It’s always exciting to prepare for ESA. Here are some recommendations for people interested in biodiversity, global change, pollination, networks and more.
As you can see, my interests tend to be wide and hence I tended to run a lot amongst sessions in previous years. My plan this year is to run less and attend full sessions, and let talks within those sessions surprise me. A couple of symposiums looks really cool, like the plants and climate change with Camille Parmesan as moderator.
I was also positively surprised by the Ignite talks last year and the one on theory versus empiricism looks promising. If you are into reconciling theory and reality (I am) the talk by Simon Levin and the symposium on theory and conservation biology are a must. One big recommendation if you don’t yet know the ROpenSci people is one of his workshops to learn not only about a cool R package to retrieve species occurrence data, but about reproducibility and open science in general.
For those interested in pollination there is plenty this year. I plan to learn more about citizen science at the symposium on the great sunflower project and there is the usual Polination I and II sessions. This year I’ll present a pretty cool, but specialized talk about bee tongue lengths, but the work I am really exited about and I think will be of general interest is presented by James Reilly. He will present ongoing work where we show that number of species (e.g. pollinators) needed to fulfil a given ecosystem function increases as you increase the scale of inference. I believe its very interesting not only for pollinator, but for BEF people.
As opposed to the pollination talks, mutualistic network talks are very scattered among the sessions, but there are quite a lot of them in different sessions and, unfortunately, several overlaps in time. A good place to start is the Species Interactions III. Lastly what I really expect of ESA is to talk with a lot of people, specially new people, so if you want to chat with me about anything, you can find me @ibartomeus.
Associate Editor, Journal of Ecology