Welcome Pedro Peres-Neto; our new Strategy Editor

Submitted by editor on 20 October 2017.

We are so happy and excited to introduce our new Strategy Editor to you: Professor Pedro Peres-Neto, Concordia University, Canada! Pedro has over 10 years of experience as a member of editorial boards of multiple top ranked journals in ecology and has the needed broad scientific expertise in the fields of ecology and evolution.  Pedro convinced us to be the ideal person as a strategy editor because of his vision to build a strong returning reader base to further increase Oikos’ reputation as a leading journal in ecology. He has a strong vision on how to trigger the field of ecology as a scientific discipline and will mainly develop Oikos’ position in ecological synthesis by bringing together insights from different disciples to promote scientific progress and consequently, to train the future generation of ecologists.

Get to know him better in the interview below!

What's you main research focus at the moment?

Most of my research program is devoted to developing, testing, and applying quantitative, empirical (observational and experimental) and theoretical frameworks to improve our understanding about the processes underlying spatial patterns of biological diversity. 

Can you describe your research career? 

 I've completed a BSc in  Biology (1990) and an MSc (1995) in Ecology in Brazil, both in the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro.  In the early days I had a strong interest by describing simple and complex patterns of ecological systems statistically.  Between 1990 and 1995 I've also worked on a number of projects involving environmental and statistical consulting varying from studying the impact of dams on fish communities to building marketing strategies for insurance companies.  In 1996 I moved to Canada and undertook a PhD in Zoology at the University of Toronto.  Most of my research then was dedicated to understanding the mechanisms underlying stream fish communities in the tropics.   In 2002 I moved to the province of Quebec (Canada) where I worked on the ecomorphology of fishes at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.  In 2003, my statistical itch was set in motion again and I went to work with Pierre Legendre at the Université de Montréal.  By then I became fluent also in the other official language of Canada, French.  In 2005 I've joined the department of Biology at the University of Regina as an assistant professor for a short period to move back to Montreal and join the Université du Québec à Montreal (UQAM).  At UQAM I became a Canada Research Chair (junior) where my research spanned to most aquatic organisms, including both stream and lake systems, and also a few terrestrial ones.  In 2016 I joined the Department of Biology at Concordia University (Montreal) to become the Canada Research Chair (senior) in Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity.   

How come that you became a scientist in ecology?

 I was always passionned by the dynamics of stream systems and the behavior and morphological adaptations of fishes to these systems.  During my undergraduate training I had the chance to take quantitative courses and I found myself quite interested in describing the nature of ecological systems statistically.  

Much as astronomers cannot perform planetary experiments, ecologists cannot easily manipulate most spatial patterns because these patterns occur at multiple scales, ranging from a few centimeters to thousands of kilometers. Therefore, I became fascinated by the application of statistical models to understand the importance and realistic consequences of the many processes in determining biodiversity patterns.

What do you do when you're not working?

Most of my spare time these days not spent with family is dedicated to playing drums and reading political science writing, pieces on the evolution of technology, and biographies of interesting physicists and mathematicians. 

Dries Bonte and Åsa Langefors