Calling all early career ecologists, want to be featured in a blog?

BlogOver the past few years, I’ve enjoyed writing blogs about exciting research by many ecologists and conservation biologists. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spread the word to a large and enthusiastic audience.

I’m keen to promote more work by early career researchers in the future. Recent blogs on fire in the mallee and estimating the cover of plants, for example, were based on fantastic papers by PhD students. Both posts were very popular with readers.

So this is a call to all the early career researchers who read this blog. If you’d like your work featured, please send me an email.

The benefits are many. Blog readers will be among the first to hear new research findings, many of which get little press otherwise. Busy researchers can showcase their results to an engaged audience, with little extra work. And, if I’m lucky, I’ll spend less time searching for topics and papers to write about.

My criteria for selecting topics to write about is really unscientific. My main concern is, can I think of a way to pitch a story so that readers exclaim: That’s so cool, This information is gold and It’s wonderful to know people are working on this. Or better still, That’s it, I’m going back to uni to study, and Mum I wanna be an ecologist when I grow up. That’s more important to readers than the name of the journal you were published in.

Sound interesting? If so, please email me at ianluntecology [at gmail etc]. Don’t spend time on a cover letter; a sentence and a pdf of your paper is all I need. A few things to note:

  1. The blogs are not written for researchers, although many do read them. I write papers for scientists and blogs for the world.
  2. The goal is to re-package your work in a fun, engaging style, and is not to critique or re-interpret your findings.
  3. To make sure I tell your story properly, you’ll need to answer any queries and fact-check the draft text. I try my hardest to minimize the work for you.
From the incomparable, This Charming Charlie.

From the incomparable, This Charming Charlie.

I post a new blog about once a fortnight so can dedicate perhaps 10 posts a year to new work by young ecologists. That’s not many, so get in quick if you’re interested, and pass the word on to others. Send an email or post a comment below if you have any queries.

Hopefully readers will enjoy many more stories about great research by enthusiastic young (and not-so-young) ecologists and conservation biologists in the future.

Ecology videos

The videos in last week’s post on mallee fire provided a novel splash of colour and movement. If you’d like to watch more wonderful videos on conservation science, the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) hosted a video competition earlier this year. The top entries are inventive, informative and loads of fun, and are well worth a view. You can watch them all at this link.

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4 thoughts on “Calling all early career ecologists, want to be featured in a blog?

  1. Ian “I write papers for scientists and blogs for the world” is a issue that’s been dogging me for years. Since the vast majority of research papers are locked away behind paywalls, Joe Public mostly doesn’t know it exists, let alone read it. I’m not convinced that all researchers fully understand the chasm that these paywalls create, and the lack of “real-world relevance” induced by the fact that few in the “real world” get to see the work. But that’s not to take anything away from the importance of peer-reviewed publishing.

    As you allude to in point 1 above, the beauty of blogs is the ability to get research out from behind these barriers, and the researchers themselves known outside of research circles. And hopefully, biodiversity managers and policy people will be more aware of and using the information generated by the research. Great initiative to highlight the work of ECRs to the public!! Thanks heaps 🙂

    • Hi Tim, thanks for writing. Yes, great point. There’s an increasing push for researchers to make papers available through open access, but given the overwhelming pressure in the university sector to publish in ‘top’ journals, I don’t imagine that the current problems will change soon.

      Most authors are happy to email a copy of their paper for free if you email them. I’d recommend that no one should ever dream of paying a publishing company for a reprint of a paper, especially given the outrageous prices they charge. Best wishes Ian

  2. Hi Ian,
    I’m one of your eager readers willing to learn from and share this wealth of knowledge that you make so freely available. I hope you have students leaping at this opportunity you are offering. I know studying is time consuming – especially if you’ve got to fit a job (full or part time) around it, but there’s nothing like being given a golden chance to show the world what you’re doing. And once their story’s out, I hope the students maintain connections using various social media. You’re blazing the trail but a thousand voices have more reach and impact than just one, however good it is. I look forward to your future posts with data contributed by our future ecologists.
    Dayna

    • Thanks Dayna, there’s been a great response so far, which will certainly provide a wide range of topics for future blog posts, plus lots of great papers for me to read in the interim. Best wishes Ian

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