People and Nature proudly support the BES Special Interest Groups – volunteer groups that provide a focus of activity in specific areas of ecology.

The groups organise meetings and events throughout the year and will be hosting an extra special and christmassy social event on Tuesday evening of the Annual Meeting. The social mixer is open to non-SIG members also, so this is a good opportunity to come speak to the groups about their interests.

People and Nature thought this would be an excellent opportunity to speak to a few of the groups, find out what they do, who they are, and why they think the journal can align with their interests.



Who are Quantitative Ecology?

There are few areas of modern ecology that do not rely heavily on quantitative methods! Quantitative Ecology is a rapidly expanding sub-discipline of ecology, and so the BES Quantitative Ecology SIG helps its members obtain advice, learn, apply good practice and collaborate. As a group, we aim to support quantitative skills development for all ecologists; improve dissemination of new quantitative methods to their users; and provide a forum to advance quantitative ecology in its own right.


Quantitative Ecology and People and Nature

Although Quantitative Ecology is typically associated with ‘classical’ ecology questions, our committee and members have wide-ranging research interests, including those within the remit of People and Nature. Our committee members are working on issues which consider the links between ecology, economics and society, such as conservation and policy research; understanding drivers and consequences of land-use change; ecosystem services and landscape multifunctionality; disease ecology and more.

Social media rep Tom August (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) has developed an interactive experience which allows members of the public to explore what the UK landscape looks like now and what it might do in future in a given scenario, such as an increased demand for farming. CEH Craft was built by creating a Minecraft world from the CEH Land Cover Map and CEH Crop Map.



Committee member Rick Stafford’s (Bournemouth University) work focuses on the links between ecology, economics and social equality, especially with regard to fisheries. He is currently setting out a theoretical case for a radical change to inshore-only fisheries,  and how this can benefit marine ecology and the local economic and social structures of coastal communities. This work will then use a range of quantitative methods, including agent-based models and Bayesian belief networks, to help quantify the effects of such a change in fisheries policy.

SIG secretary Laura Graham (University of Southampon) is an Associate Editor for People and Nature. Laura’s research expertise is in broad-scale spatial ecology with a focus on ecosystem services, and urban and agricultural systems. If you have a quantitative paper suitable for People and Nature, send it over!


Quantitative Ecology Events

At our first Annual Meeting in July 2018 at University of St Andrews, we heard about coupled ecology and economics modelling, methods for disease mapping, and spatial models of marine ecosystem services.  We will be holding our 2019 Annual Meeting in Sheffield on 9th-10th July with the Movement Ecology SIG, and we encourage anyone working with quantitative methods regardless of ecological sub-discipline to come along!

Next year we also plan to hold a follow up to our hugely successful Hackathon, which was held at Ecology Across Borders in 2017. In this Hackathon, which is sponsored by Methods in Ecology and Evolution and People and Nature, we will aim to have one or two challenges focused around integrating ecological, economic and social data sources. Watch this space for more details!

Our committee will be represented at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Birmingham. Come and say hi at our social event on Tuesday evening.


Follow @BES_QE_SIG on Twitter.