# Biography

A Scientist in training (and self-diagnosed theoretical ecologist) who loves playing outside in the mountains and wants to understand why communities are structured the way that they are. Being the maths geek nerd that I am my PhD has taken on a distinctly computational flavour and aims to help us improve our understanding and ability to make more global generalisations about ecological communities - although I sometimes find myself reverting back to my ‘microecology’ roots and getting caught up in the weeds at times 🙈. Current interests include (but are not limited to): ecological networks, species traits, the role of scale and how all that fits together as a member of the amazing (if you ask me) Poisot Lab along with a (seemingly) ever growing list of side projects.

A plant ecologist by inclination I can usually be found gushing about how cute a particular grass (or succulent) is, hanging off of the side of a mountain or going on bike-ventures to various coffee shops. When the weather forces me indoors I’m most likely spending way more time than I need to trying to automate a process that could be done in a few minutes, exercising my creative side (I produce a fortnightly comic for the Ecology for the Masses blog) or trying to find new (and pretty) ways in which to visualise data and results i.e. combining my geeky self with my artistic alter-ego.

### Interests

• Computational approaches to ecological questions
• FAIR and Open Science
• Data visualisation
• Dabbling in artistic pursuits

### Education

• MSc in Ecology and Biodiversity, 2020

Stockholms Universitet | Sweden

• BSc (Hons) in Plant Sciences, 2017

University of Pretoria | South Africa

# Tanya Writes

### What happened to free verse?

Are we writing scientific articles so as to fit a certain rhyme scheme i.e. is the art of the free verse dying out?

### These are not the Boundaries You're Looking for

Detecting spatial boundaries between communities is fun - what about if we try and do the same for ecological networks

### Why RStudio is a great tool for ecologists

Some thoughts on why RStudio is great and makes reproducibility that little bit easier to attain. In retrospect this turned into a RMarkdown post…

# Recent Publications

### A primer on predicting species interaction networks (across space and time)

Some ideas we won’t do, probably some bad ones as well. This is not a review. This is not a methods paper. This is our semi-educated guess at where our field should be heading. We don’t want to go fast alone, we want to go far together.

### Next-generation field courses: integrating Open Science and online learning

Traditionally, field courses focus on training participants in relevant practical field research methodologies, while also developing their project management and collaborative skills. Here we illustrate how Open Science research principles could be more explicitly integrated into field course design to enhance broader scientific learning outcomes as well as leveraging the use of online tools during the teaching process.

### SVD entropy reveals the high complexity of ecological networks

Turns out ecological networks are extremely complex, but maybe they could do even a bit better.

### From a crisis to an opportunity: Eight insights for doing science in the Covid-19 era and beyond

The COVID-19 crisis has forced researchers in Ecology to change the way we work almost overnight. Nonetheless, the pandemic has …

# Recent & Upcoming Talks

### Exploring the complexity of ecological networks using SVD entropy

Here we showcase the value of defining the complexity of networks using a physical approach, namely rank deficiency and SVD Entropy. This reveals some interesting results and challenges how we view the complexity of networks.

### Taking FAIR and open science to the field - The evolution of the PFTC field course

A case study on integrating open science and reproducibility into field course training and teaching, and the effect it has on participant experience.

# Projects

#### Project Wombat

Wombling (not about actual wombats), edge detection, spatial boundaries and how we can apply this to ecological networks.

#### Making better predictions of ecological networks through machine learning (done right)

A graduate student lead project which aims at trying to develop a roadmap for the many, future potential paths of predicting ecological networks using machine learning.

#### The complexity of ecological networks using SVD entropy

Ecological networks are very complex - who would’ve thought!.

#### TidyTuesday

An R4DS weekly data project initiative emphasising the use of tidyverse to summarise and visualise data