First citation to our letter in Nature Climate Change: can we use a simple indicator to assess community responses to climate?

Google Scholar informed me today that our commentary in Nature Climate Change about the complexities involved in assessing community responses to climate change just got its first citation, six months after being published.

Climate refugia: from the Last Glacial Maximum to the 21st century

A report of the wonderful workshop held in Eugene, OR last summer about climate refugia has now appeared in New Phytologist. There we summarise the interesting discussions we had between a varied group of palaeoecologists, climatologists, modellers, phylogeographers and geneticists.

Palaeo50: The Pressing Questions in Palaeoecology

In December 2012 there will be a two-day workshop in Oxford (UK) to discuss the 50 most pressing questions in palaeoecology. I am really fortunate to having been selected to participate and share two days with eminent palaeoecologists and scientists from related disciplines.

Seeing red: Decoding the hidden information on robins' feathers

New publication: Age-related sexual plumage dimorphism and badge framing in the European Robin Erithacus rubecula. Ibis Red breasted robins are a classic symbol of the winter months and have adorned Christmas cards for over a century.

Spatial data in R: using R as a GIS (old version)

NOTE: This is an old version. The tutorial has been updated. You can find the new version HERE. In a previous post I pointed out several free alternatives for Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

How climate change wiped out European laurel forests, and how some species managed to survive

Although global warming is currently threatening biodiversity, we know from past records that cooling periods can also be disastrous in terms of extinction rates. During the Eocene, about 50 million years ago, the Earth was so warm that there were no permanent ice caps in the poles, and warm-loving subtropical species thrived at quite high latitudes.

Workshop: an introduction to contemporary statistics using R

Next week I am teaching a course on statistical data analysis using R, here in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge. It is aimed at advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and other researchers with no or little experience in statistical analysis and/or R.

Free GIS for ecologists, biogeographers and evolutionary biologists

My colleague Neftalí Sillero and Pedro Tarroso have published recently a nice comparative review of different free and open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which can be useful to ecologists and evolutionary biologists willing to start using these tools or trying alternatives to proprietary software (mostly ArcGIS).

How to find a postdoc

Stepping into the next stage in your academic career after the PhD can be difficult. Many new doctors just don’t know what to do or where to look for. As I recently passed through it, and before I forget all this, I will post here some guidance notes from my own experience, hoping they may be useful to anyone in the future.

Checking and organising your species lists - the easy way

Many of us often need to gather species lists, either from our own field surveys or from bibliographical sources and databases. Many problems may arise during this process. For instance, a species may have been given different names by different authors, and we don’t know which one is currently accepted.