I read, review, edit (and write) a lot of papers describing software for ecological research. So much so that I ended up developing a taste for it, and I thought it may be relevant to share it. This may also be the last blog post until September, so enjoy!
A good figure is worth a thousand words. But some figures can change the world in very profound ways. Today, I would like to discuss what I think is the most important scientific figure ever drawn.
There is a whole sub-genre of the ecological network literature working on elucidating “the structure” of bipartite networks (parasite/host, pollinator/plant, …). I am, of course, guilty of contributing a few papers to this genre. The premise is that, by putting together enough data from different places, we may be able to infer some of the general mechanisms that shape different aspects of the structure.
I was talking with a friend about a conversation they had, where someone questioned the fact that “community ecology” was a field/concept/thing. My own opinion of this, as a sometimes self-described community ecologist, is obviously “yes it is”. But let’s entertain the idea that it is not, and justify its existence.
In what is going to be the most technical note so far, I will try to reflect on a few years of using the Julia programming language for computational ecology projects. In particular, I will discuss how multiple dispatch changed my life (for the better), and how it can be used to make ecological analyses streamlined. I will most likely add a few entries to this series during the fall, leading up to a class I will give in the winter.
Last week, I was part of a very interesting discussion about how data sharing in ecology has, so far, failed. Up to 64% of archived datasets are made public in a way that prevents re-use, but this is not even the biggest problem. We are currently sharing ecological data in a way that is mostly useless.
In the last part, I discussed ways to respond to the associate editor, and now it is time to discuss how to actually write the replies to the reviewers. This is a frustrating exercise, but one that can be made constructive if you try to find, in each response, a way to make your article better. Let’s dig in!