(adopted 1987; modified 1997, 1999, 2001, 2011, 2019)

Article 1. Name:
The name of this organization shall be International Council of Ethologists. (The name of the organization will be abbreviated as ICE throughout the Constitution and Bylaws)

Article 2. Purpose:
The purpose of this Council shall be entirely scientific and educational.  The goal shall be to organize International Ethological Conferences, to promote and encourage the study of animal behaviour in the broadest sense and to promote closer contact among behavioral scientists.

Article 3. International Council:
The primary governance shall rest with the International Council of Ethologists, consisting of delegates who have been chosen by the various nations and regions.  Representation on the ICE shall be based on years of attendance at the International Conferences and the number of ethologists working in each country.  At present (1992) this representation shall be:

Regions and Continents:
Africa (except South Africa) – 1
Southeast Asia – 1
Central & South America, & the Caribbean – 1 (excluding Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay)

Argentina – 1 (added 1999)
Australia – 2
Austria – 1
Belgium – 1
Brazil – 1 (added 1999)
Canada – 2
Chile – 1 (added 1999)
Czech Republic and Slovakia – 1 (added 2001)
Denmark – 1
Finland – 1
France – 3
Germany – 3
Hungary – 1
India – 1
Israel – 1
Italy – 1
Japan – 1
Mexico – 1 (added 1999)
Netherlands – 2
New Zealand – 1
Norway – 1
Poland –1
Portugal – 1 (added 2001)
Russia – 1
South Africa – 1
Spain – 1
Sweden – 1
Switzerland – 1
United Kingdom – 3
United States – 3
Uruguay – 1 (added 2001)
All persons who have served as Secretary-General

The countries or continents represented and the number of their representatives may be revised as necessary by the ICE.

Appointed delegates shall serve terms of 6 years; where a country has more than 1 delegate to the ICE, the terms of the delegates shall be staggered to provide regular turnover of membership on the ICE.

When a representative cannot attend a Council meeting he/she should submit, in writing, the name of a proxy who shall sit in his/her place.

Article 4. Officers:
Section 1. The officers of the ICE are:
Past Secretary-General
Conference president (head of the Local Host Committee) of the current International Conference
Conference president (head of the Local Host Committee) of the next International Conference
Recording Secretary
Corresponding Secretary
These officers constitute the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Duties:
To perform the functions and responsibilities stated in the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 3. Terms of Officers:
The Secretary-General shall be elected to a 4-year term, with the person first serving for 4 years as Secretary-General-Elect prior to taking office, then 4 years as Secretary-General, and then 4 years as Past Secretary-General.
The terms of office for the Treasurer, the Recording and the Corresponding Secretaries shall be 6 years, extension possible.
The Conference President (head of the Local Host Committee of an International Conference) shall serve during the preceding as well as current conference.
In case of the death or resignation of the Secretary-General, the Secretary-General Elect will become the Secretary-General, and the vacancy of the Secretary-General Elect shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Committee.
All terms of office shall become effective at the end of a biennial International Conference, except the term of the Recording Secretary starting at the opening of a Conference.

Article 5. Elections:
Elections of officers other than the Conference President shall be accomplished by members of the ICE. The Executive Committee shall provide the name(s) of candidates for each office after consultation with the ICE. The Recording Secretary shall tabulate and record the vote and notify candidates and the Executive Committee of the results. A simple majority of the votes cast for each office shall be necessary for election. Candidates for the offices need not be ICE members at the time of their nomination.

Article 6. Meetings:
Section 1. The International Council of Ethologists.
The ICE shall hold at least one regular business meeting every two years. A quorum for the ICE shall be 15 members. The location, time, and place of the ICE meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
Notice of all meetings of the ICE shall be sent by mail to all members of the Council before the deadline of early bird registration for the next International Conference.

Section 2. The Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall meet at the request of the Secretary-General or at the request of the Secretary-General Elect. A quorum for the Executive Committee shall be 3 members, including the Secretary-General or the Secretary-General Elect.

Article 7. Amendments to the Constitution:
Amendments to the Constitution can be made by a simple majority vote of the ICE at a business meeting, followed by a mail ballot of the entire ICE if less than 60% of the ICE was present at the business meeting.

(adopted 1987; modified 1997, 1999, 2011, 2019)

Article 1. International Conferences:
Section 1.   International Ethological Conferences shall be organized periodically by the International Council of Ethologists.

Section 2.   Notices of these Conferences and of other activities of the International Council shall be transmitted through the various national and international societies.

Section 3.   Any person who is engaged in the scientific study of animal or human behavior, or is interested in furthering the science of behavior is eligible to attend the International Conferences.

Section 4.   At each International Conference each person attending will be assessed a fee to support the operation of the ICE. See “Additional comments, 1.b”.

Article 2. Duties of the Officers:
Section 1. Secretary-General
a.   Conducts the affairs of the ICE.
b.   Presides over the Executive Committee and over the International Council.
c.   With the consent of the Executive Committee, appoints the members of such temporary committees as may be necessary or desirable.
d.   Informs and educates the Secretary-General-Elect of the operations of the International Council.
e.   Works with the Treasurer to prepare a biennial budget for presentation to the ICE.

Section 3. Secretary-General-Elect
a.   Assists the Secretary-General and in so doing becomes acquainted with the functioning of the International Council.
b.   Assumes the duties of the Secretary-General upon the death or resignation of the Secretary-General

  1. Nominates candidates for the position of Secretary-General Elect

Section 4. Past-Secretary-General
a.   Serves as an advisor to the International Council.

Section 5. Recording Secretary
a.   Makes all arrangements for Executive Committee and International Council business meetings. Records the minutes thereof and submits them to the ICE.
b.   Conducts any mail ballots that may be necessary.

Section 6. Corresponding Secretary
a.   Provides assistance to the Secretary-General in communicating with and coordinating the activities of the International Council, including communications with the various national and international societies.

Section 7. Treasurer
a.   Handles all funds for the International Council.
b.   Presents the financial statement of the International Council to the Council for review at each biennial meeting.
c.   Assists the Secretary-General in preparation of a biennial budget for presentation to the ICE.
d.   Disburses funds of the International Council upon requisition from the Secretary-General.

Section 8. Conference President
a.   Handles funds for an International Ethological Conference.
b.   Collects the assessments from those attending International Conferences.

Article 3. Duties of the Executive Committee:
a.   Conducts the affairs of the International Council between meetings and reviews and establishes policies and procedures in line with the Constitution and Bylaws as necessary.
b.   Approves the plans for plenary sessions and the general organization of each International Conference.
c.   Oversees the management of the finances of the ICE and makes decisions regarding the disposition of any excess funds remaining after an International Conference.

Article 4. Duties of the International Council of Ethologists :
a.   Conducts the affairs of the ICE with the Secretary-General presiding.
b.   Elects specified Council officers.
c.   Establishes policies and procedures for the Council as necessary.
d.   Makes final selections of sites for International Conferences.
e.   Gives final approval to all representatives to the Council.
f.   If necessary, makes determinations regarding the numbers of persons to attend each International Conference.
g.   Consults with each International Conference Local Host Committee regarding the Conference Program.
h.   Conducts other business as desirable.

Article 5. Local Host Committee:
a.   For each International Conference a Local Host Committee shall be established. The composition of this Local Committee shall be determined by the conference organizer(s).
b.   The Local Host Committee shall nominate the Conference President who is responsible to the Council Treasurer.
c.   Not later than 18 months prior to an International Conference the Local Host Committee shall confer with the Secretary-General, and, if possible, the Secretary-General Elect or other member of the Executive Committee, to coordinate planning for the Conference.
d.   Plans for plenary sessions and the general organization of the Scientific Program must be approved by the ICE Executive Committee.
e.   Whenever possible ICE funds shall be placed at the disposal of the Local Host Committee. Unexpended funds shall be returned to the ICE after the conference along with any interest earned on the funds. Monies provided to a Local Host Committee are to be returned to the ICE in the same currency as they were provided unless otherwise directed by the ICE.

Article 6. Amendments to the Bylaws
The International Council Bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of those present at a Council business meeting.

Article 7. Dissolution
Upon the dissolution of the International Council of Ethologists the Executive Committee shall distribute the assets and accrued income to one or more organizations, whose aims and activities will further the purposes of the ICE.


A simple majority vote of the ICE is necessary to adopt or to alter Policy.

  1. International Ethological Conferences will be held every two years.
  2. International Ethological Conferences shall be distributed at locations around the world so as to minimize total costs while maintaining scientific quality.  The tradition has been to hold Conferences alternately in Europe and elsewhere.
  3. Bids to the ICE to host an International Ethological Conference are to be made in writing to the Council at least four years, and preferably six years prior to the date of such proposed conference. The proposal should follow the guidelines as outlined in a document available from the Corresponding Secretary or Secretary-General on Hosting an International Ethology Conference.
  4. Each International Ethological Conference should be organized to have a duration of between five and seven days.
  5. The International Ethological Conferences are open meetings in so far as this is possible within the constraints imposed by the host site.  Details of any possible allocations of delegate numbers according to country will be determined by the ICE.
  6. All oral and poster paper presentations submitted for possible inclusion in the program at an ICE should be reviewed using the following guidelines. (a) Each contribution should be refereed by 2-4 reviewers, and (b) The Local Host Committee should select the moderators for the sessions who then are responsible for assigning the papers in that area for review and for selecting the oral and poster presentations on that topic.
  7. Portions of the proceedings of an Ethology Conference may be published by a Local Host Committee at their discretion. This may include Plenary Session texts and/or abstracts.  No one may be forced to have their abstract published.  All such publications by a Local Host Committee must contain a statement indicating that the Ethology Conference was the course of the materials. The name of the International Ethology Conference or International Ethological Conference may not be used in the title of any publication arising from an International Conference.
  8. Each conference shall attempt to implement one or more new features regarding the scientific program and organization.  These features will be decided upon in conjunction with the Secretary-General and/or the Secretary-General-Elect. This procedure should help to promote innovations in the process of scientific communication.
  9. There shall be a representative of the Secretary-General on the Local Organizing Committee for each International Conference. This representative shall be appointed by joint agreement between the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee and the Secretary-General of the ICE. The individual selected shall represent the views and policies of the Local Organizing Committee to the Secretary-General. (Adopted at Madison, WI 1987)
  10. The expression of public comment by the ICE shall be made by the Secretary-General or the representative(s) he/she has nominated; the process shall involve a consideration of an issue by any member, group of members, or subcommittee of the ICE, the preparation of a report for submission to the members of the Council, and its consideration by the members of the Council.  The basis for the adoption of the report by the Council shall be the quality of the scientific content of the work.  The Council shall adopt a report on the basis of a 2/3 majority of those present and voting. If adopted, the report may be embodied in an official release to the media representatives by the Secretary-General, who may take no part in any political debate arising from the report. (Adopted at Madison, WI 1987)
  11. The Secretary-General is responsible for decisions on the use of ICE funds.  Such funds shall not be used for attendance at IE Conferences by ICE officers, except in special cases where an application is made to the Secretary-General, who shall report such expenditure at the next meeting of the ICE.  ICE funds shall be used for administrative expenses, for IE Conference site visits by the Secretary-General or her/his representatives, and to support attendance at the IE Conferences by delegates in need of assistance. Such support should be administered by the Local Host Committee.
  12. The person in charge of the local organizing committee for each conference shall be known as the ‘Conference President’. (Adopted at Rennes, 2009)

Additional Comments
1. The ICE derives funds from two sources

  1. deposit account interest
    b. $20 for each full delegate at a conference (excluding students and other participants on reduced fees; early bird registration is not considered a reduced fee). Exceptions may be possible in well justified situations, but must be agreed upon during the ICE business meeting preceding the International Conference in question. It is the responsibility of the host to collect and remit these funds to the ICE treasurer within 6 months of the conference. (Adopted at Halifax, 2007)
  2. Reserves should exceed $15,000. (Adopted at Halifax, 2007)
  3. Each conference may receive $10,000 as a loan. This loan will be repaid to the ICE treasurer within 6 months of the conference. (Adopted at Halifax, 2007)
  4. The ICE does not underwrite conferences.  This is done at the risk of local organizers.

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