Grand challenges in conservation research
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One of the privileges and responsibilities accorded to Specialty Chief Editors in the Frontiers journals, at the commencement of new specialty sections, is to provide an overview of potential research directions for the specialization in the form of a challenge statement. There is, however, a tight restriction on this prerogative: specifically, a limit of 2000 words. For the very practical and urgent discipline of conservation, this poses a challenge in itself. Should one focus on what is most significant, most urgent, or most innovative? As a compromise, this contribution follows a two-part approach. The first part provides a brief review of the global context for conservation, a reminder of the human social context in which conservation operates. The second part attempts to identify some priorities in the various research disciplines that contribute to conservation knowledge. Most researchers have specialist expertise. A list of priorities in, say, economics is of little use to a geneticist, or vice versa. Indeed, even within any one discipline—taxonomy, say—most individual researchers amass expertise only for particular taxa. There is little cross-over between bird, frog, insect, and fish taxonomy. However, students entering any research discipline still have that choice. Perhaps this outline may influence how they make it.
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Copyright 2015 Buckley. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Conservation and Biodiversity