Synthesis science is an approach to research that draws together individuals to catalyze new and sometimes transformative ideas, often bringing together all of the evidence on a research question to allow generalizable findings and hypothesis-testing. Collaborations across sectors can generate important dialogue, and advance a more predictive ecology. I enjoy creating opportunities for training, dialogue, and novel research outputs through working group and synthesis science.
Building opportunities for data synthesis in Canada
Generating knowledge from existing data is a key skill for future generations and is adds values to existing research programs. I help to lead the NSERC CREATE training program The Living Data Project, which provides skillset training and immersive experiences in collaborative and synthesis data science to graduate students in ecology and evolution. As part of this program, I teach Synthesis Statistics as part of a 4-part modular training program that also includes Collaboration, Data Management, and Reproducibility. I am also on the management board of the Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution, which funds synthesis science in ecology and evolution in Canada.
I coordinate a virtual cross-Canada training workshop, Testing hypotheses through data synthesis: preparing for success, as part of the Living Data Project, to provide guidance to trainees entering data synthesis in Canada.
Working groups as training ground. In April 2022 Dr. Joey Bernhardt and I co-lead a working group called Canadian Datasets for Teaching in Ecology and Evolution, supported by the Living Data Project. In our working group, 12 graduate students from across Canada helped to develop tutorials in R on concepts in Ecology and Evolution using "rescued" data. Students learned valuable skills and created tutorials which are under development here.