Recognition of Achievement for a Research Paper

Recognition of Achievement for a Research Paper is an award presented to the corresponding author of the most highly cited paper in the BES journals for the past 5 years.

The British Ecological Society has an international reputation for publishing high-quality ecological research. Annually it publishes many papers that go on to be highly cited in the scientific literature and this award has been introduced to acknowledge authors whose papers have been particularly well cited.

Methods in Ecology and Evolution 

    Awarded to Jane Elith in 2014 for her paper
    The art of modelling range-shifting species
    Co-authored with Michael Kearney and Steven Phillips
    (Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 1: 330–342).


The biodiversity of many regions in the world is experiencing novel threats created by species invasions and climate change. Predictions of future species distributions are required for management, but there are acknowledged problems with many current methods, and relatively few advances in techniques for understanding or overcoming these. Using data on cane toads in Australia, and comparing mechanistic and correlative models, this paper explored why various methods performed as they did. Dr Elith and colleagues developed new methods for model interrogation and made these available in MaxEnt.

Jane Elith, who is also acknowledged for her work published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys working at the interface between the technical aspects of statistical and machine learning models, and the practical needs of ecologists and conservation practitioners wanting to apply them. Since completing her PhD in 2002, her main research and teaching focus has been understanding and advancing methods for species distribution modelling.


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