AK Computational Ecology Spring Cleaning Message

Dear AK members,

I hope you are enjoying the longed-for arrival of spring while periodically looking up from your keyboards!

It’s been too long since you have heard from us too, so here are a few random items about the recent past and future of our group:

Report from the Ecology Across Borders (#EAB2017) meeting in Ghent

  • General impressions: the EAB started a bit sluggish due to the weather, which had many attendees and speakers stranded at various airports, but then everything got rolling and I had the feeling we had an exceptionally nice and social meeting. A big thank you to all the organizers!
  • AK Events: as explained in an earlier post, the AK was involved in three activities at the EAB, the Ecology Hackathon, a joint mixer (with the YoMos and the SIG Quantitative Ecology) and a session “Are we any good at simulating ecology? Success and future challenges in ecological simulation models” (again, joint with the YoMos and the SIG Quantitative Ecology). All of these worked out great, and we were very pleased and grateful for the collaboration with our “partner groups”, something to be continued in the future.
  • AK Name / Status: you might have noticed: I’m writing AK instead of IK. This is because we are now officially an AK of the GFÖ. The decision was approved during the general assembly of the GFÖ during the EAB meeting.
  • Other things: AK members were also involved in a lunch session on using jSDMs to identify biotic interactions. A summary of this session will be posted as an extra guest post on this blog.

Future events

  • GFÖ Vienna: we have not organized a session at the GFÖ in Vienna, but of course we hope to see you there, and there will be an AK meeting during the general AK slot.
  • AK Meeting: apart from the GFÖ, it would be nice to have again an extra AK meeting this year. Given the advanced time, this must most likely be in summer. We are currently looking at options. If you want to help / have suggestions, please get in touch!

AK Organization

  • Emanuel and I am thinking of putting the AK organization onto a bit wider (i.e. more) shoulders. If you are interested in participating in internal discussions / take over a few tasks, please get in touch!



Results from our call for interest

We are closing in on the inaugural meeting of the new special interest group for computational ecology tomorrow (on Tuesday) at the GFÖ conference. Before, we wanted to shortly report on the status of our call for interest (which is still open btw, so feel free to participate).

We have so far 58 responses, roughly half of which are at the PostDoc level.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 09.08.29.png

Maybe not surprisingly, the dominating methodological approaches are stats and modeling, with ecological modelers slightly on the upper hand. FYI, the other two options were theoretical / mathematical models, and ecological informatics, it’s a bit hard to read.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 09.09.46.pngThe group is pretty diverse in terms of subdiscipline and study topics – Still, I guess your best bet would be that the person next to you at the meeting on Tuesday is a terrestrial plant community ecologist.

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We didn’t get many responses in the open comment section about the organization / plans for the group. One comment was

I’d be interested in methods workshops (maybe something like “calculus for ecologists” or ABC) as well as workshops where a group of people work on a review/synthesis paper for a topic in theoretical ecology. I’m not so much interested in workshops where participants just present their work to each other.

Feel free to use the comment section here or the meeting tomorrow to agree/disagree, or provide further ideas or comments.