Evelyn Pielou Discussion Group

Welcome to the Evelyn Pielou Discussion Group hosted by the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph!

The Evelyn Pielou Discussion Group is a weekly discussion group that covers topics relating to biology, ecology, evolution, and the environment. Topics that are explored include (but are not restricted to) ecological and eco-evolutionary dynamics, bioinformatics, recent methodological advancements, and eco-physiological responses to climate change.

The main goal for the Evelyn Pielou Discussion Group is to foster an inclusive and creative space where members of the integrative biology department can engage with each other and learn together through multidisciplinary discussions. This allows developing scientists to be exposed to topics outside of their specialization and to identify commonalities between disciplines so they may broaden their perspective and improve their own and each other’s research.

The format for any discussion is flexible, as it is you who will suggest and drive the content that is discussed at each weekly gathering. Although more general biological, ecological, and evolutionary topics are encouraged, we welcome any relevant topics you think will contribute to a stimulating discussion. Each week, one person is responsible for suggesting a topic of discussion and opening up the discussion in whichever way they see fit.

Ideas for potential discussions can range from an exciting new paper or giving a talk on current or previous research (e.g., a graduate student gives a ‘lab talk’ on their research), to a crash course on new methods (e.g., lab techniques, coding in R) or anything that you would like to present and/or discuss with other members of the department!

Any interested undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, and faculty are encouraged to lead and participate in the discussions. Please reach out to Reilly O’Connor (roconn03@uoguelph.ca) with any suggestions you have for weekly discussions.

The Evelyn Pielou Discussion Group meets every Friday at 4:00 PM for an hour at The Lookout: Patio & Grad Lounge (5th Floor UC).

Why Evelyn Pielou?

Evelyn Pielou espouses the aims of our discussion group; her interests and biological contributions spanned many fields. She started out with a certificate in radio-physics. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Botany, she taught herself mathematical ecology, published articles, and then turned these articles into a PhD, all without an advisor or committee. She worked for the Canadian government in various capacities and then entered academia formally as a professor at several Canadian Universities. She pioneered the use of multivariate statistics in ecology. During retirement, she wrote several popular science books on topics ranging from biogeography to physics.


Winter 2024 Schedule


February 2nd, 2024 - "Balancing Ecosystems in Agricultural Landscapes" - a discussion led by Reilly O'Connor

Relevant Link: Tree islands enhance biodiversity and functioning in oil palm landscapes


February 9th, 2024 - "Sex Bias in Animal Research" - a discussion led by Elizabeth Manchester

Relevant Link: Unmasking the Adverse Impacts of Sex Bias on Science and Research Animal Welfare


February 16th, 2024 "New Techniques for Gathering Remote Sensing Data in R" - a discussion led by Jelany Duali

Relevant Link: Google Earth Engine


March 1st, 2024 - "Can't Handle the Heat!? Diversity-Stability Responses of Intertidal Food Webs to Warming"a discussion led by Dr. Kayla Hale

Relevant Link: Biodiversity of intertidal food webs in response to warming across latitudes


March 8th, 2024 -  TBD


March 15th, 2024 -  "Replication in Ecology" - a discussion led by Dr. Georgia Mason

Relevant Link: Replication in field ecology: Identifying challenges and proposing solutions


March 22nd, 2024 -  TBD


April 5th, 2024 -  TBD


Pielou Mailing List Instructions 

Do you want to be completely informed about what is happening in the Evelyn Pielou Discussion Group community? Do you want to continue the conversations outside of the weekly meetings? If so, then follow these instructions to join the Pielou mailing list.

If you have any questions about the discussion group, or if you want to facilitate a discussion, please email Reilly O'Connor (roconn03@uoguelph.ca).

To subscribe

to the list pielou@LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA, send an email from your account to pielou-request@LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA with the word subscribe on the Subject line.

To unsubscribe

from the list pielou@LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA, send an email, from the account which is subscribed, to pielou-request@LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA with the word unsubscribe on the Subject line.

To send a message

if you subscribed to the listserv, simply send an email to pielou@LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA, we have a substantially smaller mailing list than the departmental list