Meet our new PeerJ Section Editor – John Measey

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Contributors, Meet the Editor

We are delighted to welcome Dr. John Measey as our newest Section Editor for PeerJ Life & Environment’s Zoological Science Section.

John is a Professor at the based in the Institute for Biodiversity at Yunnan University and at the Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B), Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University. He is also an Honorary Attaché of the Museum National D’Histoire Naturelle, Paris. His research centers on biological invasions and other ecological investigations incorporating a wide range of techniques to address hypotheses in evolution, conservation and population biology.

In addition to his research, John also writes about how to write and publish science. This is the subject of two books, a postgraduate course, workshops and an open access online platform that is continually updated.

We caught up with John to find out more about him, his research and his hopes for PeerJ’s Zoological Science Section.

Hi John, thanks for agreeing to be a PeerJ Section Editor. Please can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was educated in the UK, but have found my interests strayed to working in more biodiverse areas of the planet. While working on threatened species in South Africa’s biodiverse Cape region, I discovered a large number of threats related to invasive species. Threatened species and invasive species are like two sides of the same coin; learning more about one will help us with the other. This kick started a fascinating research direction that I am still pursuing, taking me to new and exciting areas and working with fantastic people. One noteworthy aspect about invasion biology is that it is a constantly growing area of the biological sciences.

What research are you currently focusing on?

My current focus is on investigating the microbiome of invasive populations and comparing this to the founding populations from their native range. Invasion pathway is pivotal in what microbes are carried with the invader, and this can have consequences for the potential spillover and spillback.

What persuaded you to become a PeerJ Section Editor?

My interest in the changing world of academic publishing changed as I began to realise how unfair the system was to the vast majority of academics wanting to publish. Over the last 15 years, the system has grown a lot worse, yet it is up to the academics involved to improve it. I’ve been an editorial board member of PeerJ since 2013 and have handled over 70 manuscripts. I have been a great fan of the community ethos of the journal, now a publishing movement, and I have used it as an example of good practice in my book on publishing in the biological sciences (in 8 of the 39 chapters!). At PeerJ, members of the editorial board choose which manuscripts to handle, and so their decisions are very reliable. But there are a surprising amount of other issues that pop up, and joining the other section editors to come to the best possible conclusion for the authors is an important part of being an active member of the publishing community.

Are there any exciting areas of research you’d be particularly interested in seeing submitted to the journal?

Of course I’d love to see more manuscripts on biological invasions. In addition to the impacts they cause, they are a fascinating source of studies on rapid evolution (see blog). We have some fantastic EBMs out there to handle such manuscripts, so it’d be great to see some more coming in from the community.

About PeerJ Sections

Sections are community led and exemplify a research community’s shared values, norms and interests. They provide topically curated content from PeerJ journals and are overseen by Section Editors, who oversee the articles published in their Section to ensure the journal maintains a fair peer review process and the highest standards of scientific practice in their fields.

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