Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity

Journal of Applied Ecology runs a mentoring opportunity for early career researchers who are interested in learning about the Associate Editor role, and have little or no previous editorial experience. Participants work with the Senior Editors who provide guidance on handling papers during a 2-year Associate Editor training post.

During the training post, Associate Editor mentees are supported by an in-house Editorial office who take care of most of the routine work, leaving mentees to focus on the science of the manuscripts and the more intellectually stimulating responsibilities. The primary responsibilities are making initial assessments of the suitability of manuscripts, selecting referees for papers sent out for review, and making recommendations to the Senior Editor on the basis of reviews received and their own professional opinion. We encourage mentees to share their ideas for initiatives we might consider and to represent the Journal at conferences and meetings.

Anyone <5 years post-PhD can apply for the mentoring opportunity. In July each year we will accept applications for the 2-year placement starting from the following January. Applications will then be considered by the Senior Editors in August and successful mentees will be notified shortly after. To apply, please send your CV or link to your webpage, in July to, also including a list of 3–8 of your recently published papers, along with a short statement outlining your views and experiences of publishing, areas of expertise, and stating which Senior Editor would be most appropriate for your research area.

Mentees 2018-2019

Chi-Yeung (Jimmy) Choi
Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University, Australia
Jimmy is an applied ecologist with expertise in migration ecology, wetland ecology and conservation biology. He studies the relationship between animals and their environment. Current study systems include the migratory birds, with a focus on their foraging ecology during migration stopover and winter. This has led to research into diet, habitat use, migration phenology and movement strategies, often using the latest technology in wildlife tracking and remote sensing. Jimmy is also investigating how coastal habitat loss and degradation have affected migratory species and is exploring ways to mitigate these destructive anthropogenic effects through active management and international collaboration. Website

Guadalupe Peralta
Landcare Research, New Zealand
Guadalupe is a postdoctoral fellow at Landcare Research (New Zealand), with expertise in community ecology and special interest in species interactions and interaction patterns. She completed her PhD in 2013 at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), followed by a postdoc at IADIZA CONICET (Argentina). Her research focuses on understanding why biodiversity and species interaction patterns change as a result of human-induced habitat changes, and ultimately how does this affect ecosystem functioning and services.  Website

Fabrice Requier
Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Naturales, Agroecología y Desarrollo Rural - IRNAD, Argentina
Fabrice is interested in various aspects of ecology and biodiversity in a context of global change. His main research concerns the analysis of responses of organisms to environmental changes and to study how these responses can affect population dynamics and ecosystem services. His work deals with agroecology that aims to understand and conserve the ecological processes at the origin of ecosystem services in farmlands. He also has a growing interest in integrating societal components (volunteer-based surveys, ecosystem services, food security) to his research.  Website

Annabel Smith
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Annabel is an applied ecologist working on fire ecology, invasive species and biodiversity conservation. Currently, she is combining these three research fields to understand the extent to which invasive plants change fire regimes and how the impacts can be managed to conserve biodiversity. Annabel integrates genomic, demographic and movement data into statistical and spatial simulation models to untangle the complex mechanisms underlying ecological patterns. Much of Annabel’s work addresses questions about fundamental biology, but the results have been used to restore grasslands for threatened species and have fed into the discourse about fire management for biodiversity conservation.  

Helen Wheeler
Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Helen’s research focusses on wildlife change in complex systems and monitoring for effective stewardship. She researches direct and indirect consequences of changing climate on wildlife in the Arctic. She works to understand how rapid climatic, ecological and socio-economic change in the Arctic affect wildlife behaviour, population ecology, spatial distribution and interactions between species. Her research is increasingly socio-ecological, including studying how different types of knowledge and information such as Traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge can contribute to our understanding of wildlife change.

Mentees 2017-2018

Kelly Marnewick
Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa
Kelly has a PhD from the University of Pretoria on the conservation biology of cheetahs and African wild dogs.  She has worked extensively in the field with large carnivores and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. This included carnivore research, citizen science and implementation of non-lethal anti-predation measures.  She has an interest in wildlife trade especially captive breeding and trade in large carnivores.  She has recently started to explore the CITES convention and would like to get more involved in these aspects of wildlife conservation.  She has experience working with scat detection dogs and is expanding into law enforcement dogs and rats.

Sharif Ahmed Mukul
Independent University, Bangladesh
Mukul is a postdoctoral research fellow. His previous research background includes coupled human and natural system dynamics with particular emphasis on sustainable use, management, and conservation of forests and biodiversity. He has more than 10 years of working experience in tropical forests of Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, and Australia. At present, he is enthusiastic about the potential role of forests and/or other less modified landscapes as an ecological niche, their contribution to climate change mitigation, and the influence of various human activities on their structure and performance. Website

Meredith Root-Bernstein
INRA, France
Meredith is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist with an interest in community ecology, animal behaviour, ethnography of human-environment relationships, and policy. She follows both a socio-ecological systems and a biocultural approach. Currently she researches the restoration and rewilding of a Chilean silvopastoral system; as well as multifunctional community-led wetland conservation in the Po Delta, Italy.  She is currently a Marie-Curie FP7 COFUND Agreenskills Post Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Agricultural Research in France.

Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi
Nature Conservation Foundation, India &Snow Leopard Trust, USA
Kulbhushan is currently working as India Programme Director of the Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, US and as a Scientist with the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mysore, India. For his PhD with the NCF, he worked on the impact of wild-prey availability on the population and diet of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) with implications for livestock predation by this endangered carnivore. He is interested in the application of science-based problem solving to conservation conflicts. He is also interested in the applications of population and behavioural ecology to species conservation. Website

Zhongling Yang
Henan University, China
Zhongling’s general research aim is to gain a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of plant diversity. In particular, he is very interested in the effect of environmental change on the ecosystem functions of plant communities. He also pays close attention to species evolutionary history for understanding species interactions and patterns of community structure. Website

Previous mentees

Mentees 2016-2017

Susan Cheyne
Susan has worked in South East Asia since 1997 and in Indonesia since 2002. She is co-director of Borneo Nature Foundation and BRINCC Susan has carried out long-term gibbon and mammal population monitoring in eight sites across Indonesian Borneo. In addition, she is responsible for coordinating the volunteer programme and developing long-term wildlife monitoring projects for students and volunteers. She is a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group Section on Small Apes, raising awareness of the plight of gibbons and advising on gibbon rehabilitation and reintroduction in Asia. Susan is also an associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University teaching on the Primate Conservation MSc. Website

Susan on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I have spent 2 years as an associate editor mentee with JAE. This opportunity, still relatively unique, provides a chance to learn how manuscripts are handled. The range of papers assigned to mentees are broad, but all the associate editors and journal staff are on hand to help answer questions and resolve problems. I really appreciated the input from the team and especially the group skype when mentees from around the world could come together and discuss their experiences. I would recommend this scheme to anyone interested in gaining valuable experience in being a journal editor and to anyone interested in learning how manuscripts are processed. Thank you to the whole JAE team!

Caroline Howe
Caroline works on ecosystem services, exploring their relationship with human well-being. She builds global-scale databases to ask broad questions regarding the mechanistic understanding of how ecosystem services may contribute to poverty alleviation; empirical predictors of trade-offs between stakeholders in natural resources; and the impact of climate change on the relationship between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. Recently she has been involved in exploring the conflicts between different epistemic communities working across conservation and development, to understand the theoretical underpinning of approaches to ecosystem services for human well-being. Website

Pia Lentini
Pia is an ecologist whose research focuses on conservation decision-making in highly modified, human-dominated landscapes. She uses quantitative tools and socio-ecological approaches to understand how the decisions we make today will impact on wildlife populations into the future. In doing so, she draws on elements of population and movement ecology, biogeography, as well as urban and agroecology. She has a particular interest in bats but also works on questions relating to birds, marsupials and native pollinators. Website

J. Scott MacIvor
As an urban ecologist, Scott uses functional traits and phylogenetic approaches to understand community assembly and applications in the greening of cities. He specializes in diversity-ecosystem function relationships in green infrastructure, and factors impacting wild bee and wasp populations. He is co-founder of the green roof innovation testing (GRIT) lab at the University of Toronto and co-author of the new book, the Bees of Toronto. Website

Jeremy Piggott
Jay’s research focuses on several topical themes in fundamental and applied ecology, including the determinants of biodiversity structure and function from genes to ecosystems, the combined influence of multiple anthropogenic stressors on communities and ecosystems, and the management and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the face of global change. He performs his research predominantly in streams and rivers, combining 'natural' field experiments with manipulative experiments performed at a range of scales, from whole streams, through stream-side channels to small mesocosms. Website

Cheryl Schultz
Cheryl is a conservation biologist. Her research focuses on the population ecology of at-risk species in the context of realistic conservation interventions at the site and landscape scales. Using butterflies as a model system, Cheryl uses a combination of field, laboratory and quantitative approaches to address questions at the intersection of basic ecology and applied conservation. She is co-leader of USFWS Recovery Team for Western Oregon and Southwest Washington Prairie Species, which includes Fender’s blue butterfly. Website

Mentees 2015

José Alves

José received his PhD in 2010 at the University of East Anglia and he is currently a Senior Research Associate with the Universities of Aveiro and Iceland. He is a conservation ecologist with specific interests in the mechanisms by which organisms respond to environmental change. His research focuses on patterns of segregation, seasonal interactions and individual trade-offs, and their consequences for population demography, distribution, and conservation in migratory birds.

José on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

Publishing the results of one’s findings is a fundamental and considerable part of any ecologist’s work. Hence the opportunity to be an Associate Editor (AE) for a major ecological journal was a fantastic chance to learn about what goes on “behind the scenes” during the editorial process. Dealing with submissions is a service we provide to each other within the community, to make the system work, and although the system isn't perfect it is the best we have come up with (so far). Providing this service requires time and energy and I believe we should all contribute to it, as reviewers, editors and even as colleagues.
In the current publication arena time is of the essence and AEs can truly make a difference by sparing time for authors and reviewers when their decisions are acute and fast. However, this requires a vast understanding of many aspects of their own study field, so AEs need to be on top of their subject and continuously update their views, as science is always on the move.
Understanding the editorial process makes me a better reviewer, editor and author. It will definitely help me to be much clearer as an author, to firmly root my decisions as an editor, and to know how to help the editor making the decision, for instance by always filling in the “comments to editor section” which I previously ignored as a reviewer (great tip!).
I thank Journal of Applied Ecology for this opportunity and I believe this experience has made me a better contributor to our community.

Lander Baeten

Lander is a Professor of Ecology and Conservation in the Department of Forest & Water Management at Ghent University, Belgium. He is interested in biodiversity, conservation and restoration, especially of plants. His research aims to understand biodiversity changes in response to environmental change, from local to macroecological scales. Research topics include land-use effects on forest plant communities, biodiversity dynamics over space and time (using old community records), and the functional importance of biodiversity.

Lander on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

Being an editor for a national journal on nature conservation and management, I am actively involved in translating scientific knowledge to a wider public of managers and conservationists. The Journal’s mentoring scheme offered me the opportunity to learn more about how an international journal can contribute to putting ecology into practice. It was great to experience how the whole review process actually works and I got even more convinced that peer review is not just a necessary evil; it really helps researchers to make their papers stronger. Mentees are given full responsibility to handle manuscripts, but with the security that you can get feedback at any stage during the review process. I would sign up again for the scheme.

Nathalie Butt

Nathalie is an Australian Research Council Fellow in the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at the University of Queensland. Her work is concerned with the interactions between biodiversity and climate/climate change, previously focusing on forests in tropical South America and temperate Europe, and now including Australian forests and ecosystems. She is currently working on global-scale analyses of climate and human impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem function and processes, and species and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change.

Nathalie on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I wanted to take part in the editorial mentorship programme as I am interested in the editorial, publication and production process, and I have greatly enjoyed experiencing it from the other side. The programme has given me the valuable opportunity to develop editorial skills and hone my reviewing skills, as well as providing the chance to work with other researchers in my field on the journal. One important thing I have learned is how patient, skilled and generous most reviewers and editors are with their advice and criticism – it is inspiring and reassuring to see that the peer review process is robust and functioning well (in spite of all the scare stories about various scams and cheats). The experience will inform my own reviewing perspective in future, and hopefully help me to achieve an editorial position at some point.

David Moreno Mateos

David is a restoration ecologist who finished his PhD in Spain (Universidad de Alcala) in 2008. He spent three years at UC Berkeley and two more years at Stanford University as the Jasper Ridge Restoration Fellow. He is now an Ikerbasque Research Fellow at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) in Bilbao, Spain. He is interested in the process of ecosystem recovery after anthropogenic disturbances in all kinds of ecosystems, but with special emphasis on wetlands and forests. He is now focused on understanding patterns of recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in a broad sense, and also on the mechanisms that regulate recovery of organism interactions (food webs) and stability as indicators of holistic recovery of ecosystem complexity. In his research, he uses empirical field-collected data, meta-analyses as well as conceptual approaches to understand and accelerate the processes of ecosystem recovery in the context of restoration.

David on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I saw the mentoring program at Journal of Applied Ecology as a unique opportunity to understand more deeply the complex and frequently frustrating process of peer review. I was also interested in finding potential ways to improve this system that we all commonly complain about. So far, participating in the program has definitively helped me to understand the process thanks to the senior editors and the editorial staff, who have been very supportive. This program has seeded in me an interest in the editorial process of scientific papers and helped me develop a sense of quality and fairness that I never got doing standard reviews. I hope I can expand this parcel of science over my career.

Romina Rader

Romina is an early career researcher with expertise in pollination and landscape ecology, currently employed as a Lecturer in Community Ecology at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. She completed her PhD on pollination in 2011, followed by two postdoctoral fellowships at Rutgers University (USA) and Stockholm University (Sweden). Her research concerns the identity and performance of wild insect pollinators in crops, plant–animal interactions in natural and human-modified landscapes, plant and animal responses to changes in landscape structure and land management, and the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services. She generally works across a broad range of habitats including remnant vegetation, orchards, dairy farms and arable crops and is currently working on several projects both in Australia and various countries abroad.

Romina on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I chose to take part in the mentoring scheme as the Journal of Applied Ecology seemed like a perfect match with my interests, research background and experience. I am both an avid reader of, and have published within the Journal of Applied Ecology. The mentoring role has not only provided me with valuable experience in an official editorial role for a high impact journal, it has also enabled me to learn important details about submission handling and the editorial process, to engage with the interface of new and exciting research and to better understand the decision-making process. So far, it has been a wonderful learning experience and an ideal avenue to contribute my expertise.

Ayesha Tulloch

Ayesha is a Research Fellow in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, Australia. She is a conservation ecologist interested in finding solutions to conservation and wildlife management problems. Her research interests include decision theory, spatial conservation prioritisation, cost-benefit analysis, invasive predators, species interaction networks and bird ecology. The goal of her research is to improve our ability to evaluate ecosystem change by understanding how species, systems and threatening processes interact. Through sound empirical knowledge of community change under threatening processes, she hopes that better management decisions might be made to prevent biodiversity declines and ecosystem collapse.

Ayesha on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I decided to take part in the Journal of Applied Ecology mentoring scheme due to a long-standing passion for reading and writing. My role as the Managing Editor of the online citizen science portal Eremaea-eBird gave me a unique insight into the editorial process and I was keen to use these skills in the peer reviewed publishing arena. I used my time as a mentee to build the experience necessary for enhancing and polishing research outputs that enabled me to join the Journal of Applied Ecology as an Associate Editor later in 2015.