Issue 5.4

mee-5-4-coverlargeIssue 5.4 is now online! Included are 2 freely available application articles: PopGenReport: simplifying basic population genetic analyses in R, by Aaron T. Adamack and Bernd Gruber, and RangeShifter: a platform for modelling spatial eco-evolutionary dynamics and species’ responses to environmental changes by Greta Bocedi et al. There is also an open access article: Measuring telomere length and telomere dynamics in evolutionary biology and ecology, by Daniel Nussey et al. In addition, 5.4 contains 2 review articles, 2 forum articles, and research papers on species and traits, birds, and data.

About the cover: UV-B radiation is an important component of climate, and its complex and diverse effects on the physiology, distribution and population dynamics of numerous organisms are being increasingly recognized. However, globally conformal UV-B data have not been readily available for macroecological analyses. The glUV data set provides spatial data on UV-B radiation, covering the entire globe and including both the terrestrial and marine environments. glUV makes meaningful bioclimatic UV-B variables as well as monthly mean UV-B data available for a wide range of potential applications to the scientific community. The cover image shows a global map of annual mean UV-B irradiation which is available online as part of the glUV dataset:

To keep up to date with Methods newest content, have a look at our Accepted Articles and Early View articles, which will be included in forthcoming issues.

2013 Robert May Prize Winner

YIP 2013 - Will PearseThe Robert M.May Prize is awarded annually for the best paper published in Methods by a young author at the start of their research career. We’re delighted to announce that the 2013 winner is Will Pearse, for his Application article “phyloGenerator: an automated phylogeny generation tool for ecologists”.

Although ecologists frequently want to make use of phylogenies, they often lack the skills to create detailed phylogenies of their study taxa. phyloGenerator greatly simplifies the process of creating a phylogeny, automating the download of DNA data and the use of modern phylogenetic software to produce a dated, defensible phylogeny. By linking together a number of existing tools into a single command-line interface and providing an extendable Python library, phyloGenerator is also a useful tool for phylogeneticists wishing to use an open, reproducible phylogenetic workflow. The Editors commented that, “this is an exciting idea that makes phylogenies almost immediately accessible to any researcher needing to use them. It is also a terrific example of the power of what we can achieve when data are made open and accessible.”

Will studied Zoology as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, then completed an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, and later a PhD at Imperial College London supervised by Andy Purvis and David Roy (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford). His PhD focused on how the phylogeny of species in a community can be used to understand the ecological assembly of that community, and how phylogeny informs our understanding of communities undergoing change. Will is now a post-doc in Jeannine Cavender-Bares’ lab at the University of Minnesota, where he studies urban plant communities.

In addition to Will, the following young authors have been highly commended for their innovative articles:
- Emily Dennis from the University of Kent, for her co-authored paper IndexiVI cover - YIP 2013ng butterfly abundance whilst accounting for missing counts and variability in seasonal pattern.
- Joost Keuskamp and Bas Dingemans from Utrecht University, for their co-authored paper Tea Bag Index: a novel approach to collect uniform decomposition data across ecosystems. There is also an interview with the Tea Bag Index team to accompany this article.

The above 3 articles are included in a free virtual issue, along with all of the winning and highly commended articles from the other 4 British Ecological Society journals young investigator prizes.

Issue 5.3

mee-5-3-coverlargeIssue 5.3 is now online, including research on stable isotopes, distribution modelling, agriculture, habitat monitoring and surveys. There is a freely available Application article, Geographic assignment with stable isotopes in IsoMAP, by Gabe Bowen et al., and an open access article, Predicting local and non-local effects of resources on animal space use using a mechanistic step selection model, by Jonathan Potts et al.

About the cover: Vegetation structure and its degree of complexity is important for many species, thus a variety of methods and metrics to quantify it have been developed. However, metrics such as leaf area index and canopy cover hide much of the three-dimensional complexity. Terrestrial 3D laser scanners offer ecologists a way to capture the structural complexity, but so far, approaches have been biased towards forestry applications. In ‘Creating vegetation density profiles for a diverse range of ecological habitats using terrestrial laser scanning’, the authors develop a methodology for processing scan data to produce vegetation density profiles across a range of wooded habitats. As well as solving issues not normally encountered in forestry applications, the method is compared against visual methods from three independent observers. The cover image is a screen grab showing the pixel cloud created at one of the survey sites. Importantly, the new methodology is able to capture 3D parameters in a manner that is more detailed and less subjective than traditional approaches.

To keep up to date with Methods newest content, have a look at our Accepted Articles and Early View articles, which will be included in forthcoming issues.

Enhanced articles (HTML)

Wiley have just launched the Anywhere Article, which is an enhanced version of the HTML article. It allows readers to view an article on any device - whether at a desktop, or on the move with a tablet or smart phone, and it includes a host of useful new features.

Anywhere article example

Here are a few of the features that an Anywhere Article offers:
o Superfluous information is kept tucked away under a hyperlink, which you can click on for further information if you choose e.g. an author’s contact information and links to any of their previous publications stored on Wiley Online Library.
o There’s a panel on the left-hand side of the screen where you can view the article information, the reference list, download a PDF, and open the interactive figure viewer.
o There’s a menu on the right-hand side of the screen that lets you skip between sections.
o If you click on a reference within the article, the full details will pop-up in the left-hand panel, along with links to the abstract online, and details of it’s previous citations.
o You can open figures in the figure viewer, which allows you to zoom in, download as a Continue reading

What method has transformed your field the most, during your career?

In the 4th and final installment of Barb Anderson’s INTECOL 2013 podcasts, she asks a number of delegates: What method has transformed your field the most, during your career?

The answers in this podcast are given by the following people:

  1. Steve Hubbell, University of California, Los Angeles, USA (00.21)
  2. Georgina Mace, University College London, UK (00.44)
  3. Carsten Dormann, University of Freiburg, Germany (01.07)
  4. Continue reading

Issue 5.2

mee-5-2-coverlargeIssue 5.2 is now available online!

This month we have papers on equipment, physiology, decomposition, community ecology and movement. There are 2 open access articles included: Simplifying data acquisition in plant canopies- Measurements of leaf angles with a cell phone by Adrián G. Escribano-Rocafort et al., and Personal messages reduce vandalism and theft of unattended scientific equipment by Markus Clarin et al.

The Max Plank Institute for Ornithology published a press release, Hands off – please!, about Markus’s paper, which came to the interesting conclusion that leaving friendly information signs on scientific equipment in the field can actually reduce the incidence of vandalism.

About the cover: Besides the surging interest in social behaviour, the influence of conspecifics on movement behavior is still an area in which the development of Continue reading

Senior Editor vacancy

Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) is seeking a new Senior Editor to strengthen and complement the existing team, and to continue raising the Journal’s profile worldwide. The candidate will join Executive Editor, Professor Rob Freckleton, and Senior Editor, Dr Bob O’Hara, who are supported by an international board of 47 Associate Editors along with an in-house editorial team.

MEE promotes the development of new methods in ecology and evolution, and facilitates their dissemination and uptake by the research community. MEE brings together papers from previously disparate sub-disciplines to provide a single forum for tracking Continue reading

A review of the Methods blog in 2013

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

BES Virtual Issue: Pollinator Ecology

pollinator VI adTo celebrate the joint meeting on the impact of pesticides on bee health in January, hosted by the Biochemical Society, the British Ecological Society and the Society for Experimental Biology, the BES has compiled a free virtual issue on Pollinator Ecology. The papers included are drawn from all five BES journals and provide examples of the latest research in pollinator ecology from flower visitation and ecosystem services, to the effects of invasive pollinators, agriculture, pesticides and bee pathogens. Click here to read the virtual issue.

Issue 5.1

mee-5-1-coverlargeThe first issue of 2014 is now online, and is freely available – enjoy!

This month we have included articles on estimating extinction rates, demographics, missing data, networks, and large-scale experiments. There are 2 open access articles: Using time-to-event analysis to complement hierarchical methods when assessing determinants of photographic detectability during camera trapping by Richard Bischof et al., and Designing forest biodiversity experiments: general considerations illustrated by a new large experiment in subtropical China by Helge Bruelheide et al., along with an application article: A method for detecting modules in quantitative bipartite networks, by Carsten F. Dormann and Rouven Strauss.

About the cover: Camera trapping has become an important tool for ecological study, especially when working with elusive species in remote areas. This issue’s cover image shows a series of photos of snow leopards collected by the authors with camera traps in the mountains of northern Pakistan in 2011 and 2012. Each row of images is a separate sequence, captured at a different site. The data from camera trapping – evidence of an organism in space and time – are a result of the ecological process of presence vs. absence and the observation process of detection vs. non-detection. The article associated with the image, Using time-to-event analysis to complement hierarchical methods when assessing determinants of photographic detectability during camera trapping, demonstrates how hierarchical analytical methods, in combination with time-to-event statistics, can yield valuable insights into how photographic evidence accumulates during camera trapping. The Norwegian University of Life Sciences published a press release about this article, entitled ‘Spying on snow leopards’.

To keep up to date with Methods newest content, have a look at our Accepted Articles and Early View articles, which will be included in forthcoming issues.