State of the Journal

Authors


State of the Journal

In the decade since its debut in 1992, Molecular Ecology has become one of the leading journals in ecology and evolutionary biology. Although we are pleased with the journal’s success, improvements continue to be made in response to changes in publishing technology and advances in the scientific community. In the past year, for example, we launched a sister journal, Molecular Ecology Notes, established a database for primers for nonmodel organisms, reduced the subscription price for students, established subject categories for papers, and began to accept electronic submissions. In addition, we added 330 pages to the 2001 page budget, plus an additional 300 pages to the 2002 page budget. The expanded page budgets should ensure publication in less than 2.5 months from acceptance. Time from submission to final acceptance already is fast, averaging c. three months, and may become even faster with electronic submission and review. Thus, we hope that most favourably reviewed manuscripts can be published in less than six months following submission.

The past year also has seen changes in the Molecular Ecology Editorial Board. Konrad Bachmann, Hans Ellegren, and Dirk van Elsas have retired from their positions as editors of Molecular Ecology, and we thank them for their service to the journal specifically and to the molecular ecology community more generally. To replace them and to accommodate growth in certain subject areas, several new editors have joined the journal. Deborah Charlesworth and Alex Widmer have been recruited to help with the increasing number of plant papers, Howard Ochmann has agreed to edit microbial papers for the journal, and Tom Bruns will commission and edit Molecular Ecology reviews. At Molecular Ecology Notes, Kevin Livingstone has taken over from Loren Rieseberg as Chief Editor, and Christian Lexer has replaced Alex Widmer as a primer note editor.

Finally, Leonid Shlumukov has joined the editorial office as an editorial assistant to help cope with the increased workload resulting from the growth of the two journals.

Journal Content

The establishment of subject categories for papers has made it easier to quantify what Molecular Ecology publishes. Close to 70% of original research articles derive from two subject categories: Population and Conservation Genetics (36%) and Phylogeography, Hybridization, and Speciation (32%). Other subject categories that are well represented in the journal include Kinship, Parentage, and Behaviour (12%) and Ecological Genetics (9%). Underrepresented categories include Ecological Interactions (5%), Molecular Diagnostics, Methods, and Interpretive Tools (3%), Molecular Adaptation and Environmental Genomics (2%), and GMOs and Their Release (1%). The trend in these data is clear. The orientation of many papers published in Molecular Ecology is more toward population genetics and evolution than ecology. We do not regret this emphasis. Indeed, we are pleased that Molecular Ecology has become the premier journal for phylogeographical studies.

Nonetheless, it is curious that fewer ecologically orientated papers are published in Molecular Ecology than are papers with a population genetic or evolutionary focus. Possibly, most ecological studies that employ molecular tools are published in traditional ecology journals rather than Molecular Ecology. However, a brief perusal of the literature indicates that this is not the case; even fewer of these studies are published in leading ecology journals. An alternative explanation is that ecologists have been slow to employ molecular tools, and that papers with this focus are infrequent. In this context, note that the neutral molecular markers that are so easy to develop and of such great interest to evolutionary geneticists are not relevant to many ecological questions. Moreover, the identification and analyses of ecologically relevant genes can be quite difficult and requires expertise and resources that are unlikely to be available in many ecology laboratories.

Fortunately, all of this seems to be changing very rapidly. Complete genomic sequences are now available for most model organisms and a diversity of other taxa are entering the sequencing queue. Sequence data combined with information from mutational and functional studies have provided a plethora of candidate genes for ecologically relevant traits. In addition, developments in quantitative genetics have provided increasingly sophisticated methods for linking candidate genes with ecologically important features in natural populations. Finally, advances in microarray technology provide a means for assaying genome-wide patterns in gene expression within and among species and in natural populations. Molecular Ecology is a logical venue for studies in this rapidly expanding research area, and we have commissioned several reviews that provide guidance for researchers attempting to use these new tools. Indeed, one of the lead reviews in this issue is titled, ‘Microarrays in Ecology and Evolution: a preview’.

Manuscript reviewing and management

Although most journals tend to emphasize the prestige of their editors or editorial board members, the success of a journal is mostly due to the efforts of its referees and editorial staff. We are fortunate to have many dedicated referees, and we thank each of them for their careful assessments of submitted manuscripts and for their candid recommendations regarding publication. Although we cannot provide an honorarium to our referees, we do consider referee service in choosing our new editors or making appointments to the editorial review board.

Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Notes also are blessed with an excellent editorial staff, which includes journal secretaries, Elinor Smith and Siân Lynch, editorial assistant, Leonid Shlumukov, and computer consultant, Michael Smith. The editorial office runs a highly efficient operation and average manuscript processing times are considerably lower than those of most society journals. The efficiency and responsiveness of the editorial office has made Molecular Ecology attractive to authors, and we thank the staff for their efforts. Finally, we wish to recognize the contributions of Yvonne Gallagher, our production editor, who continues to reduce publication times, even while coping with ever-larger numbers of manuscripts.

Appendix

The Editors of Molecular Ecology are very grateful to the following, who provided opinions on manuscripts between 1 October 2000 and 31 October 2001. Some of those listed here reviewed multiple manuscripts. The period used in compiling this list is more than 1 year, in order to provide continuity with the list published in January 2001

Malika Ainouche

Paolo Ajmone Marsan

Fred W Allendorf

Bill Amos

James Anderson

Timothy J C Anderson

Bernard Angers

Janis Antonovics

Peter Arctander

John Armour

J Arnaud

Allan Arndt

Mike Arnold

J W Arntzen

Mary Ashley

Frederic Austerlitz

Jeremy Austin

John Avise

Debra Ayres

Boris Baer

Mark J Bailey

C Scott Baker

Murray R Bakst

Francois Balloux

Michael A Banks

N H Barton

Detlef Bartsch

P R Baverstock

Kamaljit S Bawa

Mark Beaumont

Andy Beckenbach

Staffan Bensch

Paul Bentzen

J A H Benzie

Stewart Berlocher

Eldridge Bermingham

Giacomo Bernardi

Patrick Berrebi

Giorgio Bertorelle

Martine Berube

Andre Berville

Nora J Besansky

Jim Bever

John W Bickham

Nicolas Bierne

Mats Bjorklund

Roger L Blackman

Meredith Blackwell

Michael Blouin

Peter T Boag

Andrew J Bohonak

Jason Bond

Francois Bonhomme

Jacobus J Boomsma

Richard Borowsky

Didier Bouchon

Pierre Boudry

Elizabeth Boulding

Michel Bouletreau

Andrew Bourke

Pierre Boursot

I R Bowden

Brian W Bowen

Walter M Boyce

Dan Bradley

Madalena Branco

Hans J A J Breeuwer

Rex Brennan

Christian Brochmann

Richard E Broughton

Richard P Brown

Tony H D Brown

Steven Broyles

Leo P Bruederle

Mike Bruford

Patrick Brunner

Tom Bruns

Ann C Bucklin

Mike Bull

Luciano Bullini

Vincent P Buonaccorsi

Theresa Burg

Austin Burt

Ronald S Burton

John Bussell

Roger Butlin

Gisella Caccone

G Caetano-Anolles

Christopher S Campbell

Michael A Campbell

Michele Cargill

Henri Caron

S Carr

Gary R Carvalho

Vincent Castric

Ignacio Chapela

Robert Chapman

Michel Chapuisat

Brian Charlesworth

Deborah Charlesworth

Anne Chenuil

Lounes Chikhi

Rossella Cianchi

Don Cipollini

Frank Cipriano

Bryan Clarke

Andrew Cockburn

David W Coltman

Hans P Comes

Chris J Conroy

Joe Cook

Alan Cooper

Jean-Marie Cornuet

Keith A Crandall

Dan J Crawford

Theresa Crease

Scott Creel

B J Crespi

Ann Cresswell

Pierre-Andre Crochet

Ross H Crozier

Mitch Cruzan

John F Dallas

Martin Dallimer

Bruce P Dancik

B N Danforth

Scott K Davis

Tom Davis

Angus Davison

I K Dawson

Bernd Degen

Frantz Depaulis

Paula DePriest

Robert Desalle

Daniel Desbruyeres

Laurence Despres

Andrew Dewoody

Marcel Dicke

Janis Dickinson

Claude Dijkstra

Andy Dizon

Susanne Dobler

Jerry Dodgson

Julian Dodson

Paolo Donini

Michael Double

Michael E Douglas

Emmanuel J P Douzery

Beverly Dow

Jeff J Doyle

Jerry Dragoo

Andre Drenth

Sergei V. Drovetski

France Dufresne

Sylvie Dumolin-Lapegue

Peter Dunn

I Dupanloup

Peter Dutton

Tony Echelle

Keith Edwards

Scott Edwards

Lori Eggert

Luis E Eguiarte

Elise Eller

Norman Ellstrand

Brent Emerson

Andrea Ender

Philip England

Richard Ennos

Bryan K Epperson

Sergio Escorza-Trevino

Per-Anders Esseen

Arnaud Estoup

Jay D Evans

RA Everett

Marcus Feldman

Andrew Ferguson

Nuno Ferrand

Colin Ferris

Jim Fetzner

Joerns Fickel

Nancy Fitzsimmons

Oystein Flagstad

Robert Fleischer

Ian Fleming

Stephen Forbes

Bruce Ford

Michael J Ford

Brian Ford-Lloyd

Astrid Forneck

John Forster

Pierre Franck

Richard Frankham

Karl Fredga

Joanna Freeland

Corey R Freeman-Gallant

Elizabeth Friar

Jinzong Fu

Luca Fumagalli

Daniel J Funk

Stephan M Funk

Dany Garant

Jaime Garcia-Moreno

Monique Gardes

Jonathan P A Gardner

Michael G Gardner

Richard C Gardner

Andrea Gargas

Dan Garrigan

John Carlos Garza

Angharad M R Gatehouse

Myriam Gaudeul

Eli Geffen

Sophie Gerber

H Lisle Gibbs

Amanda Gillies

Tatiana Giraud

Edi Gittenberger

Chris Gliddon

Mary Jo Godt

John R Gold

David B Goldstein

Jesus Gomez-Zurita

Simon J Goodman

Steve Goodwin

Jerome Goudet

Dave Goulson

Glenn Graham

Julie Graham

Mats Grahn

Frederic Grandjean

W Stewart Grant

David M Green

Simon Griffith

Pamela Groves

Felix Gugerli

Annie Guiller

Bruno Guinand

Susanne Gustafsson

Christine Hackett

Erica Hagelberg

Susan M Haig

Richard Hamelin

Michael F Hammer

Rob Hammond

Jim Hamrick

Michael M Hansen

Rosalind M Harding

Stephen Harris

Richard G Harrison

Guenthur Hartl

Ian Hartley

D Heath

Daniel D Heath

Paul D N Hebert

Dennis Hedgecock

Marshal C Hedin

Philip W Hedrick

Peter Heenan

Richard L Hellmich

Robert J Henry

Joan M Herbers

Jody Hey

T J Hilbish

Kjetil Hindar

Tim Hipkiss

Penny Hirsch

K Elaine Hoagland

A R Hoelzel

Guy A Hoelzer

Matthias Hoffmann

Jacob Hoglund

Mark Holder

Rolf Holderegger

Pete Hollingsworth

Kent Holsinger

Rodney L Honeycutt

Marlijn Hoogendoorn

Marjorie A Hoy

Steve Hubbard

Herbert Hurka

Kamal M Ibrahim

Maarit Jaarola

Johannes A Jehle

Francis Jiggins

Warren Johnson

Adam G Jones

Cathy S Jones

Felicity Jones

William C Jordan

Pedro Jordano

Rikke Jorgenson

Joachim W Kadereit

Gunter Kahl

Steve Karl

Angela Karp

Roland Kays

Paul Keim

Laurent Keller

Scott T Kelley

Martin G Kelly

Stephen J Kemp

Bart Kempenaers

Richard Kesseli

Marek Kimmel

Tim King

Jan Kirschner

Terrie Klinger

Volker Knoop

L Lacey Knowles

Halvor Knutsen

Marcus Koch

Tom Kocher

Nikolaus Koeniger

Klaus Koepfli

Linda M Kohn

Michael Kohn

Irving L Kornfield

George Kowalchuk

Klaus Kowallik

Siegfried L Krauss

Jeannette Krieger

Pui-Yan Kwok

Jacques Labarere

T Lamb

Dave M Lambert

Claire Lanaud

Gregory C Lanzaro

Francois J Lapointe

Carlo Largiader

Allan Larson

Amparo Latorre

Lori Lawson

Natasha R Lebas

Paul Leberg

Patricia L M Lee

Niles Lehman

Christophe Lemaire

Philippe Lemanceau

Jennifer Leonard

John F Leslie

Enrique P Lessa

Adrian Leuchtmann

Paul O Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Christian Lexer

Andy Lilley

C Randy Linder

Yan Linhart

Aaron Liston

Z John Liu

Jorge S Liz

Volker Loeschcke

Marilyn D Loveless

Gordon Luikart

Jan Lundstrom

David H Lunt

Charles Lydeard

Annie Machordom

Jocelyn Malamy

Jesus E Maldonado

Anita Malhotra

Stephanie Manel

Patrick Mardulyn

Karol Marhold

Jeff Markert

Therese Ann Markow

Terry Marsh

David Marshall

Tristan Marshall

Andrew P Martin

Jean-Francois Martin

Susan E Masta

Conrad A Matthee

Diethart Matthies

Erik Matthysen

Bernie May

Georgiana May

Richard L Mayden

David E McCauley

Karen D McCoy

P A (Trish) McLenachan

Thomas R Meagher

Emese Meglecz

Adina Merenlender

Juha Merila

Kristina M Miller

Brook G Milligan

L Scott Mills

Thomas Mitchell-Olds

Jeff Mitton

Soren Molin

Anders P Moller

Jean-Marc Moncalvo

Nancy D Moncrief

W I Montgomery

Allen J Moore

Brian Moore

Nancy Moran

Phillip A Morin

Craig Moritz

Alex Mosseler

Truls Moum

Andres Moya

Ulrich G Mueller

Heinz Mueller-Schaerer

Nicholas I Mundy

Robert W Murphy

John Nason

Maria Navajas

Maile Neel

Joseph F Neigel

Chris C Nice

Richard Nichols

Einar E Nielsen

Jennifer L Nielsen

Rasmuss Nielsen

Les R Noble

Inger Nordal

Magnus Nordborg

Stephen J Novak

Leonard P Nunney

Kerry O’Donnell

Scott L O’Neill

Patrick T O’Reilly

Howard Ochman

Beth Okamura

Ben P Oldroyd

Isabelle Olivieri

Bjorn Olsen

Joop Ouborg

Jennifer R Ovenden

Svante Paabo

Norman R Pace

David Paetkau

Snaebjorn Palsson

SR Palumbi

I Paran

Linda Park

Joel Parker

John Parker

Patricia G Parker

David Parkin

Christopher L Parkinson

Tomaso Patarnello

Jim L Patton

Robert J Paxton

Jes Pedersen

Tobin Peever

Olle Pellmyr

Josephine Pemberton

David Penny

JW Pepper

Nicolas Perrin

Helena Persson

Merrill A Peterson

Remy J Petit

B Pickersgill

Stuart B Piertney

Yves Piquot

Sylvain Piry

Serge Planes

David Pollock

Francois Pompanon

Adam H Porter

David Posada

Ulrich K Posselt

Rory J Post

Wayne K Potts

Jeffrey R Powell

Thomas O Powers

Ursula B Priefer

Craig Primmer

Jonathan Pritchard

Fernando Prithiviraj

P A Prodohl

Jim Provan

Michael Purugganan

Joe M Quattro

Jim Quinn

Thomas W Quinn

Antoni Rafalski

Om P Rajora

Katherine Ralls

Gavin Ramsey

David Rand

Ettore Randi

Bruce Rannala

Jean-Yves Rasplus

Sophie Ravel

Paul D Rawson

Alan F Raybould

Michel Raymond

David J Read

Todd W Reeder

Steve Rehner

Thorsten B H Reusch

John D Reynolds

Ciro Rico

Brett R Riddle

Michael G Ritchie

Kermit Ritland

Terence J Robinson

George Roderick

Gary W Roemer

Jeff Rogers

M L Roose

Tomas Roslin

Ken Ross

Gunter M Rothe

Eric Routman

Robert Rowan

Barbara Roy

Michael Roy

Manuel Ruedi

Manuel Ruiz-Garcia

Joanne Russell

Daniel Ruzzante

Ilik J Saccheri

Glenn-Peter Saetre

Stephen Sarre

Outi Savolainen

Barbara A Schaal

Chris Schardl

Christopher L Schardl

Bernd Schierwater

Menno Schilthuizen

Christian Schloetterer

Ted Schltuz

Dolph Schluter

Paul Schmid-Hempel

Andrew F Schnabel

Chris Schneider

Andrea Schwarzbach

Michelle Scott

Kim Scribner

Ron Sederoff

Alfred Seitz

Andrea S Sequeira

Angela Sessitsch

H Bradley Shaffer

Mike Shaw

Paul W Shaw

Ben Sheldon

W Steve Sheppard

DeWayne Shoemaker

Jacqui A Shykoff

Jean-Christophe Simon

Jack Sites

David O F Skibinski

Robert W Slade

Jon Slate

Monty Slatkin

James M Slavicek

Joe Slowinski

Randall L Small

Peter Smouse

Douglas E Soltis

Nicole Soranzo

C Sperisen

Adrian Spidle

Diane E Stanley-Horn

Christian Stauffer

Sebastian Steinfartz

Jan Stenlid

Graham N Stone

Karen Stone

Richard Stouthamer

Joan Strassmann

Ulrike Strecker

Curtis Strobeck

Christian Sturmbauer

Jack Sullivan

Liselotte Sundstrom

Paul Sunnucks

Alison Surridge

Yoshihisa Suyama

W O C Symondson

Alfred E Szmidt

Jacek M Szymura

Bruce E Tabashnik

John Taggart

Fumio Tajima

Diethard Tautz

Andrea C Taylor

Eric B Taylor

John W Taylor

Christoph Tebbe

Hakan Tegelstrom

J J Tewksbury

W Kelley Thomas

Roger S Thorpe

Pete Thrall

Ralph Tiedemann

Harold Townson

Jack T Trevors

Ludwig Triest

Priscilla Tucker

Michael Turelli

Julie Turgeon

Bruce J Turner

Timo Turpeinen

Mark C Ungerer

F Utter

Risto Vainola

Tom Van de Casteele

Louis Van de Zande

Henk van Dijk

Jan M van Groenendael

Mark van Kleunen

Madeleine J H Van Oppen

Leo S van Overbeek

Flavie Vanlerberghe-Masutti

Xavier Vekemans

Giovanni G Vendramin

Sara Via

Frederic Viard

Linda Vigilant

Carles Vila

Rytas Vilgalys

Francis X Villablanca

Renaud Vitalis

Robert C Vrijenhoek

Michael Wade

Lisette Waits

David B Wake

Bruce Waldman

DeEtte Walker

Cathy Walton

Robin S Waples

Robert D Ward

Ryk Ward

Jonathan Waters

Marcia Waterway

Robbie Waugh

Michael S Webster

Bruce S Weir

Steven Weiss

Elizabeth Wellington

Jonathan Wendel

John H Werren

Stuart A West

Kristi Westover

Gemma White

Richard Whitkus

Michael G Whitlock

Mike Wilkinson

George C Williams

Chris Wilson

Paul J Wilson

Brenda D Wingfield

Michael Wink

Juliette Winterer

Thierry Wirth

Graham Wishart

Hakan Wittzell

Andrea D Wolfe

Jessica Worthington-Wilmer

Wolfgang Wuster

Jianping Xu

Tetsukazu Yahara

Ann Yoder

J Peter W Young

William P Young

Jeanne A Zeh

De-Xing Zhang

Birgit Ziegenhagen

Robert M Zink

Ancillary