Thursday, October 29, 2015

IPBES comments invited - due Nov 3, 2015

This came in to IBS' IPBES committee, led by Lars Opgenoorth:

Ref: LE/2015-16
Dear Governments and Stakeholders,

Following up on Decision IPBES-3/1 on the Work Programme for the period 2014-2018 (section III.4), which approved a scoping process for a global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, based on the approach proposed in document IPBES/3/9, a group of experts, selected according to the rules of procedure, met in Bonn on 5-7 October 2015. This group produced a draft scoping report for this global assessment, which you can find here.

We would like to invite you to take part in an open consultative process on this draft scoping report, and to seek your views on the proposed approach, in particular from the point of view of users of this future assessment.

Following this round of comments, the document will be finalised by the experts and submitted for consideration by the Plenary at its fourth session.

Please provide your comments into the dedicated template and send back to no later than 3 November 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Anne Larigauderie | Executive Secretary
Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
Copyright © 2015 IPBES Secretariat, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the IPBES mailing list or you are a focal point, bureau, MEP or secretariat member.

Our mailing address is:
IPBES Secretariat
UN Campus
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
Bonn 53113

Monday, October 12, 2015

Postdoc Fellowship Available - Biosystematics - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Biosystematics Research: Postdoctoral Fellowship
KZN Herbarium, Durban

SANBI has been mandated to collect, generate, process, coordinate and disseminate information about biodiversity and the sustainable use of indigenous biological resources, and establish and maintain databases. A postdoctoral position, based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is available to conduct and publish taxonomic research on problematic plant taxa of KwaZulu-Natal.

Candidates must have a recent PhD (awarded in the last 5 years) in plant taxonomy and experience in taxonomic research. Candidates must be pro-active, enthusiastic, keen to work as part of a team and interested in doing excellent research that can make a difference. Candidates must be in possession of a valid driver’s licence.

The fellowship of R240 000 per year is offered for a period of two years. Running costs to the amount of R15 000 per year are attached to the position.

 Application procedure:
Application to be accompanied by a standard application cover sheet (contact for copy). Applicants are required to highlight in their applications how they see their skills being applied to the above-mentioned research area and the types of questions they are interested in addressing. Applications are to include a full CV; certified copies of ID, academic record and highest qualification; two letters of reference (academic); and an example publication.

Send all documents to with ‘SANBI Biosystematics Research Postdoc’ in the subject line.

To discuss details of the project please contact:
Ms Janine Victor, SANBI Deputy Director: Biosystematics Research e-mail: telephone 012.843 5132

SANBI reserves the right not to fill this fellowship.
If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Call for Symposia - 2017 Biennial Meeting of the International Biogeography Society

The International Biogeography Society seeks proposals for symposia for the 2017 Biennial Conference, 9-13 January, 2017 in Salvador, Brazil.  The symposia are an integral part of our meeting as they are in the form of plenary sessions in which all attendees participate.  These plenary symposia provide opportunity for several speakers (typically 5-6) to present cutting-edge work that will have a appeal to a broad cross-section of Biogeographers. Ideally these findings address a current debate or provide synthesis and integration for a selected theme or topic.  Symposia held at previous meetings are available at the IBS website,

Symposium proposals should include  the following information:

-       Name, institution and email of organizers.  Please delegate a single organizer as the point of contact between the organizers and the IBS.
-       Names (institution, email and tentative title) of 4-6 speakers.  Please only list speakers that you have contacted regarding the symposium and indicate their current level of commitment (tentative or confirmed).
-       Title of symposium
-       Session description (focus on the theme and strong justification): < 600 words.

IBS will provide partial financial support for travel of symposia speakers, but we expect that the remainder of expenses will be covered by symposium speakers and organizers. We strongly encourage organizers to convey this information to potential speakers and try to use the partial financial support in an optimal manner. 

Review process.  All proposals will be peer reviewed by external reviewers selected by the IBS board using a score system. 

Submission and questions: Please send proposals for symposia by email to Pedro Peres-Neto (, IBS VP for Conferences.  Deadline has been extended to Dec 1, 2015.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

24th Biennial Meeting - AMQUA - 2016

24th Biennial Meeting of the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA)

Retooling the Quaternary to Manage the Anthropocene
July 28-July 1, 2016, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Early registration: October 1, 2015 to May 1, 2016; Abstract deadline: April 10, 2016

In 2016, the International Commission on Stratigraphy will decide on whether or not the Geologic Time Table will designate a new Anthropocene Epoch, and where in time to drive the Golden Spike. This decision is apt to shine the spotlight on the Quaternarist, who surely will be challenged and motivated to discriminate how geological and ecological rates and processes in the Anthropocene deviate from the Holocene and other times past. 

The 24th AMQUA Biennial Meeting will address the theme, “Retooling the Quaternary to Manage the Anthropocene,” and kickoff on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 with three exciting, all-day fieldtrips addressing ongoing research on Geology and Paleohydrology of the Jemez Mountains; Vegetation, Fire, and Alluvial Histories in the Jemez Mountains; and Paleoindian Geoarcheology in Middle Rio
Grande Basin. Our meeting’s keynote speaker is the award-winning science writer Andrew Revkin, author of the New York Times blog DotEarth and himself a member of the Anthropocene Working Group of the Subcommittee on Quaternary Stratigraphy. Over two and a half days, our 25 invited plenary speakers (see program) will address different aspects of the “Retooling” challenges. The remaining presentations will be contributed posters, which will remain up for the entirety of the meeting.  All posters will be featured in one-minute lightning talks (1-2 slides) at strategic times during the technical program. The posters will remain up in for the entirety of meeting, with 3-hour poster sessions each afternoon. After the meeting adjourns at noon on July 1, we are offering a guided tour to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science in Albuquerque and an all-day Neotoma/Tilia/Bacon workshop at the University of New Mexico on July 2. 

We recognize the educational value of the meeting and strongly encourage students to register and apply for AMQUA Student Travel Grants on our meeting registration page. 

The 24th Biennial AMQUA meeting is sponsored by the University of New Mexico, USGS and other organizations. 

For more information, please visit the website at

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Job: Postdoctoral position in community ecology

The Belmaker (Tel Aviv University; and Chase Labs (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Leipzig; are looking for a postdoctoral fellow to work on a collaborative biodiversity synthesis project. The research will focus on exploring novel methods to decompose and compare changes in biodiversity in space and time. The project will make use of existing global datasets, primarily of marine fishes. The successful applicant is expected to spend significant amounts of times in both Israel and Germany, but specific details are negotiable. This is a one-year fellowship renewable for a second year upon performance.  Start date is flexible but can be as soon as October, 2015.

Skills: The ideal candidate will possess a background in community ecology, a strong publication record and good programming skills in standard statistical platforms (e.g., R).
Contact: Interested candidates should send a C.V. (including references) to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Faculty Position (open-rank), Brown University - Conservation Biology (with expertise in Ecology or Evolutionary Biology)

The Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES) and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) seek to fill an open-rank faculty position in Conservation Biology. The successful applicant will be appointed at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor (with tenure) or Assistant Professor (tenure-track). We will consider outstanding candidates whose research addresses problems in conservation biology from a strong disciplinary foundation in ecology or evolutionary biology. The successful candidate will develop a vigorous externally funded research program that significantly advances disciplinary knowledge, and will actively engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students. They will be expected to share a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students. 
A successful senior candidate must have an outstanding record of national and international scholarly achievement, a proven record of successful research funding, and demonstrated excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching and advising. A successful junior candidate must be engaged in a research program with the potential to influence his or her field, demonstrate the intention to obtain external funding, and demonstrate the potential for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching and advising. Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Dov Sax, chair of the search committee, with questions about the nature of the position.
All candidates should submit: (1) a cover letter describing their interest in the position, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a research statement, and (4) a teaching statement. Senior candidates (full and associate) should include the names of five references who would be contacted at the appropriate time by the search committee. Junior candidates should have three letters of reference sent at the time of the application. To receive full consideration applications must be received by October 1, 2015. The search will remain open until the position is filled or the search is closed. Brown is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, and women and minorities are encouraged to apply.  Send materials to:

Friday, January 30, 2015

Postdoctoral stipend: Biogeographical regions as a conservation tool - SLU Uppsala

Postdoctoral stipend: Biogeographical regions as a conservation tool

A 12 month postdoctoral stipend is available at SLU Uppsala. The stipend corresponds to an average of about 25.000 SEK per month.

Project description:
The objective of this research project is to identify biogeographical regions within Sweden, which can aid conservation decisions. The overall applied aim is to increase adaptation of forest conservation measures to regional conditions. The result will have a large potential use as decision support when formulating recommendations about e.g. setting aside reserves, designing retention approaches at logging or planning of restoration measures. The main data source will be the extensive species data-bases within the Species Observations System at Swedish Species Information Centre, available through Swedish LifeWatch Other biophysical data-bases may also be used. The research implies handling of large datasets and statistical analyses mainly using multivariate methods. The postdoc will be part of a group who conducts policy-relevant research on forestry and biodiversity (

Lena Gustafsson (
lena/) will be the host for the postdoc but several other people will also be involved. More information can be obtained from Lena Gustafsson via email

Qualifications: The successful candidate should hold a PhD in ecology (or equivalent) and have a track-record in scientific publication. Strong skills in multivariate statistics and handling of large dataset are necessary. Good knowledge about nature conservation in forests is an advantage, but not a prerequisite. We are not allowed to give the stipend to anyone previously employed by SLU.

The application should include:
(1) a summary of previous research experience (max. a half page),
(2) a description of what you want to learn and deliver through the project (max. a half page),
(3) curriculum vitae and
(4) two reference persons.

Your complete application should be sent to Professor Lena Gustafsson, Box 7044, SE-750 07 UPPSALA, or, to arrive at the latest March 2 , 2015.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A trip of the past: the fossils talk to us about biogeography.

Insights of the PS3 Plenary Symposium Session on Saturday 10.01.2015

After a nice reception at the Botanical Garden which ended very late, the attendees congregated at the Auditorium of the University of Bayreuth next morning for the Plenary Symposium. During the session labelled: “Paleogeography: The importance of fossil data to species biogeography. Past, present and future”, the speakers Alicia Stigall, Thomas Servais, Wolfgang Kiessling, Thomas Denk, Andrea Sánchez and Catherine Badgley held presentations of a historical perspective of Biogeography.

To name some examples of the talks of this session, Stigall highlighted the difficulties of making biogeographical analyses with paleontological data. However, using an approach named Environmental niche modelling (ENM) is possible to incorporate into biogeographic inference the temporal, spatial, and environmental information provided by the fossil record, as a direct evidence of the extinct biodiversity fraction.

On the other hand, Andrea Sánchez explained some of the limitations of the fossil record: they represent a fraction of the living information of ancestral times, and therefore the biodiversity we see today is not representative of the historical one, especially after scenarios of high extinction. Her research team analysed the phylogenetic map of the Hypericum sp.  and they found out that it did not correspond with the fossil record.  They analysed the fossil data with a diversification–extinction–cladogenesis (DEC) model incorporating a model of the fossil reconstructions. As fossil record provides information of the location of the organisms, the climate as well as the ecological conditions of the environment of the previous times, dispersal patterns could be described. This allows to infer the past potential distribution and ecological corridors and barriers for dispersal.

Finally, Catherine Badgley explained a model of biotic responses to changes in earth history in terms of biogeographical processes. Specifically, tectonic changes and other environmental changes as change of sea level and climate change open and closes dispersal corridors for species. He explain three examples that portrait this scenario: in Miocene faunas of Pakistan and Spain, and in Quaternary faunas of South Africa. In these three examples of mammals’ biogeography, he concluded how the range of dispersal of these organisms was affected by climate change in accordance of the models applied.

by Yrneh Ulloa

Picture from:

Pre - Conference field trip: Humboldt as a Young Scientist (1792 – 1796)

Last Wednesday, just before the start of the conferences, participants had the chance to be part of a day excursion that visited places that where part of Alexander von Humboldt life during his youth. While listening to amusing stories about his life before becoming the great scientist that we all now, everyone was delighted with beautiful landscapes covered with snow. The excursion included visits to forest and mining areas in the Fichtelgebirge and Frankenwald mountain ranges. 

Although it was a very cold day for an excursion, the participants enjoyed short hikes in different parts of the route; one in particular will be hard to forget. As the temperatures dropped down, a short hike in the area of Bad Berneck took place; this is when all assistants introduced themselves and enjoyed short conversations as they walked their way to a famous cave in the area. Here, there was a wonderful surprise awaiting: some hot coffee and tea have been served and was secretly waiting for the hikers! Here they all recharged the batteries with some hot coffee and continue the adventurous ride! 

By Sofía Gonzales Zúñiga. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

CT5 Conservation Biogeography Short Lecture Series

Werner Ulrich (CT5.2) has developed a new method of estimating abundance of species in a community by assessing the factor of competition between individual species.
Laura Kehoe (CT5.3) discussed Land Use Intensity as compared with biodiversity in a very interesting talk, which showed globally, the areas which specifically compare land with high anthropogenic use that is adjacent to natural areas of high biodiversity. These high biodiversity to land use regions were found to be dominantly in the tropics: Central America, SE Asia and parts of Central Africa; regions with currently high levels of deforestation. But also found within Southern America, Sth Africa and parts of Australia. Significant areas with this high level of land clash lie outside Conservation Internation Biodiversity Hotspots.
Jenny McGuire (CT5.4) modelled the potential movement of animals over negative temperature gradients (due to climate change) finding worryingly that only 22% of landscape patches within her USA model had enough interconnectivity for successful movement. This is due to anthropogenic land use changes, fragmenting the landscape, very high in the agriculturally-rich eastern USA. Including climate corridors in the models connected and improved this potential movement between landscape patches greatly. How well will seemingly narrow vegetation corridors work in reality?
Carston (CT5.5) gave a thorough account of gaps within current global animal research data, including methods and abilities to track and calculate ranges of mammals. He showed that prioritization of data mobilisation is necessary because data is heavily biased to Western research organisations and completeness in overall data gaps would be significantly improved by finding local data sources.
Ricardo Dobrovolski (CT5.6) showed us that habitat amount determines the extinction risk threshold on a macro-logical scale, for the individual and community level . These risk factors should be compiled and expanded upon in the future to b used in conjunction with global climate change models.