Introducing the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists

This week we’re talking to Dr Peter Søgaard Jørgensen and the working group from the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists (INNGE). Peter Søgaard Jørgensen is a biologist studying the macroecological consequences of global environmental change and sustainable solutions that may improve biological food, resource, health and environmental systems in the 21st century. This is currently studied through the lens of macroecology and applied evolutionary biology at the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Program at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Here he and the rest of INNGE’s working group outlines what INNGE is all about, how it can benefit early career ecologists, and how you can get involved.

What is the  International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists?

The International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists is a global community platform for early career researchers and professionals in the ecological sciences.

We aim to address early career issues and to facilitate innovation of the ecological sciences in all its aspects. Examples of the latter include advancing open science and interdisciplinary issues. INNGE connects early career ecologists from all continents, through membership of 24 institutions, with a combined individual membership estimated around 20.000. These include some of the largest learned societies in the ecological sciences, e.g. the Ecological Society of America and the British Ecological Society.

Finally, INNGE connects early career ecologists through a vibrant network of around 2000 individual early career ecologists communicating via online channels.

How can early career ecologists benefit from INNGE?

Early career ecologists can benefit in two main ways from INNGE. First, INNGE provides a platform for them to realize and connect with  the community of ecologists at a global scale. Secondly, the activities carried out by INNGE help improve work conditions for early career ecologists. Here are some examples of services that INNGE provides:

  • INNGE organizes early-career events at meetings such as the quadrennial INTECOL congress  and otherregional and national meetings.
  • INNGE provides a forum for early career ecologists to debate emerging and influential topics in ecology both in internal and public fora.
  • INNGE provides advice and support to new,local and regional early-career groups, such as the effort to establish a regional network in Africa.
  • INNGE provides surveys of early-career issues.
  • INNGE hosts EcoBloggers, an open aggregator of posts from more than 100 ecology blogs.
  • INNGE promotes papers published by early career ecologists on Twitter hashtag – #ecrpaper.
  • INNGE’s wiki works as a one stop shop to online resources in ecology.
  • INNGE promotes novel ways of peer-reviewing, such as the peer-review mentoring scheme in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology.
  • INNGE provides networking opportunities for early career ecologists via communication with other INNGE participants through e.g. listservs or our facebook group or through direct interactions with topical specialists via Twitter or EcoBloggers.
  • INNGE provides space for early career ecologists attending various meetings and events to report about their experience through INNGE Reporter.

What have your members achieved through INNGE?

Being involved with INNGE provides our members with the opportunity to gain rare organizational experience at an international level. INNGE unlocks a great opportunity: to increase your international network of dedicated early career ecologists and some of the global leaders in ecology.

More specifically, members of INNGE have gained experience organizing international events, such as workshops for early career ecologists or conferences such as the Future Earth young scientist conference. Others have gained experience leading surveys of the international community of ecologists or published opinion papers. Ecologists in INNGE all contribute toward our vision of building a global online platform for community innovation (see our recent paper on Global Community Innovation Platforms).

What sorts of careers do your members do?

The careers of our members are as diverse as the sum of the thousands of early career members of our 24 institutional members and active individuals. Most of our working group members are currently conducting their PhD, are in a PostDoc, lecturer or junior professor position. INNGE also have several very active members doing research or other functions in NGO’s.

How do you get involved?

INNGE thrivess an effective means of communicating your personal perspectives to the wider community. Sign your blog up today and become part of the community! Simply send your blog feed link to the webmaster here. If you are not sure about where to start, simply follow our quick starter guide.

Finally, INNGE is currently conducting its third election for the governing board. The governing board collects some of the most inspired early career ecologists from around the world.

Careers Advice, Interviews, Senior Level, Ecologist