Women in Biogeography

A compilation of top-cited papers from the past decade in the Journal of Biogeography

Above: Images of the locations and taxa studied by the authors of papers featured in this virtual issue.

The Journal of Biogeography (JBI) is publishing a virtual issue this week that highlights some of the many influential contributions of women to the discipline. The breadth and depth of women’s contributions cannot be overstated, but historically they have been understated. Biogeography, like other areas of science and academia, has—despite increasing awareness of issues affecting inclusivity, equity and diversity—been slow to change and gender disparities remain significant. The under-representation of women’s contributions stem in part from current inequalities and in part from historical legacies that perpetuate and even amplify through time. Our goal through the virtual issue and this accompanying blog is to highlight (an admittedly small sample of) the influential contributions by women biogeographers as a step towards equalizing visibility across genders. Our hope also is that we will help create a greater sense of belonging for women in biogeography.

Virtual issue: (Free to read online for 3 months post publication of the virtual issue.)
Foreword: https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14223
Issue: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/toc/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2699.Women_in_Biog
eography

A foreword to the virtual issue aims to provide some context on the many challenges and disparities women face during their careers, many of which have synergistic effects and amplify seemingly small gender gaps at earlier levels to generate larger disparities in later and higher ranking career stages. This blog is dedicated to highlighting the work of the lead authors in the papers that appear in this virtual issue.

The virtual issue features 24 papers published in JBI since 2009. These papers were chosen according to their citation rates (details are provided in the foreword), enabling us to highlight older and newer work; the start-year was determined by the completeness of databases available to us for generating these data. The virtual issue provides a clear picture of the disciplinary range and importance of women’s contributions. Likewise, the brief biographies provided by the lead authors, below, illustrate the breadth of pathways travelled to, and a look toward the future from, their current varied positions of success.

We expect everyone will find much of interest among these pages, and we hope that this compilation will provoke thought and innovation as women continue to drive forward our understanding of the patterns and processes shaping life on this planet.


Introducing the authors of the highly cited papers featured in the virtual issue


A quantitative synthesis of the importance of variables used in MaxEnt species distribution models (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12894)
Dr. Johanna Bradie
NSERC post-doctoral fellow, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Canada
Dr. Johanna Bradie is an NSERC post-doctoral fellow at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor, Canada. She is a computational biologist who uses statistical and computational models to aid in environmental management, and is broadly interested in using analytics to inform problem solving and achieve best outcomes.  Johanna’s recent work has focused on supporting science policy to reduce the introduction of aquatic non-indigenous species via ballast water. More specifically, she has used predictive modelling to evaluate alternative regulatory options to inform legislation, and created a software-based decision support tool to automate the incorporation of best available science into daily monitoring decisions for Canada’s federal ballast water management programs.
http://johannabradie.weebly.com/
twitter: @johannabradie


Decline of a biome: evolution, contraction, fragmentation, extinction and invasion of the Australian mesic zone biota (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02535.x)
Dr. Margaret Byrne
Executive Director, Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Australia
Dr Margaret Byrne is Executive Director, Biodiversity and Conservation Science in the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions where she leads a strong science group providing an evidence based approach to conservation management and policy. She is recognized as a leading biological scientist in Australia and holds adjunct professorial positions at The University of Western Australia and Murdoch University. Margaret is a conservation scientist whose genetic research informs biodiversity conservation strategies for management of landscapes and of rare and threatened species. Her phylogeographic studies have provided a greater understanding of the evolutionary history of the Australian biota, and its influence on current distributions, patterns of genetic diversity and location of refugia.  Her current research is focused on applications of genomics in plant conservation and climate adaptation strategies. Margaret remains active in conservation genetics in conjunction with taking on a senior management role in science.
https://science.dpaw.wa.gov.au/people/?sid=12


Causes of warm-edge range limits: systematic review, proximate factors and implications for climate change (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12231)
Dr. Abigail E. Cahill
Assistant Professor of Biology, Albion College, Michigan, USA
Dr. Abigail Cahill’s research interests center around evolutionary ecology of invertebrates, especially their early life stages. This has led her to study dispersal and connectivity in several different taxa. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University (studying larvae and genetics of the marine snail genus Crepidula), and then completed a postdoc at the Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE; Marseille, France), working on population genetics, connectivity, and dispersal in marine systems. Since 2016, she has been an assistant professor at Albion College, a small liberal arts school in Michigan, USA. With students, she is investigating adaptation of freshwater invertebrates to a rare salt marsh habitat in the Great Lakes area – the plant community in this habitat has been described but little is known about the invertebrate fauna. They’ve identified some arthropods that can survive in the salty seep, so next is figuring out the why and how.
https://aecahill.weebly.com/    
twitter: @aecahill


From environmental DNA sequences to ecological conclusions: How strong is the influence of methodological choices? (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13681)
Irene Calderón Sanou
Ph.D. student, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
Irene Calderón Sanou is an ecologist interested in understanding the ecological processes that drive diversity patterns in terrestrial ecosystems. In 2021, she is a third-year PhD student in the Laboratory of Alpine Ecology (CNRS-Univ. Grenoble Alpes, France) under the supervision of Dr. Wilfried Thuiller and Dr. Tamara Münkemüller. Her main research focuses on the diversity of soil multi-trophic assemblages and their response to environmental gradients and major disturbances across different biomes. She is interested in contrasting the responses of different soil trophic groups and their compositional turnover. She is also studying how soil trophic groups co-vary in space as a function of their known interactions to identify the imprints of interactions on co-distributions. Her research combines soil environmental DNA metabarcoding data, network theory, statistical tools and food web ecology to decipher and study the drivers of soil multi-trophic diversity. 
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Irene-Calderon-Sanou
twitter: @CalderonSanou


Rethinking patch size and isolation effects: the habitat amount hypothesis
Dr. Lenore Fahrig (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12130)
Chancellor’s Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Dr. Lenore Fahrig is Chancellor’s Professor of Biology, and co-Director of the Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Research Laboratory, at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. For decades, she and her students have studied the responses of wildlife, including plants, arthropods, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, to human-altered landscapes. Her research combines simulation modelling with field data to evaluate the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, road density, and the spatial configuration of farmlands and cities, on species distribution, abundance and diversity. Her research has had a great influence in understanding fragmentation and its effects on biodiversity. Dr. Fahrig has co-authored over 250 publications, with over 50,000 citations, and she has an h-index of 93. She has been awarded the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist (NA-IALE) award, the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
https://carleton.ca/fahriglab/


Origin of the forest steppe and exceptional grassland diversity in Transylvania (central-eastern Europe) (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12468)
Dr. Angelica Feurdean
Scientific Researcher at the Department of Physical Geography, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Dr. Angelica Feurdean’s research focuses on the use of fossil records to explore spatial and temporal changes in land cover and use, landscape diversity, peatland development and carbon fluxes, in response to climate, disturbance by fire, and anthropogenic pressure. Through a network of academic collaborators, she has developed multidisciplinary research using multi-proxy palaeoecological records in combination with a modelling approach in temperate (Europe), boreal (Siberia) and Arctic (Alaska and Siberia) ecosystems. Evidence from her research tackles questions related to climate change and human impacts on the intensity and severity of fire, the distribution, abundance and diversity of plants, the resilience of vegetation communities, peatland hydrology and its carbon storage capacity. Overall, she is focused on understanding the complexity and challenges of environmental change, conservation and biodiversity science.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2497-3005
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=JbQQ8PwAAAAJ&hl=en
https://feurdean.github.io
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Angelica-Feurdean


The flickering connectivity system of the north Andean paramos (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13607)
Dr. Suzette G.A. Flantua
Researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway
Dr. Suzette Flantua has a strong cross-disciplinary background in biogeography, paleoecology, landscape ecology, and spatial analyses, and she especially enjoys integrating them all. By using theories, data and approaches from across these disciplines, she works at the research front in global change ecology aimed at developing insights into the drivers of biodiversity on timescales from decades to millions of years. She is particularly interested in: 1) how past climate and geology shaped present-day mountain biodiversity, 2) the ecological legacies of past human activities, 3) exploring new approaches to integrate paleoecological knowledge into the needs of modern-day challenges. In her current project, she is assessing long-term changes in biodiversity and ecosystem properties as a result of climate, humans, and megafauna, by using newly compiled global databases of fossil pollen records and updated numerical techniques.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Suzette-Flantua
twitter: @SuzetteFlantua


Genetic evaluation of marine biogeographical barriers: perspectives from two widespread Indo-Pacific snappers (Lutjanus kasmira and Lutjanus fulvus) (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02188.x)
and
Origins of species richness in the Indo-Malay-Philippine biodiversity hotspot: evidence for the centre of overlap hypothesis (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12126)
Dr. Michelle R. Gaither
University of Central Florida, Genomics and Bioinformatics Cluster, Department of Biology, USA
Dr. Michelle Gaither has been working in evolution, ecology, and biogeography of marine fishes for nearly 15 years. Her interest is largely driven by a deep desire to understand how biodiversity is generated in the immense and species-rich oceans, which has led her to two main areas of research. The first is focused on population genomics (from genes to whole genomes) and evolutionary biology to understand how populations are connected by gene flow and the roles of selection, ecology, and behavior in meta-population dynamics. For this work she has studied dozens of taxa mostly from the coral reefs of the tropical Indo-Pacific but also a few species found in our deepest oceans. Her other major area of interest is in developing tools that exploit the DNA in environmental samples (eDNA) to help us to study patterns of biodiversity and species distributions, and ultimately to evaluate anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems. 
https://sciences.ucf.edu/biology/gaitherlab/
twitter: @Fish_Evolution


Functional and phylogenetic diversity of bird assemblages are filtered by different biotic factors on tropical mountains (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13489)
Dagmar M. Hanz, M.Sc.
PhD student, Biogeography and Biodiversity Lab, Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Dagmar Hanz is an ecologist focusing on functional traits and their response to (changing) environmental conditions, especially on islands and/or montane systems. She received a Master’s degree in “Ecology and Evolution” at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. For her Master’s thesis, she studied patterns in functional and phylogenetic diversity of bird assemblages along tropical mountain gradients. Currently, she is a PhD student working on functional island biogeography and ecology. She is investigating functional diversity patterns in isolated island systems with particular focus on species with differing degrees in endemism. Specifically, she is interested in how environment and evolutionary history have shaped traits of extant island floras. Besides plant research, she enjoys teaching on various topics in biogeography and ecology.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dagmar-Hanz
twitter: @HanzDagmar


Pollen-inferred millennial changes in landscape patterns at a major biogeographical interface within Europe (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13038)
Dr. Eva Jamrichová
Researcher, Department of Paleoecolology, Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Dr. Eva Jamrichová is a paleo-palynologist using pollen indicators as one of the proxies creating the complete picture of nature formation and the role of human kind during prehistoric period. In particular, she is interested in long-term dynamics of Central European vegetation within last 15 000 years. Since 2009 she has been employed as a researcher at the Institute of Botany of the CAS and Masaryk University in Brno. During the past decade she collaborated on several grant projects using modern methods and multi-proxy approaches with the aim to capture whole Holocene vegetation and landscape dynamics of the studied regions – the Western Carpathians and Carpathian/Pannonian borderland. She investigated the reflection and influence of human impacts on vegetation dynamics in order to determine whether natural factors (e.g., climatic fluctuations) or anthropogenic disturbances represent key factors in postglacial vegetation dynamics. In her research, she tries to integrate her results with existing information on climate, geology, and geomorphology, which requires detailed knowledge on the summarization and correct synchronization of all obtained paleoecological data from different regions.


Rising environmental temperatures and biogeography: poleward range contraction of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis L., in the western Atlantic (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02386.x)
Dr. Sierra J. Jones
Chief, Weather, Satellites and Research Programs (Acting), Budget Formulation and Communications Division, NOAA Budget Office, USA
Following completion of her doctorate at the University of South Carolina under the tutelage of the esteemed Dr. David Wethey, where she studied marine benthic ecology and biogeography, Dr. Sierra Jones was accepted into the Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship (class of 2011). She served as a Congressional Affairs Specialist in NOAA’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, and continued to work in that office until 2020. Since then, she has been doing budget formulation and communications for NOAA, with oversight of the “dry side” of NOAA (weather, climate, satellites, research, etc). While she misses field work and research, she learns something new every day and loves supporting the NOAA mission. In her spare time, Sierra enjoys being outside gardening, hiking, and fishing; having time with her family (fur and feathered friends included – there’s been lots of it lately!), reading, puzzles, and baking/canning/cooking.


Biodiversity in the Mexican highlands and the interaction of geology, geography and climate within the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12546)
Dr. Alicia Mastretta-Yanes
CONACYT Research Fellow at CONABIO, Mexico
Dr. Alicia Mastretta-Yanes was born at the foothills of the volcanoes of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. She studied Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and undertook her PhD at the University of East Anglia, UK, focusing on the mountains of her homeland. Today the broad aim of her research is incorporating evolutionary processes into the conservation and management of Mexican biodiversity. To accomplish this, her research is divided in three lines. First, basic science, which ranges from the effects of topography and climate fluctuations in shaping genetic structure, to the genetic implications of domestication and human management. Second, evolutionary applications, which is done in collaboration with local communities to apply the results of basic science into maize breeding and forest management. And third, developing computational tools, so that genetic data and evolutionary information can be integrated to biodiversity information systems and used by a wider audience.
mastrettayanes-lab.org/
twitter: @AliciaMstt


Alien plants associate with widespread generalist arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal taxa: evidence from a continental-scale study using massively parallel 454 sequencing (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02478.x)
Dr. Mari Moora
Professor of Community Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Estonia
Dr. Mari Moora graduated university as a geneticist and did her PhD in plant ecology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. After a postdoc in the University of Helsinki, Finland she returned to the University of Tartu. Her main research interests since the very beginning concern biotic interactions (e.g. plant-plant interactions, mycorrhizal symbiosis, pollination) underlying the distribution of plant species, structure and diversity of plant communities, and vegetation patterns under a changing world, from local to global scales. Currently she intends to understand whether plant mutualistic microbes play roles as agents of perturbation and co-drivers of ecosystem transition between alternative stable states. Many ecosystems worldwide exhibit alternative steady states, dominated either by woody or open vegetation. Perturbations, including herbivory and fire, have been proposed as determinants of vegetation structure, but she would like to reveal to what extent microbial organisms contribute to the dynamics of such ecosystems.
https://www.botany.ut.ee/planteco/en/staff/mari_moora.html


Origins of global mountain plant biodiversity: Testing the ‘mountain-geobiodiversity hypothesis’ (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13715)
Dr. Alexandra Muellner-Riehl
University Professor and Head of Working Group “Molecular  Evolution and Plant Systematics” at Leipzig University, Director of  Herbarium Universitatis Lipsiensis (LZ), Elected full member of the  German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Germany
Dr. Alexandra Muellner-Riehl is a Professor at Leipzig University,  Director of the Herbarium, and a member of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. She is a plant systematist with a  focus on historical biogeography. The mission of her work is to  describe biodiversity in species-rich areas of the world (such as the  tropics, subtropics, and in mountain systems) and to elucidate the  processes giving rise to this biodiversity. She is concentrating on widely distributed and speciose genera and families and on geographic  areas of high global conservation priority (such as Southeast Asia, Central and South America, mountains of the Tibet-Himalaya-Hengudan region).
https://www2.lw.uni-leipzig.de/en/sysbot/molecular-evolution-and-systematics-of-plants.html


A phylogeographical study of the toxic benthic dinoflagellate genus Ostreopsis Schmidt (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02265.x)
Dr. Antonella Penna
Full Professor, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino, Italy
Dr. Antonella Penna’s major research themes include the ecology and molecular ecology of phytoplankton in marine ecosystems. Her research mainly focuses on phytoplankton assemblages in the Mediterranean Sea with particular attention to the harmful and invasive species and to pollutant interactions (e.g. plastics, eutrophication). Her current research interests are mainly focused on molecular taxonomy and phylogeography of the phytoplankton in marine environment, and population genetics of unicellular planktonic and benthic species worldwide, with particular attention to Mediterranean and tropical areas, to attain information on intra-specific genetic structure and speciation. She is interested in the development of innovative molecular technologies for monitoring of HABs, marine ecosystem quality control and assessment through data analysis and ecological modelling applications.
www.marine-ecology.uniurb.it


Why mountains matter for biodiversity (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13731)
Dr. Allison Perrigo
Director, Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Dr. Allison Perrigo studied ecology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and protist systematics at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, where she later worked with tree fern systematics and biogeography. After her first post-doc, she left academia for a period of several years to run her own company specializing in academic editing. During this time she co-edited the book Mountains, Climate and Biodiversity with Alexandre Antonelli and Carina Hoorn (Wiley, 2018). While operating her company as a “digital nomad” from nearly two dozen countries, Allison further developed her interest in scientific communication and outreach. This eventually led her back to Gothenburg to work as the coordinator for the Antonelli Lab and to help start a new biodiversity centre, the GGBC, where she was first the coordinator and is now the director. Allison’s current work is based primarily in academic leadership and outreach, where she is working to make biodiversity research more accessible to the public, and to help people understand and react to the ongoing biodiversity crisis.
twitter: @DrSlimeMold


Available data point to a 4-km-high Tibetan Plateau by 40Ma, but 100 molecular-clock papers have linked supposed recent uplift to young node ages (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12755)
Dr. Susanne S. Renner
Research Scholar at Washington University in Saint Louis, USA
Dr. Susanne Renner’s research combines systematics with quantitative ecological-experimental work. Renner has used molecular-clock approaches in her work since 1998, and her contributions to the biogeography of land plants, ants, moths, and hummingbirds have relied heavily on ages inferred from substitutions in DNA. One focus is plant reproductive systems, particularly how and when plants specialize in the production of either male or female gametes, using comparative approaches, phylogenetics, cytogenetics, and fieldwork on animal pollination. Other foci are plant domestication, phenology under climate change, and the history of collecting for biodiversity research. With colleagues, she is currently working on the domestication of watermelons.
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=uzOGmTgAAAAJ&hl=en


Rhizobial hitchhikers from Down Under: invasional meltdown in a plant-bacteria mutualism? (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02284.x)
Dr. Susana Rodríguez-Echeverría
Assistant Professor, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Dr. Susana Rodríguez-Echeverría graduated in Biology at the Universidad de Extremadura (Spain), completed her PhD degree in the Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), and has conducted most of her postdoc career as a researcher in Portugal. She is interested in the mechanisms that govern plant community dynamics and ecosystem functioning, focusing on positive biotic interactions and the diversity and biogeography of plant-soil mutualisms. She has worked, and coordinated research projects, in coastal sand dunes, Mediterranean and semiarid shrublands and dry tropical ecosystems. She is passionate about mountains and, thus, her current work aims at studying the effect of global change in alpine areas (check Ecolab_estrela at FB and Instagram!). Her future research intends to connect ecological research, traditional rural practices and sustainable ecosystem uses in Mediterranean mountains.
http://cfe.uc.pt/profile/members/1707
twitter: @SusanaRodEche
facebook: @ecolabestrela


Evolutionary islands in the Andes: persistence and isolation explain high endemism in Andean dry tropical forests (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02644.x)
Dr. Tiina Särkinen
Biodiversity researcher, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK
Dr Tiina Särkinen graduated in University of Edinburgh (UK) and completed her PhD in University of Oxford (UK). The paper on the evolutionary islands in the Andes came directly out of her PhD and was awarded the prestigious Stebbins Medal by the International Association of Plant Taxonomy (IAPT). Her work focuses on the economically important plant family Solanaceae and understanding what biomes are and how they have influenced plant evolution. Much of her research has been based in the tropical Andes, one of the most biodiverse areas in the World. Her research combines several methods, including molecular phylogenetics, species distribution modelling, spatial statistics, morphology, floristics, and traditional taxonomy. Tiina is currently describing new genera of epiphytic Solanaceae (yes they do exist!), establishing an updated phylogenomic framework for the large genus Solanum, and modelling species level biome shifts in northeastern Brazil in response to climate change. Her passion is to see herbaria digitized, curated, and being used to answer large scale science questions.
twitter: @SarkinenTiina


Discovering floristic and geoecological gradients across Amazonia (doi: 10.1111/jbi.13627)
Dr. Hanna Tuomisto
Professor in Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Finland
Dr. Hanna Tuomisto is fascinated by Amazonian rainforests and has been working on their ecology since her PhD, where she set out to challenge the then current idea of Amazonian forests being largely uniform with randomly distributed species. She enjoys fieldwork, and with Kalle Ruokolainen has developed a field inventory method based on indicator species to document floristic and environmental variation across Amazonia. Comparable data continue to be accumulated both through their own expeditions and through those of colleagues. This allows increasingly varied (macro)ecological analyses, especially when combined with remote sensing. She is interested in both ecological processes (such as environmental filtering and dispersal) and evolutionary processes (such as adaptive radiation, sympatric vs allopatric speciation and the interplay between geological history and speciation). She also works with taxonomy and systematics of ferns (her pet indicator group) and has described several new species discovered during fieldwork.
www.utu.fi/amazon
https://www.utu.fi/en/people/hanna-tuomisto


Climatic stability in the Brazilian Cerrado: implications for biogeographical connections of South American savannas, species richness and conservation in a biodiversity hotspot (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02715.x)
Dr. Fernanda Werneck
Titular Researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Manaus, Brazil
Dr. Fernanda Werneck is currently a researcher and Herpetology curator at INPA and an active voice for promoting the role of Latin American Women in Science and diverse work environments in academia. Her lab focuses on examining biotic distribution and diversification across space and time, with a main focus on amphibians and reptiles. They integrate field-based ecological and evolutionary approaches to comprehend the processes governing biological diversity and to predict impacts and potential responses to environmental crisis, such as climate change. Their research is an important reference for studies of the biota and evolution of South America rainforest and dry vegetation biomes and transition zones, and has many implications for the conservation of biodiversity and its evolutionary processes.  In the featured 2012 paper, which was part of her PhD work, Fernanda and colleagues investigated Pleistocene connections between Neotropical savannas located north and south of Amazonia; they found that long-term climatic stability is a good predictor of Cerrado squamate diversity patterns. Resultant stability maps have been used by the scientific community to test hypotheses on the origins of Cerrado diversity and as a higher-order landscape biodiversity surrogate for conservation planning.
wernecklab.weebly.com/
twitter: @fpwerneck
instagram: werneck.lab / fpwerneck


Geographical sampling bias in a large distributional database and its effects on species richness-environment models (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12108)
Dr. Wenjing Yang
Researcher , Jiangxi Normal University, China
Dr. Wenjing Yang’s research interest falls within the fields of biodiversity, biogeography and aquatic ecology. She is interested in biodiversity conservation, and understanding processes governing species assemblages, including the influence of both abiotic and biotic factors. She is currently working on projects designed for biodiversity conservation in Poyang Lake (the largest freshwater lake in China). Specifically, she is developing more efficient methods to monitor the diversity of major aquatic organisms in Poyang Lake (e.g. fishes and benthic macroinvertebrates), and investigating how biological assemblages are influenced by natural and human disturbances.
email: yangwenjing@jxnu.edu.cn


Biogeography and molecular diversity of coral symbionts in the genus Symbiodinium around the Arabian Peninsula (doi: 10.1111/jbi.12913)
Dr. Maren Ziegler*
Junior research group leader (Assistant Professor) of the Marine Holobiomics Group, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen; Department of Animal Ecology & Systematics, , Germany
Dr. Maren Ziegler leads the Marine Holobiomics Group at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. The research group investigates how global change shapes the coral holobiont composition consisting of the animal host and its associated microbes, and in turn how changes in the coral holobiont composition shape the organismal response to a rapidly changing environment. They study these interactions on the coral colony or holobiont level and at the level of reefscapes, in which corals together with other organisms comprise the reef holobiome. The lab runs an experimental coral aquarium facility – the Ocean2100 aquarium – where they apply a wide range of research tools including molecular and microbial ecology, and ecophysiology to study acclimatization and adaptation processes. Before returning to Germany for her current position, Dr. Ziegler was a postdoc at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology on the shores of the Red Sea. Her research has also taken her to the Great Barrier Reef and remote coral reefs in the Pacific.
Website: https://www.uni-giessen.de/faculties/f08/departments/tsz/wilke/people/maren_ziegler
Twitter: @marenfaren and @holobiomics
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.de/citations?user=wsP4C8QAAAAJ&hl=de&oi=ao
with
Dr. Chatchanit Arif*
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/chatchanit-arif-ph-d-41b8ba83
*co-first authors


Prepared by:
The authors and editors of the virtual issue

Acknowledgements:
Images courtesy of the article authors and Andrei Panait, Benjamin Blonder, Kalle Ruokolainen, Maya Guéguen, Shixiao Luo, Vanessa Cutts, and the Yang lab.

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