Report from the GfÖ annual meeting 2016

Good news! Last week, the general assembly at the GfÖ 2016 officially recognized us as a new IK (i.e. initiative group). We will be able to request the formation of a “full” special interest group of the GfÖ at next year’s annual meeting, which will done jointly with the BES and NECOV in Ghent, Belgium.

During the well-attended first IK meeting, we talked about what to do next. First of all, infrastructure-wise, we will for now organize via

  • This blog
  • Our twitter channel @AKCompEcol
  • An email list that we are setting up as I write.

What we talked about most is what activities we could do / organize. The final decision was to have our first IK meeting in Spring 2017, with

  • Introductory (very short) talks of all participants to get to know each other and to get an overview of topics and methodologies.
  • Plenty of time for discussions (either on a general topic aimed at finding possibilities for synergies between statistics, modeling and theory, or in breakout groups to be declared beforehand). We will send around a questionnaire to collect further ideas before the meeting (e.g. for discussion groups and / or general organization).
  • 2-3 days at a place that is centrally located in Germany (there were suggestions for Frankfurt or Göttingen, each with volunteers for the organization).

We had many other good suggestions from the group that we have noted, particularly regarding connections to other groups (e.g., YoMos, AK Macroecology, AK Plant Population Ecology), activities at the upcoming joint GfÖ/BES (a session, potentially joint with the BES SIG Quantitative Ecology), and other meeting forms. We are going to follow up on those and will report back once we have concrete results.

In the meantime – if you haven’t done it, do not forget to fill out the questionnaire and/or follow us on twitter @AKCompEcol to keep informed about the group!

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.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 09.10.03.pngScreen Shot 2016-09-05 at 09.09.55.png

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.




Welcome to the new website of the special interest group for computational ecology of the GFÖ

Welcome to the new website of the special interest group Computational Ecology of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GFÖ).

The idea of this newly founded group is to provide a platform within the GFÖ for people that work with ecological theory, statistics, and modeling / simulation.

We will add a more substantial post on the goals of this group in the near future. In the meantime, you can

  • Express your interest in the group by filling in the questionnaire here
  • Join our inaugural meeting at the GFOE 2016 in Marburg, Tuesday, 18.30
  • Follow our new twitter handle @AKCompEcol