International Congresses of Dipterology

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Council Minutes from midterm meeting 2016

The midterm meeting of ICD is scheduled to take place at the International Congress of Entomology (this year in Orlando, USA), but as only four Council members intimated beforehand that they planned to attend the Congress (Thomas Pape, Rudolf Meier, James E. O'Hara and Shaun Winterton), this would not represent a quorum of members and it was decided to convene a virtual meeting by e-mail on 10–14 October 2016. The Council was informed of the meeting on 29 September 2016 and an Agenda distributed. The associated reports and points for discussion and a ballot paper were distributed to Council on 7 October 2016 ahead of the meeting.

The virtual meeting was opened on Monday, October 10 at 10:00 am Central Africa Time with an email message from the Chair to all Council members. Discussion proceeded via the "reply to all" function and a formal vote was cast by ballot paper on items 1, 3, 6 and 9 (as noted below).




The following Council members attended the virtual meeting (with at least one e-mail response): Thomas Pape (Chair), Rudolf Meier (Vice-Chair), Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs (Secretary/Treasurer), Daniel Bickel, Stephen D. Gaimari, Valery Korneyev, Carlos José Einicker Lamas, Ángeles Marcos García, Kazuhiro Masunaga, Erica McAlister, James E. O'Hara, Marc Pollet, Shaun Winterton and Manuel A. Zumbado.


Adrian Plant was unable to actively participate in the meeting, due to travel arrangements and sent apologies, but was invited to submit a completed ballot paper if possible.

  1. Approval of minutes of previous meeting (10/14 August 2014)
    Minutes of the previous Council meetings held on the 10th and 14th August 2014 at ICD8 (Potsdam, Germany), prepared by the former Secretary/Treasurer (Marion Kotrba) and posted on the Council's website ( were approved. Thomas Pape proposed acceptance of the minutes, which was seconded by Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs, and all Council members who responded endorsed acceptance without further comment.

  2. Secretary/Treasurer’s report
    The Secretary/Treasurer's report was circulated on 7 October 2016. The assets of Council currently stand unchanged at 3237.55 €. The Secretary noted in his Report that Council should consider options for investing the existing and future Congress surplus funds, as we are currently not allowed to establish a bank account or endowment fund. Thomas Pape proposed acceptance of the Secretary/Treasurer's report, without further comment, which was endorsed by Carlos José Einicker Lamas, Rudolf Meier, Manuel Zumbado, Ángeles Marcos García, Shaun Winterton, Steve Gaimari, Erica McAlister, Valery Korneyev, James O'Hara and Kazuhiro Masunaga.

  3. Report on preparations for ICD9 (2018)
    A detailed written report by Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs (Chair of ICD9) was circulated on 7 October 2016, which outlined progress with the organisation of ICD9 in Stellenbosch University, South Africa, to be held on 25–30 November 2018. Copies of ICD9 branding (letterhead and logo options and the proposed covers of the programme and abstracts volume) and a copy of the planning spreadsheet were provided as supplementary information to the report. It was noted that all recommended steps for preparations by this stage were already in place and that 59 registrations of interest and 9 symposia titles have already been submitted on-line. It was further noted that the first circular for the Congress shall be distributed once Council has considered suggested plenary speakers and this information is posted on the ICD9 website. It was noted that the final registration costs will be posted in November 2017, but are currently predicted at ca. USD324 per delegate (based on 300 delegates attending). Likewise, accommodation costs will likely range from USD22 per night in University halls of residence to between USD53–USD77 in local guesthouses and B&Bs in the town. Various sources of sponsorship and funding available were noted and other options are being pursued.

    Rudolf Meier suggested a structured fee system with lower registration rates for developing countries and both Rudolf Meier and Steve Gaimari noted that there was currently no Scientific Committee comprising international members. Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs responded that it was impractical to establish a separate registration fee for developed and developing countries, but that other steps were in place to provide funding for developing world delegates. A student registration fee will, however, be implemented as with previous congresses. He also noted that the current Local Organising Committee shall serve the function of a Scientific Committee, which does include international representatives. In this regard Thomas Pape noted that while the Local Organising Committee is sufficient, a number of the Organising Committee members should be attributed specific responsibilities for the scientific programme. He noted that it is evident from the list of Organising Committee members, that there is sufficient potential for such designations.

    James O'Hara raised the issue of the banquet speaker. Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs responded that the Organising Committee had discussed this and decided internally against having a banquet speaker and provided reasons. Dan Bickel indicated that a speaker is not necessary, as this is a time for socialising and Thomas Pape concluded (in a private e-mail to the ICD9 representative), that the decision as to whether to incorporate a banquet speaker is in the hands of the local Organising Committee. Rudolf Meier suggested that a few words to welcome everyone on behalf of the Congress and the organisers should suffice.

    Thomas Pape suggested the JRS Biodiversity Foundation as a possible source of funding for developing country delegates and Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs pointed out that the organisation currently only funds specific calls for funding applications on specified research topics announced in any one year.

    Thomas Pape noted that he was "... very content with current progress in planning for ICD9 and we are heading towards another spectacular dipterological event". Arrangements for ICD9 were also endorsed in general by the majority of Council.

    Vote: "I am satisfied that ICD9 is being effectively organised on the basis of the report supplied."

    10 ballots received, YES: 9, 1 declared abstention (Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs, also Chair and ICD representative of the proposed congress).

    Stellenbosch University, South Africa, is herewith the accepted location ICD9 in 2016.

  4. Suggestions for plenary speakers for ICD9 (2018)
    The Secretary distributed a list of nine names and two themes for plenary speakers that have been suggested thus far for ICD9. Council was asked to consider these and suggest others, bearing gender in mind, so a decision can be reached on the five speakers to be invited.

    Thomas Pape endorsed the selection of three suggested plenary speakers and noted the need for local African speakers and gender to be considered when selecting plenaries. Council made some very positive suggestions for additional plenary speakers: Rudolf Meier noted that we should include a plenary on celebrating Diptera diversity, which was endorsed by Steve Gaimari, Erica McAlister, Carlos José Einicker Lamas and Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs.

    Dan Bickel noted that it is important that plenaries comprise topics of interest to the general educated public and possibly to be reported in the media. Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs responded that plenaries need to be topical, present novel or innovative research and have a wide appeal to all delegates and that the persons concerned must be excellent, engaging speakers and provide good visual materials. It was also noted that a public outreach programme is planned with a series of separate public lectures and the marketing for the Congress is adequately covered.

    Thomas Pape noted that sufficient recommendations for plenary speakers had been suggested by Council and the final decision regarding the selection of plenary speakers now rests with the Local Organising Committee of ICD9. A list of seven potential speakers was compiled and Thomas Pape gave approval.

  5. Bids to host ICD10 (2022)
    The Secretary provided details on progress with bids for ICD10. It was noted that Brazil had been approached to assess their willingness to present a bid (as intimated at the second ICD meeting in 2014), but declined. Assurances have now been received from Steve Gaimari and his team of dipterists in California, USA, that they intend submitting a bid in South Africa in 2018. Council considers this to be a very strong option and the Secretary proposed a vote of thanks to Steve Gaimari and his team for bringing the date of their proposed Congress bid forward. No further bids will now be solicited for ICD10. China may be considered a viable contender to present a bid for ICD11 in 2026.

    Steve Gaimari stated that he was happily willing to put in a bid for California in 2022, even though his original intent was for 2026. He noted that in his lab alone there are five dipterists (Martin Hauser, Peter Kerr, Alessandra Rung, Shaun Winterton and Steve Gaimari) and usually one or two Diptera postdocs (currently Chris Borkent). There are also other dipterists locally in-state (e.g., Brian Brown in Los Angeles, Michelle Trautwein in San Francisco), as well as nearby states, although discussions with these have not yet been opened. In any case, all five dipterists based at Sacramento are in agreement that a great bid can be made ICD10 in California in 2022 at the ICD9 in Stellenbosch.

    Carlos José Einicker Lamas noted that Brazilian dipterists are happy and relieved that Steve Gaimari and other colleagues from California understood the reasoning behind Brazil's decision to not present a bid for ICD10, as Marcia Couri suggested in Potsdam (2014), and that they will re-evaluate the possibility of presenting a bid for ICD11. The Brazilians are appreciative of the fact that California has agreed to bring the date of their bid forward.

    Thomas Pape noted that as Steve Gaimari and colleagues have notified the ICD Secretariat that they will put in a serious bid to hold ICD10 in California, he is fully content with this.

  6. Foundation of International Society of Dipterology
    The Secretary reported on results of discussions related to the establishment of an International Society of Dipterology. This has been discussed at some length at previous meetings and an ICD subcommittee (comprising Thomas Pape, Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs, Steve Gaimari and Shaun Winterton) was established in 2014 to pursue this further. Positive aspects of the establishment of a Society were outlined, but it was noted that inevitably the establishment of such a Society is dependent of the willingness of one or more current Council members to take on the responsibilities of establishing and running such a society. Council was asked to vote on whether to establish a Society and their willingness to take on such responsibilities.

    Shaun Winterton provided some additional information on enquires he made into establishment of a Society and expressed the view that the idea should be shelved at present, but that Council should continue exploration of options for establishment of a tax entity for the sole purposes of setting up a bank account and ensuring the possibility to legally possess funds. Erica McAlister also provided information on UK-based societies and suggested that these be contacted for advice on establishment of a Society. Marc Pollet drew attention to the Royal Belgian Society of Entomology, which has been linked to the RBINS and he stressed that without a starting capital, it will be difficult to establish a sustainable society.

    James O'Hara agreed that the establishment of a Society would be a great thing, but noted that setting up such a Society would require at least one person willing to take on the legal issues involved in creating a not-for-profit organisation. He noted that without clear goals for the Society there is no reason to have one and at present our goals – beyond the creation of the Society itself – are somewhat vague. Thomas Pape noted that it was possible to establish a Society without members paying dues and cited the example of NADS, which functions with neither dues nor a formalised organisation. He also pointed out that CICD has one specific aim, which is "to provide continuity and direction for the International Congresses of Dipterology" and that as a Society, the aim could be broader, but there are essentially no current activities that require a Society.

    Carlos José Einicker Lamas mentioned that not only the foundation, but also the maintenance of a Society hinges crucially on the existence of a group of people, from the same country and city, which agrees to manage such a Society for an extended period, as the bureaucracy to move it for another country would be enormous and almost impossible to achieve.

    Steve Gaimari noted that as a community we currently "lack an overarching umbrella" for international Diptera activities. He stressed the community-wide resources that are available and noted that the NADS website does pull together some things of worldwide interest as well, but still represents a North American society site. He gave the example of Fly Times that could become more international and community-wide and suggested a directory of dipterists, which could be posted on the website. He made several other suggestions of actions that could be taken that would make resources more freely available without the establishment of a formalised Society.

    Council was requested to vote on the issue as follows:

    Vote: "I support the establishment of an International Society of Dipterology and am prepared to contribute actively to its establishment."

    10 ballots received, YES: 4, NO: 6.

    A small majority have therefore voted against establishing a Society at this time.

  7. Members of the Council for International Congresses of Dipterology
    In 2018, seven Council members are due for retirement or re-election: Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs (elected 2010), Daniel Bickel (elected 2010), Ángeles Marcos García (elected 2010), James O'Hara (elected 2002/2010), Marc Pollet (elected 2002/2010), Manuel Zumbado (elected 2002/2010) and Steve Gaimari (elected 2010) (subject to changes in the Constitution as outlined in item 9 below).

    Ángeles Marcos García, James O'Hara and Manuel Zumbado have indicated that they shall not be standing for re-election; Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs, Daniel Bickel and Steve Gaimari have intimated that they are prepared and are eligible to stand for re-election if nominated (under the changes to Article VII (Section 4) of the Constitution as promulgated below).

    Both Thomas Pape (Chair) and Rudolf Meier (Vice-Chair) are not due for retirement or re-election as Councillors until 2022, but the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair come up for election in 2018. Both Thomas and Rudolf have indicated that they are prepared to stand for re-election if nominated.

    Councillors were requested to submit any nominations for new members of Council and for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair to the Secretary not later than 1 September 2018 to allow sufficient time for approaches to be made and distributing nominations to Council for appraisal ahead of the first meeting of ICD9 in November 2018, when voting will take place and new members will be appointed.

    Thomas Paper noted that this item is not about nominating specific candidates, the procedures for which are explained in the Constitution, but to highlight that our Constitution mandates that the Councillors should represent "as wide a field as possible both geographically and by dipterological discipline". He further expressed the opinion that any nominations should also consider gender, especially as one of the outgoing Councillors is female and, almost needless to say, we should carefully nominate dipterists that have a strong desire (and capacity) to take active part in Council deliberations and other Congress-related activities.

  8. Honorary members of the International Congresses of Dipterology
    On behalf of ICD Council, the Secretary expressed regrets on the passing of one of our Honorary Members, Evert Irving Schlinger (1928–2014), who passed away on 8 October 2014.

    It was noted that currently we have eight elected Honorary Members, with a maximum of 10 allowed (Article X, Section 3). While Council is not obliged to elect a full quota of Honorary Members, Council was asked to discuss potential nominees for formal nomination before the first Council meeting of ICD9 in 2018.

    It was noted that nominations for Honorary Members should be submitted to the Secretary not later than 1 September 2018.

    Thomas Pape recommended that we act cautiously and consider only those that undoubtedly fulfil the requirements put forward in our Constitution, which states that Honorary Members are elected from those dipterists "who have made outstanding contributions to dipterological knowledge, who have influenced dipterology substantially both within and outside their own countries or regions, and who have made important contributions to the International Congresses of Dipterology". Thomas informally suggested two names as potential nominees for consideration and provided a brief motivation for both. Steve Gaimari strongly supported these potential nominees, but also that there is a geographical bias in the representation of past and current Honorary Members. Other Council Members endorsed Thomas' suggestions, but it was noted that these are only suggestions and Council should follow Article X (Section 5) in respect to formal nominations.

  9. Changes to Constitution
    It was proposed that the title "Chairman" be changed to "Chair" and "Vice-Chairman" to "Vice-Chair" to avoid any issues of gender. The change was proposed by the Chair and was seconded by the Secretary. Changes will be made to the ICD website to reflect this, but not to the minutes of the previous meetings.

    It was also proposed that the terms of ordinary serving Council members be restricted to a maximum of two consecutive terms of office. This is to allow a higher turnover of Council members, while retaining the continuity by giving the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair the possibility of a third term. The following amendment (changes underlined) to Article VII (Section 4) of our Constitution were proposed:

    "Election during a Congress. At the first business meeting of the Council during each Congress, the Chairman shall call for nominations to fill vacancies on Council, and shall announce which retiring members are eligible for re-election and willing to serve again. The duration of service for ordinary Council members will not exceed two consecutive terms, and for the serving Chair and Vice-Chair three consecutive terms. The Secretary-Treasurer shall distribute to all Council members attending a Congress the details of each nominee as specified in Article VII.2.

    Marc Pollet noted that while he supported the amendment to the Constitution and understood the reasoning behind this, he felt it better to have a good working Council team, composed of people willing and eager to contribute. James O'Hara wrote in support of the amendment, but suggested that this be slightly re-worded to allow extension for another term given unanimous support. Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs noted that re-elections are based on nominations and proposed that if a Council member's term of office were to be extended then this should be raised at the Mid-term meeting, and if not agreed upon should not be accepted. Steve Gaimari agreed in general with two terms and questioned whether there had ever been a time where a turnover of Council members caused a problem or there had been issues with recruiting people willing to serve. Marc Pollet indicated that he had not found those he spoke to at ICD8 willing to serve.

    Thomas Pape concluded the discussion by stating that "I feel confident that this period [two terms, i.e., 16 years] will be sufficient for anybody to leave a substantial mark on the Congresses".

    Council was requested to vote on the issue as follows (with or without the amendment suggested by James O'Hara):

    Vote: "I agree to the changes to the Constitution as outlined in the report?"

    10 ballots received, YES: 9, NO: 1.

    The majority have voted for a change to the Constitution and this will now be implemented (as noted below).

    Vote: Given the suggested changes made to amendment a second ballot paper was distributed with three voting options (1) No change required; a maximum duration of service for Council members will not be specified; (2) Change required; a maximum duration of service for Council members should be specified as follows: "The duration of service for ordinary Council members will not exceed two consecutive terms, and for the serving Chair and Vice-Chair three consecutive terms"; and (2a) Change required; a maximum duration of service for Council members should be specified, but worded as follows: "The duration of service for ordinary Council members will not exceed two consecutive terms, unless extended by one additional term by unanimous consent of the other Council members. The duration of service for the Chair and Vice-Chair will not exceed three consecutive terms".

    9 ballots received; option 2: YES: 6; option 2a: YES: 1.

    Option 2 of the wording for the change to the Constitution is here approved and adopted with immediate effect.

  10. Any other business
    Council discussed the transfer of existing Council funds to the Williston Diptera Research Fund and other options for investment of existing and future Congress surpluses.

    James O'Hara noted that he would rather see the funds continue to be managed by the ICD Council through the Secretary/Treasurer and noted that these funds are intended to be available to a congress organiser as start-up funds, in the event that such are necessary. They can also be used to bail out a congress if it goes over budget. Thomas Pape, Steve Gaimari and Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs outlined the problems with establishing an account under the name of the Treasurer and the complexities this would entail. Steve Gaimari noted that without a dedicated bank account choices are limited to either keeping the funds as cash to be held until needed, find a non-profit or other fund that currently exists within the scope of dipterology, or set up a non-profit fund as part of a formalised International Society. Thomas Pape concluded that however convenient it would be to have some starting funds or an economic buffer for forthcoming Congresses, this is simply not an option, unless we are registered as a non-profit organisation or society. He concluded that Council funds stay in the safe with the Treasurer until an emergency arises or proper use is suggested and agreed on. This suggestion was supported by those who responded.


The meeting was closed on October 14 at 17:00 pm Central African Time by a concluding e-mail by Thomas Pape, in which he thanked the Secretary for preparations for the meeting and the Council for participating. He expressed some discontent, however, that the flow of messages was so uneven. More specifically, he noted that some Councillors remained largely silent, in spite of having confirmed participation at the onset of the meeting and worse, had not even returned their ballot papers. That being said, he greatly appreciated all the inputs. He noted that the procedure for this second electronic Mid-term meeting was both workable and effective and he thanked the Organizing Committee for ICD9 and noted that he was looking forward to meeting Councillors at ICD9 in Stellenbosch.

Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs
15 October 2016

First published on the Internet on 18 October 2016
Last update: 24 October 2016
J.E. O'Hara