The symposium will be composed of research presentations, hands-on tutorials, and meetings of collaborative working groups.

Program and Abstracts (mobile-friendly version)

Monday, 5 May: meeting 8 am to 5 pm, welcome reception in the evening
Tuesday, 6 May: meeting 8 am to 3 pm, poster session and happy hour from 3–6 pm
Wednesday, 7 May: meeting 8 am to 5 pm
In addition, classrooms will be available for collaborative working groups on 8 and 9 May.

Research Presentations

We will have keynote presentations, general sessions, special sessions, and poster presentations. If you would like to organize a special session of research talks please contact Roland Kays at with your idea and proposed speakers. Expected topics include

  • Incorporating environmental data into movement and navigation models
  • Integrating behavior into resource selection functions
  • Accelerometers on animals
  • Segmentation of movement as behaviors
  • Niche modeling
  • MODIS and other remote sensing products
  • Ecological causes and consequences of animal movement

Keynote Speakers

Josh Millspaugh, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri

Ran Nathan, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Martin Wikelski, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and University of Konstanz


These will be 30 or 60 minute hands-on sessions dedicated to teach attendees how to use a specific tool or statistical package. These will include

  • Modeling animal movement as a cognitive process by Tal Avgar (see Avgar et al. 2013)
  • Flexible continuous-time modeling for heterogeneous animal movement by Paul Blackwell (see Harris and Blackwell 2013)
  • Environmental data track annotation with Env-DATA by Gil Bohrer (see Dodge et al. 2013)
  • Orographic lift, with examples related to land-based wind energy, golden eagles, and griffon vultures by David Brandes
  • EMbC: An algorithm for behavioral annotation of animal movement by Joan Garriga and Frederic Bartumeus
  • Using synoptic models to predict space use (home range + resource selection) by Oz Garton and Jon Horne (see Horne et al. 2008)
  • The R package move by Bart Kranstauber and Scott LaPoint (see project page)
  • Dynamic Brownian bridge movement models by Bart Kranstauber (see Kranstauber et al. 2012)
  • Animal defined movement corridors by Scott LaPoint (see LaPoint et al. 2013)
  • Mining animal relationships from movement traces by Zhenhui (Jessie) Li
  • Resource selection functions by Josh Millspaugh and Chris Rota
  • Supervised learning of behavior modes from acceleration data by Hezi Resheff and Ran Nathan (see Nathan et al. 2012)
  • State-space modeling of animal movement presented by Jean-François Therrien (see Jonsen et al. 2005)

If you would like to give a tutorial, please send a short description to Roland Kays at

Collaborative Working Groups

We will schedule time for researchers to meet and brainstorm on specific collaborative research ideas. We are particularly interested in encouraging collaborations that pull movement data from different species and studies to achieve discoveries on scales that were not previously possible. In addition, classroom space will be available in the museum for groups to continue their work after the meeting (May 8th & 9th) if they like. If you would like to organize a working group please send Sarah ( a title, short description, and initial collaborators. If you would like to join an existing working group please contact the organizer.

Comparing movement modeling frameworks
This informal group will get together on 8th May to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the rapidly growing suite of movement modeling frameworks that have been published in recent years. The goal will be to identify a collection of good datasets that could be used as benchmarks for assessment, then organize a systematic evaluation of these datasets using the full suite of algorithms to better identify their robustness (led by John Fryxell and Tal Avgar).

Cross-site comparison of fisher habitat use
Fishers (Pekania pennanti) are forest dependent species, but their tolerance for habitat fragmentation and land cover heterogeneity has not been investigated across their range. During this group brainstorm, we hope to bring together data owners and modellers to think about the interesting hypotheses that we could explore on this topic and to identify data owners willing to contribute to such an effort.

Other activities

In addition to the main symposium events, there will be an opening reception on the evening of Monday, 5 May, and a poster session and happy hour on Tuesday, 6 May. There will also be additional activities throughout the meeting where attendees can interact.


Participants will be responsible for their own meals, other than Monday night. There are two cafés in the museum (on the 1st floor of the NRC and the 4th floor of the Main Museum), 14 restaurants within 4 blocks, and over 200 within 1 mile.

Animal Movement Visualization Competition

Enter your best animal movement visualization into this contest by sending a video file and a one paragraph description to These will be shown in the Daily Planet Theater during the opening reception and participants will vote on their favorite.

Movebank Café

Members of the Movebank team will be available for questions and one-on-one tutorials at a booth next to a supply of coffee throughout the meeting.

Exhibitor Booths

Companies interested in exhibiting at the meeting should contact Roland Kays at about booth rentals.


We will publish a digital collection of abstracts from the talks. We are also planning a special issue of the new journal Movement Ecology based on this symposium—please contact Roland Kays at if you are interested in contributing to this.