The Theory of Ecological Communities

Rating: Mark Velland. 2017. The Theory of Ecological Communities. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978 0 691 16484 7 Usually, this site reviews texts that cover a range of topics and provide introductions to a broad range of ecological thinking. This text covers just a single area, and a theoretical one at that. As such, it’s a highly advanced text but the underlying theme, that of creating a simple framework for discussion, has implications that can be used elsewhere. The aim […]

The New Ecology

Rating: Oswald J Schmitz. 2017. The New Ecology: rethinking science for the Anthropocene. Princeton University Press. ISBN978 0 691 16056 6 There are numerous ecology texts on the market and most cover much the same material. In the last 30 years we’ve seen a move towards more specialised areas not in terms of ecological basics like populations, ecosystem¬† and communities but in the way that specific places are developing their “own” ecology. Scanning the publishers lists as I do to […]

Applied Ecology

Rating: Anne E Goodenough and Adam G Hart. 2017. Applied Ecology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978 0 19 872328 8 One of the big issues in education, especially in these days, is to find a pedagogical “hook” with which to draw in learner interest. This is a useful (some would argue, necessary) but not sufficient condition. You also need subject matter focussed in such a way as to draw the reader in. Ecology is an obvious topic because the concept […]

Ecology of North America. 2e.

Rating: Brian R Chapman and Eric G Bolen. 2016. Ecology of North America. 2e. Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 978 1 118 97154 3 One of the issues faced when examining foreign ecosystems is getting sufficient background information to be enable comparison with ones better known to the reader. Anything that helps this situation creates two advantages – a better understanding of the theoretical linkages between disparate ecosystems and the ability to understand the practical aspects of plant-animal interactions. Luckily, for North […]

National Biodiversity Network

National Biodiversity Network Gateway. An amazing collection of publicly-accessible data for UK flora and fauna.

Why Ecology Matters

Rating: Charles J Krebs. 2016. Why Ecology Matters. Chicago University Press. ISBN – 978 0 226 31815 8 I’ll start with an admission – I’ve followed Krebs work for many years and find him one of the most persuasive writers in ecology! Not that I’m biased of course, it’s just I have expectations of this slender text! The title should be obvious. Of course it matters (providing you want a healthy planet to live on).¬† I start, suspecting a carefully […]

Essentials of Ecology. 4e.

Rating: Michael Begon, Robert W Howarth and Colin R Townsend. 2014. Essential of Ecology. 4e. Wiley. ISBN978 0 470 90913 3. 30 years ago, a text was produced which has become to be seen as the standard in ecological education. I doubt that its authors would have been aware of what they started although some of the key ones remain and new collaborators join in. As part of the pantheon of ecological texts stretching back into the early C20th, this […]

Council for Learning Outside the Classroom

Council for Learning Outside the Classroom – now that there are an increasing number of revised curricula that require students to learn outside the classroom, this organisation has sprung up to help.   From their website: ” Incorporated in December 2008, the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom formally assumed responsibility and leadership for learning outside the classroom from the [then] Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) on the 1st April 2009. The premise of LOtC has been supported […]

Dirty Teaching

Rating: Juliet Robertson. 2014. Dirty Teaching: a beginner’s guide to learning outdoors. Independent Thinking Press. ISBN 978 178135107 9. Up to now, there’s been an increasingly alarming move towards taking the field out of fieldwork and replacing it with a computer screen. Let’s be very clear on this – fieldwork cannot be replaced by any software. You cannot get the same feeling standing in an ecosystem as you can seeing a video (however good). There’s an increasing body of research […]

Are there viable synergies between ecology and economics?

My mind was drawn to an old issue made new again in a recent flyer for a conference. The BES is hosting a conference exploring the interactions between ecology and economics. They tagline is that there is far too little by way of interaction and that there are numerous ideas that each could teach/learn from, the other. On the surface, this is a great idea and any exploration between the two is going to yield insights. There might well be […]