Reproduction is the bottleneck in the life of seabirds, and the constraints obtained during their breeding periods determine their life styles. The energetic demands of breeders are extremely high in consequence of increased resource allocations to supply mates, to produce eggs and to provide for young. This incurs costs and puts high selection pressures on individuals, which is the mainspring behind the evolution of the fascinating life histories of marine birds. Seabird life is characterised by colonial breeding, highly developed social and antipredator behaviour, by extreme foraging strategies, long life and low reproductive output, by sexually divergent parental roles in brood care, and by the specific importance of individual quality and experience. As “Seabird Reproduction” had not yet been covered as a main topic by earlier Seabird Group Conferences, it was chosen as the main theme of the Seventh International Seabird Group Conference held from 17 to 19 March 2000 in Wilhelmshaven, on the occasion of the EXPO-by-the-Sea, the maritime section of the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. This, the first conference of its kind to be held outside the United Kingdom, was hosted by the Institut für Vogelforschung “Vogelwarte Helgoland”, which was founded in 1910 on the island of Heligoland and is one of the oldest and largest ornithological research institutes in the world with a major focus on seabirds. The conference took place in the Wilhelmshaven Stadthalle, where 142 delegates from 16 countries were welcomed by the Local Organising Committee. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft proved very generous in its support for the participation of seabird biologists from eastern countries. A detailed report on the course of the meeting, its events, atmosphere and success has been presented by Heubeck (2000).