Report on the working group “NETI: Network for Ecological Theory Integration I” held in Chile October 21-28, 2014, co-organized by Pablo Marquet (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile & SFI) and Jennifer Dunne (SFI).
This working group was the first meeting of a formal international academic collaboration network around the topic of integration of theories in ecology. The network is called Network for Ecological Theory Integration (NETI) and its founding members are a group of scientists from Chile, the US, Australia, and Europe. NETI represents the culmination of a long process initiated in 2006 in the context of a workshop organized by Dr. Pablo Marquet in Valparaíso Chile (Field Workshop on Ecological Complexity) attended by scientists representing several major theories: the Metabolic Theory of Ecology, the Maximum Entropy Theory of Ecology, Ecological Network Theory, and Neutral Theory. After this foundational meeting we held a meeting at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and a workshop at The Santa Fe Institute. A recent article (Marquet et al. 2014) in Bioscience called “On theory in ecology” is one outcome from that early set of meetings. NETI is envisioned as a collaborative, integrative framework for following through on topics from those early meetings, in particular the development of efficient theories in ecology and their integration.