International Association for Vegetation Science 65th Annual Symposium

The Future of Vegetation in the 22nd Century
3-8 September 2023, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

International Association for Vegetation Science 65th Annual Symposium

The Future of Vegetation in the 22nd Century
3-8 September 2023, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

Key Dates

Special session and workshop proposals deadline:
1 March 2023

IAVS travel grant applications and abstracts deadline:  20 April 2023
Abstract submission deadline: 20 April 2023
Notification to authors on abstract acceptance:
20 May 2023

Travel grant decisions announced: 20 May 2023
Earlybird Registration Deadline: 15 June 2023

Express Your Interest

Express Your Interest

Fill in the expression of interest form to be kept up to date with information on the 65th International Association for Vegetation Science Annual Symposium.

Scientific Program

Scientific Program

An exciting scientific program is being arranged by the Local Organizing Committee in consultation with our international and national colleagues.

About IAVS 2023

The 65th Annual Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation ScienceIAVS 2023 – will be held from Sunday 3rd to Friday 8th September 2023 at Opal Cove, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Opal Cove is a beachside resort on the Pacific Ocean with an enviable subtropical maritime climate. The Gumbaynggirr are the original people of the Coffs Harbour region.

Coffs Harbour, on the East Coast of Australia between Sydney and Brisbane, is a tranquil seaside nature destination for visitors and tourists. It is surrounded by World Heritage-listed national parks and state forests, as well as a marine park. The weather in Coffs Harbour is humid subtropical. September has a comfortable mean daily maximum and minimum of 22°C and 11°C, respectively, and is normally relatively dry, with monthly rainfall averaging 60 mm.

The symposium theme is ‘The Future of Vegetation in the 22nd Century’. Given the stark manifestations of climate change in recent years, both globally and in Australia, IAVS 2023 presents an important opportunity for the world’s vegetation scientists to meet, take stock of recent events and recalibrate predictions about the prospects for the world’s vegetation by the 22nd century

Special sessions-invitation to colleagues

We are inviting special sessions on topics broadly aligned with the symposium theme:

  • the prospects for global vegetation and the challenges in ensuring the quality and extent of the world’s vegetation resources by the 22nd century
  • the role of planetary ecosystems in sustaining and enriching life on Earth, and providing solutions to humankind’s most intractable ‘wicked’ problems
  • cutting edge and practical hands-on approaches to vegetation survey, identification, mapping, monitoring and management
  • the latest tools in remote sensing, analysing, classifying and measuring vegetation; protecting and conserving biodiversity; undertaking broad-acre revegetation and rewilding, and managing the impacts of climate change, fire, grazing, pests, weeds, pathogens and people on ecosystems.

Proposals for a wide range of session topics are welcome. Please email our program coordinator, Dr Rhiannon Smith (, with your special session proposals and include the following details:

  1. proposed title for special session
  2. convenor of special session (i.e. your name)
  3. 2 or 3 sentences describing what the special session will cover
  4. proposed keynote speaker for the session
  5. other proposed speakers for the session that you will approach
  6. interest in publishing papers arising from the presentations for a journal special issue or part thereof, and
  7. any sponsors that you will approach to support the special session.


Sustainability Commitment

The Organising Committee are committed to ensuring that the symposium is as sustainable as possible.

We will be working closely with the conference venue to ensure the following practices are in place:

  • using local suppliers where possible, including local, seasonal produce
  • no single-use plastics
  • eco-friendly waste management practices (including recycling and composting)
  • plenty of vegetarian and plant-based catering options
  • no single-use plastic water bottles, with plenty of water bottle refill stations available
  • eco-friendly (compostable) single-use cups, cutlery, containers, etc.

The following will also be done to minimise the environmental impact of the symposium:

  • reduce paper (all information will be included in the Symposium App and website)
  • Eco-friendly name badges and lanyards
  • Eco-friendly & reusable symposium bag


We are also proud to be partnering with Greenfleet to take climate action and offset our carbon emissions through native reforestation.

Greenfleet is a leading not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to protecting our climate by restoring our forests. Greenfleet plants native biodiverse forests to capture carbon emissions and help fight the impacts of climate change. Since 1997, Greenfleet has planted over 10 million trees across over 500 forests in Australia and New Zealand. As they grow, Greenfleet forests absorb carbon emissions, improve soil and water quality, and restore habitat for native wildlife, including many endangered species. Greenfleet forests are also legally protected for up to 100 years, ensuring they can grow for future generations. Through practical climate action, Greenfleet is growing hope for our climate. Learn more at:

Symposium Commences in









All field trips and day excursions will be guided by local botanical and vegetation experts.

The pre-symposium excursion will take in some of the many rainforest reserves comprising the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area between Brisbane and Coffs Harbour over several days. Participants will also visit sclerophyll and submontane forests and woodlands, heathlands, swamp forests and costal dune vegetation.

The post-symposium excursion will leave Coffs on Saturday 9 September and travel west across the Great Dividing Range visiting rainforests and sclerophyll forests along the way. Travellers will visit the eucalypt forest and woodlands of the tablelands and western slopes.


Most of Sunday, 3 September, is available for workshops and working group meetings at Opal Cove.

Please let us know if you would like to hold a workshop or meeting by emailing

Local Organizing Committee

  • Adjunct Professor John Hunter (Chair), Ecosystem Management, University of New England (UNE), Armidale NSW,
  • Dr Stephen Bell, Conservation Science Research Group, University of Newcastle, NSW
  • Dr Steph Hernandez, NSW Department of Environment and Planning
  • Jayne Hindle (PCO), East Coast Conferences, Coffs Harbour NSW,
  • Dr Donna Lewis, Environmental Monitoring Group, University of Adelaide, South Australia
  • Dr Sarah Luxton, CSIRO
  • Emeritus Professor Nick Reid (Secretary), UNE,
  • Dr Rhiannon Smith (Science program coordinator), UNE,
  • Greg Steenbeeke, Consulting Ecologist, Thismia Pty Ltd, NSW
  • Dr Susan Wiser (President IAVS), Landcare Research, New Zealand