Our research focuses on the population dynamics of plants and how they are influenced by impacts of natural disturbances and global environmental change. We are particularly interested in the interactive effects of fire, grazing and drought in grasslands and woodlands in southern Australia, and how climate change, fragmentation and shrub encroachment affect ecosystems.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Keeping up-to-date in ecological research

It's hard to keep up-to-date with all the new ecology that is being conducted across the globe. Not only is there precious little time to read scientific papers, scan journals for interesting work, and do research, but the sheer volume of material being published means that many interesting research papers will slip by. This is a shame, because it forces us to narrow our search focus when we do read papers.

So, I have started to use Blogs to keep up to date with ecological developments. I started my own Blog because I wanted to communicate about the research we do in my Lab, and to comment on ecology more generally. It's been almost two years since I started, and I've had 15,000 page views. So, I guess someone finds this stuff interesting! Assuming that others share the same philosophy, I started to scan for Blogs that summarised new papers in the general area of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and came across The EBB and Flow: blogging all things ecology and evolutionary biology. This is a really neat Blog. It's big on reporting about papers that focus on ecological theory (which we should use as the basis for all our investigations) - under the 'Research Focus' tab. The most recent Blog on a new paper by Jonathon Levine about how coexistence theory can help inform community assembly makes a difficult/challenging topic palatable.

EBB and Flow also has excellent sections on 'Conservation Focus', 'Academic Life' (which PhD students will find really informative, 'Career Corner' (ditto), 'Meeting Dispatches', 'Recent Papers of Interest' and the excellent 'Researcher Spotlight' that send the reader off into weird and wonderful (and more importantly, relevant) ecological territory. It's well worth bookmarking!

Happy New Year!