The journey from designing to employing an automated radio telemetry system to track monarch butterflies

Post provided by Kelsey E. Fisher

Kelsey Fisher describes the motivations and challenges in the development of a novel automated radio telemetry method to track the movement of butterflies at the landscape scale published in their new Methods article ‘Locating large insects using automated VHF radio telemetry with a multi‐antennae array’.

LB-2X transmitter attached to a monarch butterfly.

Understanding animal movement across varying spatial and temporal scales is an active area of fundamental ecological research, with practical applications in the fields of conservation biology and natural resource management. Advancements in tracking technologies, such as GPS and satellite systems, allow researchers to obtain more location information for a variety of species than ever before. It’s an exciting time for movement ecologists! However, entomologists studying insect movement are still limited because of the large size of tracking devices relative to the small size of insects.

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Animal Social Networks Joint Special Feature out now!

We are excited to announce that our January Issue, including the Animal Social Networks Special Feature, is now online! All the articles in this issue are free to access – find out more about them below.

Joint with the Journal of Animal Ecology, we held a successful open call for papers, soliciting original research capturing novel methodological developments or applications of social network theory to new empirical questions.

Read all about the Special Feature in the editorial Animal social networks: Towards an integrative framework embedding social interactions, space and time by editors Sebastian Sosa, David Jacoby, Mathieu Lihoreau and Cédric Sueur.

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Detecting Diatoms through Kick-net DNA Metabarcoding

Post provided by Dr. Chloe Robinson

Diatoms may be the only organisms to live in houses made of glass, but some species of diatom are far from fragile. Certain groups of diatoms are highly tolerant of poorer water quality and therefore their presence can be diagnostic for freshwater health estimates. A recent study, featuring MEE Associate Editor, Chloe Robinson, investigated whether communities of freshwater diatoms can be collected via kick-net methodology, which is an approach currently used for collecting benthic macroinvertebrates. In this post, Chloe highlights how applying previously optimised freshwater methods can result in a more holistic understanding of freshwater health.

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Machine Learning Virtual Issue

We are pleased to announce our Machine Learning Virtual Issue is now online.

This collection of MEE articles showcases exciting advances and applications of machine learning (ML) across a wide range of ecological and evolutionary disciplines.

From the analysis of reef structure and tree crowns, to species and individual animal identification, biological overlap, content analysis, biodiversity assessment and counting animals, ML automates the extraction of meaningful information from large digital collections.

Our Associate Editors Arthur Porto, Marta Vidal-Garcia, Miguel Acevedo, Theoni Photopoulou and Sarab Sethi curated this virtual issue by selecting their favourite MEE articles that use machine learning. Find out below why these papers were chosen, and how they are helping to progress research in ecology and evolution.

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10th Anniversary Volume 11: Climate Change

To celebrate our anniversary, we are highlighting a key article from each of our volumes. For Volume 11 we selected The handbook for standardized field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx)’ by Halbritter et al. (2019).

In this post, Jessica Royles, one of our Associate Editors with expertise in climate change, selects her favourite MEE papers in this field.

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10th Anniversary Volume 11: Updates on the ClimEx Handbook

Post provided by Aud H. Halbritter

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the launch of Methods in Ecology and Evolution, we are highlighting an article from each volume to feature in the Methods.blog. For Volume 11, we have selected ‘The handbook for standardized field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx)’ by Halbritter et al. (2019).

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10th Anniversary Volume 10: R packages

To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are highlighting a key article from each of our volumes. For Volume 10 we selected ‘An automated approach to identifying search terms for systematic reviews using keyword co‐occurrence networks’ by Grames et al. (2019), an Application article introducing the R package litsearchr.

In this post Thomas White and Laura Graham, two of our Associate Editors with expertise in Application articles, highlight their favourite of our papers about R packages.

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Methods at the Festival of Ecology!

Welcome to all the Methods editors, authors, reviewers and readers attending the British Ecological Society’s Festival of Ecology – the online version of our annual conference.

With a huge number of amazing talks, posters and workshops to choose from, it may be difficult to choose what to attend this week. Below is a list of conference content by our editors and authors that may be of interest to you.

If you can’t make a live session, the plenary lectures and thematic sessions are being recorded and videos will be uploaded to the conference platform the following day.

Don’t forget that presenter networking sessions run twice per day and these give you an opportunity to ask live questions while presenters of the on-demand talks and posters are online.

Follow #BES2020 and @MethodsEvolEcol for the latest updates!

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10th Anniversary Volume 10: Evidence synthesis technology and automating systematic reviews

Post provided by Eliza M. grames

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the launch of Methods in Ecology and Evolution, we are highlighting an article from each volume to feature on the Methods.blog. For Volume 10, we have selected ‘An automated approach to identifying search terms for systematic reviews using keyword co‐occurrence networks’ by Grames et al. (2019).

In this post, Eliza Grames shares the motivation behind the litsearchr search approach, and developments since the article’s publication.

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10th Anniversary Volume 9: Acoustic Monitoring Editor’s Choice

To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are highlighting a key article from each of our volumes. For Volume 9 we selected Estimating effective detection area of static passive acoustic data loggers from playback experiments with cetacean vocalisations’ by Nuuttila et al. (2018). 

In this post, three of our Associate Editors with expertise in acoustic monitoring, Sarab Sethi, Camille Desjonquères and Lian Pin Koh, select their favourite MEE papers in this field.

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