This code of conduct is inspired by, and largely founded on, the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE)’s 2021 code of conduct. As such, we would like to thank Dr. Stephen Heard, president of the CSEE for his permission in the use of the CSEE-SCEE 2021 code of conduct as the model for our own.

This code of conduct reflects the QCBS EDI values and applies to all activities related to the 2021 CSBQ-QCBS Annual Symposium, held virtually this year in light of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The QCBS, in addition to all of its organizers, moderators, and evaluators for the 2021 Annual Symposium, are committed to ensuring and maintaining a safe, equitable, diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment that will promote open discussion among participants. By agreeing to this code of conduct, all participants commit to ensuring a safe, open, and productive exchange of scientific ideas, to the benefit of all attendees.

By attending the symposium this year, you agree to abide by the code of conduct. This code applies to all participants including, but not limited to: attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff members, service providers, organizers, moderators, evaluators, sponsors, guests, etc.

At the QCBS, including during the 2021 symposium, we strive to create an environment where individuals victimized by unacceptable behaviour feel safe reporting these incidents. If you are the subject of unacceptable behaviour or are a witness of such, we encourage you to file a complaint.

The Code is available in both French and English. If there are any conflicts in wording between the two versions, please notify the Student Panel on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) immediately.

Raphaëlle Frechon, Essivi Gagnon Koudji, Gabrielle Rimok, and Nadia Tahiri

Student Panel on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

12th Annual QCBS Symposium (2021)



All authors listed on a poster, or abstract must acknowledge and agree with the information contained in the poster or abstract. Failure to do so will result in the withdrawal of the poster or abstract.

Submission of a poster to the 2021 Annual Symposium indicates that at least one of the authors listed attend the symposium. Repeated last-minute cancellations taking place over several years may result in the denial of future submissions.

Photography and Recording

Any photography, videography or audio recording of presentations*, posters, art, and essays without the explicit permission of a given party is forbidden. In addition, given the virtual nature of the symposium this year, any use of available recordings placed on the platform (i.e., Gathertown and Zoom) is prohibited by anyone other than the presenter and/or associated authors (with the written permission of the presenter).

*Presentations include, but are not limited to: poster presentations, assemblies, panels, etc.

Expected Behaviour

To ensure the creation and fostering of a safe, welcoming space for the diversity of all attendees at the 2021 QCBS-CSBQ Annual Symposium, it is expected of all attendees to behave appropriately. Expected behaviour includes:

  • Treating all other participants with kindness, respect, and consideration
  • Communicating openly and with respect for others, and in the language of your choice
  • Not engaging in personal attacks
  • Critiquing ideas, not people
  • Alerting the symposium organizers or other personnel if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress
  • Respecting the rules and policies of the online platform


Unacceptable Behaviour

There is a zero tolerance policy of harassment* of any form.

*Harassment is defined as systematic, continued, unwanted, and annoying actions of one party to another.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to: offensive gestures or speech related to ethnicity, religion, disability, health condition, appearance, gender, sexual orientation, family status, career status, or social status, as well as deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwanted photography, videography or recording, sustained disruption of presentations and events, unwelcome attention or physical contact. This includes sexual harassment, which is unwelcome verbal or written attention (including actions designed to intimidate or coerce), such as unwanted and unnecessary touching or other physical contact, unwanted comments, suggestions, or questions regarding sexual activity, and using degrading words, images, or sounds to describe a person.

Given the virtual nature of the symposium this year, physical contact in the latter description of harassment is not applicable, however, it is still a recognized form of harassment and will not be tolerated once in-person activities resume. Concerning the virtual symposium this year, however, it is prohibited to repeatedly follow, block, or virtually stalk a person against their will.

Participants asked to stop with harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Failure to do so will result in their removal from the symposium and all related activities.

Other examples of unacceptable behaviour include:

  • Physical or verbal abuse of any participant
  • Engaging in discrimination against persons or groups
    • This includes the purposeful disrespect for the use of a participants’ preferred pronoun or of their gender identity
  • Use of sexual or discriminatory images in virtual public spaces or in presentations
  • Bullying behaviour
  • Retaliation for the reporting of unacceptable behaviour
  • Advocating for or encouraging any of the above-mentioned behaviours

Unacceptable behaviour explained as attempted humour or disguised as humour still constitutes unacceptable behaviour as defined above.

Impairment due to alcohol, cannabis, or illegal substances is not an excuse for unacceptable behaviour.


Immediate serious threat to public safety

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behaviour that is an immediate threat to personal or public safety, however applicable virtually, should contact local law enforcement by dialing 911, and immediately notify any of the QCBS 2021 organizers.

Filing a Complaint About Unacceptable Behaviour

If you are the subject of unacceptable behaviour, or are a witness of such behaviour, please notify a QCBS organizer or one of the EDI Committee members immediately. The names of the committee members are listed in the introduction of the Code.

Complaints should not be made via social media. This is to ensure the confidentiality and fairness of the complaints process, and that complaints are received in a timely manner.

Additionally, notification may be done either at the event itself, or by emailing your concern to any of the members of the student panel on EDI, found at the following link:, in addition to the following email address: 

Regardless of whether a notification is made, you are encouraged to document the incident in writing and in as much detail as possible in the event that a complaint must be made.


Response to Complaints

All complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Names of complainants will not be shared with the boards of directors of the QCBS when determining the consequences of a complaint.

An anonymous complaint can be submitted. The QCBS will retain these anonymous complaints, however, it is not possible to take action on a single anonymous complaint without further corroboration.

All complaints are documented, regardless of whether any disciplinary action is effected.

All complaints will be assessed and the process includes: gathering details and information from the complainant, the target (if not the complainant), and witnesses. The complainant or target are not expected to discuss the incident with the offender(s).

Outcomes of these assessments are not made public, however, those filing the complaint may request to be notified of the outcome.

Complaint assessments shall be the responsibility of a person or the appointed EDI committee determined by the board of directors before the symposium.

In addition to any actions taken at the 12th Annual QCBS Symposium (2021), anyone violating this code of conduct will receive written documentation of actions taken in response to a complaint. This documentation may also be forwarded to the employer, home institution, or agency of the violator.

The QCBS board of directors shall be responsible for implementing all responses and sanctions that may be decided following the filing of a complaint.


The QCBS reserves the right to remove an individual from the 12th Annual QCBS Symposium (2021) without warning or refund, prohibit attendance at future meetings or activities, rescind membership, and notify an individual’s employer, home institution, or agency for failing to abide by this Code of Conduct.

Any requests to appeal sanctions imposed consequent to this Code of Conduct may be made after the conclusion of the symposium to the appropriate QCBS director, who will appoint an appeals committee.