Society for Island Biology

Program ISLAND BIOLOGY Conference - Aeolian Islands  (3-7 July in Lipari)

Program ISLAND BIOLOGY Conference - Aeolian Islands (3-7 July in Lipari)

The ISLAND BIOLOGY CONFERENCE 2023 (3rd – 7th July 2023)





The venue

 Hotel Aktea & Auditorium of Lipari

Via Paolo Borsellino e Giovanni Falcone, Lipari


Registration is OPEN


Please, register at the following link: 

Abstract submission at the following link: 




For thousands of years, the Aeolian Islands attracted many different people, leaving behind a unique blend of natural and cultural heritages all over the islands. After so many settlers, the time has come to forge ahead with the largest invasion of island biologists ever seen in the Aeolian Archipelago!


The Aeolian Archipelago (38°21’54” to 38°48’40” N; 14°20’35” to 15°14’70” E) has a total surface area of about 130 km2, including seven main islands (Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea) and many islets and stacks. The beginning of the volcanic activity in this area dates to about 1 million years ago, but the extant islands emerged during the last 400,000 years, and the subaerial part of two of them (Alicudi and Stromboli) has an estimated age of less than 100,000 years. The archipelago is still volcanically active; in fact, impressive eruptions have occurred in historic times at Vulcano and Lipari, and the constant eruptive activity of Stromboli volcano is a major tourist attraction. The archipelago is characterized by an average annual rainfall ranging from 540 to 680 mm, with a 4-5 months-long dry season and an average annual temperature of 18.3 °C.


The landscape of the Aeolian islands has long been shaped by human activities. The first human settlers colonised the archipelago around the mid-6th millennium BCE (Middle Neolithic), attracted by the opportunity of exploiting local deposits of high-quality obsidian. Between 580 and 396 BCE, the Greek colony of Lipára was a wealthy town, exporting not only vegetables and fruit, but also the aluminium and sulphur extracted in the archipelago, and producing its own pottery ware. The fuelwood consumption for these industrial activities was probably responsible for the final collapse of the local forests.

Between the 2nd century BCE and the 8th century CE, sparse agricultural communities were scattered in the countryside of almost all the islands. Later and until the first half of the 17th century, the most peripheral islands of the Aeolian archipelago were almost uninhabited. The main source of income has been for centuries the production and trade of agricultural products such as raisins, wine, legumes, fresh and dry fruit, and capers. A large portion of the Aeolian Islands is still characterized by huge and complex systems of stone-wall terraces where not only vines, olives, and capers were grown, but also cereal crops.

During the second half of 19th century, the Aeolian population reached its highest peak, thanks to the income issuing from trading local agricultural products, pumice, alum, and sulphur. Shortly after, Phylloxera destroyed most of the vineyards. The economic crisis triggered massive emigration towards S- and N-America and Australia. This trend has reversed in the last six decades, thanks to the tourism (600.000 visitors/year) which, however, currently poses a major threat to many coastal ecosystems.



The Island Biology 2023 conference


The 4th Society of Island Biology conference will host the following sessions:


1) Island biogeography and macroecology

Island biogeographical studies have prompted research in the most disparate fields in the areas of biogeography and macroecology. At the same time, islands represent excellent natural laboratories for exploring patterns and testing mechanisms in biogeography and macroecology. This section will be dedicated to contributions dealing with the variety of approaches and issues central to island biogeography, including, for example: the species-area relationship, the influence of island characteristics on colonization and diversity, the small island effect, intra-archipelagos colonization patterns, island marine biodiversity, non-island isolates (e.g., habitat fragments, sky-islands, lakes and rivers, volcanic cones surrounded by lava fields, volcanic and karstic caves, mud volcanoes, etc.). Case studies, theoretical models, and reviews are welcome.


2) Conservation on islands

Because of their small size and isolation, islands host unique biotas with high levels of endemicity, thus contributing disproportionately to global biodiversity. Unfortunately, islands are intrinsically fragile areas and most of documented extinctions occurred on islands. Moreover, studies conducted on islands can suggest methods and approaches which could also be applied for conservation on mainland. All issues involved in biological conservation on islands are welcome in this section, with emphasis on cutting-edge research on the impact of climate change and disturbance regimes, long-term research programs, use of diachronic information for biodiversity inventories, impact of aliens, landscape transformation, and remote sensing approaches.


3) Evolution of islands and their biotas

Understanding island evolution is essential to explain their biotas. Reconstructing island origin (e.g., land bridge vs. oceanic), age, and historical transformations, is of paramount importance for developing and testing ecological and evolutionary hypotheses. Island histories are intimately associated with the evolution of their biotas, and isolated areas offer many exceptional opportunities for evolutionary studies. This section will be focused on (but not limited to) contributions dealing with island geology, paleogeography and paleoecology, in order to emphasize the role of island landscape evolution in shaping biodiversity, and with evolutionary processes in the broadest sense (adaptations, speciation, phylogenetics, etc.).


4) Island ecology

Islands offer exceptional opportunities for ecological research because of their simplified communities and unique characteristics. For example, their reduced number of species may facilitate species inventorying and islands belonging to the same archipelago may serve as replicates. On the other hand, because of their isolation, islands evolved populations and communities that may have very different characteristics from the continental counterparts. This section is dedicated to contributions exploring the role of islands in boosting research in ecological frontiers such as advanced models of population structure and dynamics, sampling strategies, species-abundance distribution, functional ecology, assembly rules, ecological filtering, disharmony, trophic ecology, ecological networks, adaptations, and island rules.


5) Humans and islands

Islands are home to million people and human density in small islands can be extremely high. Some islands were home to ancient civilizations, being uninterruptedly inhabited for thousands of years. Human presence has profoundly shaped many island landscapes. Thus, human-induced ecological transformations on islands are paradigmatic of processes and mechanisms of high general interest. Island characteristics obviously conditioned the history of human presence and the ecological trajectories of human populations. This section is devoted to contributions dealing with the influence of island features on the history, evolution, and current characteristics of human populations and societies. Particularly welcome are contributions dealing with human colonization patterns of oceanic islands, Mediterranean insular cultures, imported agricultural landscapes, sustainable development (with special reference to tourism impacts, conservation of traditional cultures, and indigenous rights).



The venue


Hotel Aktea & Auditorium of Lipari

Via Paolo Borsellino e Giovanni Falcone, Lipari 





Simone FATTORINI, chair of the international scientific committee (

Pietro LO CASCIO, chair of the local organizing committee (



International scientific committee


Claudine Ah-Peng (University of La Réunion, France)

Paulo Alexandre Vieira Borges (University of Azores, Portugal)

Alessandro Chiarucci (University of Bologna, Italy)

Vanessa Cutts (University of Nottingham, UK)

Don Drake (University of Hawaii, USA)

Simone Fattorini (University of L’Aquila, Italy)

Richard Field (University of Nottingham)

José María Fernández-Palacios (University of La Laguna, Spain)

Severin Irl (University of Frankfurt, Germany)

Corrado Marcenò (University of Perugia, Italy)

Frédéric Médail (Aix-Marseille University, France)

Lea de Nascimento (University of La Laguna, Spain)

Manuel Steinbauer (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Panayiotis Trigas (Agricultural University of Athens, Greece)

Robert J. Whittaker (University of Oxford, UK)

Luis Valente (Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands)


Local organising committee


Pietro Lo Cascio (Nesos, Lipari)

Claudia Corti (Nesos, Lipari)

Claudia Speciale (Nesos, Lipari)

Flavia Grita (Nesos, Lipari)

Carmelo Mustica (Nesos, Lipari)

Antonino Dentici (Nesos, Lipari)

Riccardo Guarino (University of Palermo)

Salvatore Pasta (IBBR-National Research Council, Palermo)

Michele Lussu (University of Bologna, Italy)

Francesco Santi (University of Bologna, Italy)

Vincenzo Ilardi (University of Palermo)

Federico Marrone (University of Palermo)

Angelo Troia (University of Palermo)





The conference is organized under the patronage of the Municipality of Lipari, the University of Palermo, the Italian Botanical Society, the Italian Society of Biogeography.

The conference is supported by: Nesos (Lipari), Federparchi, Parco Regionale dell'Etna, Parco Regionale dei Nebrodi, Parco Regionale delle Madonie, Assessorato Territorio e Ambiente della Regione Siciliana, UNESCO.



Contact Us


Conference Secretariat:

Nesos (

Contacts: Flavia Grita, Pietro Lo Cascio, Carmelo Mustica





  1.        Early bird registration with reduced fees: March 5th, 2023
  2.        Abstract Submission:  March 31st, 2023
  3.        Ordinary registration with normal fees:  April 30th, 2023
  4.        Late-Breaking Abstract Submission: April 30th, 2023
  5.        Late Registration:  June 4th, 2023


Preliminary Programme

2 July 2023, evening – Registration, welcome reception

3-4 July 2023 Scientific sessions, poster sessions

4 July 2023, evening – Stromboli by night, to see volcanic activity from the sea, opposite the ‘Sciara del Fuoco’ (optional)

5 July 2023 Mid-conference excursion (see Annexe 1 for a detailed description)


1) Lipari Island 1: the western side

2) Lipari Island 2: a walk between pumice and obsidian

3) Lipari Island 3: a glance from the sea

4) Panarea Island

5) Salina Island: Monte Fossa delle Felci

6) Stromboli Island: staying alive under an active volcano

7) Vulcano Island: the volcano’s eponymous


6 July 2023 Scientific sessions, poster sessions

6 July 2023, evening – Social dinner (optional)

7 July 2023, morning Scientific sessions

7 July 2023, afternoon – General assembly, closing ceremony



Optional pre- conference excursion (see Annexe 3 for the description of the program)


27 June – 2 July 2023 – Five days excursion to Sicilian Mountains (for well-trained hikers): Madonie (two days), Etna (two days), Nebrodi (one day) - (min. 9, max 48 participants, on a‘first come first served’ basis). Fee € 720,00/person. The fee includes guidance, accommodation, meals, bus transfers.

For the hikes, please take with you trekking shoes, windbreaker, sun-protection cream, and sun hat. Lunch boxes and water will be provided. The temperatures can range between 20 and 38 °C, with very little probability of rain but high probability of strong winds (especially on the mountains).




Registration fees

PLEASE NOTE: due to the capacity of the venue, the maximum number of attendees will be limited to 400 people, on a 'first come first served' basis.



5 March 2023


30 April 2023


4 June 2023

Regular attendee








Accompanying person




Stromboli by night (optional)




Social dinner (optional)




Pre-conference excursion (optional)





All prices are in Euros and include VAT 22%. Failure to pay the fee will result in an incomplete registration. Student fee applies to those registered for a higher degree (MSc and PhD). Student registration forms must be accompanied by a signed letter from his/her supervisor or by the head of department, attesting to student status, which should be sent per email at the following address:

Students are expected not to exceed the 33% of the total number of attendees, on a 'first come first served' basis.

Fee for attendees includes: welcome reception on July 2, access to the conference and poster sessions, 4 lunches, 8 coffee breaks, one-day excursion on July 5 (including guidance, transfers and packed lunch), conference bag containing badge, the printed version of the book of abstracts and Excursion Guide (if requested in the registration form).

Fee for accompanying persons includes: welcome reception on July 2, 4 lunches, one-day excursion on July 5 (including guidance, transfers and packed lunch), one guided tour through Lipari Island.

Fee does NOT include: accommodation (variable costs, to be booked individually a.s.a.p.); optional activities (pre-conference excursion, social dinner, Stromboli by night); transfers from Palermo and Catania airports to Milazzo and the ferry to Lipari (variable costs, to be booked individually a.s.a.p.); insurance of participants against accidents, sickness, cancellation, theft, property damage or loss. Participants are advised to arrange adequate personal insurance, if needed.


Template for registration

To register, fill in the form available at the following link: 


Payment of the registration fee and optional activities

Account for national and international bank transfers in euros

please, IT IS WARMLY RECOMMENDED to specify i) the name/s of attendee/s, ii) that the payment is for SIB Lipari 2023 + eventual list of the optional activities:

Account owner: Associazione Nesos


Bank name: Banco BPM – filiale di Lipari


IBAN IT75 Y 05034 26000 000000000403



For any bank transfer made from outside the Euro zone, please be aware of bank service charges. All bank charges for remittances are to be borne by the participant.

Payment may be made also with a PayPal credit card gateway information connected to the bank account written above or by using the account with the following link or with the following e-mail

Again, it is essential to specify the name of the attendee as well as that the payment is for SIB Lipari 2023 + eventual list of the optional activities.




Upon receipt of the registration form with the appropriate fee, confirmation will be sent. Once registered, registrations cannot be changed to another fee category.


Cancellation Policy

The rules of the refunding of the symposium fee and optional activities (pre-conference excursion, social dinner, Stromboli by night) are as follows:

- Before 1 June 2023: 50% of the original payment will be refunded.

- After 1 June 2023: no payments can be refunded.

Please, note that refunds will be issued only after the end of the meeting.


Abstract submission

Each attendee will have the opportunity to propose up to two contributions (one talk and one poster, or two posters) as presenting author. For each contribution, a title and abstract must be submitted by filling in the form at the following link: 

Each abstract will be reviewed by the members of the international scientific committee and, following their evaluation, the presenting author will be notified of acceptance or rejection.


A computer and data projector will be available for oral presentations. Presentations should be prepared in MS PowerPoint (any version) or PDF format. Our computers will use the MS Windows operating system; if you use other operating system, please make sure that your presentation works under Windows. The file name format should be lastname_firstname of the presenting author. Please bring your presentation to our technical staff before the beginning of the first morning session of the day of your presentation.

The length of the standard oral presentation is 15 minutes followed by 5 minutes of discussion. Please do not use the time allocated for discussion to finish your talk.


In Lipari there's a copy&print service where it is possible to print the posters at cost (€ 7.00). Details will be provided.

Printed posters, size up to 84 cm (width) and 119 cm (height) (A0 format), will be installed using a double-sided tape provided at the symposium registration. Poster sessions will be held in the Hotel Aktea. Please refer to the conference programme for the poster board code assigned to you. Please use only the board with this code.

Conference language: English


Accommodation information

Rooms are available at the conference venue (Hotel Aktea) at very special rates: double room € 140.00/night; single room 110.00/night. Accommodation at Hotel Aktea (4 stars) includes American buffet breakfast and 10% VAT. A City Tax per person of € 2,00 is not included in the room’s price. Since most activities of the conference will take place in the Hotel Aktea and in the auditorium, which is close nearby, accommodation in the Hotel Aktea is very advantageous and convenient.

The reservations must be done ideally no later than April, 2023, directly to the Hotel Aktea Reservation Office (e-mail:, or at the following link:  by using the following promo code 'SIB 2023'. For any further inquiry or information, please call the phone number (+39) 090 9814234.


Lipari offers many lodging possibilities, including campsites, B&B, private houses, and other hotels, which can be easily retrieved on search engines like, AirB&B, VRBO, Trivago etc. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND TO: 1) BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION A.S.A.P., 2) CHOOSE YOUR ACCOMMODATION WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE FROM THE VENUE. Buses in Lipari are not very frequent and often quite crowded.


Travel information

The venue (Hotel Aktea) is about 450 m (6 min walk) from the hydrofoil pier of Lipari, where all of the public service connections to/from Sicily converge. It is recommended to walk up to the venue, or to take a cab (approx. fare: € 10).

Lipari can be reached by hydrofoil from the ports of Naples (, Messina, Milazzo, Palermo and Reggio Calabria (; and by ship from the ports of Naples and Milazzo ( Info and fares can be retrieved also at the following link:

From Catania airport you can book a very convenient shuttle service to reach the port of Milazzo at the following link:

From Palermo airport, you can take the train to Milazzo (change in Palermo Central Railway station). Train tickets can be booked at the following link:

PLEASE, NOTE: the distance between the port and the railway station of Milazzo is about 4 km. The public bus is very infrequent and often delayed. Timetable can be downloaded at the following link (see 'Linea 5'):

... Alternatively (and warmly suggested), you can take a taxi and shell out € 10 to 15 depending on the honesty and mood of the driver!

In case you'll decide to land in Trapani, the connection between Trapani Airport and Palermo Central Railway Station is ensured by the bus company SALEMI, with 8 daily departures. The ticket for the journey (1 hr 55 min) costs € 11.00 one-way. (



Italy is a member state of the European Union. Some visitors to the European Union must have valid visa prior to departure, regardless of the length of stay. We encourage visitors to timely inform themselves about ( and if an invitation is required, please use this form (see Annexe 2) and send it to


Leisure and free time


Some useful links to organize your free time in the Aeolian Islands:





At the end of May, summer comes into the Aeolian Archipelago in full force, with rapidly rising temperatures and long, sunny days. July sees about 9.9 hours of sunshine each day, lots of time to be outside, exploring the island and skipping the conference duties.




Av. Temperature 27°C (80°F) - Min. Temperature 23°C (73°F) - Max. Temperature 30°C (86°F)

Sunshine Hours 9.9 hrs/day - Chance of Sunny Day 90 % - Av. rainfall 10mm - Rainy days: 3

Sea Surface Temperature 24°C (75°F) - Chance of Windy Day 40 %



If the long warmup didn't make you too exhausted to even think of travelling to Lipari...

...NOW you are all formally invited to the fourth SIB Conference, Lipari, 3-7 July 2023!


Registration is OPEN


Please, register at the following link: 

Abstract submission at the following link: