Conservation, Science

New publication: Systematic reviews and maps as tools for applying behavioral ecology to management and policy

Yeah! Our recent open access paper on systematic maps and reviews in behavioural ecology is now available in, how appropriate, Behavioral Ecology. It is the first concrete output of a group of behavioral ecologists, passionate to effectively contribute to wildlife conservation. This is just the beginning! Many thanks to Oded Berger-Tal, Alison Greggor and Dan Blumstein for bringing us all together.

Paper_head

Summary of the paper:

Although examples of successful applications of behavioral ecology research to policy and management exist, knowledge generated from such research is in many cases under-utilized by managers and policy makers. On their own, empirical studies and traditional reviews do not offer the robust syntheses that managers and policy makers require to make evidence-based decisions and evidence-informed policy.

Similar to the evidence-based revolution in medicine, the application of formal systematic review processes has the potential to invigorate the field of behavioral ecology and accelerate the uptake of behavioral evidence in policy and management. Systematic reviews differ from traditional reviews and meta-analyses in that their methods are peer reviewed and prepublished for maximum transparency, the evidence base is widened to cover work published outside of academic journals, and review findings are formally communicated with stakeholders. This approach can be valuable even when the systematic literature search fails to yield sufficient evidence for a full review or meta-analysis; preparing systematic maps of the existing evidence can highlight deficiencies in the evidence base, thereby directing future research efforts.

To standardize the use of systematic evidence syntheses in the field of environmental science, the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) created a workflow process to certify the comprehensiveness and repeatability of systematic reviews and maps, and to maximize their objectivity. We argue that the application of CEE guidelines to reviews of applied behavioral interventions will make robust behavioral evidence easily accessible to managers and policy makers to support their decision-making, as well as improve the quality of basic research in behavioral ecology.

Key words: applied animal behavior, conservation behavior, evidence-based management, literature review, meta-analysis, policy impact, systematic maps.

Link to the paperhttps://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary130

Reference
O Berger-Tal, AL Greggor, B Macura, CA Adams, A Blumenthal, A Bouskila, U Candolin, C Doran, E Fernandez-Juricic, KM Gotanda, C Price, B Putman, M Segoli, L Snijders, BBM Wong, DT Blumstein. (2018) Systematic reviews and maps as tools for applying behavioral ecology to management and policy.” Behavioral Ecology.

Trailer recording MOOC
Communication

Explore Animal Behaviour

This month our free online course ‘Introduction to Animal Behaviour‘ became available for everyone to follow self-paced. 

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ran the first time from  August to October 2016 and is now archieved on the EdX platform, so that the videos are still accessible. You can explore the various behaviours animals adopt in order to meet the challenges of their daily lives. The course is aimed at anyone looking to broaden their understanding of animal behaviour beyond nature documentaries or a typical high school education.

We designed the course with three people of the Behavioural Ecology Group of Wageningen University & Research. Dr James Savage (now part of University College Cork) was the driving force behind this fantastic idea. Together with James and Prof Marc Naguib, I designed and recorded a number of short lectures too (max. 7 min.). Since I am especially fascinated with animal social behaviour, most of my lectures have something to do with sociality, for example my lectures on ‘social networks’ and ‘social learning’. Also, we thought it was really important to give people more insight into the scientific process of studying animal behaviour. So we additionally created lectures such as ‘the scientific method’ and ‘good scientific practice’.

Discover how animals learn, communicate, find food, avoid predators, and interact socially. Watch this welcome video and find out if this course might be something for you. You can subscribe for free via the EdX platform.

Science

New job!

March 2017, I will start as a postdoc with the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, also known as IGB-Berlin. Supported by a 12-month IGB-fellowship, I will study the social network dynamics of guppies, both in the wild (Trinidad!) and in the lab.

I will keep you up to date with my experiences and findings in the field (and the lab) via my website. As a teaser, some pictures from last year’s field work in this beautiful country:


Want to know a bit more about the institute I will spend the next 12 months?

The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) is a creative, lively and diverse place for conducting research and teaching. Scientists from a whole range of disciplines work under one roof at our Berlin and Neuglobsow sites. Hydrologists, chemists, physicists, microbiologists, limnologists, fish ecologists and fisheries biologists from all over the world investigate the fundamental processes governing rivers, lakes and wetlands, and join forces to develop measures conductive to sustainable water management. In the process, we think beyond individual disciplines and spatial boundaries. After all, it will only be possible to develop solutions to the major challenges of the future by taking an integrative research approach.

Communication

Share Passion for Nature

Nature Today shares stories from biologists, naturalists and conservationists about topical events in nature. Share your latest findings and observations by sending them to naturetoday@wur.nl.

Since 2008 biologists of nature organisations and knowledge institutes in The Netherlands publish two stories per day on Natuurbericht.nl. On 26 November 2015 Natuurbericht.nl changed into Naturetoday.com. Nature Today aims to inform society on topical developments in nature via:

  1. Results from existing ecological monitoring programs and studies;
  2. Available ecological knowledge at nature organisations and knowledge institutes.
  3. New programs and ICT technologies for analyses, forecasts and (live) visualisation of events in nature.

The vision of Nature Today is: By continuously and actively informing the public and specific target groups on topical developments in nature people will become more connected with nature, they will get more knowledge on nature, they will better appreciate nature and they will be more motivated to contribute to monitoring, management and preservation of nature.

Currently mainly stories on topical developments in nature in the Netherlands are published in Dutch on Nature Today. But we want to change that! In the coming months we want to, more and more, involve biologists from other countries to also publish their stories on Nature Today. Join us, and share your story, findings and observations.