In biology, data on species abundance, diversity and traits are made openly available in big biodiversity databases: big data. Here, I highlight some problems that big data approaches can have, which is particularly worrying if analysis outcomes are used to inform (inter)national policies on conservation strategies.*
Challenging the extractive paradigm in field work: suggestions from a case study in community engagement
The paradigm in fieldwork of travelling to remote locations, extracting data, and leaving to publish findings without engaging with local communities – particularly Indigenous ones – must be challenged. As students on a long term research project, we distributed a survey to better understand what local people wanted from us. Community engagement needs to be more than purely research-focused initiatives, and engagement with Indigenous peoples can require specific and separate efforts.
Simple “comparison of means” experiments … train our brains to think that this is the goal of science – to discover if an effect exists.
The process of putting together a conference session is strange at first, but what you soon realize is that what you are actually doing is making a science mixtape for all your closest friends. And if you want that mixtape to shine, you need to make sure your session is diverse, inclusive, and focused.
We need new tools to start teaching best practices from day one.
Insectivorous birds and bats help plants by removing herbivorous arthropods. Predator exclosures around the plants are needed to study this. What could be measured of the plants inside the exclosures and in uncaged controls? There are several possibilities that are listed in this post. There is need for more plant measurements in predator exclosure studies, especially in the natural tropical forests.
Shedding light on natural history collections and the need for their protection.
One ecologist’s experience with #365papers challenge popularized on Twitter
From one R learner to another: Here are one ecologist’s five tips for getting started in R and staying in.