Global change is one of the most serious threats to human society and, as such, is a core research agenda around the world. Building on a long history of fundamental ecological research, a new cohort of early-career scientists—armed with novel methodologies and cutting-edge technology—is poised to confront the critical questions on the future of global change. Addressing these questions poses a grand challenge for scientists in ecology: the stakes are high, yet confidence in the level of knowledge in some areas remains critically low. Thus, the direction and future success of global change research depends to a significant degree on promoting and fostering the work of next generation ecologists undertaking some of the most important scientific work of our time.
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