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Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

14 June 2017
Edited by Michael Morrissey

Evolutionary quantitative genetics provides formal theoretical frameworks for quantitatively linking natural selection, genetic variation, and the rate and direction of adaptive evolution.  This strong theoretical foundation has long been important in guiding empirical work. The articles in this Virtual Issue highlight important work being done to advance this field. They include papers that draw on a range of new ways of characterising changes in the distribution of traits due to selection; address the issue of characterising modularity; look at the ability of typical sample sizes used studies to characterise phenotypic measures of trait covariation; investigate the influence of spatial autocorrelation in fitness on measures of selection; and much more.

This is an area where empirically-, statistically-, and theoretically-minded people could probably continue to come together, and Methods in Ecology and Evolution's strong developing tradition of publishing their works is very encouraging for future progress in evolution evolutionary quantitative genetics and at its intersection with other aspects of ecology and evolution.

Ecology and Evolution in Ireland

9 November 2016

Edited by Yvonne M. Buckley, Hugh B. Feeley, Paul Giller, Ian Montgomery and John Quinn

Researchers based in Ireland or working on Irish ecosystems have had a long history of association with the British Ecological Society and its journals. During his BES Presidential address the English born Amyan MacFadyen, then based in Northern Ireland, had “some thoughts on the behavior of ecologists” (Macfadyen 1975). Macfadyen appealed for a more integrative and systems based approach, which resonates increasingly as technological advances proliferate. While differences in funding, research priorities and cultures have naturally driven diversity in research outputs across Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland, the recently founded Irish Ecological Association brings together ecologists and evolutionary biologists from across the island as a partner organization of the BES. Given current political uncertainties following the “Brexit” referendum in the UK it is vital that cross-border UK and Irish scientific collaborations and funding continue to be strengthened. The new partnership between IEA and BES comes at an important time for ecological science in these islands.

The full introduction to this Virtual Issue can be downloaded here.

Endangered Species

1 May 2016
To celebrate Endangered Species Day 2016 the BES journals have compiled this virtual issue on the topic. The papers below are drawn from the journals and provide examples of the latest research on endangered species. They cover a broad range of plants, animals and insects as well as terrestrial and aquatic systems. We hope that this selection of papers will be of interest to researchers and stakeholders in this important and fascinating field.

Demography Behind the Population

1 March 2016
The British Ecological Society journals in collaboration with our partner open access journal Ecology and Evolution are pleased to present a cross-journal virtual issue celebrating the sheer breadth of demography research published across our journals.

This virtual issue Demography Behind the Population highlights the interdisciplinary nature of the field as well as providing added context for the publication of our recently published cross-journal Special Feature Demography Beyond the Population showcasing the latest in demography research and linking several disciplines and scales across ecology and evolution. This Special Feature is first time that the BES journals have collaborated in this unique way. You can read the lay summaries for Functional Ecology's contribution to the special feature here.

On Tuesday 1 March at 1pm GMT we are hosting a live webinar in association with the Special Feature. It is free to register for the webinar via the BES website. The webinar will also be available online to watch afterwards as well.

BES Early Career Researcher Awards 2014

22 March 2015
Each year the BES awards a prize for the best paper, in each of its journals, by an author at the start of their research career. This Virtual Issue brings together the winning and highly commended papers selected by the editors from journal issues published in 2016. Read the papers here.

BES Early Career Researcher Awards 2016

28 March 2017
Each year the BES awards a prize for the best paper, in each of its journals, by an author at the start of their research career. This Virtual Issue brings together the winning and highly commended papers selected by the editors from journal issues published in 2016. Read the papers here.

Statistical Ecology

Last updated:
21 March 2017
At the last ISEC, in Montpellier in 2014, an informal survey suggested that Methods in Ecology and Evolution was the most cited journal in talks. This reflects the importance of statistical methods in ecology, and at MEE we are happy to reflect this, and indeed it is one reason for the success of the journal. In this virtual issue we present some very recent papers we have published which cross the divide between statistics and ecology. They range over most of the topics covered at ISEC, from statistical theory to abundance estimation and distance sampling.

We hope that MEE will be equally well represented in talks in Seattle, and also – just as in Montpellier – some of the work presented will find its way into the pages of MEE in the future.

National Tree Week 2016

1 November 2016
Edited by the BES journal editorial teams
National Tree Week celebrates tree planting within local communities. This virtual issue contains recent papers from BES Journals that highlight the global importance of trees and forests as habitat for species from insects to primates, and in meeting human needs for fuel and agriculture. The selected papers also demonstrate novel methods scientists are using to study trees and forests.

Open Access Week 2015

Last updated:
25 October 2015
To coincide with the 8th Annual International Open Access Week, we are delighted to bring together a selection of recent open access papers published in all five BES Journals. All of these papers have been published through the Online Open programme. The BES offers its members a 25% discount towards the cost of the Online Open scheme. Read the papers here.


Edited by Will Pearse and Pedro Peres-Neto
This Virtual Issue, created to celebrate the International Biogeography Society's 2017 conference in Tuscon, Arizona, shows off new articles in the field from a diverse array of authors.

To truly understand how species' distributions vary through space and time, biogeographers often have to make use of analytical techniques from a wide array of disciplines. As such, these papers cover advances in evolutionary analysis (Weir & Lawson), biodiversity definitions (Pavoine et al.), and species distribution modelling (Brewer et al.). Equally, they reflect the growing understanding that biogeography can include experiments (Borer et al.), and discuss the pitfalls and opportunities of working with remote-sensing data (Pettorelli et al.; Leempoel et al.). Finally, biogeography often has meaningful implications for policy, such as in disease modelling (Verity et al.) and conservation (Boakes et al.).

This selection of papers also highlights the growing number of software packages focused towards biogeography (Rominger et al.; Bocedi et al.). Many of these manuscripts have early-career lead-authors, and one of these papers won our journal's Robert May prize (Gallien et al.).

Advances in Phylogenetic Methods

Edited by Jana Vamosi
Methods in Ecology and Evolution has recently celebrated its 5th Anniversary. We continue to bring together research in ecology and evolution, and provide a unique platform for authors developing new methods. For Evolution 2015, this Virtual Issue highlights some of the papers in the exciting field of phylogenetics published in the past year or so.

Our Applications and Research articles include papers that describe methods for incorporating phylogenetic analyses in ecological and evolutionary studies. Applications papers introduce new tools for research, which provide practitioners with an important source of information and background on the tools they use. In this Virtual Issue we have highlighted the newest Applications papers that describe how phylogenetic methods are contributing to the fields of ecology and evolution. These include tools with aims as diverse as phylogenetic tree reconstruction and analysing phylogenetic diversity in communities. All Applications papers are free to access.

The Research papers we have highlighted include excellent examples of new ways that phylogenies can be applied to central questions in ecology, evolution and biodiversity, such as measuring niche conservatism, trait evolution and diversification rates. We also include barcoding methods, which increasingly are used to understand phylogenetic and functional diversity.

An understanding of the tree of life contributes to many facets of biology. This Virtual Issue has assembled studies that showcase the breadth of the utility of phylogenetic trees, including phylogenetic beta diversity, trait evolution, diversification, biodiversity studies, phylogenetic signal, biogeography, ecosystem functioning, and host-pathogen dynamics.