BioDiverse Perspectives is intended to be a space for graduate students with an interest in biological diversity to share thoughts about important issues in our field.
We focus on papers that we consider to be Foundational or Frontier in the biodiversity science. By focusing on Foundational or Frontier papers, we aim to pinpoint seminal published works that have brought forth ideas that have moved beyond established theoretical paradigms, contributed to the advancement of current knowledge and stimulated new areas of research. Some foundational papers may have been written decades ago, but the concepts they sought to explain are still influential on current research. Frontier papers propose new ideas, concepts, or may introduce advanced analytical methods to answer similar questions. However, both categories of papers have helped to lay the groundwork for our research for this distributed graduate seminar. What we consider foundational papers today were once frontier ideas, while the frontier papers of today may soon be the foundational papers of tomorrow (or just a waste of time)! Entries with a strong connection to biodiversity that are not discussions of primary literature are also welcome.
We hope to encourage critical thinking, promote interest in biodiversity research, and create a forum where students, scientists, and the general public can exchange ideas and discuss topics related to ecological diversity. Also importantly we hope that these commentaries will provide exposure to a wide range of biodiversity aspects within or outside their area of interest.
Starting in the fall of 2011, 112 graduate students and 23 faculty from 14 institutions in 5 countries came together in a distributed graduate seminar in an attempt to advance our knowledge of the diversity of life through the integration of educational and research initiatives. The idea was to explore the multiple dimensions of biodiversity (taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic) by congregating researchers from different parts of the world and fields of expertise. With the focus on the graduate student community, the distributed graduate seminar sought to prepare the next generation of biodiversity researchers for higher levels of academic and scientific interaction through international collaboration. Students from this seminar were eager to find ways to continue to collaborate with one another and to expand the engagement beyond seminar participants. The result is this blog.