Biodiversity Discussion Group

Spring 2013

It was the best of times, catch up below with all the fun from January to April 2013.

When & where: We're meeting Tuesdays at 11am in Beaty 224 (Ralf Yorque), unless otherwise noted.

Information on the BDG mailing list is below.

Spring 2013 Schedule (archived)



Readings, tasks etc.


Snack provider

8 January

Organizational, and why getting your paper rejected will increase your citation rate

(1) Think of what date/time works for you for BDG this term and topics.

(2) Read: Flows of Research Manuscripts Among Scientific Journals Reveal Hidden Submission Patterns (pdf, podcast, supplement link)



15 January

Tipping points

(1) Reminder! We're meeting at 11am this term.

(2) Read: Holling 1973 (pdf); (b) Scheffer et al., 2012 (pdf); (c) Boettiger & Hastings 2013 comment (pdf).

(3) Think about these questions.

Judy Myers


22 January

Peerage of science

Don't forget, we're meeting at 11am this term.

(1) Read three short call-and-respond style pieces from TREE (Hettey et al., 2012, Rohr & Martin 2012, Seppänen et al, 2012) (2) optional blog reads here and here and here, here.

Ted Hart & Andrew MacDonald


29 January

Diseased, diseases et cetera: An homage to Andy Dobson

(1) Read these two papers: Holdo et al., 2009 (pdf, html) & Keesing et al., 2010 (pdf, html)

Judy Myers & Joey Bernhardt


5 February

Glory, neglect and the 'that's mine, this is yours' debate: Front lines in open science in ecology

(1) Read the following papers (two are short!): Parr & Cummings 2005 (pdf), Kueffer et al. 2006 (pdf), Wolkovich et al. 2012 (pdf)

(2) Ruminate over these questions here.

Mary O'Connor & Chris Harley


12 February

Common gardens and local adaptation

(1) Read Nuismer & Gandon's Moving beyond common-garden and transplant designs: Insight into the causes of local adaptation in species interactions (pdf)

(2) This article shows an evolutionary perspective on local adaptation, what is the ecological one, and are they compatible?

Florence Débarre


19 February

Spring break!

Happy reading!



26 February

Zombie ideas in ecology: Are you working on one?

We're back! (1) Read one or both: Fox's TREE 2012 paper (pdf, html), his original blog post on this.

(2) Also sample some of the debate if you have time: Defense, rebuttal, additional arguments and one more

(3) Think a little on questions here.

Ted Hart


5 March

Ecological networks

(1,2,3) Check out a couple videos, read two papers and ruminate on questions, all outlined here.

Matt Barbour


12 March

Marine vs. terrestrial ecology: The gloves are off

(1) Read Webb 2012, if you have a dash of extra time read this very short 1.5 pager by Menge and colleagues

(2) Check out questions to think about here

(3) If you have time and interest, here's one extra (optional) paper here.

Harley lab

Harley lab

19 March Metacommunities

(1) Read 'Empirical approaches to metacommunities: a review and comparison with theory' (pdf)

(2) If you have time, read Urban et al.'s paper on evolving metacommunities (here). There is also a response to Logue et al. (here). Also, we'll discuss the four metacommunity paradigms at the start, if you would rather see a diagram of them, check out this here.

(3) Questions to think about here.

Laura Super Matt Barbour
26 March Unifying theories in ecology

(1) Take a look at the background material and questions, laid out here.

(2) Read López-Urrutia et al.'s 'Scaling the metabolic balance of the oceans' (pdf, html)

Mary O'Connor & Jordan Rosenfeld Santiago David Rivera
2 April Paradigm shifts

(1) Read the following two papers on creativity and the process of sciences: Loehle 1990 and Fisher 1997

(2) Identify a paper you think has been critical to your field that you consider to have been a paradigm shift (or close to one). Bring the citation and be prepared to explain why you think it is/was so important.

Joey Bernhardt & Lizzie Juan Santos

Coming soon!

The return of individuals -- inter vs. intraspecific haydays

Greg Crutsinger


Other topics
Marine and terrestrial ecology: unifying concepts, revealing differences, Setting the agenda for speciation research,
Ecosystomics: ecology by sequencer, Parasites and fungi and stuff, Niche modeling insanity, Paleo-climate change,
Resurrection ecology, Restoration ecology, What's wrong with eco-phylogenetics, Historical ecology, Scaling in time and space
Evolution and climate change, Evolutionary ecology and Back to the future: The return of the 1970s to ecology.

Miscellaneous papers
That have come up during discussions:

Previous terms
Fall 2012

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Please e-mail Lizzie Wolkovich (pester her first) or Thor Veen if you have questions.

Biodiversity Research Centre
#112-2212 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada