Code of Conduct

Society for the Study of Marine Bioinvasions

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About the Code of Conduct

The Society for the Study of Marine Bioinvasions (SSMB) established a Code of Conduct (CC) in 2020 to ensure that the society provides a safe, inclusive and engaging platform for all conference-goers. The CC builds upon previous efforts made by the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) to ensure inclusivity at all SSMB events, including the International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions (ICMB). The goal of this CC is to support the diverse and passionate attendees of all SSMB events and help create an inclusive, productive, and collaborative environment for all peoples.

English was chosen as the primary language for the CC, as English is currently the international working language used within this field. However, requests can be made in advance of the event for a version translated into the prominent language(s) spoken at the event locality.

The CC must be agreed to upon registration for any SSMB event, and the CC applies to everyone associated with the conference, including, but not limited to, local and virtual attendees, volunteers, staff, speakers, organizers, and, to the greatest extent possible, local vendors and service providers. All SSMB-related events are subject to the CC.

Expected Behavior

  • Be respectful and inclusive, recognizing the diversity of languages, backgrounds, thoughts, and opinions.
  • Communicate with positive intention and consideration, debating ideas rather than individuals; listening and questioning to understand rather than provoke.
  • Do not harass others.
  • Promote positive behavior.
  • Respect the local and national laws and regulations as well as the regulations of all associated venues.
  • Uphold academic integrity and ethics.
  • Safeguard public interest in matters of safety and health.
  • Alert designated SSMB representatives, in person or via the reporting email account (detailed below), if you are in danger or distress, or if someone else is in danger or distress.
  • Review and understand the CC. If you do not understand the CC content, contact the event Local Organizing Committee staff or SSMB representatives for assistance.

Unacceptable Behavior

Including, but not limited to:

  • Verbal harassment: including, but not limited to, unwanted comments about appearance, epithets, slurs, threats, or stereotypes. Harassment intended in a joking manner is still unacceptable.
  • Non-verbal harassment: including, but not limited to, distribution of, display of, discussion of insulting and/or graphic material or showing disrespect, hostility or ridicule in person or online.
  • Discriminatory behavior or speech.
  • Inappropriate use of, or reference to, other people's likeness, religion, ethnicity, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, cultural practices and beliefs, and socioeconomic status.
  • Use of, or reference to, sexually inappropriate or other offensive images.
  • Bullying, intimidation (including authority abuse), stalking, shaming, and/or assault.
  • Persisting in unwanted attention or focus.
  • Undue disruption of talks and poster presentations.
  • Inappropriate use of social media, photographs, or video recordings: including, but not limited to, sharing photos of people or presentations without permission.
  • Retaliation for reported bad behavior.
  • Falsely reporting an incident.


  • The SSMB reserves the right to enforce the CC in any manner deemed appropriate given the severity of the transgression. This is true by extension for all events sponsored by the SSMB.
  • Anyone exhibiting unacceptable behavior will first be asked to stop the behavior immediately. Should unacceptable behavior continue, or the behavior warrants further action, consequences may include immediate expulsion from the conference without refund and prohibition from future conferences and associated events. SSMB reserves the right to report egregious acts to home institutions.


  • If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior, as described above, please immediately contact a designated SSMB representative during the event, or as soon as possible afterwards, through any of the following methods:
    • Online: submit a report using our online reporting form (these reports may be anonymous, if desired).
    • In Person: you are welcome to approach anyone at the conference wearing a red lanyard, or come to the registration desk and ask to make a report or speak to someone. All reports will be kept confidential.
  • If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior that represents a serious and imminent threat to yourself and the public, you can find a venue phone and ask for venue security and/or you can contact the appropriate local authorities, for which phone numbers will be supplied by the Local Organizing Committee.
  • Once a report is made, before determining an appropriate course of action, a SSMB representative will discuss the details with those involved in the following order: 1) the individual filing the complaint, 2) any witness(es), and 3) the alleged offender(s). Anonymity and confidentiality will be maintained to our greatest ability. Decisions on consequences for higher level offenses will be made by a quorum of SSMB representatives available, composed of at least 3 SSMB representatives. A post-action review with all SSMB Science Steering Committees will take place for all reported and resolved cases.

Code of Conduct Creation and Improvement

  • This code was written for the SSMB. Guidance from a professional Ombudsman was sought before the final version was published. The SSMB CC incorporates language from past CCs written by other international scientific societies.
  • The SSMB aims to improve this CC and the policies and actions of all future activities, especially conferences, by requesting input from participants via anonymous survey.

Version 1.0 created 23 July 2020 and approved 9 November 2020.

SSMB Committee for this Version 1.0:

  • written by Linsey Haram, Katy Newcomer, Alejandro Bortolus, James T. Carlton, Thomas Therriault;
  • reviewed by Amy Fowler, Inti Keith, Tammy Robinson, Marc Ruis, Evangelina Schwindt, Chela Zabin;
  • approved by Lisa Drake, Chela Zabin, and Jeff Crooks.