Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity

The Journal of Applied Ecology runs a mentoring opportunity for early career researchers who are interested in learning about the Associate Editor role, and have little or no previous editorial experience. Participants work with the Senior Editors who provide guidance on handling papers during a 2-year Associate Editor training post.

During the training post, Associate Editor mentees are supported by an in-house Editorial office who take care of most of the routine work, leaving mentees to focus on the science of the manuscripts and the more intellectually stimulating responsibilities. The primary responsibilities are making initial assessments of the suitability of manuscripts, selecting referees for papers sent out for review, and making recommendations to the Senior Editor on the basis of reviews received and their own professional opinion. We encourage mentees to share their ideas for initiatives we might consider and to represent the Journal at conferences and meetings.

Anyone <5 years post-PhD can apply for the mentoring opportunity. In July each year we will accept applications for the 2-year placement starting from the following January. Applications will then be considered by the Senior Editors in August and successful mentees will be notified shortly after. To apply, please send your CV or link to your webpage, in July to, also including a list of 3–8 of your recently published papers, along with a short statement outlining your views and experiences of publishing, areas of expertise, and stating which Senior Editor would be most appropriate for your research area.


Mentees 2017-2018


Kelly Marnewick, Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa
Sharif Mukul, University of Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Meredith Root-Bernstein, INRA, France
Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Nature Conservation Foundation, India
Zhongling Yang, Henan University, China

Mentees 2016-2017


Susan Cheyne, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Caroline Howe, University of Sheffield, UK
Pia Lentini, University of Melbourne, Australia
J. Scott MacIvor, University of Toronto, Canada
Jeremy Piggott, University of Otago, New Zealand
Cheryl Schultz, Washington State University, USA

Mentees 2015


José Alves

José received his PhD in 2010 at the University of East Anglia and he is currently a Senior Research Associate with the Universities of Aveiro and Iceland. He is a conservation ecologist with specific interests in the mechanisms by which organisms respond to environmental change. His research focuses on patterns of segregation, seasonal interactions and individual trade-offs, and their consequences for population demography, distribution, and conservation in migratory birds.

José on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

Publishing the results of one’s findings is a fundamental and considerable part of any ecologist’s work. Hence the opportunity to be an Associate Editor (AE) for a major ecological journal was a fantastic chance to learn about what goes on “behind the scenes” during the editorial process. Dealing with submissions is a service we provide to each other within the community, to make the system work, and although the system isn't perfect it is the best we have come up with (so far). Providing this service requires time and energy and I believe we should all contribute to it, as reviewers, editors and even as colleagues.
In the current publication arena time is of the essence and AEs can truly make a difference by sparing time for authors and reviewers when their decisions are acute and fast. However, this requires a vast understanding of many aspects of their own study field, so AEs need to be on top of their subject and continuously update their views, as science is always on the move.
Understanding the editorial process makes me a better reviewer, editor and author. It will definitely help me to be much clearer as an author, to firmly root my decisions as an editor, and to know how to help the editor making the decision, for instance by always filling in the “comments to editor section” which I previously ignored as a reviewer (great tip!).
I thank Journal of Applied Ecology for this opportunity and I believe this experience has made me a better contributor to our community.

Lander Baeten

Lander is a Professor of Ecology and Conservation in the Department of Forest & Water Management at Ghent University, Belgium. He is interested in biodiversity, conservation and restoration, especially of plants. His research aims to understand biodiversity changes in response to environmental change, from local to macroecological scales. Research topics include land-use effects on forest plant communities, biodiversity dynamics over space and time (using old community records), and the functional importance of biodiversity.

Lander on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

Being an editor for a national journal on nature conservation and management, I am actively involved in translating scientific knowledge to a wider public of managers and conservationists. The Journal’s mentoring scheme offered me the opportunity to learn more about how an international journal can contribute to putting ecology into practice. It was great to experience how the whole review process actually works and I got even more convinced that peer review is not just a necessary evil; it really helps researchers to make their papers stronger. Mentees are given full responsibility to handle manuscripts, but with the security that you can get feedback at any stage during the review process. I would sign up again for the scheme.

Nathalie Butt

Nathalie is an Australian Research Council Fellow in the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at the University of Queensland. Her work is concerned with the interactions between biodiversity and climate/climate change, previously focusing on forests in tropical South America and temperate Europe, and now including Australian forests and ecosystems. She is currently working on global-scale analyses of climate and human impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem function and processes, and species and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change.

Nathalie on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I wanted to take part in the editorial mentorship programme as I am interested in the editorial, publication and production process, and I have greatly enjoyed experiencing it from the other side. The programme has given me the valuable opportunity to develop editorial skills and hone my reviewing skills, as well as providing the chance to work with other researchers in my field on the journal. One important thing I have learned is how patient, skilled and generous most reviewers and editors are with their advice and criticism – it is inspiring and reassuring to see that the peer review process is robust and functioning well (in spite of all the scare stories about various scams and cheats). The experience will inform my own reviewing perspective in future, and hopefully help me to achieve an editorial position at some point.

David Moreno Mateos

David is a restoration ecologist who finished his PhD in Spain (Universidad de Alcala) in 2008. He spent three years at UC Berkeley and two more years at Stanford University as the Jasper Ridge Restoration Fellow. He is now an Ikerbasque Research Fellow at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) in Bilbao, Spain. He is interested in the process of ecosystem recovery after anthropogenic disturbances in all kinds of ecosystems, but with special emphasis on wetlands and forests. He is now focused on understanding patterns of recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in a broad sense, and also on the mechanisms that regulate recovery of organism interactions (food webs) and stability as indicators of holistic recovery of ecosystem complexity. In his research, he uses empirical field-collected data, meta-analyses as well as conceptual approaches to understand and accelerate the processes of ecosystem recovery in the context of restoration.

David on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I saw the mentoring program at Journal of Applied Ecology as a unique opportunity to understand more deeply the complex and frequently frustrating process of peer review. I was also interested in finding potential ways to improve this system that we all commonly complain about. So far, participating in the program has definitively helped me to understand the process thanks to the senior editors and the editorial staff, who have been very supportive. This program has seeded in me an interest in the editorial process of scientific papers and helped me develop a sense of quality and fairness that I never got doing standard reviews. I hope I can expand this parcel of science over my career.

Romina Rader

Romina is an early career researcher with expertise in pollination and landscape ecology, currently employed as a Lecturer in Community Ecology at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. She completed her PhD on pollination in 2011, followed by two postdoctoral fellowships at Rutgers University (USA) and Stockholm University (Sweden). Her research concerns the identity and performance of wild insect pollinators in crops, plant–animal interactions in natural and human-modified landscapes, plant and animal responses to changes in landscape structure and land management, and the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services. She generally works across a broad range of habitats including remnant vegetation, orchards, dairy farms and arable crops and is currently working on several projects both in Australia and various countries abroad.

Romina on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I chose to take part in the mentoring scheme as the Journal of Applied Ecology seemed like a perfect match with my interests, research background and experience. I am both an avid reader of, and have published within the Journal of Applied Ecology. The mentoring role has not only provided me with valuable experience in an official editorial role for a high impact journal, it has also enabled me to learn important details about submission handling and the editorial process, to engage with the interface of new and exciting research and to better understand the decision-making process. So far, it has been a wonderful learning experience and an ideal avenue to contribute my expertise.

Ayesha Tulloch

Ayesha is a Research Fellow in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, Australia. She is a conservation ecologist interested in finding solutions to conservation and wildlife management problems. Her research interests include decision theory, spatial conservation prioritisation, cost-benefit analysis, invasive predators, species interaction networks and bird ecology. The goal of her research is to improve our ability to evaluate ecosystem change by understanding how species, systems and threatening processes interact. Through sound empirical knowledge of community change under threatening processes, she hopes that better management decisions might be made to prevent biodiversity declines and ecosystem collapse.

Ayesha on the Associate Editor Mentoring Opportunity:

I decided to take part in the Journal of Applied Ecology mentoring scheme due to a long-standing passion for reading and writing. My role as the Managing Editor of the online citizen science portal Eremaea-eBird gave me a unique insight into the editorial process and I was keen to use these skills in the peer reviewed publishing arena. I used my time as a mentee to build the experience necessary for enhancing and polishing research outputs that enabled me to join the Journal of Applied Ecology as an Associate Editor later in 2015.

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