Molecular Ecology in the year 2000

New Chief Editor

As with many enterprises, the year 2000 marks a major change for Molecular Ecology. The journal is now entering its ninth year, and in its short history we have experienced massive growth as the disciplines underlying the field have exploded. The journal was conceived by Harry Smith in the early 1990s and began in a small way with three editors — Terry Burke dealt with animal papers, Ray Seidler with microbial papers and Harry Smith with plant papers, of which there were very few in those days. After 3 years, it became clear that most of the interest in the field was concentrated in animal population biology, and Terry Burke was invited to become Chief Editor. During the eight years Terry has been associated with the journal, it has grown from a quarterly publication totalling 260 pages per year to a monthly publication now totalling nearly 3000 pages per year. Terry's international standing in the field of population biology attracted many important and germinal papers to the journal, and his insistence on quality and careful selection of associate editors has contributed greatly to the journal's success. We are indebted to him for his contribution to the development of Molecular Ecology.

Terry Burke is now retiring as Chief Editor, and Loren Rieseberg, of Indiana University, Bloomington, is taking over the reins. Loren has been Subject Editor dealing principally with plant papers since 1995 and he will bring both continuity and a new perspective to Molecular Ecology. Some aspects of the new directions are outlined below. One of the remarkable aspects of molecular ecology, as a discipline, is its incredibly rapid penetration of all fields of biology. For example, when the journal started, the number of papers dealing with plants could be counted on two hands but, from 2000, we shall have three Associate Editors to deal with the deluge of plant papers. Now, plants, animals and microorganisms are all strongly represented in the journal, and we have an editorial structure to reflect that — details of the additions and changes to the Editorial Board are given below. Molecular ecology stretches from evolutionary biology, through population biology, phylogeography, conservation genetics, molecular evolution, and behavioural and community ecology to the consequences of the release of genetically modified organisms. We foresee a continuing expansion in molecular ecology, and Molecular Ecology will continue to be the major vehicle for publication of the results.

Editorial policy

Molecular ecology coalesced as a discipline in the early 1990s, and the journal Molecular Ecology has both defined the field and been the leading vehicle for its dissemination. The hallmark of the discipline of molecular ecology, and indeed the journal itself, has been its explosive growth. Over the past five years the number of submissions to Molecular Ecology has increased at a rate of greater than 40% per year, and there is no evidence that submission rates are slowing. To cope with the continuing expansion in the field, we have consistently operated an editorial policy of selecting only the highest quality papers for publication. Even so, the rate of growth is such that Molecular Ecology has dramatically expanded its page budget. Close to 3000 pages will be published in the year 2000, enabling the journal to continue its tradition of rapid publication. This increase in journal size has not come at the expense of quality. In fact, ISI citation impact factors consistently place Molecular Ecology among the top 10 ecology journals. Among ecological journals that publish primary research results, Molecular Ecology is currently ranked no. 5, further emphasizing the importance and quality of papers appearing in the journal.

The rapid growth of Molecular Ecology testifies to the enthusiasm and vitality underlying this research area. This growth is fuelled in part by the increasing ease with which molecular approaches may be applied to organismal questions, the many discoveries that have and continue to be made using this multidisciplinary approach, and the continuing development of new molecular and analytical techniques that allow an ever broader range of problems to be addressed.

To date, most papers published in this journal have employed neutral molecular markers to make inferences about the ecological, evolutionary, and geohistorical factors that influence the distribution, genetic structure, and interactions of species’ populations. We expect these inferences to become even more precise in the future due to increased access to large numbers of highly informative markers and to the concomitant development of powerful analytical procedures. However, we also foresee a growing number of papers that identify and study genes that play a direct role in the ecology and evolution of populations. The study of ecologically important genes in natural populations represents an important future focus of molecular ecology. Avenues of investigation that we believe hold particular promise include the molecular basis of adaptation, the evolutionary dynamics of quantitative traits, and the molecular genetic basis of ecological interactions.

Editorial Board

The success of Molecular Ecology is due both to the vigour of this research area and to the efforts of the journal editors and referees. To cope with the increasing workload and to attract papers in exciting new areas of molecular ecology, we have been fortunate to recruit four new associate editors: Konrad Bachmann, Joy Bergelson, David Queller, and Dick Van Elsas. Furthermore, to deal with the input of animal-based papers, Bob Wayne has agreed to take on the responsibility of being a full Editor.

Manuscript management

During 1999 we accepted for publication c. 35% of all manuscripts submitted. Molecular Ecology operates a manuscript management system that is largely electronic and attempts to provide an efficient and rapid service to authors and reviewers. A criterion that is of considerable importance to authors is the time taken to reach the initial editorial decision. During 1999, the average time from receipt of manuscripts to reaching an editorial decision was 62 days for Full Manuscripts, 52 days for Short Communications and 11 days for Primer and Technical Notes. Molecular Ecology only sends manuscripts for review to referees who have agreed in advance to provide an assessment. During 1999, the use by reviewers of the web-based report form increased substantially. Using this form accelerates the administration of reviewers’ reports and provides a consistent format for transferring reviewers’ concerns to the Subject Editors and the authors. We hope the use of the webforms will become the norm in the future.

Electronic submission of manuscripts

Starting early in 2000 Molecular Ecology will be experimenting with electronic submission of manuscripts. Our scheme will require authors who wish to use the new facility, to submit their manuscripts by email in Portable Document Format (PDF); in other words manuscripts (including all tables and figures) will need to be converted to PDF files using Adobe Acrobat©. The idea is that authors may submit manuscripts in this way, and we shall then ask the reviewers if they are prepared to receive and assess manuscripts as PDF files — of course, Acrobat Reader© is available for no charge and can be downloaded from the web. We hope this innovation will prove simple and effective, and it should further accelerate the reviewing procedure. Notification of the commencement of this scheme will be given in the journal webpage.


During the past year, we have called upon the advice of hundreds of molecular ecologists across the world to provide assessments of submitted manuscripts. The peer review process is vital to the preservation of high standards in science publishing, and without the selfless support of reviewers, journals seeking to reach these high standards could not exist. The Editors of Molecular Ecology thank all those — both members of the Editorial Review Board and others — who have assisted us in the peer review of manuscripts. The names of those who provided reviews in the year ending October 1999 are listed below. We also thank all the Associate and Full Editors, and of course, the authors of papers submitted to the journal. Finally, a special word of thanks is due to Elinor Smith and Siân Lynch, the journal secretaries. Joanne Rewcastle, the Production Editor, has given sterling service to the journal for the last two years and is now moving on to other things within Blackwell Science. We thank her and welcome the new Production Editor, Yvonne Gallagher.

As always, the Editors of Molecular Ecology are receptive to the opinions and comments of readers, authors and reviewers. Please free to contact either of us at the following addresses.

Loren Rieseberg Chief Editor

Harry Smith Managing Editor

The Editors of Molecular Ecology are very grateful to the following, who provided opinions on manuscripts between 1 October 1998 and 30 September 1999. Some of those listed here reviewed multiple manuscripts.

Mike Abberton

Richard J Abbott

Robert P Adams

Crinan Alexander

Fred W Allendorf

Cecilia Alstrom-Rapaport

George Amato

Bill Amos

Liselotte W Andersen

James Anderson

Bernard Angers

A P Apostolidis

Chip Aquadro

P Arctander

Ulfur Arnarsson

Mike Arnold

J W Arntzen

Paul Arriola

M Ashley

Andrew Austin

John Avise

Debra Ayres

Konrad Bachmann

Mark Bagley

J Craig Bailey

Allan J Baker

C Scott Baker

Robert J Baker

Bruce G Baldwin

J W O Ballard

Guido Barbujani

Elizabeth Barratt

Spencer C H Barrett

G F Barrowclough

Detlef Bartsch

David Baum

B Baur

P R Baverstock

Kamaljit S Bawa

Randall J Bayer

Michelle Bayes

A R Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

Trevor Beebee

Heike Beismann

Michael D Bennett

Paul Bentzen

J A H Benzie

E Bermingham

Giacomo Bernadi

Patrick Berrebi

Martine Berube

Arjen Biere

Nicolas Bierne

D T Bilton

Brian Binder

T R Birkhead

J D D Bishop

W C Black IV

R L Blackman

Michael Blouin

Brendan Bohannan

F Bonhomme

Jacobus J Boomsma

Philippe Borsa

Elizabeth Boulding

Denis Bourguet

Pierre Boursot

Jean Bousquet

Brian W Bowen

Andre Brack

Toby Bradshaw

M J Braun

Linda M Broadhurst

Christian Brochmann

J Brodeur

John F Y Brookfield

A H D Brown

James K M Brown

Jonathan M Brown

Richard P Brown

Sarah Brown

Mike Bruford

Tom Bruns

Steve Brunsfeld

E S Buckler

C Alex Buerkle

Jim Bull

Luciano Bullini

Christian Burban

John Burke

Tamsin Burland

Kevin J Burns

Paul Burrows

Monique Burrus

Austin Burt

R S Burton

John Bussell

Don Buth

Roger Butlin

Kate Byrne

Gisella Caccone

Rebecca Cann

Marie-Louise Cariou

Ulla Carlsson-Graner

Gary R Carvalho

Ted J Case

A M Castilla

F Catzeflis

R Chakraborty

Ignacio Chapela

Robert Chapman

Michel Chapuisat

Deborah Charlesworth

Mark Chase

Franck Chauvat

Lounes Chikhi

Seinen Chow

Alice Churchill

Rossella Cianchi

Claudio Ciofi

Bryan Clarke

Keith Clay

Bernard Cohen

David W Coltman

Hans P Comes

Leonardo Congiu

Chris J Conroy

James Cook

Joe Cook

David Cooke

Des Cooper

Stephen J B Cooper

Jean-Marie Cornuet

K Crandall

Alan Crawford

D J Crawford

Theresa Crease

Brigitte Crouau-Roy

R H Crozier

Janelle Curtis

Curtis Daehler

Anders Dahlberg

John F Dallas

M E D’Amato

B N Danforth

Paul Dangerfield

R G Danzmann

Scott K Davis

Angus Davison

I K Dawson

L De Meester

Paul DeBarro

Walter DeJong

Charles F Delwiche

James Derr

Robert Desalle

Andree Desrochers

Christopher W Dick

R T Dillon

Andy Dizon

Julian Dodson

A Dominguez

Paolo Donini

Michael Double

Phaedra Doukakis

Claudie Doums

Emmanuel J P Douzery

Beverly Dow

Tom Dowling

Andre Drenth

France Dufresne

Peter Dutton

Paul Dyer

Dieter Ebert

Tony Echelle

Scott Edwards

Yousry El-Kassaby

Norman Ellstrand

Aiden M Emery

Simon Emms

A Ender

P England

Claudia C Englbrecht

Richard Ennos

F J Enriquez

Nathalie Escaravage

Patricia Escobar-Paramo

Arnaud Estoup

A M Fallon

Steve Farrand

A Ferguson

Colin Ferris

James P Ferris

Jim Fetzner

Karen B Firestone

N Fitzsimmons

Robert Fleischer

Melissa A Fleming

Paul Flook

Brian Ford-Lloyd

Larry Forney

Brian Forster

Mike Forstner

Corey R Freeman-Gallant

Elizabeth Friar

V Friesen

Peter Fritsch

Donald R Frohlich

Gunnar Froman

Takema Fukatsu

Stephan M Funk

J Gadau

Pascal Gagneux

Martin Ganal

Monique Gardes

Jonathan P A Gardner

Lionel Garnery

Dan Garrigan

John Carlos Garza

G Gasperi

Gerald J Gastony

David Geiser

Nicholas Giannasi

H Lisle Gibbs

J Phil Gibson

Tatiana Giraud

Travis R Glare

Helene Glemet

Travis C Glenn

H C J Godfray

Mary Jo Godt

John R Gold

David B Goldstein

Edward M Golenberg

Fernando Gonzalez-Candelas

Ursula W Goodenough

Ron H Gooding

Simon J Goodman

Steve Goodwin

Elizabeth Gosling

Jerome Goudet

J Graham

Frederic Grandjean

W Stewart Grant

Jenny Graves

John E Graves

David M Green

Matthew H Greenstone

Peter M Grewe

Gareth Griffiths

Richard Griffiths

Kathy Groppe

Richard K Grosberg

D A Gust

Danny J Gustafson

David Guttman

Rene Guyomard

Susan M Haig

C Hallden

Richard Hamelin

M F Hammer

Jim Hamrick

Olivier Hanotte

Michael M Hansen

M P Hare

Anna Harlid

Stephen Harris

Richard Harrison

Miriam Harry

Chris Haufler

D H Headrick

P D N Hebert

Gerald Heckel

Dennis Hedgecock

S Blair Hedges

Peter Hedley

P W Hedrick

Robert J Henry

Joan M Henson

Jose Hernandez-Martich

Jim B Herrick

Benoit Heulin

Evelyne Heyer

Khidir W Hilu

Kjetil Hindar

Tim Hipkiss

Rolf Hoekstra

A R Hoelzel

Ian Hogg

J T Hogg

Pete Hollingsworth

Kent Holsinger

Rodney L Honeycutt

M Hoss

Bronwyn A Houlden

John Huelsenbeck

David Huff

Roger Hughes

Herbert Hurka

H Jactel

Pierre Jaisson

Bob Jansen

P Jarne

Debra I Jarvis

Michael Johnson

Ned K Johnson

Warren Johnson

A G Jones

Cathy S Jones

William C Jordan

Carlos Juan

Joachim W Kadereit

Steve Karl

Angela Karp

Kathleen Keeler

Paul Keim

Laurent Keller

Richard Kesseli

Marek Kimmel

Tim King

Mairi Knight

T Kocher

Linda M Kohn

Michael Kohn

Alexey Kondrashov

Irving L Kornfield

Antoine Kremer

Michael Krieger

Loeske Kruuk

Monica M Kuehn

George Lacy

Robert Lacy

G Laguerre

Claire Lanaud

Asa Langefors

G C Lanzaro

Carlo Largiader

Jens L Larsen

Allen Larson

Amparo Latorre

Shane Lavery

Susan Lawler

Natasha R Lebas

Paul Leberg

Sin-Che Lee

Francois Lefort

Luc Legal

Peter Lenk

Richard E Lenski

Anthony C Leonard

Don Les

John F Leslie

Enrique P Lessa

Paul O Lewis

Werner Liesack

Randy Linder

Adrian Lister

Aaron Liston

Z John Liu

Ronan Loftus

Johnathan B Losos

W J Loughry

Marilyn D Loveless

I J Lovette

H Loxdale

Guoqing Lu

Gordon Luikart

Roselyne Lumaret

Caroline Lundy

David H Lunt

Charles Lydeard

M Lynch

Gordon Machray

N Maclean

Eugene L Madsen

Christine A Maggs

Anita Malhotra

Jim Mallett

Gaynor Malloch

Bryan J Manly

Jeff Markert

R Marmeisse

Nelson Marmiroli

Robert E Marra

David Marshall

Andrew P Martin

Francis Martin

Carmen Martin

Paulino Martinez

F Mathieu-Daude

Mike Maunder

David E McCauley

Bruce A McDonald

Colin McGowan

Jennifer E McLean

Jim McNicol

Audrey Meikle

J D Melnick

S B J Menken

Paivi Merila

Sarah Mesnick

Helen Michaels

K M Miller

Kristi M Miller

Brook G Milligan

Jeff Mitton

Yuka Miyazaki

A P Moller

M Monnerot

William Moore

Susan Mopper

Paloma Moran

Mary Morgan-Richards

M Morgante

Phillip A Morin

Craig Moritz

Brian G Murray

Molly Nepokroeff

Marit Nesje

Bryan Ness

John H Newbury

Adrian C Newton

Daniel L Nickrent

David Nicol

Jennifer L Nielsen

Rasmuss Nielsen

L R Noble

Stephen J Novak

Leonard P Nunney

John Nusser

Hilde Nybom

G M O’Corry-Crowe

Catherine S Oke

Ben P Oldroyd

Mats Olsson

Scott L O’Neill

Alexander Osinov

J Ott

Svante Paabo

Norman R Pace

David Paetkau

S R Palumbi

Pekka Pamilo

Patricia P Parker

Kim M Parsons

J L Patton

Rod Peakall

Jes Pedersen

Josephine Pemberton

Nicolas Perrin

Andrew Peters

Eric Petit

R J Petit

D A Petrov

Tom Philbrick

T W Phillips

Stuart B Piertney

Daniel Pinero

Yves Piqot

Olivier Plantard

G H Pogson

J Mark Porter

Rory J Post

Alan Prather

P A Prodohl

Jim Provan

Dorothy E Pumo

A H Purcell

Hemant J Purohit

Joe M Quattro

David C Queller

Sophie Questiau

Thomas Quinn

Paul Racey

Antoni Rafalski

Paul Rainey

Ettore Randi

Jean-Yves Rasplus

John A Raven

Alan F Raybould

Michel Raymond

D J Read

J Z Reed

Peter R Reeves

Anne Reilly

T E Reimchen

Annette Reineke

Thorsten B H Reusch

D O Ribble

A John Richards

David Richardson

Tom Richardson

Ciro Rico

Brett R Riddle

Kermit Ritland

J Dale Roberts

N A Robinson

Terence J Robinson

George Roderick

Steven Rogstad

James Rohlf

Patricia Rosel

Josep A Rossello

Stephen Rossiter

Francois Rousset

Robert Rowan

David M Rowell

Michael Roy

Manuel Ruedi

Joanne Russell

Daniel Ruzzante

Nils Ryman

Ilik J Saccheri

Tao Sang

Pierre Saumitou-Laprade

Outi Savolainen

Valerio Sbordoni

Barbara A Schaal

J J Schall

Christopher Schardl

Christoph Scheidegger

M Schilthuizen

Carl Schlichting

Christian Schloetterer

Dolph Schluter

Tom Schmidt

Chris Schneider

Dan Schoen

Karsten Schonrogge

Eileen S Scott

Kim Scribner

Jeremy Searle

Jennifer M Seddon

L Seeb

H Bradley Shaffer

Paul W Shaw

A Jonathan Shaw

Paul Sherman

William B Sherwin

G F Shields

DeWayne Shoemaker

Lee Shugart

H R Siegismund

Jean-Francois Silvain

Christine Simon

Jean-Christophe Simon

Luc Simon

Mike Singer

Jack W Sites Jr

Jack Sites

Robert W Slade

M Slatkin

J M Slavicek

Kornelia Smalla

E Smit

James F Smith

Tom Smith

Peter Smouse

John W Snape

D E Soltis

P S Soltis

Simone Sommer

Felix A Sperling

David Spooner

Janet Sprent

Paul Spruell

Thomas Staedler

Jan Stenlid

Carol Stepien

Virginia Stockwell

Graham N Stone

Steve Strauss

Curtis Strobeck

Mei Sun

Keith D Sunderland

Paul Sunnucks

Alison Surridge

S Susnik

Susan Swensen

W O C Symondson

Ken Sytsma

Graziana Taramino

Diethard Tautz

Andrea Taylor

B L Taylor

D Lee Taylor

Emma L Taylor

Eric B Taylor

Hakan Tegelstrom

Sam R Telford

Alan R Templeton

George Thomas

Roger S Thorpe

Michel Tibayrenc

James Tiedje

Eva Top

Vigdis Torsvik

James M Trappe

Robert K Trench

Jack T Trevors

Julie Turgeon

B J Turner

Monica G Turner

Nicole Valenzuela

Myriam Valero

Neal van Alfen

H van den Ende

Ron G M van der Hulst

J D Van Elsas

Wim van Haeringen

Diederik Van Tuinen

Sofie Vandewoestijne

Flavie Vanlerberghe-Masutti

Zoltan Varga

G G Vendramin

Olivier Verneau

Frederic Viard

Linda Vigilant

Carles Vila

R Vilgalys

Palle Villesen

Johannes C Vogel

B Vosman

Robert C Vrijenhoek

Lisette Waits

David B Wake

Ruth Waldick

DeEtte Walker

Linda Wallace

Donald M Waller

John Y Wang

Robin S Waples

R D Ward

Suzanne Warwick

Elizabeth Watkin

Maxine Watson

Ward B Watt

Phillip C Watts

Lawrence J Weider

Irving L Weissman

Gary A Wellborn

Elizabeth Wellington

Jonathan Wendel

Stuart A West

David F Westneat

Bradley N White

Gemma White

Thomas J White

Alan Whittemore

Jeanette Whitton

Alex Widmer

Derek E Wildman

Jerry Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson

Alex C C Wilson

Hugh Wilson

Mark O Winfield

Kevin Winker

Thierry Wirth

Hakan Wittzell

Paul G Wolf

Andrea D Wolfe

David S Woodruff

Jessica Worthington Wilmer

Jonathan M Wright

Stefan Wuertz

Robert Wyatt

Yael M Wyner

J Peter W Young

De-Xing Zhang

Robert M Zink

Scott Zona

Joe Zuccarello