Congratulations to Daniel Fitzgerald, winner of the 2017 Haldane Early Career Researcher Award

We are happy to announce the winner of Functional Ecology‘s JBS Haldane Early Career Researcher Award for the best paper in the journal from an early career author. This year, the award was won by Daniel Fitzgerald for his paper, Using trophic structure to reveal patterns of trait‐based community assembly across niche dimensions  In this paper, Daniel Fitzgerald and co-authors use stable isotopes to gather information about the ecology, namely the trophic niche, of fish species from the Xingu River, in Brazil, bypassing the need to directly observe the organisms in their habitat.  By combining stable isotope data with quantitative trait data, the team was able to advance our understanding of the importance of certain trophic traits for this, and potentially other, fish assemblies.

In addition, we would selected two authors of Highly Commended papers. Mathias Christina, for his paper Importance of deep water uptake in tropical eucalypt forest and Gesche Blume-Werry, for her paper Root phenology unresponsive to earlier snowmelt despite advanced above‐ground phenology in two subarctic plant communities. You can find out more about Gesche’s work in her InSite/Out posts for the blog.

The winning and highly commended papers for all the BES journals’ 2017 Early Career Research awards are available and free to read here.

Insights: Wilco Verberk

In Insights we discover the story behind a recent publication in Functional Ecology: what inspired the authors to do the research, how did the project develop and what wider impact might the work have?

This week, Bjorn talks with Wilco Verberk about his recent paper, Thermal limits in native and alien freshwater peracarid Crustacea: The role of habitat use and oxygen limitation. Wilco is affiliated with the Radboud University in the Netherlands, where he works in the Department of Animal Ecology and Ecophysiology. With his Dutch-German research team, Wilco’s paper is the result of an impressive laboratory experiment that aimed to study the heat tolerance of four native and four alien crustaceans under different levels of oxygenation. Wilco’s work was the result of a Marie-Curie Fellowship, funded though the European Research Council.

Continue reading “Insights: Wilco Verberk”

Women in Science – Incentives don’t match the goals

For International Women and Girls in Science day we have a guest post from some of the leaders of the 500 Women Scientists movement, Terry Bilinski, Emily Lescak and Kelly Ramirez. Their mission is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible.

For more than a decade, we have been engaged in a vigorous dialogue about the barriers to creating a more equitable scientific community in terms of gender balance and cultural background. There has been a concerted effort from many different perspectives to better understand and communicate about the issue through original research 1 2 3 4, review articles and reports by think tanks and government agencies 5 6, conference sessions and workshops (for example), not to mention innumerable opinion pieces in publications ranging from Science to US News and World Report to the Huffington Post. Millions of dollars in funding through foundations and government agencies have been dedicated to efforts directed at increasing diversity and equity in STEM. A large majority of the scientific community has raised their hand and said, “Yes, creating equity in the sciences is important.” And yet, the problem still looms large.

Here for International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we explore why advancement incentives have fallen short of making the sciences equitable and inclusive. Continue reading “Women in Science – Incentives don’t match the goals”

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