• Meeting with Steve over outline
  • Writing on nonparametric-bayes manuscript
  • A few notes on notebook-features draft


  • EasyABC by Jabot et. al. (2013). While it’s great that MEE publishes this stuff, this is unique in that the authors are updating and improving upon an existing package published by MEE the year before, Brook et. al. (2013). The authors of the recent manuscript have certainly made an important contribution which deserves the traditional recognition provided by a separate publication, but one must wonder why we need another package instead of building on the existing one. Is that necessary for the publication? If only there was a way to fork the original package, make their additions, issue a pull request instead… Could more research follow such a model?

  • The rise of MOOCs may be old news, but the Nature column has a pretty excellent write-up on them all the same Halpern et. al. (2012), including a discussion of the challenges they face (e.g. completion rates) and how they might address them. Only passingly addresses the challenges these pose for universities seeking to get on board – such as the substantial upfront costs in providing content in a different medium and structure (see this recent Inside HigherEd piece.
  • Nice column in Nature on job opportunities in risk management, Nelson (2013) which highlights the interdisciplinary nature of the work. A pity they find the greatest market for jobs of this type in reinsurance companies and the smallest in academia…

  • TREE debates the existence and relevance of tipping points in global context and Hughes et. al. (2013), seemingly on the grounds that the globe isn’t a very connected place.

  • In the same issue, the usual suspects emphasize the idea that transitions due to saddle-node bifurcations need not be fast relative to the timescale of management Brook et. al. (2013). The “fast” transition represents a return to equilibrium at the new laternative stable state. The authors remind us that this transient phase can take a long time (and amazingly failing to cite Hastings & Higgins (1994), Hastings (2001), or Hastings (2004) in the process).


  • Barry W. Brook, Erle C. Ellis, Michael P. Perring, Anson W. Mackay, Linus Blomqvist, (2013) Does The Terrestrial Biosphere Have Planetary Tipping Points?. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 10.1016/j.tree.2013.01.016
  • Benjamin S. Halpern, Catherine Longo, Darren Hardy, Karen L. McLeod, Jameal F. Samhouri, Steven K. Katona, Kristin Kleisner, Sarah E. Lester, Jennifer O’Leary, Marla Ranelletti, Andrew A. Rosenberg, Courtney Scarborough, Elizabeth R. Selig, Benjamin D. Best, Daniel R. Brumbaugh, F. Stuart Chapin, Larry B. Crowder, Kendra L. Daly, Scott C. Doney, Cristiane Elfes, Michael J. Fogarty, Steven D. Gaines, Kelsey I. Jacobsen, Leah Bunce Karrer, Heather M. Leslie, Elizabeth Neeley, Daniel Pauly, Stephen Polasky, Bud Ris, Kevin St Martin, Gregory S. Stone, U. Rashid Sumaila, Dirk Zeller, (2012) an Index to Assess The Health And Benefits of The Global Ocean. Nature 488 10.1038/nature11397
  • A. Hastings, K. Higgins, (1994) Persistence of Transients in Spatially Structured Ecological Models. Science 263 10.1126/science.263.5150.1133
  • Alan Hastings, (2001) Transient Dynamics And Persistence of Ecological Systems. Ecology Letters 4 10.1046/j.1461-0248.2001.00220.x
  • Alan Hastings, (2004) Transients: The Key to Long-Term Ecological Understanding?. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 19 10.1016/j.tree.2003.09.007
  • Terry P. Hughes, Cristina Linares, Vasilis Dakos, Ingrid A. van de Leemput, Egbert H. van Nes, (2013) Living Dangerously on Borrowed Time During Slow, Unrecognized Regime Shifts. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28 10.1016/j.tree.2012.08.022
  • Franck Jabot, Thierry Faure, Nicolas Dumoulin, (2013) Easyabc: Performing Efficient Approximate Bayesian Computation Sampling Schemes Using R. Methods in Ecology And Evolution 10.1111/2041-210X.12050
  • Bryn Nelson, (2013) Natural Disasters: A Calculated Risk. Nature 495 10.1038/nj7440-271a