Code of Conduct

The Society for Open Reliable Transparent Ecology and Evolutionary biology (SORTEE) holds professional conferences and other events to enable its members to work to improve methods and practices in ecology, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines, build professional networks, and receive continuing education. SORTEE is dedicated to providing a harassment-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, appearance, religion, or other group status. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled without a refund at the discretion of the SORTEE Board of Directors or event organizers.

SORTEE is dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and the free expression of ideas. SORTEE seeks to provide an environment in which diverse participants may learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and hold that environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors, therefore, are specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, appearance, religion, or other group status.

  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.

  • Sustained disruption or threatening speakers (verbally or physically). Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others.

We try to cultivate a community with shared values, where people are comfortable exploring ideas, asking questions, and saying things like “I don’t understand” or “Why”. Assume competence in the people you interact with. There are no stupid questions.

Critical examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. Similarly, use of sexual imagery or language in the context of a professional discussion might not constitute hostile conduct or harassment if it is necessary to the topic of discussion and presented respectfully.


Participants who are asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, event organizers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Event organizers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all events and event-related social activities and when conducting the business of the organization, including in person, on the organization’s Slack channel, and using the society or conference or meeting hashtag on Twitter.


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, or if you believe a harassment problem exists, please report it as soon as possible to any member of the SORTEE Board of Directors or event organizers. Alternatively, you may report your concerns electronically, with the option to remain anonymous.

All members of the Board of Directors and event organizers are required to pass along all reports to the SORTEE President (or if the President may have a conflict of interest, to at least 3 uninvolved members of the SORTEE Board of Directors).


This anti-harassment policy uses language and concepts adapted from the following sources: