Student Conference on Conservation Science

1 SCCS-Bengaluru 2023 at its full capacity

The Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) – Bengaluru 2023 took place from October 9th to 12th, bringing together students and young researchers in the field of biodiversity conservation. This marked the 14th edition of SCCS-Bengaluru, which returned to an in-person format in 2023 after being held online for three years from 2020 to 2022.

SCCS-Bengaluru serves as a platform for students and young researchers to interact, exchange research ideas and methods, share knowledge and experiences related to conservation, and establish valuable contacts and capacity-building opportunities. The conference primarily focuses on countries in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. SCCS-Bng 2023 had a total of 450 registered participants, and when accounting for resource people, the organising team, volunteers, and guests, the overall number of individuals involved in the event was approximately 600.

The participants at SCCS-Bng 2023 represented a diverse group, including students ranging from undergraduates to doctoral candidates. Furthermore, working professionals and experienced individuals actively contributed to the conference as resource people.

2 A representation of Participant composition at SCCS-Bengaluru 2023

At SCCS 2023, the programme comprised 6 plenary talks, 15 oral presentations by students, 75 student posters, and 40 workshops, showcasing an extensive variety of themes and topics in conservation science.

3 Plenary Speakers at SCCS-Bng 2023: From Left - Bram Buscher, Pradip Krishen, Andrea D Phillott, Janice Pariat, David Saltz, Rita Banerji

Some of the events were public events. These include - a panel discussion entitled “Careers in Conservation”, a screening of the film ‘A Dream of Trees’, and three of the plenary talks, those by Pradip Krishen, Janice Pariat, and Rita Banerji - received an enthusiastic response. These events were a part of SCCS-Bengaluru’s public outreach initiative, were widely promoted within the city and drew a substantial attendance.

4 Panellists for Careers in Conservation: From Left - Sangeeta Kadur, Karthikeyani, Tarsh Thekaekara, Sahil Nijhawan, Bhanu Sridharan

5 Careers in Conservation Panel Discussion in session - Moderated by Ishika Ramakrishna (left)

Furthermore, early morning bird walks, tree walks, and evening Loris walks were organized on the IISc campus. These nature excursions have consistently been a favourite among conference participants, with slots filling up quickly each year due to their popularity.

6 Walks within IISc Campus - From left: Bird Walk, Tree Walk, Loris Walk

The distinctiveness of SCCS-Bengaluru lies in its organization by a consortium of institutions, backed by a broader network of supporting institutions and individuals. This model has empowered the efficient management of the conference, cost control, and the utilization of a vast and diverse pool of expertise and resources.

Student Presentations

We received 261 abstract submissions and had each one evaluated by three external reviewers. Out of these, 115 high-quality abstracts were chosen for presentation at the conference. From this pool, 15 were selected across diverse locations and fields for student talks, while the remaining 95 were designated for student posters.

7 Student Talks at SCCS Bengaluru 2023

8 Poster Presentation in Session


With their emphasis on skill development and capacity building, workshops have consistently stood out as the highlight of the SCCS-Bng conference. In the latest edition, there were 9 long workshops and 31 short ones.

Nearly 300 slots for workshops were available each day, and due to high demand from participants, resource people were requested to accommodate more attendees, a request most workshop organizers graciously accepted on the spot. As a result, the participation in the workshops reached a high of approximately 400 participants per day.

9 Glimpses from the Workshops at SCCS-Bengaluru 2023

Who’s Who in Conservation

“Who’s Who in Conservation” aimed to bring together a diverse community of conservationists, non-profits, companies, filmmakers, photographers, naturalists, artists, illustrators, cartoonists, and product designers, all dedicated to making a positive impact on our environment. There were 25 Who’s Who participants, comprising a mix of conservation action groups, NGOs, individual wildlife artists, and research institutions.

10 Glimpses of the Who’s Who in Conservation Session

A Mandatory POSH Session at SCCS Bengaluru 2023

Workplace Safety and Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Ecology and Conservation on Day 1- The SCCS–Bengaluru conference prioritized discussions on sexual harassment concerns within ecological and wildlife fields. Emphasizing the unique challenges in remote workspaces, it highlighted the systemic nature of this issue.

11 Mandatory POSH Session held at SCCS Bengaluru 2023

QUEER Circle at SCCS Bengaluru 2023

The third edition of the QUEER Circle at SCCS Bengaluru 2023 provided a supportive platform for LGBTQIA+ conservationists and ecologists to openly discuss the challenges they face in their professional environments. The event was designed as a safe, lecture-free space for individuals to share their experiences and find mutual support. With SCCS being a launchpad, the QUEER Circle secured funding from the Humsafar Trust, enabling its expansion beyond the conference boundaries.

SCCS-Bengaluru’s First Neurodivergent Circle

The first edition of the Neurodivergent Gathering at SCCS-Bng '23 offered a safe space for individuals working in nature conservation and the climate movement to share their experiences.

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The 14th SCCS-Bengaluru 2023, held in person after three years online, brought together 600 participants, including students and conservation professionals. Hosted by a consortium, the event featured plenary talks, student presentations, workshops, and public events like a conservation careers panel. Notable speakers included Pradip Krishen and Janice Pariat. Nature excursions and the unique organizational model added to the conference’s appeal. The detailed conference report is available at
SCCS-Bng 2023 Conference Report_LR.pdf (2.8 MB)

I’ve been privileged to be involved with SCCS ever since it started back in 2010. Little did we imagine back then that the conference would persist so long – held like clockwork every single year, and providing a platform to so many young and emerging leaders in conservation.

My congratulations to the organising committee for pulling off a superb in-person conference after it being held online for three years. Here’s to many more years of SCCS-Bengaluru!

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