- SEFS 9 - the Ninth Symposium was held in Geneva, Switzerland, 5-10 July 2015. More than 600 delegates from 50 countries attended the meeting. Download the Book of Abstracts.
- SEFS 8 - the Eighth Symposium was held in Münster, Germany. 1 - 5 July 2013. More than 500 delegates from 39 countries attended the meeting. Download the Programme and the Book of Abstracts.
- SEFS 7 - the Seventh Symposium was held in Girona, Spain. 27 June-1 July 2011. More than 500 delegates attended the meeting. Download the Programme and the Book of Abstracts.
- SEFS 5 - the Fifth Symposium was held in Palermo, Sciliy. 8-13 July, 2007. Over 360 delegates attended. Download the Book of Abstracts.
- SEFS 4 - the Fourth Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences was held on the campus of Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) 22-26 August in 2005. Over 300 participants attended the meeting.
- SEFS 3 - the Third Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences was held in the historical city of Edinburgh (Scotland) 3-18 July 2003 and was attended by c. 370 participants.
- SEFS 2 - the Second Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences was held in Toulouse (France) 8-12 July 2001 and attracted over 350 delegates.
- SEFS 1 - the First Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences took place in Antwerp (Belgium) 22-28 August 1999 and was attended by c. 200 participants
According to Alan Hildrew (FBA News 23), the idea of SEFS was born around a glass of wine in Arles in Provence (France) and grew up in a little meeting arranged at the Limnological laboratory of the Dutch Academy of Sciences at Nieuwersluis. The people present there were a few, and among these Colin Reynolds and Alan Hildrew, who represented the FBA Council, and Gudrun de Boek, from Antwerp, who, quoting the words written by Alan Hildrew in FBA News 23 "…seemed fearless when faced with the prospect of organising a meeting…". Actually, Gudrun organised SEFS1, in 1999, at the University in Antwerp, RUCA; the FBA financially underwrote it and supervised the scientific programme and about 120 participants had fun (and science) at a very friendly and highly successful meeting. The success of the symposium was "measured" by a general assembly held at the end of the meeting and chaired by Colin Reynolds. The wish, expressed by the majority of people, to keep on meeting regularly pushed Sovan Lek, on behalf of the French Limnological Association, to organise a second SEFS in Toulouse. More than 300 people attended the SEFS2 in France in 2001 and this result confirmed the "European" need of freshwater scientists for a forum to meet, to discuss about and around high quality science, to introduce young researchers to the international palcoscenico and encourage and sustain their work. All these tasks to be fulfilled in a relaxed and "fun" atmosphere.
Through some discussions, mainly by e-mail, the idea of a European collaboration started among some of the participants and several national freshwater associations sent representatives to the third SEFS, which was organised by the FBA in Edinburgh in 2003 and "sustained" by the participation of more than 350 scientists from all over Europe.
In a meeting among these representatives in Edinburgh, they gave to themselves the provisional name of the European Committee of the Freshwater Biological Association (ECFBA). Actually the FBA and its staff have had quite an input to the organisation of SEFS meetings and their scientific, economic, and logistic support. Colin Reynolds was charged to chair this committee. Eight Organisations were initially involved: The Freshwater Biological Association, The French Association for Limnology, The Italian Association for Oceanography and Limnology, The Spanish Association for Limnology, The Polish Hydrobiological Society and the Czech Limnological Society.
The participants gradually thrashed out an acceptable protocol and proposed some constitutional arrangements, being finally agreed during SEFS4 in Krakow and presented to a closing session of the Symposium. No signatory organisation would become subservient to the new body, no cash subscription would be payable and delegates' (modest) expenses would be covered by the sponsoring organisations. To emphasise these arrangements and the equal standing of signatory organisations, it was recommended that the ECFBA title be dropped in favour of that of the European Federation for Freshwater Sciences. Colin Reynolds guided the new born Federation in its first six years of life (three two-year terms).
In this period of time the number of federated Societies has grown up passing from 6 to 14 and an increasing number of people have attended the Symposia for European Freshwater Sciences. In 2011, an election was conducted among delegates and Luigi Naselli-Flores was charged to chair the Federation for a two-year term (2012-2013).
In Münster he has been re-confirmed for a further term (2014-2015).