Canadian Women in Science 2017

February 11 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution marked the day with a series of tweets highlighting the breadth and excellence of research in ecology, evolution and conservation undertaken by Canadian women in academia.

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CSEE members lead engagement with Species At Risk Act regulation updates

CSEE Biodiversity and Conservation Committee

Environment and Climate Change Canada posted a suite of draft policies related to the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA).  The public consultation period on these policies is open until March 31st 2017. A working group comprising  CSEE members Jeannette Whitton, Jeremy Kerr, Scott Findlay, Sarah Otto, Jeff Hutchings, and Arne Mooers authored and submitted a policy critique which is available as a pdf here.

While noting that Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has recognized some of the problems and has taken initiatives to address them through the proposed policy suite, their analysis identified a number of limitations in the proposed policy suite that they judge will continue to reduce the efficacy of SARA.

To follow up, contact Jeannette Whitton, chair of the CSEE Biodiversity and Conservation Committee.

 

Make a difference: Run for CSEE Council!

Do you want to advance the profile of ecology, evolution, and conservation in Canada? Do you want to get things done on behalf of the broader community? Do have ideas, energy and a little bit of time?  Then run for CSEE Council!

The positions

With four Council members nearing the end of their terms, the Society for Ecology and Evolution is now seeking nominations for the positions of:

  1. Secretary
  2. Regular Councillor 1
  3. Regular Councillor 2
  4. Graduate Student Councillor

What the jobs entail

Councillors contribute to directing the business of the CSEE and advise the Executive Council as to how to advance the purposes of the CSEE.  These positions are not unduly time-consuming.  At the minimum, they involve two council meetings a year (in December and at the CSEE spring/summer meeting).  Councillors are occasionally asked to vote on proposals (via email) and every councillor joins at least one sub-committee (Membership, Awards, Outreach, Biodiversity & Conservation, Newsletter, or Website).  Regular Councillors are appointed for a  three-year term; Graduate Student Councillors, for a two-year term.

The Secretary is member of the Executive Council, and as such, has more responsibilities. These include communication with the membership, keeping the records and archives of the Society and the list of members, giving notice of Council meetings and the General Business meetings, administering elections, taking minutes of the Council meetings and the General Business meetings and distributing these to the Council. The Secretary is appointed for three years.

We expect Council members to become the CSEE spokesperson for their institution, which means sending the occasional internal email to advertise our summer conference or other activities.

The perks?

Being on Council is a great opportunity to play an active role in the largest scientific society in Canada – one that advocates for the importance of ecology, evolution and conservation. Of course, it also looks great on your CV, and you get to know and hang out with the rest of the cool people on the Council.

The positions are voluntary, but the CSEE provides financial help to the Graduate Student Councillor to attend the council meetings.  You have to be a CSEE member to serve on Council.

How to nominate yourself (or someone else) and nomination deadline

It’s dead easy! Email a short bio (7-10 lines about you, what you will bring to the CSEE, and what you hope to accomplish) and a headshot to the CSEE Vice-President (Isabelle Côté, imcote@sfu.ca). You can nominate someone else (if they agree).

Nominations will be accepted until 7 December 2016.

Election timeline

The nominations will be posted on the CSEE website soon after the deadline.  Elections will be held in March 2017.  New positions start at the Annual General Meeting (in May 2017).

Policy news and updates from the CSEE President

Policy news and opportunities

by Jeremy Kerr, President

CSEE researchers at all career stages can participate in communicating their research to the public and to policy-makers but there have been challenges in bringing evidence to public and policy discussions. Remarkably, the scientific community is now being asked to add its voice to three federal consultations that are currently underway. To the extent that members have felt excluded from federal discussions in the past, these consultations represent an opportunity to make our voices heard.

It is an opportunity to put forward our best ideas. Please consider submitting something to these reviews.

Canada’s Fundamental Science Review

Minister of Science, Dr. Kirsty Duncan, has launched a panel to review the whole science funding landscape in Canada. Whether you are a student, postdoc, new or established researcher, your voice can matter. How should fundamental research evolve? The portal for submissions can be found at: http://www.examenscience.ca/ (French page) or http://www.sciencereview.ca (English page).

The Innovation Review

The second review at Innovation, Science, and Economic Development includes areas where members may wish to contribute (notably “Global Science Excellence”, and “World-leading Clusters and Partnerships” but other areas may also interest members). Please see: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/062.nsf/fra/accueil (French) or http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/062.nsf/eng/home (English) for more information.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Ideas for how to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts can be submitted to: http://parlonsactionpourleclimat.ca/ (French) or http://letstalkclimateaction.ca/ (English).

Gender diversity and equity

The society’s longstanding commitment to our Symposium for Women Entering Ecology and Evolution Today (SWEEET) has provided a forum in which these issues have been discussed since 2008. SWEEET will continue to be an essential part of our Annual General Meetings. Yet, CSEE does not have formal policies around gender diversity and equity. It is time to have a broader conversation around this topic. To this end, I will encourage a representative group to consider best practices in other scientific societies and to suggest the key ingredients for a CSEE position. We hope to be able to discuss this issue at the December meeting of council, but it is up to members to engage. If interested to be part of such a group, which might meet virtually over the coming months, please contact the President: Jeremy Kerr, jkerr@uottawa.ca.

Honorary Lifetime Members

Honorary Lifetime Memberships in CSEE recognize eminent Canadian ecologists or evolutionary biologists who have demonstrated a lifetime of research and contributions to ecology or evolution.

Pielou_lifetimeChris (Evelyn Chrystalla) Pielou is recognized for her excellence and distinguished service in the fields of mathematical ecology and ecological diversity. She wrote six books in the area of Mathematical Ecology and Ecological Diversity between 1969 and 1984. After her retirement, she continued to write popular books on ecosystems and environmental topics. In journal articles she developed a mathematical measure of associations among groups of species, which serves as a measure of the “structure” of multi-species communities. She was also interested in inter-relationships among ecology, biogeography, and the paleo-equivalents of ecological communities.


Holling_lifetimev2C.S. (Buzz) Holling
is best known for two scientific advances: the functional responses of predators to prey and the concept of the resilience of social-ecological systems. These ideas have become cornerstones to contemporary ecosystem management and research into sustainability and conservation. Dr. Holling has made, and continues to make, important contributions to ecology and evolution. He has profoundly influenced students, researchers through his research and teaching.

Harvey_lifetimeHarold H. Harvey was instrumental in identifying the acidification of North American aquatic ecosystems, and the impact this change had on the ecosystems. He devoted a great amount of his time to raise the consciousness of the Canadian and American public and policy makers to acidification problems. His numerous critical contributions eventually led to both countries imposing strict controls on emissions. His research and its impact on the public and policy makers ultimately minimized further degradation of hundreds of thousands of lakes and streams in North America thereby allowing their chemical and ecological recovery.

Jeffrey Hutchings elected to the Royal Society of Canada

jeff hutchings_smWe were very excited to see former CSEE-SCEE President Jeffrey Hutchings elected to the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. A professor in Biology at Dalhousie University, Jeffrey Hutchings pioneered the integration of basic fish ecology and evolution with applied population dynamics and conservation biology. He is at the forefront of an uncommon breadth of research: life-history evolution; reproductive strategies; phenotypic plasticity; species recovery; fisheries sustainability. Committed to transparent, objective communication of science to decision-makers, he has chaired or served national and international expert panels and advisory committees, imparting science to parliamentarians, officers of parliament, and society.

The paper arising from Jeffrey Hutchings 2015 CSEE Past President’s address can also be found here: Thresholds for impaired species recovery. Proc. R. Soc. B 282: 20150654. 

Spencer Barrett is the new Editor-in-Chief at Proc. R. Soc. B

A former CSEE President has been making waves at two Royal Societies.  Spencer Barrett, who was CSEE President in 2010 and 2011, took over the reins as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Society’s Proceedings B on 1 January 2015. Click here for Spencer’s comments on moving forward to meet new challenges at Proc B.

Recently, Spencer also received Flavelle Medal given by the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of meritorious achievement in the biological sciences.  Congratulations!