Guest blog posts

Qikiqtaruk Book Club based on Mark Vellend’s “The Theory of Ecological Communities”

This series of blog posts was written on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island in the Western Canadian Arctic as part of Team Shrub’s island book club, aiming to read and discuss Mark Vellend’s 2016 book “The Theory of Ecological Communities” while we are out in the field, right next to the communities we study.

We thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Theory of Ecological Communities” whilst on fieldwork at our remote field site in the Canadian Arctic. There is particular charm in reading about a certain ecological process, be it high- or low-level, and then observing it in action moments later in the field. We look forward to continued discussions of the synthesis of ecological theory, but definitely agree with Mark that four high-level processes do shape community composition – selection, speciation, dispersal and drift.

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Plant communities on Qikiqtaruk

Our book club discussions are summarised in four blog posts:

Team Shrub Blog

We are ecologists working to understand how global change alters plant communities and ecosystem processes. We work at focal research sites in Northern Canada and conduct data syntheses at tundra biome and global scales.

I’ve been contributing to the Team Shrub blog – you can check out the Team Shrub blog for updates on our research, fieldwork and outreach.

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GeoScience Outreach: teaching science communication ‘beyond the programme’ and outside of the ‘Ivory Tower’

Co-authored with Dr Isla Myers-Smith for the University of Edinburgh Teaching Matters blog

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Coding Club: a positive peer-to-peer learning community

For the University of Edinburgh Teaching Matters blog

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Good teaching – student and teacher perspectives from the Conservation Science course

Co-authored with Dr Isla Myers-Smith for the University of Edinburgh Teaching Matters blog

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Why am I a scientist again? – The concept of a data present

Co-authored with Dr Isla Myers-Smith for Dynamic Ecology

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Of rare species and men: is our obsession with rare species hampering conservation measures?

Written for the University of Edinburgh Conservation Science blog

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The challenges of biodiversity conservation and the use of MARXAN as a decision-making tool

Written for the University of Edinburgh Critical Thinking in Ecological and Environmental Sciences Blog

Superb fairy-wren fieldwork in Canberra, Australia

Written for the University of Edinburgh Principal’s Go Abroad Fund Blog

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