IOU Council Members

IOU Council August 2022 - August 2026


President: Lei Fumin (China)

Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution
Chinese Academy of Sciences
1 Beichen West Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101

I enjoy very much working on birds and enjoy cooperating with the IOU. My research interests are taxonomy, phylogeny, biodiversity and distribution, phylogeography, adaptive evolution by comparative genomics, and molecular epidemiology of avian influenza. All these studies are focused on birds. Since 2018, after the the 27th IOCongress2018 in Vancouver, I served as the Chair of the IOU Working Group on Asian Ornithology, which aims to promote scientific research and cooperation among Asian partners and to collaborate with members in other regions; to establish research needs and conservation strategies for the Asian region; to identify barriers in effective research and conservation of threatened birds in Asia, and explore possible solutions; to attract more Asian ornithologists to join the IOU, especially from the developing and less developed countries. I also served as editor in Current Zoology, editor for Asia in Journal of Ornithology, executive Editor-in-Chief in Avian Research, associate editor in Journal of Biogeography, and associate editor-in-Chief in Zoological Systematics, and etc. I was elected a member of the International Ornithological Committee (called IOU Fellow since 2010) in 1998. I have attended all IOCongresses since the Durban IOCongress in 1998. I was a member of the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) for the 25th IOCongress2010 in Campos do Jordão and the 27th IOCongress2018 in Vancouver. I am happy to cooperate with all who are interested in these research interests for the study and conservation of such the lovely and beautiful animals, the birds!


Vice President: Juan Carlos Reboreda
Department of Ecology, Genetics & Evolution
Faculty of Exact & Natural Sciences
University of Buenos Aires, Argentina


Secretary: Sandi Willows-Munro
South Africa


Treasurer: Eli Bridge (USA)
Oklahoma Biological Survey, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Oklahoma
660 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK 73019


Birds do not recognize political boundaries. Although the same is not true for humans, we need an organization that can reach across the continents to foster international cooperation and collaboration. It is a very exciting time to be part of the International Ornithologists’ Union as we strive to foster a worldwide community of bird researchers and enthusiasts. I have a strong interest in ornithology as an international endeavor, partly because my current research focuses on animal tracking and bird migration, but also because conserving wildlife on this changing planet will require international coordination. Here is where the IOU can make a real difference, by proving a forum for ornithologists worldwide and a stage for presenting the results of our research efforts. I have attended several International Ornithological Congresses starting with the one in Hamburg in 2006, but I am a newcomer to the council of the IOU. I became treasurer in 2018 just after the IOC in Vancouver, and I am still climbing the learning curve in negotiating the finances of an international non-profit organization. It is a true honor to be part of this organization right now as we modernize and mobilize to reach our full potential as a global scientific society.

Past president: Dominique G. Homberger (USA)
Dept. of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Professor, International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU) 2018-2022 and International Ornithological Congress 2022 (IOCongress® 2022)

Dominique Homberger is a distinguished Alumni Professor in Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in vertebrate anatomy, 3D imaging and animation, and environmental issues Her research program investigates the functional morphology and biomechanics of vertebrates from lampreys to sharks, and from alligators, birds, and mammals to human beings by using a variety of methods, including 3D modeling and animation. In pursuit of her special interest in the evolution of parrots and cockatoos and to complement her functional-morphological data on their feeding and vocal apparatus, she has traveled widely in Australia and South America and, to a lesser extent, in other southern continents to observe the ecology and feeding behavior of wild psittaciform species in their natural habitat. She has published extensively in reviewed articles and book chapters, two research monographs, and five textbooks in vertebrate anatomy. She has served on numerous editorial boards of journals. She is the immediate past president (2022-2026) of the International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU). She presided over the virtual 28th International Ornithological Congress™ in 2022. Under her presidency (2018-2022), the IOU established a new web page, increased its membership and introduced new membership benefits, increased the number of IOU Working Groups, established the series  “IOU Distinguished Webinars”, and spearheaded an innovative virtual format of the IOCongress™ to broaden participation by ornithologists globally. She served as the IOU’s permanent secretary from 1998 until 2018. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Association for Anatomy (AAA), the American Ornithological Society (AOS), the International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU), and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). She is also an Honorary Member of the Linnaean Society of New York.

As Immediate Past President and member of the IOU Executive Committee, my foremost task is to assist and support the current IOU Council members with their new tasks to ensure the continued success of the IOU. In addition, as per the IOU Bylaws , I serve as chair of the IOU Fellows Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Awards Committee.


Member-at-Large: Frank E. Rheindt
National University of Singapore
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543

Based at the National University of Singapore, Frank has – for years – been pursuing research into the bird diversification process, with a special interest in secondary gene flow between species that can lead to a transfer of important alleles and traits from one species to the other. Another strong focus of his lab group is the application of population-genomic and phylogenomic approaches in conservation. He is an avid field biologist who’s been involved in the discovery and scientific description of numerous new bird species, especially in Southeast Asia. Within the IOU, Frank is the chair of the Working Group on Avian Nomenclature (WGAN) and the deputy chair of the Working Group on Avian Checklists (WGAC), acting in both capacities to strive for a harmonization of global taxonomic treatments and scientific name usage in birds. As chair of the Taxonomic Group within the WGAC, Frank is leading efforts in the preparation of a new and universal global taxonomic treatment of birds that is intended to unite existing global checklists from other stakeholders. These efforts are underway and scheduled to go public within the next two years. Frank is also strongly involved in the Working Group on Asian Ornithology (WGAO), serving as a vice-chair, where his aim is to help establish a solid international network of Asian ornithologists to strengthen our discipline in this most populous continent.  

Member-at-Large: Wolfgang Fiedler
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Centre for Animal Marking “Vogelwarte Radolfzell”
Radolfzell and Konstanz, Germany

I am primarily interested in the phenology of bird migrations and the consequences associated with migratory behaviour for both the bird and its environment. Since 1998 I have the pleasure to work at the Max Planck Institute of Animal behaviour in Radolfzell (Germany; formerly Max Planck Institute of Ornithology).  There I am the head of the bird ringing centre (now Centre for Animal Marking) “Vogelwarte Radolfzell”, in fact the oldest bird ringing centre in the world. As someone working in Europe in the field of bird migration it always went without saying that international cooperation is indispensable. It was a great experience for me to act as secretary and later as chairman in the board of the European Union for Bird Ringing (EURING) between 2001 and 2017 and I am still very much dedicated to this organisation where more than 30 institutions across almost all European countries work together to promote and develop scientific bird ringing. Following a similar idea in a wider field the European Ornithologists’ Union (EOU) was born in the late 1990ies and I could join the young society and support it as secretary between 2001 and 2005. 2006 I was elected as committee member of the International Ornithological Conference and I followed the recent transition of that body into the IOU with high interest. I think an international association of ornithologists is important to give them a voice that is heard at the international level and to create a community of solidarity between ornithologists from richer and less rich countries. 

Membership Chair: Dra. Patricia Escalante-Pliego

Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Biología
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Circuito Campos Deportivos s/n
Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán CDMX 04510 México



Researcher and Curator of Birds at the Biology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she has pursued new knowledge in bird diversification in Mesoamerica, including population genetics and phylogeography. She has also contributed to the conservation of birds in Mexico, from the education front to the active population management of endangered species, as in the reintroduction of the Scarlet Macaw in Veracruz and other conservation problems with parrots such as habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade. During her career, she has dedicated critical time to establish and promote the development of ornithological societies as President of CIPAMEX (1992-1998), the national ornithological society in Mexico, and the Neotropical Ornithological Society (2003-2007). As membership Chair of the IOU, she started in August 2020. In addition to modernizing the membership portal, she is working with the Council to improve communication and services with members of the IOU.



Council of the International Ornithologists’ Union, 2018 – 2022


Council of the International Ornithologists’ Union, 2014 – 2018

President: Professor Dr. Lucia Liu Severinghaus, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, 128 See 11 Yen-chiu-yuan Road, Taipei, 11529, Taiwan. Phone: 886-2-27899542; Cell: 011- 886-2-2651-0702; Fax: 886-2-27858059. In San Francisco: Phone: 1-415-929-8532. Email:

Vice President: Professor Dr. Lei Fu-min, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. Phone: +86 (10) 64807159; Fax: +86 (10) 64807159. E-mail:

Past President: Professor Dr. Franz Bairlein, Institut für Vogelforschung (Institute of Avian Research), Vogelwarte Helgoland, An der Vogelwarte 21, D-26386 Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Phone: +49 4421 96890; Fax +49 4421 968955. E-mail:

Secretary: Professor Dr. Dominique G. Homberger, Department of Biological Sciences, 202 Life Sciences Building, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-1715, USA. Phone: 1-225-578-1747; Fax: 1-225-578-2597.

Treasurer: Professor Dr. Stephan J. Schoech, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Memphis, 3774 Walker Avenue, Memphis, TN 38152-3560, USA. Phone: 1-901-678-2327; Fax: 1-901-678-4457. E-mail:

Communications and Publications Committee Chair: Professor Dr. Hans Winkler, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria E-mail:

IOCongress Convener-General: Professor Dr. Robert W. Elner, Simon Frazer University; and Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, RR #1, 5421 Robertson Road, Delta, British Columbia V4K 3N2 CANADA. Phone: 1-604-940-4674; Fax: 1-604-218-9138. E-mail:

Scientific Program Committee Chair: Professor Dr. Kate Buchanan, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, Locked Bag 20000, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia. Phone: +61-3-5227-1321: Fax: +61 3 5227 1040. E-mail:;