Like every year, the last plenary of the British Ecological Annual Meeting was all about the last '12 months in ecology' and this year was given by Helen Roy, ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. What comes next, is a personal take on her inspiring talk, but you can read a little snippet from her here.
One of the first things that striked me was that she tried to give us a 'month by month' word cloud to see what the key words of research had been in the past year, but the same patterns: the hot topic of the whole year had been climate change. And well - also a review of research articles published in the first 7 months of 2019 highlights just how 'scientists reached consensus on anthropogenic global warming' ...
A second key aspect of ecology in 2019 was the rise of citizen science. The number of species records made by hikers and outdoors users in the UK was striking, and okay admittingly this is maybe still limited to countries like the UK, with platforms like iRecord being there and a great list of recording programmes (listed here, do go get involved!), but I would like to believe that if given into the right hands it could be something that could take off to the same scale in other countries too ...
Ecology in 2019 has not been necessarily an easy task. The outcomes of IPCC, IPBES and State of Nature reports, place additional pressures to find solution to global changes situations while still having to understand some of the basics, disentangling big ecological networks while still needing to get to the roots of simple interactions. And this has been a task that has seen modelling rising up to model complex interactions when invasive species arrive.
Of course, understanding of the big patterns should include effects of less well-known species, and the title of this paper says it all: ' the small, the hidden, the less-loved: conserving other species'..
Last, but not least, this year saw the rise of new journals such as 'People and Nature' which truly shows how our lives are very tightly entangled within our surrounding environment...
Cheers to a good and productive year and double cheers for an even more productive and groundbreaking 2020!
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