Dunedin takes a trophy with Deer Biology Congress win

Hinds on the Invermay hill farm

Dunedin has won the International Deer Biology Congress in 2026, which will attract up to 500 cervid researchers and professionals to New Zealand.

Themed Your Deer Here, the conference will take place in February 2026 at the University of Otago, bringing together biologists, ecologists, veterinarians, geneticists, wildlife managers, conservationists, food, health, and production researchers to discuss the diverse aspects of deer management and biology from various perspectives globally.

Hinds on the Invermay hill farm

Alongside plenary sessions, presentations and poster sessions, the programme will include a Field Day tour to the internationally renowned Invermay Agricultural Centre and to a local commercial deer breeding farm. Visitors will also get to explore the wildlife of Otago Peninsula.

It is the first time the event has been held in New Zealand since Dunedin hosted the inaugural event in 1983. The winning bid was led by scientist Jamie Ward from AgResearch, with support from Deer Industry New Zealand, Enterprise Dunedin, and the Tourism New Zealand Business Events team.

Ward said: “Dunedin was chosen for its iconic legacy with this Congress, its strength in Deer Science at AgResearch’s Invermay Agricultural Centre, and the strong history of scientific excellence at Otago University, as well as a fascinating history of deer introductions, diverse landscapes and uniquely accessible wildlife. To get the news of hosting this Congress not long after we celebrated the milestone of 50 years of Deer Science at Invermay makes it even more special.”

The win kicks off a bumper run for international conferences in Dunedin. In 2023, the city will host the International Foundation of Fashion and Technology in April, the International Symposium Adapted Physical Activity in July, the 9th Asia Pacific International Congress of Anatomists, and 20th Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists Conference 2023 in November, and the World Leisure Congress 2023 in December.

In January 2024, the city will welcome the International Human Resources Conference, and some 1,000 delegates are expected at the History of Science and Technology Congress 2025.

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