New paper out in Integrative & Comparative Biology

For a long time I have been using Open Electronics in my own work, which has enabled me to build my own experimental setups and devices and helped me really think and work outside the box and thereby push the field forward. Given its huge benefits, the last years I have been active in trying to help other researchers also take up these new, low-cost technologies, including by giving a workshop at the ASAB Summer conference and writing a dedicated paper in Methods in Ecology and Evolution. I am now happy to say that another opinion paper of mine on the topic with Michael Oellermann and others came out in Integrative and Comparative Biology.

In the paper, entitled “Open Hardware in Science: The Benefits of Open Electronics” (open access here). We review the current costs and benefits of open electronics for use in scientific research ranging from the experimental to the theoretical sciences and discuss how user-made electronic applications can help individual researchers, scientific institutions, and the scientific community at large. We further highlight how current barriers like poor awareness, knowledge access, and time investments can be resolved, and provide guidelines to help academics to enter this emerging field.

Open electronics are a promising and powerful tool to help scientific research to become more innovative and reproducible and offer a key practical solution to improve democratic access to science.

Oellermann, M., Jolles, J. W., Ortiz, D., Seabra, R., Wenzel, T., Wilson, H., & Tanner, R. L. (2022). Open Hardware in Science: The Benefits of Open Electronics. Integrative and Comparative Biology, icac043.

New opinion paper out in TREE on fisheries effects on shoaling

Today my latest paper came out in Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Co-led by Valerio Sbragaglia at ICM in Barcelona (joint first-authorship) and with Marta Coll and Robert Arlinghaus, we provide a new perspective about the role that fisheries may have on the shoaling tendency and collective behaviour of exploited fish species. Besides discussing the different potential mechanisms (see also figure below), we highlight potential consequences for fish populations and food webs, and discuss possible repercussions for fisheries and conservation strategies.

It has been nice to work on the ideas of this paper and focusing a bit more on the important practical implications of my main research topic of individual heterogeneity and collective animal behaviour. I am looking forward to further work I will be doing with Valerio and our colleagues to start test some of the ideas we put forward in our paper and co-supervise students on the topic.

You can find the paper online here as well as a press release regarding our article. If you cannot access the paper, please send me an email!

Sbragaglia, V., Jolles, J. W., Coll, M., and Arlinghaus, R. (2021). Fisheries-induced changes of shoaling behaviour: mechanisms and potential consequences. Trends Ecol. Evol. 36, 885–888. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2021.06.015.