Posted by: Jeremy Fox | October 6, 2011

Wikipedia: zombie slayer (UPDATED)

One reason why zombie ideas are hard to kill is that many folks aren’t familiar with, or don’t understand, the non-zombie alternatives. For instance, I think many ecologists don’t fully understand Peter Chesson’s idea of the storage effect. They either mistakenly think it’s basically the same as Huston’s or Hutchinson’s zombie ideas, or else they just don’t get it at all because they’re intimidated by Peter’s mathematics.

Which is why I was so pleased to discover that there’s a Wikipedia page on the storage effect, and it’s excellent. It’s accurate, very clear, nontechnical (though there’s a subsection on the math for those who want that), pitched at a low level, with lots of biological examples. No idea who wrote it (Peter himself? Someone from his lab?), but whoever it was, they did a great job.

Wikipedia: another weapon to use against the zombies!

Now if I could only work up the courage to look up the Wikipedia page on the IDH…

UPDATE: As revealed in the comments, the Wikipedia storage effect page is by Simon Stump and a couple of his fellow Chesson lab students. Every supervisor hopes for students with such a firm grasp of the lab’s key ideas–and such a zeal to spread the word!

(HT Drew Purves)


  1. Neat! Looking at the revision history I think a lot of it comes from Simon Stump, a grad student in the Chesson lab.

  2. Thanks so much! I’m glad to hear you liked it. There have been a lot of small changes since, but the major revision was actually co-authored by Yue Li, Pacifica Sommers, and myself (all students in the Chesson lab). They definitely deserve as much credit as I do.

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