Thursday, 27 August 2015

Invasion Hotspots

The latest review for F1000 by Mark Lonsdale and myself, on F1000 here
(yes, I am still doing those!!  But I rarely get time to post on the blog!)

Review of:

Modelling Hotspots for Invasive Alien Plants in India. by D Adhikari, R Tiwary and SK Barik
PLoS ONE 2015; 10(7):e0134665

Risk assessment for invasive species in the past has tended to focus mainly on species’ attributes, rather than the role of the invaded ecosystem. This paper explores the concept of invasion hotspots - regions that are potentially vulnerable to invasion - using a large set of open access species distribution datasets available from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). A novel aspect of their approach is that they don’t simply take into account the climatic niche, they also consider human ‘influences’ known to facilitate invasion processes by delineating ‘anthropogenic biomes’. Where climatic suitability combines with vulnerable ecoregions and anthropogenic biomes, this is considered a ‘hotspot’. The authors find that biodiversity hotspots in India are especially vulnerable as invasion hotspots, an important finding - especially so, as the regional status of invasive species in India has been comparatively little studied. It also illustrates the value for ecological science of mining open access biodiversity data. It would, however, have been useful to see scale factors explored a little more; for example, many invasion hotspots the authors identify are actually in protected areas, though these are presumably within anthropogenic biomes.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Exciting job opportunity for a post-doc to work with me in Brisbane, please apply!

 CSIRO Agriculture currently have an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated Postdoctoral Fellow to join the "Pest Suppressive Landscapes" team based in Brisbane, Queensland. The team seeks to address the broad question: why does landscape context matter for the control of pests and diseases? By combining empirical ecological studies with mathematical modelling, the team aims to gain knowledge that will help address the global challenges of food security and health crises at the landscape scale. In this role you will be specifically focused on the spatial simulation modelling of fruit fly in agricultural landscapes, in order to estimate release rates of factory-produced sterile insects for effective area-wide pest management.