I just returned from two weeks of conferencing, last week being the meeting of the German Ecological Society in Oldenburg and this week the meeting of the British Ecological Society in Sheffield. Both were really nice events. On the GFOE, Thorsten Wiegand and Andreas Huth were organizing a symposium “Analysis of spatial and temporal patterns in diversity in forest ecosystems” aligned to the themes of the project I’m currently working in, and Stephen Hubbell gave a really nice keynote lecture, so lots of food for a forest affine mind. On the BES, things that sounded attractive too me were a bit more scattered across subjects, but lot of interesting talks again. I really liked James Rosindell’s presentation of his paper on Island Biogeography. Also, maybe this is only stochasticity and sampling bias, but there seemed to be a surprisingly high number of people looking at scaling laws and particularly empirical evidence of the Metabolic Theory (e.g. Roswitha Ehnes who presented her recent EL paper), so not sure whether this is a little of a trend, but in any case I think its good that these things get picked up and tested empirically.