Theory & Synthesis

Is nature predictable? Looking broadly across ecological subdisciplines, are there common patterns to what limits the predictability of different types of problems? Answering many of the deep, overarching questions in ecology requires us to develop new theory about predictability itself. It also requires synthesis across a small but rapidly growing catalog of ecological forecasts. Finally, forecasting itself is inherently synthetic, as making specific, quantitative predictions requires the fusion of our prior data and our current theories (as embedded in the models we use).  Prediction provides a means of unification by assessing our ability to extrapolate not just within individual problems but across them; it implies we understand something general about how ecological system works. These are the big-picture problems the  EFI Theory & Synthesis working group aims to tackle.

Theory Resources

Video overview of the Theory Group’s activities from the May 12-13, 2020 EFI-RCN Virtual Workshop

Theory Working Group Schedule of Calls:
The Theory Group will be meeting on May 26, June 23, July 21, August 18 at 4pm US Eastern. We are always open to people joining the calls, contact us at

Notes from Working Group Calls
Chair: Peter Adler (Utah State University)

  1. July 21, 2020
  2. June 23, 2020
  3. May 26, 2020
  4. April 28, 2020
  5. April 2, 2020
  6. March 10, 2020
  7. February 20, 2020
  8. December 3, 2019
  9. November 12, 2019
  10. October 29, 2019
  11. October 1, 2019
  12. August 20, 2019
  13. July 14, 2019