CHS Annual Conference

Annual conferences are usually held on a Friday evening to Monday in early to mid-September. Each year, conferences are held at a different location across Canada.

Members are encouraged to give presentations or submit posters on all aspects of herpetological conservation (e.g. stewardship projects, population management, education) and research (e.g. population dynamics, genetics, disease). Some annual general conferences will have symposia or workshops that address specific issues relevant to amphibian and reptile research and conservation.

Conferences are accompanied with a field trip, usually on the Monday. The Field trip provides members with an exciting opportunity to see and learn about local species and their habitat.

If you would like more information on the annual conferences and are not on the CHS mailing list, please send your questions, as well as your e-mail and telephone number to the .



This Conference is Carbon Neutral

Beginning in 2018, the CHS conference will be a carbon neutral event. The 2018 conference received carbon neutral status from Offsetters, Canada’s leading carbon management company. We achieved this status by measuring and offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions from participants’ travel to the workshop, hotel stays, as well as all the energy and paper used during the workshop. For more information about carbon offsetting, please visit



2019 CHS Conference (Français)

The 2019 Canadian Herpetological Society conference and annual general meeting will take place from September 20th to 23rd in Montreal at the Redpath Museum in McGill University. After a daylong symposium on Declining Amphibian Populations on Friday, Sept. 20th, the CHS meeting proper will start with a catered reception in the Museum that evening. Plenary presentations will open the programs of both Saturday, Sept. 21st and Sunday Sept. 22nd, each followed by platform and poster presentations. The CHS annual general meeting and banquet will round out the day on Saturday afternoon and evening. As usual, the conference will be followed by a field trip, which is scheduled for Monday Sept. 23rd.

To register, please click on "Register" at the bottom of this page. Registration prices increase after August 15th, and registration for the Conference Banquet, Opening Reception, T-shirt, and Field Trip options will NOT be available after August 31st. If you are submitting an abstract, please follow the instructions in the Abstract Submission Guidelines and ensure that it is submitted prior to the abstract submission deadline of August 1st.


Thirty years ago, at the landmark 1st World Congress of Herpetology in 1989, scientists first became concerned that observations of declining or lost amphibian populations were not simply isolated incidents but were global in scope and severity. The plight of amphibians became front-page news and the newly generated interest in their population biology generated a massive increase in our understanding of their ecology, epidemiology and conservation biology.

To mark three decades of research into amphibian population declines and Canada’s pivotal contributions to this important research initiative, we are holding an international symposium on amphibian ecology and conservation biology to bring together many of the principle researchers now making significant advances in the field. The symposium will run all day Friday, September 20th, 2019, just before the CHS meeting officially kicks off. It will feature 16 invited speakers and finish with an open question period and discussion.

Admission to the symposium is free. However, space is limited and all participants must register in order to reserve a seat.

Register here:

Friday Night Reception

The Friday Night Reception will be held at the magnificent Redpath Museum after the symposium. An assortment of scrumptious appetizers and finger-foods, wine, and beer will be served and may be consumed while admiring dinosaurs and Egyptian mummies or while conversing with a wolf or musk ox (stuffed).

The reception is free for all those registered to attend the symposium and/or CHS conference.

CHS Saturday Night Banquet

The annual CHS banquet will be at Thomson House, an elegant mansion built in 1935 and just short walk away from the Redpath Museum. Now the home of the McGill University Post-graduate Students’ Society, Thomson House serves as a social hub for graduate students. We will dine in the ballroom. As is traditional, there will be an after-dinner address, the awarding of awards, and a quiz designed to test your herpetological knowledge, however trivial.

Choices for the main course will be grilled chicken, roasted salmon or pasta primavera (vegetarian). A glass of wine or non-alcohol drink, salad and dessert are included in the price.

Field Trip

As is traditional at a CHS meeting, a field trip will be available for those wanting to stay an extra day. On the itinerary is a visit to the new Centre d'exploration de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. Pickup will occur on the McGill campus and the conference hotels.

North of Montreal, the beautiful Mille Îles River lies to the north of Île Jésus and separates the City of Laval from the north shore mainland. The river's many islands, coves, inlets and marshes support a rich variety of wildlife, with enough turtles, snakes and amphibians to keep any herpetologist happy.

Located on the south shore of the river, the Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is a non-profit organization with the mission of protecting, conserving and showcasing the Mille Îles River and its tributaries, with the support of, and on behalf of, the local community.

Participants will ride by bus to the Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, where they will be welcomed at the Centre d'exploration. They will have a chance to visit the Centre’s research lab and animal rehabilitation center before setting off to visit the urban wetland restauration project at the nearby Miller Marsh. After a picnic lunch, participants may opt to paddle the Rivère des Mille Îles by canoe or kayak and discover its islands and natural habitats at their own pace or go on a guided visit to a protected marshland area in a rabaska (a large canoe holding up to 10 people) before returning to Montreal.

Participants must sign-up for the field trip when registering for the meeting.

Silent Auction and Book Raffle

We will have a silent auction of mainly herpetologically themed artworks, souvenirs, doo-dads, knick-knacks and oddments as well as a book raffle, also suitably herpetological, to raise funds for student travel to this and future CHS meetings. Donations are welcome.

To donate, contact Pablo Menendez:

Pre-meeting events

Several events of interest to herpetologists are planned for the week leading up to the CHS conference. All will be held at the Redpath Museum.

Department of Biology ecology and evolution seminar:
Thursday afternoon, September 19th, 3:00pm, in the Auditorium. Erin Muths (USGS, Fort Collns, CO, USA) will speak about amphibian ecology and conservation in the Rocky Mountains. A wine and cheese reception follows. Admission is free.

McGill Cutting Edge Lecture Series:
Thursday evening, September 19th, 6:00pm, in the Auditorium. Benedikt Schmidt (University of Zurich, Switzerland) will speak about amphibian populations decline and conservation based on his studies in Europe. The Cutting Edge lectures are aimed at the general public. A reception follows. Admission is free.

COSEWIC Amphibians and Reptiles Subcommittee assessment meeting:
Wednesday and Thursday, September 18th and 19th, in the Museum’s teaching lab, Rm 106. COSEWIC is advisory to the Government of Canada and responsible under Canada’s Species at Risk Act for assessing the endangerment status of Canadian wildlife. The subcommittee will discuss numerous at-risk or potentially at-risk species of Canadian amphibians and reptiles.

Observers are welcome. If you would like to observe some or all of the meeting, please send an email to the co-chairs, Kristiina Ovaska ( and Tom Herman (, c.c.’d to Marie-Eve Paquet ( Information on COSEWIC is here:

Arriving in Montreal

By plane: Montréal-Trudeau airport is located in Dorval, west of Montreal. Theoretically, that is, if there was no traffic or construction, it’s ca. 20 minutes from downtown. In reality, it takes considerably longer. Be patient. A taxi to downtown costs $40, flat rate, tip not included. The 747 Express bus operates all day, every day, costs $10 and will get you to one of the nine downtown stops in 40 to 60 minutes (depending on traffic). Information: Or you could rent a car, but you won’t need it while at the conference and there is no free parking anywhere downtown to put it.

By train: VIA Rail has frequent trains running through the Windsor – Quebec City corridor, and comes into the Gare Central in Montreal, located in the heart of downtown. From the United States, Amtrak trains offer daily departures from many American cities to downtown Montréal.

By car: Getting onto Montréal island by car is fairly easy as there are many major bridges, and one tunnel, linking the city to the mainland. From the south, you could try the brand new Samuel-de-Champlain Bridge, scheduled to open this summer. Once on the island, though, Montréal is, at times, a festival of orange traffic cones and detour signs (in French) so plan on the possibility of getting lost, or at least bewildered.

Note for US drivers: Canada uses the metric system, so speeds are indicated in kilometres (100 km/h = 62 mph) and gas is sold in litres (3 3/4 litres = 1 US gallon).

Note for pretty much everybody: Keep in mind that you cannot turn right on a red light in Montréal or use a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Note about parking: There is no public parking on the McGill Campus and no free parking anywhere downtown. There are, however, numerous underground parking garages that will charge a daily rate.

By bus: Many American and Canadian bus line operators come to Montréal. For most, the terminus is downtown at the Montréal Central Bus Station, near to the Berri-UQAM metro station. The Megabus from Toronto, however, arrives more centrally at the Bonaventure metro station, on St-Antoine St. West.

Conference discounts are available for air and rail travel. Information will be provided upon registration.


Conference participants will need to make their own hotel reservations.

Conference hotels: There are many hotels in Montreal, in all price ranges, although, generally speaking, the closer to the city centre, and thus to McGill, they are, the more expensive they become. Furthermore, September is still very much high season for business travel to Montreal. Blocks of rooms have been reserved for conference participants at two hotels at highly competitive, discounted rates. Both are suites hotels. All rooms have kitchen facilities and have either two beds or one bed plus a sofa bed.

Hotel Le Cantlie Suites, 1110 Sherbrooke St. W., ( is located virtually across the street from the university. Thirty rooms (studio suites with kitchenettes, free wifi and either two queen beds or one king and a sofa bed) are reserved from Friday, Sept. 20th (earliest check in) through Monday, Sept. 23rd (latest check out) at $172.00/night, plus taxes. To register, contact the hotel’s Reservations Department and mention “Canadian Herpetological Society Conference”:

Note: The cut-off date for reservations at this rate is August 21st, 2019.

La Tour Belvedere Apartment Hotel, 2175 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W. ( is a 25-minute walk to the Redpath Museum, or just 3 minutes to the Atwater Metro. Twelve studio apartments at $118/night plus taxes (Confirmation No. 490503) and 12 one-bedroom suites at $125/night plus taxes (Confirmation number 490504), all with fully equipped kitchens, free wifi, queen bed and sofa bed, are reserved from Thursday, Sept. 19th (earliest check in) through Tuesday, Sept. 24rd (latest check out). To register, contact the Group & Corporate Account Manager, Carol-Ann Traicheff, and mention “CHS Conference”:

Note: The cut-off date for reservations at these rates is July 1st, 2019. No reservations will be possible by contacting hotel staff other than Carol-Ann.

Additional hotels:

The following three hotels are all very near McGill University and are offering specially negotiated group hotel rates. However, unlike the conference hotels above, these rates may sell out or change at any time, rates vary according to room, no rooms are being held and the number of rooms available is rather limited (no more than 8 rooms per hotel). Consequently, we make no guarantees. Reservations: (855) 257-4228. Book via credit card and mention Canadian Herpetological Society.

Best Western Ville Marie Hotel & Suites. 3407 Peel Street. Rates start at $129.42/night for 1 queen bed room.

L'Appartement Hotel. 455 Sherbrooke West. Rates start at $111.89/night for a 1 queen bed studio suite.

Hotel Omni Mont Royal. 1050 Sherbrooke Street West. Rates start at $153.31/night for a 1 king bed room.

Find a Rommmate:

Fill our Roommate Finder form to save on hotel rooms! Once you fill out the form, you will receive an email with the contact information of other conference attendees who have also filled the form.

Dining out in Montreal

If you can’t find great food to eat in Montreal, you just haven’t tried. There are over 60 restaurants just within a few minutes’ walk from McGill, ranging from 5-star haute cuisine to take-out pizza-by-the-slice. And that doesn’t even include what’s in the food courts located in shopping centres, the food trucks parked on side-streets, or the hot-dog guy on campus. Imagine what’s available in the rest of town! In Montreal, you could eat at a different restaurant every night, without repeats, forever, since by the time you got back to where you started, the joint would have changed hands a couple of times at least. So eat! Explore! Bon appétit! It’s all good.

Eating at the conference

Coffee breaks are scheduled for mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and appetizers will be available at the Saturday poster session.

Lunch. There are many student eateries on campus, including cafeterias in the library and student union building, all of them likely to be crowded at lunchtime. You will have better luck off campus. If pressed for time, head for the food courts in the Eaton Centre, Place Montreal Trust, Cours Montreal or, a little farther afield, the Central Train Station. Lunch breaks, though, will be long enough for successful foraging even if lines are long or service is slow.

About Montreal

Once exclusively home to First Nations peoples, the island of Montreal in the magnificent St. Lawrence River, was first settled by Europeans when colonists arrived from France in the 16th Century. After 1783, they were followed by the English, the Scottish and the Irish and, in the 20th Century, by myriad peoples from around the world. Montreal today ranks as world’s second largest francophone city after Paris, and presents a decidedly French face to the world. Yet it remains home to 120 distinct ethnic communities, making it the most cosmopolitan city in North America and a veritable mosaic of cultures and traditions. The ability to converse in at least two different languages is de rigeur in Montreal, and an astonishing number of Montréalais are fluently multilingual.

Day and night, throughout the year, Montréal is alive with activity. In every season, Montreal plays host to an array of events, exhibitions and cultural gatherings. Getting around the city is remarkably hassle-free and safe as the métro system is easy to navigate and busses and taxis are plentiful. But the best way to get to know the city is on foot, through any one of its many colourful and vibrant neighbourhoods that abound with markets, boutiques and shops. During summer, Montrealers take to the streets after a long winter, with restaurants all over the city expanding on to sidewalk terraces. Bienvenue!

If you are having trouble with the online registration form or would prefer to submit your registration via e-mail or mail, please request a PDF version of the registration from by e-mailing