Leaving Conservation Letters

21 12 2010

It is with both sighs of relief and some sentimentality that I announce my departure from the Senior Editor’s position at Conservation Letters.

After 3 volumes and 17 issues, and a very good prospect for an ISI Impact Factor > 3.0 coming out in June 2011, I feel that I’ve contributed sufficiently for the journal to persist in the conservation publication space for the coming decades.

Now I need a beer. ;-)

The road to Senior Editor certainly involved a steep learning curve for me, and I sincerely thank the four Editors-in-Chief (Hugh Possingham, Bill Sutherland, Richard Cowling & Mike Mascia) for their faith in my abilities and the flexibility to allow me to make important decisions. But most importantly, I thank our highly professional and rigorous editorial board who really did all the hard work (voluntarily, I might add). The full list of editors can be found here, but I want to pass on some extra gratitude to a few specific people here:

In a word, you lot were brilliant. Thank you for going well beyond expectations and handling some very difficult manuscripts. Your expertise, professionalism and generosity will not go unnoticed, I can guarantee that.

I also thank Jennifer Mahar for keeping me (mostly) on the ball and for making the whole thing come together. Marjorie Spencer, whose brainchild this journal was, was a breath of fresh air and enthusiasm. Thanks for stepping up for me (oh, and thanks too for the many drinks courtesy of Uncle Wiley).

Read the rest of this entry »

History and future (of Australian ecology and society)

11 12 2010

I’ve just returned from a week-long conference in Canberra where the Ecological Society of Australia (of which I am a relatively new member) has just completed its impressive 50th anniversary conference. It was a long, but good week.

It’s almost a bit embarrassing that I’ve never attended an ESA1 conference before, but I think I waited for the right one. However, the main reason I attended was that I was fortunate to have received the ESA’s 3rd Australian Ecology Research Award (AERA), and the kick-back was a fully funded trip. My only reciprocation was to give a 40-minute plenary lecture – a small price to pay.

I entitled my talk ‘Heads in the desert sand: why Australians should wake up to the biodiversity crisis’, and I received a lot of good feedback. I talked about the global and Australian trends of biodiversity loss and associated ecosystem services, focussing the middle section on some of our work on feral animal ecology (see example). I then gave my views on the seriousness of our current situation and why some of the fastest losses of sensitive ecosystem services are happening right here, right now. I finished off with a section on how I think Australian ecologists could get more relevant and active in terms of research uptake by policy makers. I hope that the talk will be podcastable soon, so stay tuned.

But that was just ‘my’ bit. This post is more about a quick summary of the highlights and my overall impressions.

Read the rest of this entry »