Category: Research Tools

Big data also need big concepts

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.

What to measure from plants in predator exclosure studies?

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.