JPE has got a new Editor-in Chief!
Faithful JPE readers will know that the idea for the journal arose from conversations at past SCAPE conferences. It took wing through the altruistic and determined efforts of Carolin Mayer (now at the Institute of Life-Earth-Environment, University of Namur, Belgium), who conceived that an online-only journal could offer both free publishing for authors and free access for readers, if the effort could be supported by extraordinary volunteer efforts. Carolin single-handedly built JPE essentially from nothing. Peter Kevan’s publishing concern Enviroquest (Guelph, Ontario) provided access to an ISBN number; Carolin customized an editorial management system from the Open Journal Systems software made available by the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. She recruited a highly qualified board of Associate Editors and established a rigorous process of peer review.
For several years, Carolin served as sole Editor, but a change in her employment made it impractical to devote as much time as was needed to handle all the aspects of journal production. At the 2016 SCAPE meetings at Abisko, Jane Stout and Jeff Ollerton reported that JPE could use an academic Editor-in-Chief to take over the evaluation of manuscripts while Carolin continued as Managing Editor in her indispensable role of assembling and producing the issues. I found myself agreeing to take on the EiC position for about four years.
As that period has elapsed, I am convinced that JPE needs a younger Editor-in-Chief with more extensive networks of active researchers. Therefore, I am stepping down from that post, to be replaced by Maria Clara (“Cala”) Castellanos of the University of Sussex in the UK. Her experience of fieldwork in diverse ecosystems on three continents makes her well suited to take on the challenges of running a global journal. She is committed to JPE’s foundational values of altruistic service to the academic community, and she will be creative in pursuing those values in the face of new trends in scientific publishing, such as preprint sites, social media, predatory journals, etc. I will remain involved with JPE as Editor Emeritus.
James D. Thomson