Yes, statistical errors are slowing down scientific progress!

Over at dynamic ecology,  Jeremy Fox argues that Technical statistical mistakes are overrated; ecologists (especially students) worry too much about them. Individually and collectively, technical statistical mistakes hardly ever appreciably slow the progress of entire subfields or sub-subfields. And fixing them rarely meaningfully accelerates progress. continuing with Don’t agree? Try this exercise: name the most…

Back from Bayes IV

As announced a while ago, we had moved our now already traditional summer school in Bayesian Statistics to Bergen, Norway this year. Maybe fitting for such a course, the weather turned out to be very different from the long-term frequency, in what must be the upper 1% quantile of sun intensity for the region at…

Notes from France

I’ve just returned from two weeks in France, the first week on the International Statistical Ecology Conference 2014 in Montpellier, and the second at the Laboratoire d’Écologie Alpine (LECA) in Grenoble, visiting the groups of Wilfried Thuiller and Sébastien Lavergne, which was both great. Some impressions from the ISEC: First of all, my compliments to…

Webinaring Bayes

Yesterday, I gave my first webinar, or online lecture if you want. The occasion was that a few people from another university asked me if I could give an introductory lecture about Bayesian statistics, and because traveling would have cost me a full day, I suggested doing a “virtual visit” instead. It’s a funny coincidence…

Darwin quote of the day: Marry—Mary—Marry Q.E.D.

Today is Charles Darwin’s birthday, and a welcome excuse for me to restart my very short sequel of Darwin quotes. Keeping in mind that Valentine’s day is lurking round the corner, I have decided that while others celebrate Darwin’s memory by remembering his fondness for beetles or his contributions to ecology, I want to remind…

Guest post: can you be too young to write a synthesis paper?

An opinion I have commonly heard is that young people should concentrate on primary research instead of writing reviews or synthesis papers, and that we have too many reviews anyway. In the following guest post, Alexander Kubisch disagrees: The question I’d like to elaborate on is: Should you write a review/synthesis paper, although you just…

Do you still know all your coauthors?

Collaboration sizes increase across all scientific disciplines, and Ecology is no exception to this trend. One of the problems emerging from this development is that it seems more and more difficult to remember all your coauthors. This recent erratum in Nature adds no less than five forgotten coauthors, in addition to correcting various names and…

A citation universe

The website paperscape.org creates a beautiful dynamic visualization of the citation network that connects articles on the arXiv preprint server, resembling a view in the night sky. As you will see, quantitative ecology is a small cluster of galaxies in the lower left corner of the open access universe, dominated by the large network nebula.…

Sustainability and Complex Systems in Columbus, or: from IBMs to aggregate models and back

I spent this week in Columbus, Ohio, to attend a workshop on “Sustainability and Complex Systems”, which was organized by Chris Cosner, Volker Grimm, Alan Hastings, and Otso Ovaskainen at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI). To quote the organizers: This workshop aims to engage computational and mathematical modelers, empiricists, and mathematicians in a dialogue about…

See page for author [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

A tribute to this year’s Ig Nobel Price winners

I just realized that, unlike in previous years, I completely missed the announcement of the Ig Nobel Price winners 2013, which took place at Harvard last week. My sympathy is of course with all laureates, yet, I can’t help but feel that our wider field (biology) contributed two particularly worthy studies to this event, with…

Heading home from the GFÖ 2013 in Potsdam

I’m heading home from the annual meeting of the Ecological Society Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GFÖ) 2013 in Potsdam, which was, like every year, enjoyable and abundant with the usual suspects of the small German-speaking ecological world. The organization and the venue were great, big thanks to the local hosts around Florian Jeltsch. If you…

My INTECOL slides

OK, final INTECOL broadcast: in case someone is interested, I have uploaded the talk I gave in London at slideshare. As said before, a preprint of the study is available on the arXiv. INTECOL13 Talk: Hartig et al.: Dynamic versus evolutionary stability – divergent insights from coexistence theory and evolutionary ecology from florianhartig

Bye INTECOL!

INTECOL finished on Friday, but I hadn’t had time to write down my thoughts yet, so here’s my belated conclusions from London (no idea how some people find the time to write daily reports on a conference, I appreciate it though, it’s funny to read what happened in the session next door). On the plus…

Back from Bayes (again)

I just returned from our Summer School on Bayesian Statistics that we held in the mountains around Freiburg. Thanks to all the participants as well as my fellow lecturers Jörn Pagel and Joe Chipperfield for the really amazing time up there in the hut, hope to see you all soon!