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'Beauty' is not (necessarily) truth

As scientists we're often attracted to elegant, 'beautiful' ideas. For instance, I, like many biologists, think evolution by natural selection is profoundly elegant and beautiful (in ways I have difficulty fully articulating). We're attracted to elegant ideas in part...

Are there inherently complex ecological phenomena?

In a previous post I suggested that the apparent overwhelming complexity and non-generality of community ecology ('every community is unique') isn't real. Instead, it's a matter of the level of description chosen by the investigator. The forest is always there to see,...

Why expect trade-offs in ecology and evolution? (UPDATED)

Evolutionary biologists and ecologists believe that evolving organisms are subject to trade-offs. You can't have a 'supergenotype' or 'superspecies' that's optimized to do everything , whose fitness (both in absolute terms, and relative to competing genotypes or...

The art of hand waving

' Hand waving ' in science has a bad reputation; referring to an argument as 'hand waving' suggests a lack of rigor. But is hand waving always a bad thing? If by hand waving we simply mean omitting assumptions or steps in an argument for no good reason (or worse, for a...

Contrarian ecology and why we need it

' It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so' - Josh Billings, American humorist The most serious errors in science don't arise from ignorance of what's true, they arise from believing what's false. The most important false beliefs are the ones that are...

An Oikos editor, and a former editor, are fixing the peer review system

Well, we're fixing one key bit of it: the bit that ensures that there are sufficient willing referees to match the increasing flood of submissions. Scientists have strong incentives to write papers, but relatively weak incentives to review. We have to 'publish or...

Two good reasons to publish in Oikos, which you might not be aware of

1. We're a scientific society journal, not a for-profit venture. 2. We have no page charges . If you're like me and your lab is only funded at a modest level, paying $1000 USD or more to publish a single article can take funds away from other important uses like paying...

'Synthesizing ecology': revisiting an Oikos classic

Oikos' motto is 'Synthesizing ecology'. This has always struck me as an intriguing slogan, because it can be read in multiple ways. It might be thought to highlight our desire for generality. As our instructions to authors note, Oikos strives to publish papers with...

Most referees are happy.

A recent set of results from a very large survey (4000 respondents) found that about 70% of referees are satisfied with the current peer-review system. Importantly, 90% perceive peer review as a means to participate in the academic community. Wow, I am surprised! So,...

Free access to Editor's Choice articles.

Surprise! The Editor's Choice article will be available online as open access for one month. Now, I just have to get around to reading them to get the posts up!

Body size and ecosystem dynamics issue.

A new special virtual issue is available on body size and ecosystem dynamics. Please here to access.

Stephen Carpenter has received the Stockholm Water Prize connected to the UN World Water day.

Per Brinck award winner in 1996, Stephen Carpenter receives Stockholm Water Prize. Please see here for the article describing the award: http://www.siwi.org/sa/node.asp?node=53

Fox quick biography (and some thoughts on the past and future of Oikos)

I'm Jeremy Fox, an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Previously, I did my PhD with the great Peter Morin at Rutgers University and spent four years as a postdoc at the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Silwood Park. I'm broadly interested in...

Welcome to the Oikos blog

Welcome to the Oikos blog. This is a space for authors, readers, and the ecological community at large to post and leave comments. We would love to see photos, discussions, and inquiries about papers published in the journal here. We want to further the dissemination...

Welcome from the Editorial Team

It will take Tim Benton (the Editor-in-Chief) some time to learn how to do a video, so here's a photo instead. Welcome to the Oikos blog site and feel free to leave comments and enter into discussions. Tim Benton playing in the snow Hello from Chris Lortie. [wpvideo...

Per Brinck Oikos Award

Professor Michel Loreu received the Per Brinck Oikos Award (a specially crafted diploma, a glass apple, and a prize sum) from the Editor in Chief of Oikos Professor Tim Benton. The event took place at the Swedish Oikos Society Meeting at Tjärnö Marine biological...

Lortie quick biography

I am an Associate Professor in Biology and Geography at York University in Toronto, Canada. I have been teaching and doing research in Canada for 6 years now in this capacity and explore publication bias in ecology, invasion, seedbanks, urban ecology, and more recently...

Insights into an Oikos paper

[gallery orderby="title"] I would love for authors to post comments, photos, inspirations, and challenges associated with their papers here. As a sample, I published this paper last year in Oikos 'The small-scale spatiotemporal pattern of the seedbank and vegetation of...

Linus Svensson Biography

In 1980 he pulled up his roots from the nourishing soils of Småland and moved down to Lund University to study biology. After completing basic training he moved on with studies in systematic botany which resulted in a Ph. D. thesis in 1990 "Stamen number regulation in...

March 2011 Editor's Choice: To bee...

Hi there, I really enjoyed the paper 'How many flowering plants are pollinated by animals?' by Ollerton et al. Quick and clean - not dirty. Fun to read, really important to conservation biologists and pollination ecologists, and importantly, provides a really useful...

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