So ESA 2013 is in full swing. Read further conference suggestions from two more of our Associate Editors, Robert Jones and Ignasi Bartomeus, below. Hope everyone has a great conference and don’t forget to drop by the BES stand for more info on Journal of Ecology and the Society.
The 2013 ESA meeting includes several interesting sessions on the history of ecology, an apropos topic in advance of the upcoming 100th anniversary of both the BES (2014) and ESA (2015). The sessions kick off with a symposium on Monday afternoon organized by James MacMahon and titled “A guide to ecology’s past, current and future history: Reflections on a theme by Robert McIntosh”. Like many other plant ecologists, my choice to enter the profession was strongly influenced by McIntosh’s studies of vegetation-environment relationships and succession. But McIntosh contributed much more to our science, including a comprehensive perspective on the origins of core ideas (the Background of Ecology: Concept and Theory, 1985), which will serve as a foundation for this session’s eight speakers, who plan to examine historical threads within specific sub disciplines. On Tuesday at 1:30, an Oral session organized by Alison Anastasio will focus on the important contribution of “place” in the development of ecological ideas. This session of nine presentations promises a fresh perspective on “schools of thought” derived from the interaction of people and the places and ecosystems where they resided and studied ecology. Finally, on Wednesday at 4:30 a student-led poster session organized by Daniel Song will celebrate the influence of the past on the thinking and learning of our young ecologists, as seen through the filter of the our next generation of colleagues. I can’t wait to experience these and the additional historical perspectives we will soon see in upcoming BES and ESA meetings.
It is always hard to choose among so many good talks. My quick advice would be to be a bit risky and go to talks slightly out of your specific topic. This is the best way to learn a lot and come up with new ideas. Here are some of the talks I am looking forward to hearing.
– I’ll start for a talk posing a big question: “Can we feed the world and not destroy the environment?” (Mon 15:40) I hope Deepak Ray and Jonathan Foley will give some answers.
– As Minneapolis is so close to Cedar Creek biodiversity experiments, I’ll continue with two Biodiversity Ecosystem Function talks with a similar theme: “Biodiversity simultaneously enhances the production and stability of community biomass, but the effects are independent” (Thurs 13:50) by Bradley Cardinale et al. and “Plant and soil community history independently and interactively affect biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships” (Fry 8:40) Varuna Yadav et al.
– I also love to keep in touch with plant-pollinator networks: I would like to highlight two very promising avenues for a better understanding network structure and dynamics, “Detecting tipping points in mutualistic communities” (Thurs 8:20) by Vasilis Dakos and Jordi Bascompte and “Contribution of traits and phylogenetic history to plant-pollinator network structure” (Weds 10:50) by Scott Chamberlain et al.
– The IGNITE talks looks like a very good format for fast talks on a related topic. I’d try “Sharing Makes Science Better” (Tues 8:00-10:00) and “Constraints in Ecology” (Weds 1:30-3:30).
– Finally ESA is a great opportunity to keep up to date with stats:
Ben Bolker touches on a very important topic “Disentangling sampling effects from ecological process in beta diversity analysis” (Weds 4:40) and as I loved James Grace book on SEM, I want to recommend his talk on “Transitioning from descriptive statistical models to structural equation models” (Tues 9:20).
And a brief summary of my talk:
Pollinator ecological traits mediate the loss of pollination services with agricultural intensification Ignasi Bartomeus, Daniel P. Cariveau, and Rachael Winfree
We need to understand the consequences of pollinator loss for food production. This will depends on the interplay between which pollinators are lost first, and which pollinators are most efficient.
I explore this issue using a trait approach and show that while understanding the correlation between response and effect traits is key to predicting effects on pollination services, there is as yet little generality as to which response and effect traits drive the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship.