Conservation hindered by geographical mismatches between capacity and need

   
   
 Ahimsa-Campos-Arceizpr
29 Aug 2017 14:57:55.550

PA 190/17

New research suggests that geographical mismatches between conservation needs and expertise may hinder global conservation goals.

Experts from the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and other institutions have examined geographical patterns within the leadership of the conservation science publishing system focusing on the affiliation of journal editors, who serve as gatekeepers and leaders in the scientific process.

Their research, ‘Striking underrepresentation of biodiversity-rich regions among editors of conservation journals’ has been published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation.

 

Click here for full story

The top 20 journals in the field of biodiversity and conservation biology were analysed, with the geographical distribution of editorial board members examined and compared against the National Biodiversity Index, a key indicator of national biodiversity values.

1,210 editorial positions were included in the research which revealed that most of the countries with the highest biodiversity had few or no editors representing them at top conservation journals. Indonesia had the highest National Biodiversity Index but only one editor. Many other biodiversity-rich places including Colombia, Ecuador, Madagascar, and most of tropical Asia had no representation at all on the editorial board.

Similarly, China, India, Mexico, and Brazil are all large, biodiverse and populous countries with very few editors at top conservation journals. The United States, Canada and European countries, especially the United Kingdom and Germany, were strongly over-represented on editorial boards.

Dr Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, from the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus led the research and said: “Journal editors decide what science gets published and whose research is highlighted. Our findings show that there is a distinct lack of representation of biodiversity-rich areas, which could have an impact on policy and funding decisions.”

Professor Richard Primack, from Boston University and one of the authors of the study, said “this bias among journal editors mirrors other well-known biases in conservation science. For example, tropical regions are less studied and represented in biodiversity databases compared with less diverse temperate systems; much of research in tropical countries is not conducted by local researchers, most of reviewers for conservation journals are from English-speaking temperate countries such as USA, UK, Australia, and Canada."

Dr Martine Maron of the University of Queensland, another co-author adds, “The good news is that addressing this bias is relatively easy and could help reducing biases elsewhere in conservation science. Conservation journals could develop policies to recruit editors from biodiversity-rich countries. Increasing geographical inclusion of journal editors would add diversity of ideas and expertise, which can be of great value for conservation science. It would also help develop conservation science leadership and capacity in biodiversity-rich regions, where it is most needed.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

 

Story credits

Note to editors: More information is available from Dr Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz in the School of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus ahimsa.camposarceiz@nottingham.edu.my; or Professor Richard Primack at Boston University, primack@bu.edu; or Dr Martine Maron at the University of Queensland m.maron@uq.edu.au; or Abraham J.Miller-Rushing at the US National Park Service, abe.millerrushing@gmail.com; or Lindsay Brooke, Media Relations Managers for the Faculty of Science, on +44 (0)115 951 5751, lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
Jane_60x60px

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Science)

Email: jane.icke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Durian industry could suffer without the endangered fruit bat

Published Date
Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: communications@nottingham.ac.uk