Aaron M. Ellison

Aaron M. Ellison

Harvard University

H-index: 91

North America-United States

About Aaron M. Ellison

Aaron M. Ellison, With an exceptional h-index of 91 and a recent h-index of 50 (since 2020), a distinguished researcher at Harvard University, specializes in the field of Ecology, statistics, biostatistics, art history.

His recent articles reflect a diverse array of research interests and contributions to the field:

Comparing two spatial variables with the probability of agreement

Harnessing Large Language Models for Coding, Teaching, and Inclusion to Empower Research in Ecology and Evolution

Herbarium data accurately predict the timing and duration of population‐level flowering displays

Plasticity and not adaptation is the primary source of temperature-mediated variation in flowering phenology in North America

Incorporating plant phenological responses into species distribution models reduces estimates of future species loss and turnover

Logging response alters trajectories of reorganization after loss of a foundation tree species

Science and the legal rights of nature

Reproducibility in ecology and evolution: Minimum standards for data and code

Aaron M. Ellison Information

University

Harvard University

Position

Senior Research Fellow Harvard Forest

Citations(all)

35894

Citations(since 2020)

14878

Cited By

26998

hIndex(all)

91

hIndex(since 2020)

50

i10Index(all)

247

i10Index(since 2020)

193

Email

University Profile Page

Harvard University

Aaron M. Ellison Skills & Research Interests

Ecology

statistics

biostatistics

art history

Top articles of Aaron M. Ellison

Comparing two spatial variables with the probability of agreement

Authors

Jonathan Acosta,Ronny Vallejos,Aaron M Ellison,Felipe Osorio,Mário de Castro

Journal

Biometrics

Published Date

2024/3

Computing the agreement between 2 continuous sequences is of great interest in statistics when comparing 2 instruments or one instrument with a gold standard. The probability of agreement quantifies the similarity between 2 variables of interest, and it is useful for determining what constitutes a practically important difference. In this article, we introduce a generalization of the PA for the treatment of spatial variables. Our proposal makes the PA dependent on the spatial lag. We establish the conditions for which the PA decays as a function of the distance lag for isotropic stationary and nonstationary spatial processes. Estimation is addressed through a first-order approximation that guarantees the asymptotic normality of the sample version of the PA. The sensitivity of the PA with respect to the covariance parameters is studied for finite sample size. The new method is described and illustrated with real data …

Harnessing Large Language Models for Coding, Teaching, and Inclusion to Empower Research in Ecology and Evolution

Authors

Natalie Cooper,Adam T Clark,Nicolas Lecomte,Huijie Qiao,Aaron M Ellison

Published Date

2024/2/28

1. Large language models (LLMs) are a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that can perform various natural language processing tasks. The adoption of LLMs has become increasingly prominent in scientific writing and analyses because of the availability of free applications such as ChatGPT. This increased use of LLMs raises concerns about academic integrity, but also presents opportunities for the research community. Here we focus on the opportunities for using LLMs for coding in ecology and evolution. We discuss how LLMs can be used to generate, explain, comment, translate, debug, optimise, and test code. We also highlight the importance of writing effective prompts and carefully evaluating the outputs of LLMs. In addition, we draft a possible road map for using such models inclusively and with integrity. 2. LLMs can accelerate the coding process, especially for unfamiliar tasks, and free up time for higher-level tasks and creative thinking while increasing efficiency and creative output. LLMs also enhance inclusion by accommodating individuals without coding skills, with limited access to education in coding, or for whom English is not their primary written or spoken language. However, code generated by LLMs is of variable quality and has issues related to mathematics, logic, non-reproducibility, and intellectual property; they can also include mistakes and approximations, especially in novel methods. 3. We highlight the benefits of using LLMs to teach and learn coding, and advocate for guiding students in the appropriate use of AI tools for coding. Despite the ability to assign many coding tasks to LLMs, we also reaffirm the continued …

Herbarium data accurately predict the timing and duration of population‐level flowering displays

Authors

Isaac W Park,Tadeo Ramirez‐Parada,Sydne Record,Charles Davis,Aaron M Ellison,Susan J Mazer

Journal

Ecography

Published Date

2024/4

Forecasting the impacts of changing climate on the phenology of plant populations is essential for anticipating and managing potential ecological disruptions to biotic communities. Herbarium specimens enable assessments of plant phenology across broad spatiotemporal scales. However, specimens are collected opportunistically, and it is unclear whether their collection dates – used as proxies of phenological stages – are closest to the onset, peak, or termination of a phenophase, or whether sampled individuals represent early, average, or late occurrences in their populations. Despite this, no studies have assessed whether these uncertainties limit the utility of herbarium specimens for estimating the onset and termination of a phenophase. Using simulated data mimicking such uncertainties, we evaluated the accuracy with which the onset and termination of population‐level phenological displays (in this case, of …

Plasticity and not adaptation is the primary source of temperature-mediated variation in flowering phenology in North America

Authors

Tadeo H Ramirez-Parada,Isaac W Park,Sydne Record,Charles C Davis,Aaron M Ellison,Susan J Mazer

Journal

Nature Ecology & Evolution

Published Date

2024/1/11

Phenology varies widely over space and time because of its sensitivity to climate. However, whether phenological variation is primarily generated by rapid organismal responses (plasticity) or local adaptation remains unresolved. Here we used 1,038,027 herbarium specimens representing 1,605 species from the continental United States to measure flowering-time sensitivity to temperature over time (Stime) and space (Sspace). By comparing these estimates, we inferred how adaptation and plasticity historically influenced phenology along temperature gradients and how their contributions vary among species with different phenology and native climates and among ecoregions differing in species composition. Parameters Sspace and Stime were positively correlated (r = 0.87), of similar magnitude and more frequently consistent with plasticity than adaptation. Apparent plasticity and adaptation generated earlier …

Incorporating plant phenological responses into species distribution models reduces estimates of future species loss and turnover

Authors

Shijia Peng,Tadeo H Ramirez‐Parada,Susan J Mazer,Sydne Record,Isaac Park,Aaron M Ellison,Charles C Davis

Journal

New Phytologist

Published Date

2024/3/26

Anthropogenetic climate change has caused range shifts among many species. Species distribution models (SDMs) are used to predict how species ranges may change in the future. However, most SDMs rarely consider how climate‐sensitive traits, such as phenology, which affect individuals' demography and fitness, may influence species' ranges. Using > 120 000 herbarium specimens representing 360 plant species distributed across the eastern United States, we developed a novel ‘phenology‐informed’ SDM that integrates phenological responses to changing climates. We compared the ranges of each species forecast by the phenology‐informed SDM with those from conventional SDMs. We further validated the modeling approach using hindcasting. When examining the range changes of all species, our phenology‐informed SDMs forecast less species loss and turnover under climate change than …

Logging response alters trajectories of reorganization after loss of a foundation tree species

Authors

Audrey Barker Plotkin,David A Orwig,Meghan Graham MacLean,Aaron M Ellison

Journal

Ecological Applications

Published Date

2024/3

Forest insect outbreaks cause large changes in ecosystem structure, composition, and function. Humans often respond to insect outbreaks by conducting salvage logging, which can amplify the immediate effects, but it is unclear whether logging will result in lasting differences in forest structure and dynamics when compared with forests affected only by insect outbreaks. We used 15 years of data from an experimental removal of Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr. (Eastern hemlock), a foundation tree species within eastern North American forests, and contrasted the rate, magnitude, and persistence of response trajectories between girdling (emulating mortality from insect outbreak) and timber harvest treatments. Girdling and logging were equally likely to lead to large changes in forest structure and dynamics, but logging resulted in faster rates of change. Understory light increases and community composition changes …

Science and the legal rights of nature

Authors

Yaffa Epstein,Aaron M Ellison,Hugo Echeverría,Jessica K Abbott

Published Date

2023/5/19

We review the use of science by lawmakers and courts in implementing or rejecting legal rights for nature in Ecuador, India, the United States, and other jurisdictions where some type of rights of nature have been recognized in the legal system. We then use the “right to evolve” to exemplify how interdisciplinary work can (i) help courts effectively define what this right might entail; (ii) inform how it might be applied in different circumstances; and (iii) provide a template for how scientists and legal scholars can generate the interdisciplinary scholarship necessary to understand and implement the growing body of rights-of-nature laws, and environmental law more generally. We conclude by pointing to what further research is needed to understand and effectively implement the growing body of rights-of-nature laws.

Reproducibility in ecology and evolution: Minimum standards for data and code

Authors

Gareth B Jenkins,Andrew P Beckerman,Céline Bellard,Ana Benítez‐López,Aaron M Ellison,Christopher G Foote,Andrew L Hufton,Marcus A Lashley,Christopher J Lortie,Zhaoxue Ma,Allen J Moore,Shawn R Narum,Johan Nilsson,Bridget O'Boyle,Diogo B Provete,Orly Razgour,Loren Rieseberg,Cynthia Riginos,Luca Santini,Benjamin Sibbett,Pedro R Peres‐Neto

Journal

Ecology and Evolution

Published Date

2023/5

We call for journals to commit to requiring open data be archived in a format that will be simple and clear for readers to understand and use. If applied consistently, these requirements will allow contributors to be acknowledged for their work through citation of open data, and facilitate scientific progress.

Herbarium records provide reliable phenology estimates in the understudied tropics

Authors

Daniel S Park,Goia M Lyra,Aaron M Ellison,Rogério Katsuhito Barbosa Maruyama,Débora dos Reis Torquato,Renata C Asprino,Benjamin I Cook,Charles C Davis

Journal

Journal of Ecology

Published Date

2023/2

Plant phenology has been shifting dramatically in response to climate change, a shift that may have significant and widespread ecological consequences. Of particular concern are tropical biomes, which represent the most biodiverse and imperilled regions of the world. However, compared to temperate floras, we know little about phenological responses of tropical plants because long‐term observational datasets from the tropics are sparse. Herbarium specimens have greatly increased our phenological knowledge in temperate regions, but similar data have been underutilized in the tropics and their suitability for this purpose has not been broadly validated. Here, we compare phenological estimates derived from field observational data (i.e. plot surveys) and herbarium specimens at various spatial and taxonomic scales to determine whether specimens can provide accurate estimations of reproductive timing and …

Induced drought strongly affects richness and composition of ground-dwelling ants in the eastern Amazon

Authors

Rony PS Almeida,Rogério R Silva,Antonio C Lôla Da Costa,Leandro V Ferreira,Patrick Meir,Aaron M Ellison

Journal

Oecologia

Published Date

2023/2

Species loss in tropical regions is forecast to occur under environmental change scenarios of low precipitation. One of the main questions is how drought will affect invertebrates, a key group for ecosystem functioning. We use 1 year of data from a long-term rainwater exclusion experiment in primary Amazonian rainforest to test whether induced water stress and covarying changes in soil moisture, soil respiration, and tree species richness, diversity, size, and total biomass affected species richness and composition (relative abundance) of ground-dwelling ants. Data on ant abundance and environmental variables were collected at two sites (control and experimental) in the Eastern Amazon. Since 2002, drought has been induced in the experimental plot by excluding 50% of normal rainfall. Ant species richness in the experiment plot was reduced and some generalist species responded positively. Ant species …

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose: On our quattuordecennial, a good Methods paper still is not about my friend the dolphin

Authors

AM Ellison

Published Date

2023/12/1

Methods in Ecology & Evolution (MEE) has seen four substantive changes in the 2 years since I took on the executive editorship of the journal. First, the BES policy of term-limits for associate editors and senior editors of the journals ensures their continuing evolution, and so MEE has a new team of senior editors and an editorial board with a healthy mix of rookies and veterans. Second, since January of this year, MEE has been a “gold” open-access journal, and all content published since its launch in 2010 now is either freely available (for papers previously published behind a subscription paywall) or fully open access (with either a CC-BY, CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND licence, as the author chooses). To ensure that the author publication charge (APC) for open access does not create a barrier to publishing in the journal, the BES and Wiley provide a limited—but so far sufficient—number of APC waivers for corresponding authors who are not in countries covered by Research4Life access agreements, are not in countries or at institutions that have open-access transformational agreements with Wiley, or do not have publication costs available through their research grants. Third, MEE has joined with other top-tier journals in requiring that the data and code necessary to reproduce the methods and results reported in a manuscript submitted for review be included with the submission and then made publicly available to accompany all published papers (Jenkins et al., 2023). Finally, since July 2023, all papers submitted to MEE and the other BES journals are reviewed “double-anonymous,” where not only are the reviewers unknown to the authors but …

Phenologically-informed species distribution models (SDMs) forecast less species loss and turnover versus standard SDMs

Authors

Shijia Peng,Tadeo Ramirez Parada,Susan Mazer,Sydne Record,Isaac Park,Aaron M Ellison,Charles C Davis

Journal

bioRxiv

Published Date

2023

Species distribution models (SDMs) have been central for documenting the relationship between species' geographic ranges and environmental conditions for more than two decades. However, the vast majority of SDMs rarely consider functional traits, such as phenology, which strongly affect species' demography and fitness. Using >120,000 herbarium specimens representing 360 plant species across the eastern United States, we developed a novel "phenology-informed" SDM that integrates dynamic phenological responses to changing climates. Compared to standard SDMs based only on abiotic variables, our phenology-informed SDMs forecast significantly lower species habitat loss and less species turnover within communities under climate change. These results suggest that phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation in phenology may help many species adjust their ecological niches and persist in their habitats during periods of rapid environmental change. By modeling historical data that link phenology, climate, and species distributions, our findings reveal how species' reproductive phenology mediates their geographic distributions along environmental gradients and affects regional biodiversity patterns in the face of future climate change. More importantly, our newly developed model also circumvents the need for mechanistic models that explicitly link traits to occurrences for each species, thus better facilitating the deployment of trait-based SDMs across unprecedented spatial and taxonomic scales.

Complex climate‐mediated effects of urbanization on plant reproductive phenology and frost risk

Authors

Daniel S Park,Yingying Xie,Aaron M Ellison,Goia M Lyra,Charles C Davis

Journal

New Phytologist

Published Date

2023/9

Urbanization can affect the timing of plant reproduction (i.e. flowering and fruiting) and associated ecosystem processes. However, our knowledge of how plant phenology responds to urbanization and its associated environmental changes is limited. Herbaria represent an important, but underutilized source of data for investigating this question. We harnessed phenological data from herbarium specimens representing 200 plant species collected across 120 yr from the eastern US to investigate the spatiotemporal effects of urbanization on flowering and fruiting phenology and frost risk (i.e. time between the last frost date and flowering). Effects of urbanization on plant reproductive phenology varied significantly in direction and magnitude across species ranges. Increased urbanization led to earlier flowering in colder and wetter regions and delayed fruiting in regions with wetter spring conditions. Frost risk was …

Fledging Your Mentees

Authors

Aaron M Ellison,Manisha V Patel

Published Date

2022/9/6

In this final chapter, three important topics involved in guiding one’s mentee in new directions are addressed: (1) the range of post-graduate opportunities for your mentee; (2) writing strong letters of recommendation (and when and how to tell your mentee that you can’t write a strong letter); and (3) moving forward with mentoring for yourself and your student. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how to recognize success—in oneself as a mentor and in one’s mentees.

Applying for a Research Experience

Authors

Aaron M Ellison,Manisha V Patel

Published Date

2022/9/6

This chapter discusses the process for crafting a more formal (and usually online) application and interviewing for undergraduate research experiences. These are important skills to master because success rates for applications to undergraduate research experiences range widely. Some programs may accept more than half of those who apply, whereas admission rates to the most competitive undergraduate research experiences and programs can be well under 10%. Tips and advice are presented for obtaining strong letters of recommendation, interviewing for research experiences, and handling both acceptance and rejection at all stages of the application process.

Continuing the Research Experience

Authors

Aaron M Ellison,Manisha V Patel

Published Date

2022/9/6

This chapter discusses ways to continue to support student mentees in research beyond the formal time frame of an undergraduate research experience. Both short- and longer-term avenues continuing to participate in research are presented. These avenues include students presenting mentored research at scientific meetings and conferences, expanding their research into undergraduate independent projects or senior theses, or taking the research in new, independent directions. Guidance is also provided on how mentors and program directors can sustain their enthusiasm for working with undergraduate researchers and larger undergraduate research programs.

Making Provenance Work for You

Authors

Barbara Lerner,Emery Boose,Orenna Brand,Aaron M Ellison,Elizabeth Fong,Matthew Lau,Khanh Ngo,Thomas Pasquier,Luis A Perez,Margo Seltzer,Rose Sheehan,Joseph Wonsil

Journal

The R Journal

Published Date

2022/12

To be useful, scientific results must be reproducible and trustworthy. Data provenance—the history of data and how it was computed—underlies reproducibility of, and trust in, data analyses. Our work focuses on collecting data provenance from R scripts and providing tools that use the provenance to increase the reproducibility of and trust in analyses done in R. Specifically, our “End-toend provenance tools”(“E2ETools”) use data provenance to: document the computing environment and inputs and outputs of a script’s execution; support script debugging and exploration; and explain differences in behavior across repeated executions of the same script. Use of these tools can help both the original author and later users of a script reproduce and trust its results.

Constructive friction creates a third space for art/science collaborations

Authors

Aaron M Ellison,David Buckley Borden

Journal

Leonardo

Published Date

2022/5/26

Successful interdisciplinary collaboration between artists and scientists is not about discovering “common ground,” but about deliberately creating new spaces for collaboration. These spaces include physical, virtual and intellectual elements brought together through constructive friction and creation and honest use of a shared language. Communication shapes the collaboration, leads to the creation of joint work and engenders new ways of working together and new levels of understanding. The authors interrogate their collaborations to identify essential general principles for synergistic communication and productive collaborations between artists and scientists.

Building on the Experience

Authors

Aaron M Ellison,Manisha V Patel

Published Date

2022/9/6

This chapter focuses on continuing to do STEMM research beyond the undergraduate degree. Because most STEMM professionals do not have a post-graduate degree, this chapter presents and discusses a range of career paths that provide opportunities for research. Deciding which path to pursue is suggested by a set of self-reflective questions to keep in mind when considering longer-term career paths in STEMM.

Funding Undergraduate Research

Authors

Aaron M Ellison,Manisha V Patel

Published Date

2022/9/6

This chapter discusses the financial costs of supporting undergraduate researchers and undergraduate research experiences. It is important to identify these costs before committing to mentoring undergraduate researchers and to ensure that they are compensated fairly and equitably. There is a range of external funding sources, including the government, foundations, NGOs, and the private sector, that support undergraduate research. Many institutions also have internal or discretionary funds that are available to students or more senior researchers that can support mentored research.

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Aaron M. Ellison FAQs

What is Aaron M. Ellison's h-index at Harvard University?

The h-index of Aaron M. Ellison has been 50 since 2020 and 91 in total.

What are Aaron M. Ellison's top articles?

The articles with the titles of

Comparing two spatial variables with the probability of agreement

Harnessing Large Language Models for Coding, Teaching, and Inclusion to Empower Research in Ecology and Evolution

Herbarium data accurately predict the timing and duration of population‐level flowering displays

Plasticity and not adaptation is the primary source of temperature-mediated variation in flowering phenology in North America

Incorporating plant phenological responses into species distribution models reduces estimates of future species loss and turnover

Logging response alters trajectories of reorganization after loss of a foundation tree species

Science and the legal rights of nature

Reproducibility in ecology and evolution: Minimum standards for data and code

...

are the top articles of Aaron M. Ellison at Harvard University.

What are Aaron M. Ellison's research interests?

The research interests of Aaron M. Ellison are: Ecology, statistics, biostatistics, art history

What is Aaron M. Ellison's total number of citations?

Aaron M. Ellison has 35,894 citations in total.

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