Nav: Home

Conservation stories from the front lines

February 05, 2018

The ups and downs of the research process underlie every scientific publication, yet rarely make it into the final paper. A new collection, "Conservation Stories from the Front Lines," publishing between 5-7 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, captures the long-neglected human side of science by entering the tragedy, comedy, and (mis)adventures that shape research into the scientific record as peer-reviewed scientific stories. The stories come from scientists working to manage and preserve biodiversity, and offer a new way to engage diverse audiences in today's pressing scientific issues.

The collection was overseen by Liz Neely, executive director of Story Collider; Annaliese Hettinger, a marine ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory; Jonathan Moore, associate professor of aquatic ecology and conservation and Liber Ero Chair of Coastal Science and Management at Simon Fraser University; and Liza Gross, PLOS Biology senior editor.

The collection focuses on conservation--science that speaks to the management and preservation of species and ecosystems. These Conservation Stories present peer-reviewed and robust science but also include the muddy boots and bloody knees, ravaging mosquitoes, crushing disappointment, and¬¬ occasional euphoria their authors experienced.

Elizabeth Hadly confesses her fear that the days when government leaders acted on evidence of human-driven planetary emergencies may be gone. Karen Lips describes the agony of watching the rainforest frogs she studied for years suddenly and mysteriously disappear. Nick Haddad shares epiphanies about the recovery of rare species gleaned from humbling struggles with his health. Emmanuel Frimpong urges us to consider how the ecological role of an overlooked fish warrants a new approach to freshwater fish conservation, and Sergio Avila-Villegas reveals how a painful encounter with a jaguar changed the trajectory of his life and his life's work.

Scientists are increasingly recognizing the need to find new ways to effectively engage with a diversity of audiences. This collection experiments with one way to communicate science by turning peer-reviewed papers into evidence-based, scientific stories. The collection editors hope these stories catalyze further experiments with peer-reviewed scientific narratives. In an editorial introducing the collection, the editors write: "As we grapple with emerging crises wrought by a changing climate and plummeting biodiversity, we'll need to explore every possible avenue for sharing the best available science with audiences far beyond the academy."
Articles in the Collection

5th February

Conservation Stories from the Front Lines ((Editorial) Gross et al.):

Making America great again requires acting on scientific knowledge (Hadly):

6th February

Witnessing extinction in real time (Lips):

Resurrection and resilience of the rarest butterflies (Haddad):

7th February

A case for conserving common species (Frimpong):

The jaguar and the PhD (Avila-Villegas):

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the collection's freely available Editorial article in PLOS Biology:

Citation: Gross L, Hettinger A, Moore JW, Neeley L (2018) Conservation stories from the front lines. PLoS Biol 16(2): e2005226.

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this article.

Competing Interests: I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests. Liza Gross is a current paid employee at the Public Library of Science.


Related Conservation Articles:

Targeted conservation could protect more of Earth's biodiversity
A new study finds that major gains in global biodiversity can be achieved if an additional 5 percent of land is set aside to protect key species.
Conservation endocrinology in a changing world
The BioScience Talks podcast ( features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Marine conservation must consider human rights
Ocean conservation is essential for protecting the marine environment and safeguarding the resources that people rely on for livelihoods and food security.
Mapping Biodiversity and Conservation Hotspots of the Amazon
Researchers have used remote sensing data to map out the functional diversity of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon basin, a technique that revealed hotspots for conservation.
Mapping biodiversity and conservation hotspots of the Amazon
Researchers have used remote sensing data to map out the functional diversity of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon basin, a technique that revealed hotspots for conservation.
Internet data could boost conservation
Businesses routinely use internet data to learn about customers and increase profits -- and similar techniques could be used to boost conservation.
Why conservation fails
The only way for northern countries to halt deforestation in the South is to make sure land owners are paid more than it costs them to conserve the forest.
Visitors to countryside not attracted by conservation importance
Countryside visitors choose where to go based on the presence of features such as coastline, woodland or abundant footpaths, rather than a site's importance to conservation, according to new research.
In communicating wildlife conservation, focus on the right message
If you want people to care about endangered species, focus on how many animals are left, not on the chances of a species becoming extinct, according to a new study by Cornell University communication scholars.
New partnership to boost Asia-Pacific conservation
The University of Adelaide and global organization Conservation International (CI) today announced a strategic partnership that will help boost conservation efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, including a global conservation drone program.

Related Conservation Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".