Monday, February 3, 2014

Macrosystems ecology making a splash

One of my research projects that I've written about here before, CSI-Limnology (,  is about understanding and explaining variation among lakes at large geographic scales and through time. This research focus puts us on the front edge of an emerging new subdiscipline of ecology called macrosystems ecology. This new field of study is the focus of a special issue this month in the Ecological Society of America's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Check out MSU's press release about the special issue, including a short animation, here:

In this special issue, I am lead-author on a paper about how to create and maintain the best possible scientific collaborations (see my next post for details), as well as co-author on three of the other papers. CSI Limnology's lead-PI, Patricia Soranno, was the co-editor of the issue. She was also co-lead author on the opening editorial and the opening paper that describes this new field of science, and was lead author on our CSI-Limnology paper that describes how important cross-scale interactions are for understanding variation among ecosystems at large scales and for predicting their likely responses to stressors such as land use and climate changes. Many of my CSI Limnology colleagues are also co-authors on various papers in the special issue (listed in alpha order): Ed BissellMary Tate Bremigan, John DowningEmi FergusChris Filstrup, Emily Norton HenryNoah Lottig, Craig Stow, Emily StanleyPang-Ning TanTy Wagner, and Katherine Webster. 

All of the papers are available online for free at: -- thanks to the US NSF. As an aside, did you know that scientists do not get paid to publish their work, but instead have to pay to have their research published? And, if they want it to be accessible by everyone (which I do), then it is even more expensive to publish your work!

The projects highlighted in this issue are funded through the US NSF MacroSystems Biology (MSB) Program. This special issue was the result of MSB project participants (including Pat and me) meeting in Boulder, CO for an NSF-funded workshop during February of 2011. Check out the NSF's press releases here: and

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