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September 2001

The XVIIIth Congress of the International Primatological Society was held in Adelaide, South Australia from January 7 to 12, 2001. The Australasian Primate Society was the hosting organisation and the national organising committee consisted of Graeme Crook, Carla Litchfield, Penny Harper and Christine Baker. The committee had worked very hard over the past four years in an effort to make the congress a successful one. 

There were 371 registered participants from 37 countries represented at the Congress. Over the course of the five days there were 35 organised symposia and another 19 sessions, in which a total of 332 papers were presented on almost all every aspect of primatology. There were up to seven sessions running concurrently, and with a number of people either not turning up or withdrawing at the last moment, there were almost hourly changes to the program, which made the organisers' job even more difficult. There were also 33 posters presented and these were on display in the main venue hall for the duration of the congress, with authors having the opportunity to talk to their posters on the Thursday.

The General Meeting of the IPS was held on the Monday evening, and the Wednesday evening featured the launch of the Conservation International Action Plan for the world's most endangered primates. Both these events were featured in the national newspapers and on national radio and television news reports. Quite a few of the delegates were interviewed by the media on a wide variety of topics 

The event was held in middle of the hottest summer ever recorded in Adelaide. The average maximum temperature for the week was 37 deg Celsius, peaking at 43.2 deg on the Saturday. This made for some very hot delegates, some even resorting to tipping water over themselves in an effort to stay cool. All in all, the delegates handled the conditions and seemingly ever changing program, with very good humour, and everyone appeared to enjoy the congress 

While the event was initially to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, the complete lack of interest from the corporate sector in Australia with regard to sponsorship, resulted in it being moved to the Ridley Convention Centre, about 1.5 kms to the south of the city. This caused some minor disruptions to some delegates with the transport issues being resolved by the hiring of buses to transport delegates back to their accommodation. 

The organisers would like to thank those organisations that provided support/assistance with the congress: Events Oz, Conservation International, Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Association of SA Inc, and the Adelaide Zoo.  

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