Personalising ecology

Gaston, K.J., Soga, M., Duffy, J.P., Garrett, J.K., Gaston, S. & Cox, D.T.C. 2018. Personalised ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, in press. 

The field of ecology has focused on understanding characteristics of natural systems in a manner as free as possible from biases of human observers. However, demand is growing for knowledge of human–nature interactions at the level of individual people. This is particularly driven by concerns around human health consequences due to changes in positive and negative interactions. This requires attention to the biased ways in which people encounter and experience other organisms. Here we define such a ‘personalised ecology’, and discuss its connections to other aspects of the field. We propose a framework of focal research topics, shaped by whether the unit of analysis is a single person, a single population, or multiple populations, and whether a human or nature perspective is foremost.