One of my interests is helping people understand the culture of ecological research. How to Do Ecology provides nuts-and-bolts advice on how to develop a successful thesis and research program. Science progresses when we ask testable ecological questions. This book covers the uses, strengths, and limitations of manipulative experiments in ecology. It will help ecologists consider meaningful treatments, controls, replication, independence, and randomization in experiments. It also discusses how to do surveys and analyze natural patterns. It gives advice for thinking creatively about research questions, generating alternative hypotheses, and dealing with negative results.
The science itself is only part of being a successful ecologist. This book offers advice on working with other people and navigating through the land mines of research. Findings that don’t get communicated are of little value. How to Do Ecology suggests effective ways to communicate information in the form of journal articles, oral presentations, and posters. Finally, it outlines strategies for developing successful grant and research proposals. In short, this book makes explicit many of the unspoken assumptions behind doing good research in ecology.
The How to Do Ecology (2nd ed.) website includes reviews, the table of contents, ordering information, and a pdf of the first chapter. Also, you can download checklists for writing journal articles and grant proposals and for preparing talks and posters for conferences.