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Biogeography, the study of the geography of life, has a long and distinguished history, and one interwoven with that of ecology and evolutionary biology.  Traditionally viewed as the study of geographic distributions, modern biogeography now explores a great diversity of patterns in the geographic variation of nature — from physiological, morphological and genetic variation among individuals and populations to differences in the diversity and composition of biotas along geographic gradients.  Given its interdisciplinary and integrative nature, biogeography is now broadly recognized as a unifying field that provides a holistic understanding of the relationships between the earth and its biota. Our abilities to develop more general theories of the diversity of life, and to conserve biological diversity may well rest on insights from the field of biogeography. Therefore, the International Biogeography Society (IBS) was founded in 2001, and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2002, with the following mission:

  • Foster communication and collaboration between biogeographers in disparate academic fields - scientists who would otherwise have little opportunity for substantive interaction and collaboration.

  • Increase both the awareness and interests of the scientific community and the lay public in the contributions of biogeographers.

  • Promote the training and education of biogeographers so that they may develop sound strategies for studying and conserving the world’s biota.


The IBS makes two awards at the biennial international conference, the Alfred Russel Wallace Award, recognizing a lifetime of outstanding contributions in biogeography, and the MacArthur & Wilson Award, recognizing a notable, innovative contribution to biogeography. The society also may mark an occasion by awarding a Lifetime Honorary Membership.

The IBS also makes a periodic award for the best doctoral dissertation, as judged from thesis abstracts submitted to Frontiers of Biogeography.

In addition, the society is developing initiatives to award IBS conference travel grants, give gifts of membership, and support events promoting biogeography. Special opportunities will be announced in the future to the extent that available resources allow.


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