NCEAS Working Group Book Publication: Handbook on Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution

Meta-analysis is a powerful statistical methodology for synthesizing research evidence across independent studies. Just published, the Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution is the first comprehensive handbook of meta-analysis written specifically for ecologists and evolutionary biologists, and it provides an invaluable introduction for beginners as well as an up-to-date guide for experienced meta-analysts. This handbook was developed as part of a NCEAS working group, Meta-analysis in Ecology: Lessons, Challenges and Future working group.

Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution (2013)
Edited by Julia Koricheva, Jessica Gurevitch & Kerrie Mengersen
Princeton University Press | ISBN: 9780691137292

  • Julia Koricheva is Professor of Ecology at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • Jessica Gurevitch is Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University, State University of New York.
  • Kerrie Mengersen is Research Professor of Statistics at Queensland University of Technology.

The NCEAS working group that developed the Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution was motivated by several factors including the increasing "importance of research synthesis in ecology and evolution … because of the growing pressure on researchers to provide accurate quantitative assessments, predictions, and practical solutions to pressing environmental issues (e.g., biodiversity losses, biotic responses to global climate change)."

The working group consisted of 14 scientists from the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom with expertise in statistics and/or meta-analysis application in ecology, evolutionary biology, medicine, and the social sciences. Four group meetings were held at NCEAS’s collaboration center in Santa Barbara during 2006-2008.

In the preface of the book, the editors explain the significance of NCEAS’s support, "Working on this book as part of a highly interdisciplinary working group at NCEAS has been a wonderful, illuminating, and rewarding experience. The resulting handbook differs from the usual edited volume because it was genuinely collaborative venture; the number of participants was small, most contributed to more than one chapter, and the contributors worked closely together on the material. The working group format also resulted in all the contributors being more aware of the content of the other chapters, which we hope has resulted in a more coherent treatment of the subject."

NCEAS has played an important role in the promotion of the quantitative approach to research synthesis in ecology since it’s inception in 1995. Starting as early as 1996, an NCEAS working group was breaking new ground by evaluating the application of meta-analysis to ecological questions. A series of articles resulting for this workshop was published in a special feature issue of Ecology in 1999.



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Posted on May 7, 2013