IOU Council Members


IOU Council August 2018 - August 2022

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

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

Ornithology is a particularly rich discipline based on a single vertebrate class and has been contributing cutting edge research in ecology, ethology, physiology, development, genetics, morphology, natural history, evolution, and many other disciplines. As a functional, ecological, evolutionary and comparative morphologist and biomechanicist, with a background in veterinary anatomy, I feel fortunate that I have had the opportunity to study birds, with special attention to parrots and cockatoos, in the lab as well in the field. This diversity of disciplines within ornithology is also represented in the quadrennial International Ornithological Congresses, which present a great opportunity to learn not only about the latest advancements in one’s own discipline, but also to learn about those in other disciplines. I have attended all IOCongresses since the Berlin IOCongress in 1978 and have organized symposia for each IOCongress since the Moscow IOCongress in 1982. I was elected a member of the International Ornithological Committee (called IOU Fellow since 2010) in 1990 and was elected Permanent Secretary in 1998. In this capacity I served under five different IOU Presidents until 2018. This service was immensely rewarding to me: While assisting the presidents in their work, I was also responsible for communicating with and assisting ornithologists of potential host countries in the preparation of invitations for future IOCongresses. At the IOCongress in Vancouver in August 2018, I was elected President of the IOU. In my current responsibility, I am happy and proud to serve the new, youngest and in every respect the most diverse IOU Council. Together, we have been working on behalf of the IOU, the only global organization dedicated to research in ornithology.

Vice President: Lei Fumin (China)
Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution
Chinese Academy of Sciences
1 Beichen West Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101

Vice-president, International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU) 2014-2018; 2018-2022, President, China Ornithological Society 2017-2021

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!


Immediate Past-President: Lucia Liu Severinghaus (Taiwan)
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica
128 Section 2 Yen-chiu-yuan Road, Taipei, Taiwan, 115

Secretary: Susi Jenni-Eiermann (Switzerland)
Swiss Ornithological Institute, Seerose 1, 6204 Sempach

As an ornithologist and physiologist I was (and I still am) very happy that I could combine both interests and start working at the Swiss Ornithological Institute in 1985. I had the possibility to build up an eco-physiological department to study the metabolism of birds. My main interests are to investigate (1) the regulation of the metabolism of migrating birds and (2) the effects of stress and disturbance on the birds’ fitness. Working in an Ornithological institute I also aim to put our findings into action and apply them to conservation biology. The IOU offers a fantastic platform for ornithologists all over the world and I am looking forward to share my interests and to get into contact and cooperation with you!

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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.

Membership Chair: Patricia J. Latas DVM, MS, BS

Dr. Pat Latas is a veterinarian for wildlife and avians. Her interests include field biology in tandem with wildlife health, welfare and conservation. She is currently serving as a volunteer in consultations spanning a spectrum from avian parasites to confiscated wild birds to evaluation of naturalized urban parrot populations; and holds a deep interest in the role of wildlife rehabilitation as evidence-based adjunct to wildlife conservation studies and biological investigation, and promotes extensive collaboration with all disciplines. Dr. Latas supports and encourages improved communications between biological, rehabilitation and social disciplines; partnering with a diversity of people, groups, and organizations around the world. “Birds know no borders and neither should ornithology” is her guiding principle.

Dr. Pat served as the avian wildlife veterinarian for a number of large wildlife rehabilitation centers, including patients from Costa’s Hummingbirds to Golden Eagles, Laysan Albatross to Grey-winged Trumpeters. She was the veterinarian for Arizona Bird Clinic, the only veterinary facility in the state that worked solely with avian species.

She presently serves a number organizations including the International Ornithological Union’s Working Group Psittaciformes Wild Parrot Veterinary Section, Association of Avian Veterinarians Welfare and Conservation Committees, Board of Directors for International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, Board of Directors of SoCal Parrot.

Dr. Pat started her interest in ornithology many years ago as a field biologist and bird banding technician for North American migrants in southern Mexico. She has occasionally worked with wildlife in South Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Ecuador, Brasil, Costa Rica and the wilds of New Mexico and Kansas. Dr. Latas was deeply honored to be selected to work as a kakapo volunteer on pristine Whenua Hou Island with the Department of Conservation in New Zealand, in 2011 and 2014.

Scientific Program Committee Chair:  Juan F. Masello (Germany)
Justus Liebig University Giessen
Department of Animal Ecology & Systematics
Arbeitsgruppe Verhaltensökologie und Ökophysiologie der Tiere
Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26
Ebene 4, Raum B 425, D-35392 Giessen

Chair, Scientific Programs Committee (SPC), 28th International Ornithological Congress (IOCongress2022)

The current rate of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation presents an enormous challenge for humankind. Only courageous changes and broad co-operation will allow us to halt or perhaps even revert this trend and ensure a better future for people and their co-inhabitants of our World. At the IOCongress2010 in Campos do Jordão (Brazil), which was the second IOCongress I attended, I found in the International Ornithologists' Union (IOU) the perfect place for cooperation. A place that promotes and allows joint scientific research and collaborative work, and gives us the possibility to offer society the options and solutions urgently needed. During all these years of exciting co-operation, I served as the Chair of the IOU Working Group Psittaciformes, whose joint work resulted in six major publications in renowned scientific journals, including recent regional updates of the conservation status of parrots worldwide, and a number of presentations at scientific meetings and conservation dissemination articles. I also worked as Assistant Editor and member of the IOU Communications and Publications Committee, which created the IOU Newsletter “The Flutter”. I also took the lead on the digitization and open access availability of all IOCongress Proceedings from 1884 to this date in co-operation with the Biodiversity Heritage Library. I was member of the SPC for the 27th IOCongress2018 in Vancouver and, more recently, participated of the creation of new IOU working groups, such as the IOU Working Group on Gondwanan Ornithology. I am looking forward to working for birds, science, people, and a better World!

Member-at-Large: Shiiwua Apeakighir Manu (Nigeria)
A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), University of Jos, Nigeria
e-mail: shiiwua.manu[at]

Having grown up as a farm boy in Nigeria, I have always been fascinated by birds, whose movements and distribution are often associated with the changing seasons in most Afrotropical communities. An opportunity in 1981 to observe bird behavior around burning fires in agricultural landscapes as part of research for my undergraduate degree project in Zoology at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria marked the start of a beautiful opportunity to turn a fascination into a career. Since then I have conducted further research during my Masters in Wildlife Management at the University of Ibadan and a D.Phil in Ornithology from the Edward Grey Institute for Field Ornithology, Oxford University and continue to maintain active research interests in understanding how anthropogenic habitat modification and fragmentation affect the ecology of tropical birds. Besides my research, a strong belief and passion to help develop local capacity for ornithology and nature conservation in West Africa (where this is evidently needed but currently insufficient) has led me to serve in various teaching, governmental and non-governmental roles at various times in Nigeria. In 2002, I was part of the team that helped set up the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) – the foremost Institute dedicated to capacity development for ornithology and nature conservation in West Africa. I continue to play a leadership role at APLORI and in African Ornithology, serving in different capacities at different times in several ornithological and ecological societies on the continent. I attended the IOC in Hamburg and Brazil in 2006 and 2010 respectively but have only just had the opportunity to join the IOU council. I look forward to working and collaborating with other council members and indeed with other members of the IOU for the continued development of ornithology in Africa and gloabally.

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

I have been a dedicated birdwatcher since my early childhood years. This lifelong passion was the driving force for me to enter academia as an evolutionary biologist. After stints at Duke, Uni Melbourne and Harvard, I am now an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, where many of my projects touch upon the diversification process and conservation genetics. My passion has allowed me to travel to all seven continents to witness our planet’s amazing diversity of birds. My work has contributed to the discovery and description of a significant number of new bird species. Owing to my interest in speciation and taxonomy, I have become a member of the IOU’s Working Groups on Avian Nomenclature and on Avian Checklisting, as well as a Commissioner of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. With a main research focus on Asia, I have become involved as a Vice-Chair of the IOU’s Working Group on Asian Ornithology to promote avian biology across this vast continent, including in countries with less academic opportunity. My greatest aspiration as a member of the IOU Council is to assist the IOU in its ongoing expansion of focus into our planet’s tropical and subtropical regions, where most avian diversity lingers.



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:;