Theory & Synthesis

Announcement! The Theory Working Group paper, “The Power of Forecasts to Advance Ecological Theory” came out Methods in Ecology and Evolution in August 2022.

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 systems work. These are the big-picture problems the  EFI Theory & Synthesis working group aims to tackle.

Theory Working Group Schedule of Calls:
The Theory Group will meet on Mondays at 11am US Eastern on January 22, February 26, March 25, April 22, and May 20. A new schedule of calls will be developed for June to August 2024. We are always open to people joining the calls, contact us at eco4cast.initiative@gmail.com.

Theory Resources

The Theory group is working on creating models for submitting forecasts to all the themes in the NEON Forecasting Challenge. During the April 2023 call, Caleb Robbins (Baylor University) shared how to use the tidymodels framework in R which is useful for creating Machine Learning models for forecasts.
Amanda Gallinat’s overview of the Theory Group’s activities for the EFI 2022 Conference held May 23-25, 2022.

Notes from Working Group Calls
Co-chairs: Abby Lewis (Virginia Tech), Shubhi Sharma (Yale University)
Former co-chairs: Amanda Gallinat (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Peter Adler (Utah State University)

  1. February 26, 2024
  2. January 22, 2024
  3. December 18, 2023
  4. November 13, 2023
  5. October 16, 2023
  6. September 11, 2023
  7. August 14, 2023
  8. July 10, 2023
  9. June 12, 2023
  10. May 15, 2023
  11. April 17, 2023
  12. March 20, 2023
  13. February 27, 2023
  14. January 23, 2023
  15. December 7, 2022
  16. November 2, 2022
  17. October 5, 2022
  18. September 14, 2022
  19. August 9, 2022
  20. July 12, 2022
  21. June 7, 2022
  22. May 3, 2022
  23. April 5, 2022
  24. March 8, 2022
  25. February 8, 2022
  26. January 11, 2022
  27. December 14, 2021
  28. November 16, 2021
  29. October 19, 2021
  30. September 28, 2021
  31. August 16, 2021
  32. July 19, 2021
  33. June 21, 2021
  34. May 24, 2021
  35. April 26, 2021
  36. March 22, 2021
  37. February 22, 2021
  38. January 25, 2021
  39. December 16, 2020
  40. November 18, 2020
  41. October 14, 2020
  42. September 16, 2020
  43. August 18, 2020
  44. July 21, 2020
  45. June 23, 2020
  46. May 26, 2020
  47. April 28, 2020
  48. April 2, 2020
  49. March 10, 2020
  50. February 20, 2020
  51. December 3, 2019
  52. November 12, 2019
  53. October 29, 2019
  54. October 1, 2019
  55. August 20, 2019
  56. July 14, 2019