and animal groups, including not only birds, but also fishes and insects.  There were reports of students about their field experiences and findings, presentations of researchers on results of their studies as well as valuable lectures of professors.  All these made the interesting programme of the two days conference tightly packed.  Every day’s dinners in reality were social events with lots of communication and discussions on various topics, in particular on development of future research projects, improvement of methodological approaches in studies and solving raised difficulties in some cases. Having a free day at arrival to Debrecen, I enjoyed walking across a park full of birds and along the streets to the old part of the town.  I like this rather small and calm town – although it is the second large one in Hungary – with its old history.  I only regret that I was unable to join others for the excursion to Hortobagy National Park. During this event I got fond memories for the rest of my life.  I am truly thankful to the conference organizers for inviting me to this conference.”

Pavel TomkovichSenior researcher at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia


“It was greatly insightful to get to know other projects on shorebirds. I could talk to experienced researchers as well as freshly starting PhD students. It made me feel part of a community. I got lot of advice for field work, which  will certainly be helpful. And I got some enthusiastic feedback regarding my project, which is motivating. It was essential for me to get an introduction/presentation of the ÉLVONAL network, to better understand how it works and what it aims for. Thanks to the project, I have some templates (almost) ready for my field season, I know what model of camera I should purchase (based on the experience of Vojta), etc. Importantly, I could find collaborators to get preen oil samples from different shorebird species. This is really good and exciting! I could not have managed to advertise my project and find collaborators as easily as I did thanks to this conference. It was great to finally meet Tamás, as he is involved in my project, and we could start planning our field season with the other members of the research team. The social events organized around the conference were quite nice. If I can point out one thing that could be improved, it would be to propose less meat and more vegetables during the meals, as we are ecologists and concerned about the environment. Still, it was great! The workshop organized after the conference was really good too.

In a few words: you did a great job, thank you!”

Marc Gilles – PhD student at Bielefeld University, Research Group Chemical Signalling – Department of Animal Behaviour


“I found the conference a great way to meet new collaborators and to expand my knowledge of the research being conducted in this field of expertise. It was very interesting to be able to discuss my project with other researchers who were working on the same species in a different country. Collaboration is a key part of research and this event brought people together to discuss exciting new project ideas.”

Claire E. Tanner – PhD student at Bath University, Milner Centre for Evolution, Dept of Biology and Biochemistry