Tewksbury esa2015 centennial lecture

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This was my centennial lecture at the 100th anniversary of the Ecological Society of America, given August 11th, in Baltimore, and focused on the role of Ecology and Natural History as a part of sustainability science in the Anthropocene. Please do contact me at tewksjj@gmail.com if you would like to use any unpublished data for commercial or non-commercial purposes, or if you want to find out more about the data and methods. Collaborators on this work not included in currently published papers include Alejandro Guizar at the Luc Hoffmann Institute and Tom Brooks at IUCN (for work on conservation reports), Ann Gabriel, Vice President, Academic & Research Relations at Elsevier (for the work using SCOPUS data).

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Tewksbury esa2015 centennial lecture

  1. 1. Ecology and Natural History in the Anthropocene Photo: Sun on earth from the International Space Station © ESA / NASA Joshua Tewksbury Walker Endowed Professor of Natural History Department of Biology and College of the Environment University of Washington
  2. 2. The Anthropocene
  3. 3. A good time to be alive The past 100 years have been very good for people Human population3.5x Take of terrestrial biomass production2xonly Per capita GDP4x Sources: UNPD, The Madison Project, Krausmann et al. 2012 PNAS. Photo: Borneo © WWF-Canon
  4. 4. Conservation Science for the 21st century: boundaries, transformations and bringing science to the table Josh Tewksbury Director Luc Hoffmann Institute decline in poverty50% decline in malnourishment33% 2x Real income, low & middle income countries Sources: Mercedes de Onis et al. 2000, UN Millennium Development Goals Photo: Greenland © Wim van Passel / WWF-Canon A good time to be alive The past 20 years have have been even better
  5. 5. Of terrestrial surface of the earth50%We use Of all freshwater54%We use Sources: Hooke and Martin-Duque 2012, Postel et al. 2012, Unicef, world energy outlook Photo: Hong Kong; © Global Warming Images / WWF-Canon People without enough water1 bl + 1.3 bl Lack electricity Challenging Earth Systems Increasing resource scarcity and inequality
  6. 6. Added to the middle class3 bl 7 8.1 9.3 10.6 1950 1975 2000 2025 2050 2075 2100 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 billions Fertility assumption High Medium Low 5 Billion 2 Billion 1 Billion 203020101990 Source: OECD 2010 Sources: UNPD 2013, OECD 2010 Photo: Hong Kong; © Global Warming Images / WWF-Canon And more challenges to come Human demand shifting into high gear
  7. 7. Science in the Anthropocene Photo: Sun on earth from the International Space Station © ESA / NASA
  8. 8. Lubchenco ‘98 Entering the century of the environment: A new social contract for science Photo: Jane Lubchenco © BDSJS
  9. 9. The Social Contract: How can ecology and natural history most effectively embrace 21st century challenges?
  10. 10. Theory Description Experimental Manipulations Comparison (correlation) Observation Natural History: Attention to nature, from the scale of the organism to the scale of the landscape, and the body of honest, accessible work that comes from this attention. “Ecology is a new name for a very old subject. It simply means scientific natural history” -Elton 1927
  11. 11. Lu et al. 2009 Ciais et al. 2005 Diuk-Wasser 2012 IPPC 2007 Dry Days Δ NPP summerΔ NPP
  12. 12. Lu et al. 2009 Ciais et al. 2005 Δ NPP summerΔ NPP
  13. 13. Sources: OECD Stat
  14. 14. Brazil China Egypt India South Korea USA* 0 20 40 60 80 100 Academia Business Civil Service¥ Diplomacy Economics Engineering Law Medicine Military Teaching Others Politicians by tribeThese are not ecologists Sources: Economist, International Who’s Who, Congressional Research Service
  15. 15. Collaboration and Collective impact: boundary organizations and trans-disciplinary research Ecology and sustainability Photo: Fishing at sunset on the Mekong river, Vientiane, Laos; © Michèle Dépraz / WWF-Canon Ecology and Natural History: rooted in observation, focused on prediction
  16. 16. Photo: Fishing at sunset on the Mekong river, Vientiane, Laos; © Michèle Dépraz / WWF-Canon
  17. 17. Photo: Fishing at sunset on the Mekong river, Vientiane, Laos; © Michèle Dépraz / WWF-Canon Science Capacity Policy / Practice Capacity Evidence Direction and Focus Boundary Organizations
  18. 18. Governmental Natural Science Social Science Non-Governmental Convention for the Conservation and Management of the Vicuña International Agreement on Polar Bears Boundary Organizations in international Science and Conservation
  19. 19. Global Change Research Programs: a brief history
  20. 20. • Deliver knowledge for sustainability • Build capacity to deliver solutions • Engage young scientists and developing countries scientists • Expand the involvement of social scientists and economists • Involve stakeholders and decision- makers
  21. 21. Photo: Fishing in the Mekong © Tan Someth Bunwath / WWF-Cambodia Focal Challenges Food, Energy Water Climate Change Natural Assets and Ecosystem Services Resilient Cities Viable Rural Futures Human Health Sustainable Consumption and Production Risk Management
  22. 22. Deliver water, energy, and food for all, and manage the synergies and trade-offs among them, by understanding how these interactions are shaped by environmental, economic, social and political changes. Sources: International Energy Agency, FAO Photo: Modern irrigation for alfalfa fields. Najd, Saudi Arabia; © Bruno Pambour / WWF-Canon Safeguard natural assets underpinning human well-being by understanding relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services; and developing effective valuation and governance approaches. Focal Challenges • International • Interdisciplinary • Trans-disciplinary (knowledge to action) (co-creation)
  23. 23. How international is Ecology? Co-Authorship analysis Source: Elsevier Research Intelligence: SCOPUS data 80 60 40 20 0 %ofpapersinEcologyJournals withinternationalcollaborators % of ALL papers with international collaborators Ecology papers more likely to have international collaborations 10 20 30 40 50 60 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0CitationImpactInternational collaborationsinEcology 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Citation Impact All Ecology Ecology papers with international collaborations are cited more often 2009 20092013 2013
  24. 24. How interdisciplinary is Ecology? Citation analysis 12.5 10.0 7.5 5.0 2.5 0 Shareoftop10%of Interdisciplinarypapers(%) Ecology All Disciplines 2 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.3 0CitationImpact Top10%Interdisciplinarypapers 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Citation Impact all papers Interdisciplinary papers in ecology are cited less often than average papers Ecology papers are less interdisciplinary than The average SCOPUS paper Source: Elsevier Research Intelligence: SCOPUS data from 2009 through 2013
  25. 25. How does the science get used? Where does the evidence for action come from? Source: Guizam, Brooks and Tewksbury - unpublished 9 report series 316 reports 44,038 citations
  26. 26. An alternative evidence ecosystem? Majority of evidence is not from the peer reviewed literature Source: Guizar, Brooks and Tewksbury - unpublished Avg. % of citations from peer reviewed sources 19-25 60 40 20 0 Percentofcitationsfrompeer reviewedliterature TNC Ecoregional Assessments IUCN Ecosystem Manage IUCN Environ. Law IUCN / WCPA Protect. Area Best Practices WWF Living Planet Report IUCN Species Survival Commission UNEP Year Book State of the Worlds Birds Advances in Applied Biodiversity Science n=3 3 6 11144 2376106
  27. 27. Source: Guizar, Brooks and Tewksbury - unpublished NumberofReports 90 60 30 0 0 100 200 300 400 Which journals get cited? Conservation and Ecology Conservation Biology Number of Citations Biological Conservation Science Nature Bioscience Ecological Applications Ecology Oryx Journal of Wildlife Management PNAS 324 most cited journals in 316 reports; 8327 citations (80% of total)
  28. 28. Source: Guizar, Brooks and Tewksbury - unpublished Which fields inform conservation? Ecology, and more Ecology. NumberofJournals 75 50 25 0 0 500 1000 1500 Number of Citations 324 most cited journals in 316 reports; 8327 citations Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Ecology Animal Science and Zoology Nature and Landscape Conservation Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law Aquatic Science Agricultural and Biological science General Science Citations from ecology subject areas vs. citations from all social science subject areas combined 10 to 1
  29. 29. Challenges are • International • Interdisciplinary • Trans-disciplinary (knowledge to action) (co-creation) Photo: palm tree fruit collected in Borneo, Malaysia© naturepl.com / Christophe Courteau / WWF-Canon
  30. 30. Oil Palm as a socio-ecological system Co-creating locally-relevant solutions across countries
  31. 31. Oil Palm as a socio-ecological system Co-creating locally-relevant solutions across countries Photo: First meeting of the Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes (OPAL) project
  32. 32. Photo: Fishing at sunset on the Mekong river, Vientiane, Laos; © Michèle Dépraz / WWF-Canon Science as Service Science as service Trans-disciplinary User-focused Co-created Solution oriented Scalable and transportable Challenges Food, Water, Energy, Cities, Consumption & Production, Climate, Sustainable Use and Protection of Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems Service Science, Information, Collaboration, Innovation, Education, Engagement Solutions Healthy landscapes, freshwater systems and oceans; clean air; just, equitable societies; livable cities; healthy people
  33. 33. Collaboration and Collective impact: boundary organizations and trans-disciplinary research Ecology and sustainability Photo: Fishing at sunset on the Mekong river, Vientiane, Laos; © Michèle Dépraz / WWF-Canon Ecology and Natural History: rooted in observation, focused on prediction
  34. 34. Natural History: perpetually on the verge of extinction
  35. 35. Exposure: minimum natural history required for a BS in Biology
  36. 36. Year: P < 0.0001 (LRT test) (GLLM w/ 35 institutions; institution as random effect, Poisson error structure) 2.25 2.0 1.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 is declining Exposure Tewksbury et al. 2014, Bioscience
  37. 37. Natural history in introductory biology texts from 1930 to 2011 Exposure
  38. 38. 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Naturalhistorymaterialincollege biologytextbooks(prop.oftotal) Modified Logistic [y =y0 + a/(1+(x/x0)b)] w/ 38 texts): RSS / TSS = 0.92 3 2 1 Minimumnaturalhistory coursesforaBSinBiology Exposure is declining Tewksbury et al. 2014, Bioscience
  39. 39. “Do black grapes of the desert have a basic thirst for tears?” -P. Neruda US and Europe have been losing herberia since 1990 Global North America Europe “Do black grapes of the desert have a basic thirst for tears?” -P. Neruda Consolidation of collections Europ e US Access B. Thiers, in New York Botanical Garden's Virtual Herbarium. (2012)
  40. 40. Natural History Upgrade Richard Conniff, Conservation 2014
  41. 41. Future: A prescription for 21st century natural history and ecology 21st century – Collaboration and Curation – Transparency and Technology
  42. 42. Collaboration: Working as a community
  43. 43. 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0 %ofpapersbytopicCollaboration: Organizing amateur naturalists Theobald et al. 2015 Biological Conservation 200 150 100 50 0 CitizenScienceProgramInitiated Biodiversity Natural History Climate change Invasives Land use change Overexploitation citizen science programs growing faster than peer reviewed literature
  44. 44. A lot more than birds Theobald et al. 2015 Biological Conservation Gathering a wide swath of Natural History data
  45. 45. Industrial Scale Natural History Theobald et al. 2015 Biological Conservation > 1.3 million people and > $1.4 billion in spending each year 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 Spatial Extent (“up to” km bins) CurrentParticipants(valueormedian) fine grain, broad extent
  46. 46. Consistency matters Theobald et al. 2015 Biol. Conservation and unpublished data Long term participants collecting long term data-sets 1 10 100 1000 10000 100000 1000000 1 10 100 1000 Longevity (years) 25+ years CurrentParticipants (valueormedian) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1-4 6-12 24+ Var %ofProjects Samples / year 4+ 3 2 1Years with project:
  47. 47. Future: A prescription for 21st century natural history and ecology 21st century – Collaboration and Curation – Transparency and Technology Professional ecologists are exceptionally well placed to lead
  48. 48. Much of the data we collect never gets shared – 57% of papers from NSF funded grants in Ecology share no data – Very little of the data shared is outside of molecular and phylogenetic data repositories Hampton et al. Front Ecol Environ 2013; 11(3): 156–162
  49. 49. We are building the stadiums, but most of us are not going to the games • Getting out of the dark will require – More transparency and collaboration (within and across disciplines) – More incentive structures that reward the collection and curation of natural history – A flattening of ecology (more amateur experts, treating natural history as civics)
  50. 50. Photo: Oliver Tewksbury © Benj Drummond BDSJS.com

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