Posted by: Jeremy Fox | March 20, 2011

Fox quick biography (and some thoughts on the past and future of Oikos)

I’m Jeremy Fox, an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Previously, I did my PhD with the great Peter Morin at Rutgers University and spent four years as a postdoc at the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Silwood Park. I’m broadly interested in population, community and evolutionary ecology–basically, those bits of ecology that (in my view, anyway!) have population dynamics at their core. My students and I work in whatever model system seems most appropriate for addressing whatever dynamical question we’re interested in. For me that’s often microbial microcosms, but my students work on alpine plants, plant-pollinator interactions, and bean beetles and their parasitoids.

I’ve been an editor at Oikos since 2006, and I’ve supported Oikos as an author and reviewer for much longer (my very first paper, from my undergraduate honors thesis, was published in Oikos). When I was a grad student, I learned that Oikos cared first and foremost if your work was interesting; correct-but-boring wasn’t their thing. This was reflected not just in their choice of papers, but in other ways as well. Oikos was publishing ‘perspectives’ papers in its Forum section long before these sorts of papers became fashionable. Oikos gave John Lawton, one of the world’s very best and most thoughtful ecologists, space for a regular column, John Lawton’s View from the Park. Every student of my generation read and argued about John’s often deliberately-provocative musings.

It’s my hope that this blog can become one way (among others) in which Oikos continues to fill that niche. It’s an increasingly important niche. Modern computational and technical resources mean that scientific progress is increasingly not data-limited; instead, it is ideas-limited. With that in mind, I’ll be using this blog as a place to post thoughts and musings inspired by Oikos papers (classics as well as new ones). Think riffs and remixes rather than summaries. I can’t hope to match John Lawton’s View from the Park, but I hope that my ‘View from the Mountains’ will be read in the same spirit.

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Responses

  1. I totally agree. I hope Oikos keeps pushing novel science even if it is risky.

  2. […] and synthesis, it’s nice to see them enter the Web2.0 ecosystem. Editor Jeremy Fox has a nice introduction to the goals of the blog — check out the “new ideas” categories for worthwhile […]

  3. […] I also link to a lot of non-Oikos content and criticize Oikos papers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an Oikos editor and author, I like the journal, I want to see it do well and continue to f…. And so when I do highlight interesting papers, I highlight interesting Oikos papers. But if I […]

  4. […] called “View from the Park”. It was sufficiently blog-like that the memory of it was part of what inspired both Brian and I to blog. And a couple of years ago an Israeli ecology journal invited Bob Holt to write a series of […]

  5. […] His essays for that column were like lengthy blog posts. “A View from the Park” is part of what inspired me to start blogging, back when I was an editor at Oikos, and I believe it was part of Brian’s inspiration as […]


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