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Chemical Ecology & Biogeochemistry

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Chemical Ecology & Biogeochemistry

Global environmental change is having a profound impact on ecosystems around the globe, with complex interactions at the interface of global change processes and ecological systems. Many of these changes, including climate change, resource exploitation, urbanization and disruption of biogeochemical cycles, are a direct result of human activity. Research on the ecological impacts of such changes is essential for safeguarding biodiversity and maintaining healthy ecosystems which provide crucial services, foundational to sustainable development and human well-being.

Through the open sharing of research and data, we can better understand the implications of global change for natural and human-modified ecosystems at local, regional, and global scales. Full transparency of research will support the development of evidence-based approaches to addressing critical problems and help to influence more effective policy changes which seek to address these issues.

This gateway aims to provide researchers, policymakers and practitioners with a dedicated space to openly discuss and share work related to all areas of ecology and global environmental change. This research includes a broad range of sub-topics and interdisciplinary areas, such as:

Biodiversity & Conservation
Ecosystem Services
Climate Change & Ecology
Macroecology & Molecular Ecology
Animal and Behavioural Ecology
Chemical Ecology & Biogeochemistry
Wildlife & Habitat Management
Habitat Degradation & Invasive Species
Biogeography
Population Dynamics
Ecosystem Restoration
Land Use & Management
Biological Resources
Agroecology
Conservation Policy
Political Ecology
Ecology Economics
Working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the Life on Land and Life Below Water initiatives, the Ecology and Global Change Gateway offers rapid and transparent publication alongside access to all underlying data.

Submission and publication process

The range of article types offered by F1000Research facilitates the dissemination of work as openly and quickly as possible through Data Notes, Policy Briefs, Methods, and Software Tools, as well as traditional Research and Review articles. Through this approach, the Ecology and Global Change gateway seeks to reduce barriers to collaborative research practices and ensure authors receive credit for their full range of work. Each publication will undergo fully transparent post-publication peer review following the F1000Research publication model. Before submitting, please read our data guidelines and information regarding our article processing charges.

The Ecology and Global Change gateway welcomes all articles relating to the areas listed above, as well as interdisciplinary research relating to these topics. To submit to the gateway simply click the “Submit to this Gateway” button on this page or select the gateway name from dropdown list in the article submission form.

photographers from 196 countries and territories submitted more than 100,000 pictures to The Nature Conservancy’s global photo contest. Here are some of our favorite images from around the world.

“The composition of this photo and its color balance are absolutely beautiful. The eye is drawn to these elements first, and then you realize the center point is the mother polar bear and her cubs."

Tiara Moore, an environmental ecologist, founded Black in Marine Science—an organization that supports Black people working in marine science.

You founded the group Black in Marine Science in 2020 while working as a postdoctoral researcher for The Nature Conservancy and the University of Washington in part because, you’ve said, you often found yourself to be “the only Black person in the room.” How is BIMS working to change that? The mission is to celebrate Black marine scientists, spread environmental awareness and inspire the next generation of scientific thought leaders. It is a nonprofit in itself; we do our own fundraising. We have several grants, and we have a lot of donors as well. We are largely member- and crowd-supported.

What is BIMS doing to inspire the wider Black community to become involved in marine science? Our largest program is BIMS TV—our YouTube channel. We have about 150 videos of Black marine scientists all over the globe talking about different ocean topics. The goal is to change the faces of who people see as scientists.

For so long, seeing Black people in marine science was foreign. And for some people it really still is. When I talk to my Black friends about being a marine scientist it’s like, “Girl, what are you doing? Is that a real job?”

It can be seen as something that’s not cool. And I think, especially for young Black kids, that is really important. So how do we change the face of marine science in general so that it’s “this is cool, this is lit. ... I can chill at the ocean, but I’m also saving the world.” How do we tell these kids this and get them excited?

Who is BIMS’ audience? Working scientists are the largest number of our members. But we also have videographers, underwater photographers, dive masters, dive instructors, all of those folks who can contribute to protecting the ocean. Those folks are really helping us to inspire that younger generation and showing, hey, you don’t have to go to school for a thousand years like I did. You can be a diver, you can work in an aquarium.

We recently started a scuba dive program, and we’ve been able to get about 15 students dive certified, completely free of charge to them. We don’t want there to be any barriers to this program. This is a pure opportunity.

How do you think changing the face of marine science can benefit conservation overall? Black folks are largely the most impacted by environmental injustices: ocean impacts, climate change, sea-level rise, pollution. The list goes on. Why are we not in the room doing the scientific research? So a large goal is to start with this outreach and healing and say, “Hey, we belong in the room.” But then also how can [we] do the research that’s needed in these communities that are always left out of the research?

I also think BIMS provides a blueprint for other organizations. People know now that when they’re working with BIMS, we are thinking about the community and what’s best for people at large. So how can we use our power, our research, the passion that we have, our access to various communities to spread that environmental awareness and inspire that next generation of scientific thought leaders?

You’ve continued working for TNC as you’ve gotten the group off the ground, but you’ll leave in April to lead BIMS full time. How do you think BIMS and TNC have benefited each other? I think we both see it as an opportunity. How can this huge organization support this grassroots organization that has basically the same mission but reaches different audiences? BIMS has been really impactful in engaging those communities, bringing them into science, bringing them into our programming and saying, “Hey, this is for you.”

TNC has really helped me with the strategic planning and visioning for BIMS, and [connecting me to] relationships and partnerships that I may not have known about has been very helpful. The real goal is for me to use the support that I’ve gained from TNC to transition to the first full-time employee of BIMS. I think the partnership that we have built will continue to hold. 

climate change can still feel fairly abstract. Alaska is not one of those places. “Here, anyone who cares to look can see climate change,” says Stephanie Holthaus, who has lived in Alaska since 1978. Take Portage Glacier, southeast of Anchorage. “The first 20 years I was here, you could drive to the end of the road and look at the face of the glacier across this little lake that had icebergs in it,” Holthaus remembers. “And now the glacier has receded so far back into the mountains, you can’t see it from the road at all.”

She says firsthand experience has bred into Alaskans a practicality, a tendency to put politics aside and look to solutions, at least where climate is concerned. It’s an attitude that Holthaus brings to her work as climate action advisor for The Nature Conservancy in Alaska, a position she’s held since 2017.

As part of her work, Holthaus launched the Women in Climate initiative in 2018. In the years since, she and her team have hosted five “innovation labs,” which bring together women from across sectors and backgrounds for multiday workshops to generate ideas for addressing climate change. Alumnae of these meetings make up a network of 188 leaders around the world who share advice and resources.

Holthaus says it’s vital that the innovation labs center women—not because women represent the majority of the world’s poor or because their livelihoods are often more dependent on natural resources threatened by climate change, but because women offer powerful skills and perspectives that can shift the dynamic of the climate conversation. Historically, women have been underrepresented in global leadership positions, including at the highest levels of conservation work. She believes that bringing more women to the table and supporting them as leaders can produce more diverse ideas and stronger outcomes.

“When women come together to collaborate on solutions, there’s a completely different energy than in a room with mostly men,” Holthaus says about the innovation labs she has convened. In her observation, women’s leadership styles often include a community outlook. “If they’re thinking about climate change, they’re also thinking about food, safety and health,” she says.  “Women tend to bring others along—not just other women, but all people.”

In 2020 and 2021, due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, the innovation labs went virtual and participants focused on the need for equitable climate solutions. At the most recent innovation lab, held in Seattle in September, a group hammered out a plan to better collect and distribute data to help the fishing industry and communities become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The Conservancy hosts the events, but the participants decide what to focus on. Holthaus has been fascinated watching women come together to brainstorm ideas, then return home to implement them. Her team is planning future sessions likely to be centered on transportation and agriculture, two industries that have been major drivers of climate change—and that could be major drivers of solutions.

In Alaska, the changes wrought by a warming climate—increasing temperatures, thawing permafrost and those vanishing glaciers—are difficult to ignore. But for Holthaus, it’s impossible not to be hopeful. 

“I am optimistic,” she says. And that’s why Holthaus is working to create a world in which all women play a critical role in solving the climate crisis. “Women are not going to let this world go down in flames.”

ome of the greatest moments of my career have been watching fire move around the landscape, mimicking the way it would have moved around historically,” says Nikole Simmons, a restoration coordinator for The Nature Conservancy in Virginia and an expert at planning and managing prescribed fires. A native Virginian with a photography degree, Simmons runs fire engines and leads burn crews. She’s handy with a drip torch and ax, can drop incendiary devices from helicopters, and reads wind and weather conditions as cleansing flames crackle through forests that evolved with fire. She’s also one of relatively few women with these skills: In the United States, 84% of the federal wildland fire workforce is male.

Simmons is helping shift that imbalance. In 2015, she attended a national fire workshop called a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX for short) in North Carolina. These training sessions help fire practitioners at all career levels (from first-timers to burn bosses) learn, share and sharpen their skills. By chance, a handful of women attended the same two-week workshop. “I hadn’t had that experience before,” Simmons says. She was accustomed to being the only woman on a crew. During downtime, the group would chat, discussing the difficulties of being a woman working in fire—everything from not being taken seriously to the ill-fitting gear designed for men. Those talks sparked a revelation: There were other women out there facing the same challenges. What if, Simmons and the others mused, there was an event to bring women working in fire together, to have a similar shared experience?

It blows me away to watch how quickly these women build trust and form a team.

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She and one of the other women from the workshop, Monique “Mo” Hein, a firefighter in Colorado, organized a call with TREX leaders. Lenya Quinn-Davidson, now head of the program born of that call, volunteered to repurpose a TREX event she was already planning for 2016 in northern California to bring together 45 people, most of them women. “There was pure shock when everyone arrived,” says Quinn-Davidson of that first Women in Fire TREX. “People said, ‘I have never been in a room with this many other women who work in fire.’ We had powerful conversations, and shared emotional moments. We knew we had to do more.”

Since then, there has been one WTREX event in a different location most years (in 2020, it was virtual). The two-week events are designed for women but open to anyone, giving practical training on prescribed fire that equips attendees with the experience they need to move up in the workforce, as well as offering diversity and inclusion workshops. The intangible benefits are equally valuable. “There’s so much laughter,” Simmons says. “It blows me away to watch how quickly these women build trust and form a team.” They leave with a support system, both professional and personal. They leave having seen and met women in leadership positions in the field.

And WTREX is just getting started. Simmons helped host one at TNC’s Piney Grove Preserve in Virginia last spring, and thanks to a funding boost, there will be four events in TNC’s fiscal year. Quinn-Davidson partnered with the Karuk Tribe to host one geared toward Indigenous women in California in the fall; North Carolina scheduled one for early 2023; and next, the program is going global, with events in Cape Town, South Africa, and Banff, Canada.

The overarching goal of WTREX is to go beyond recruiting women to work in fire; it’s to keep them working in fire. “We don’t want people working a season or two and then feeling pushed out,” Quinn-Davidson says. “We want them to stay in the field, bringing diversity of thought, and to change the system, change the paradigm, change the way that fire is managed.” Just like Simmons is doing. 

In Kiswahili we have a proverb: “Kila Ndege huruka kwa mbawa zake,” which translates to, “Every bird flies with its own wings.” It means that we must each discover our own strengths and talents, rather than compare ourselves to others.

But some girls in the Lake Tanganyika region of Tanzania never get the chance to soar to their full potential. Typically, local families don’t—or are unable to—invest much in their daughters’ educations. Early marriage and motherhood, financial constraints and lack of transportation often prevent girls from completing secondary school. Removing these obstacles benefits more than just the individual students. These girls have the potential to create positive change in their communities and natural environment.

That’s why empowering women and girls is a priority of the Tuungane Project, a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy and Pathfinder International, a global reproductive health organization. Since 2012, Tuungane has addressed the interrelated issues in western Tanzania of widespread poverty, a rapidly growing population and the resulting stresses on Lake Tanganyika’s fisheries, waterways and nearby forests. This is the second-largest freshwater lake by volume in the world.

Research has shown that girls who complete secondary school delay childbirth, and they are better able to provide for their children. And smaller families give women more time to participate in sustainable economic activities, improving the family’s well-being and reducing the impact on local natural resources. One of the Tuungane Project’s programs offers scholarships for girls at a secondary school, where a group of TNC donors called Africa Affinity Group for Women and Girls built an 80-bed dormitory. The dormitory offers a safe place to sleep, two meals a day and saves them from hours walking to and from their villages every day. This means these girls are more likely to stay in school.

Conservation education is an important part of Tuungane. Girls who take part in the program become ambassadors in their villages who advocate for sustainable agriculture, educate the community on the effects of destructive fishing methods, and protect forests from encroachment and wildfires.

After all, women here are intimately aware of the consequences of environmental degradation. If there is no clean water, they will be the ones walking several kilometers to fetch it. If the land cannot grow crops, they will sacrifice to make sure that their families are fed.

Another component of the Tuungane Project offers reproductive education and health care, organized by Pathfinder International. This enables women to decide with their partners how many children they will be able to support and when they will have them. And investments in upgrades to health centers in the region are dramatically reducing maternal and neonatal deaths.

At the same time, Tuungane is supporting women through microfinancing, grants and training in money management so that they can help support their families.

After the first year of the Tuungane scholarship, four girls did well enough in school that we have continued supporting them as they attend college. Now in their third year of college, two of them are taking a nursing course, one is studying information technology, and one is pursuing a career in tourism.

Each girl’s success inspires other girls in their villages to pursue an education, and parents are more motivated to support their daughters’ studies. Some may go on to careers in conservation. But even those who don’t will come away with the confidence and knowledge to help create healthy, sustainable communities. And that’s good for everyone.
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