Meet the Editor: Rob Freckleton

Today, we’re finding out a bit more about Methods in Ecology and Evolution‘s Executive (and founding) Editor, Rob Freckleton.

Please share a [funny] story about a paper you had rejected.
I had a paper rejected (from a journal that will remain nameless) – so I submitted it to Functional Ecology and it won the Haldane prize for best paper by a young author. I had another that was rejected from that journal and subsequently published in Functional Ecology that directly got me a job! Another amusing anecdote from around the same time: a third paper was not rejected, but I was accidentally forwarded some correspondence from the Editor with some (very non-flattering) opinions of me & my co-author… that paper went on to get >300 citations; and the Editor apologised fulsomely and unreservedly, to their great credit. And I’m not specifically knocking the journal in question: I just send a lot of papers there so have a lot of stories!

What’s your favourite species and why?
Peregrine falcon: ultimate predator, first inspired me to get interested in natural history (specifically via the video below).

What can you tell us about the first paper you published?
It was accepted over the phone without being reviewed.

If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill, what would it be?
Legible handwriting.

There's no need to explain support for the cherry and whites.

There’s no need to explain support for the cherry and whites.

What’s your favourite sports team and why?
Gloucester Rugby. Needs no explanation.

Are you a good cook? What’s your signature dish?
Yes. Crab linguine.

If you could recommend one place for people to travel to on holiday, where would it be and why?
Hungary: tremendous food and natural history, thoroughly under-rated as a place to visit: the hills and plains are some of the best & unique places to visit in Europe. But don’t all go there at once, it is also very quiet, which I like!

A great role model for any student... right?

A great role model for any student… right?

Who inspired you most as a student?
Keith Richards

What was the first album you owned?
AC/DC’s Highway to Hell.

How many British Ecological Society annual meetings have you attended? Which one was the best?
My best guess is 24? I first attended in 1994, and have been to many since then. In terms of the best… it depends how you define best, really. I have always enjoyed meetings in Birmingham, and I was really pleased with my talk in Durham 1996 at which I won the Keymer prize.

Are you attending #BES2018? If so, when is the best opportunity for people to meet you?
Yes – any time is a good time. I’ll be at the Speed Review Session on Monday evening, so if you’re planning to submit a paper to Methods, sign-up to talk to me about it there. I’ll also be going to some of the SIG socials on Monday night.

Rob’s research focuses on modelling population and community dynamics, and testing these using observational and comparative data. He has a range of interests including plant population ecology, modelling plant populations and predicting weed population dynamics; evolutionary ecology, phylogenetic comparative methodology and its application to ecological problems; theoretical ecology and statistical methodology.

You can find out about the other Methods in Ecology and Evolution Senior Editors here. You can also find out about the other BES journals’ Senior Editors on their blogs:

Functional Ecology
Journal of Animal Ecology
Journal of Applied Ecology
Journal of Ecology
People and Nature

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