Merryspring webinar: Trends in ecology over eight decades

Scientist Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie will lead a presentation on how the field of ecology has changed in the past 80 years in an online webinar hosted by Merryspring Nature Center on Tuesday, September 28, at 12 p.m.

How has the field of ecology changed in the past eighty years? In this online program, MacKenzie will speak about how her team of conservation researchers analyzed the full text — “over half a billion words!”  said Merryspring, in a news release. — of papers published in 52 ecology and conservation journals to uncover broad trends in the field.

She will talk about how, by tracking the language in published papers, trends were traced in the field. When did the big buzzwords like climate change, phylogenetics, and biodiversity become popular among researchers? What topics that were a part of early ecology work in the 1930s have dropped out of favor? And how does conservation fit into this story? This talk will cover the rise of "invasive species" and "ecosystem services," the fall of "competition" and "predation," and how online publishing has replaced "unpublished data" with "supplementary materials."

MacKenzie is a visiting assistant professor at Colby College in Environmental Studies. She holds a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, an MS in Ecological Planning from the University of Vermont, and a PhD in Biology from Boston University. Her research is based in Acadia National Park, and she was a David H. Smith Conservation Research postdoc fellow at the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute.

This talk is part of Merryspring’s Online Summer Talk series, sponsored by The First National Bank. All Online Talks will be held as Zoom webinars. Access to a computer or smart device is required. All guests must request a meeting link by emailing to attend.  Links will be sent on the morning of the talk.

Online Talks are open to everybody, free of charge.

Merryspring is your community nature center offering walking trails, cultivated gardens, wildlife, and ecology and horticulture educational programs all year round. The park is located at the end of Conway Road, just off of Route 1 in Camden, behind Hannaford Shopping Plaza. For more information on this program, please contact or call 207-236-2239.

Event Date: 

Tue, 09/28/2021 - 12:00pm

Event Location: