Ecology of Soil Microorganisms meeting 2018 in Helsinki (17-21 June)

Elly_lachendPreviously organized by Peter Baldrian (and held in Prague), for the first time the Ecology of Soil Microorganisms conference was hosted by Taina Pennanen and Hannu Fritze of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), and was held in the Kulttuuritalo in the centre of Helsinki. Elly Morriën, a soil ecologist at the University of Amsterdam and Associate Editor for Functional Ecology, attended the meeting and reported back.

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InSite/Out with Stacey Trevathan-Tackett: Goggles and Gloves

I’ve been a bit quiet on the InSite/Out front for the past few months. I found myself having a light summer field season, which consisted only of a pleasant day trip to collect the 1 year samples for TeaComposition H2O. While I enjoy fieldwork, as an early career researcher, I am noticing that my research is less field-based and is having more and more of a structured feel: field – lab – desk – repeat.

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Insight: Ciska Veen

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?

In this week’s Insights, Ciska Veen (@ciskaveen), from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, talks about her paper on how successional gradients in three contrasting habitats affect home-field advantage and potential leaf litter decomposition.

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Announcing the first OpenTraits workshop – 4-5 August, 2018, New Orleans

Spanning animal and plant biology – the critical need for an Open Traits initiative across biology

Announcing the first OpenTraits workshop

August 4-5, 2018, prior to the Ecological Society of America annual meetings, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA are launching their inaugural  OpenTraits workshop ( this summer. This workshop is part of a coordinated, international series of meetings focused on facilitating open collaboration and standardization in the collection and sharing of trait data. Find out more about their mission and this meeting here.

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Insights: Rebecca Koch

In Insights we discover the story – and the people- behind a recent publication in Functional Ecology. What inspired the authors and how did the project develop leading to the final publication? And what are the implications of their research for the scientific community and society in general? In this week’s Insights, Rebecca Koch, post-doc from Monash University, Australia talks about her work and her recent Review paper with Geoffrey Hill, on the resource trade-off hypothesis in avian ornamental coloration.

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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.

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