More than 60 thematic sessions will bring together international researchers, practitioners and policy makers of a variety of disciplines. During this edition of the forum there will be a special session on palaeontology: BEF_1.5 ‘Insights from the past for a better future’. Species are going extinct at an accelerated rate and despite some success stories, current conservation efforts have not been sufficient to halt extinctions, with more species threatened every year. However, these extinctions do not occur randomly in the tree of life, with some species being more vulnerable than others. What determines this extinction selectivity can provide key clues to target conservation actions. Given that 99 % of species that have ever lived are already extinct, the fossil record can offer unique insights to better understand extinction mechanisms. This session focuses on the use of the fossil record to better understand extinction mechanisms and its potential applicability to inform conservation today. Contributions from early career researchers are encouraged, as well as both near-time and deep-time perspectives on ecological and evolutionary processes. Abstract deadline is 19 November 2023.