Biodiversity Conservation: A PLOS ONE Call for Papers

The submission deadline for this Call for Papers has been extended to January 10, 2020.

– Guest Editors –

Steve Beissinger

Thomas Couvreur

Carlos Duarte

Claudia Mettke-Hoffmann

Stuart Pimm

– Call for Papers for a PLOS ONE Collection –  

In collaboration with our team of Guest Editors, PLOS ONE is delighted to announce a call for papers on the theme of Biodiversity Conservation. Biodiversity provides many key ecosystem services upon which human civilization depends, such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, pest regulation and pollination. These services are threatened by the combined impacts of habitat degradation, the spread of invasive species, over exploitation of natural resources, pollution and global warming. Even with large-scale ongoing conservation efforts targeting biodiversity loss, general trends indicate that the rate at which species are becoming threatened is accelerating. Thus, preventing further biodiversity loss is crucial for stewarding natural resources for future generations.

PLOS ONE is calling for submissions that consider the science and practice of the conservation of Earth’s biological diversity, ranging from current research on the impacts of human activity on species and ecosystems, new management strategies to further prevent biodiversity loss, to forecasting future trends in Earth’s biota diversity and distribution. 

Our Guest Editors welcome submissions in all areas related to biodiversity conservation, but particularly encourage submissions in topics including

  • Impacts of overexploitation, including wildlife trade, poaching and overfishing
  • Desertification, deforestation and habitat fragmentation
  • Marine biodiversity challenges, such as overfishing, coral bleaching, eutrophication, coastline modification
  • Effects of climate change on species distributions
  • Biotic homogenization
  • Biological invasions research, including impacts, management, prevention, control and eradication of invasive species
  • Impacts of pollution, including light, noise, chemical, radioactive, organic and litter pollution
  • Phylogenetic and/or functional diversity conservation
  • Drivers of extinctions and population dynamics of declining species
  • Methodological advances in conservation solutions of species or ecosystems
  • Habitat restoration, species reintroductions, rewilding, assisted migration and assisted evolution, and evolutionary rescue
  • Impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystem services
  • Assessment of biodiversity conservation policies, including local, national and international policies

Articles must be submitted by January 10, 2020 to be eligible for consideration in this collection. Accepted submissions will be featured in the PLOS ONE Biodiversity Conservation Collection to be published in May 2020.

Submissions to PLOS ONE are assessed for scientific rigor rather than perceived impact. To support reproducibility of research, we require that all data underlying the main results are made openly available upon publication. We encourage you to consult our general publication criteria and submission guidelines for specific study types when preparing your manuscript to make the submission process as efficient as possible.

To submit to the Special Collection, please go to, select the Article Type “Research Article”, and enter “Biodiversity Conservation” in the field “Collections” in the Additional Information Section. Please also specify that you are submitting to the Collection “Biodiversity Conservation” in the cover letter. You can reach us directly with your questions at Further PLOS ONE submission instructions can be found here

Meet the Guest Editors

Steve Beissinger

University of California, Berkeley, USA

Steve Beissinger is Professor of Ecology & Conservation Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he held the A. Starker Leopold Chair in Wildlife Biology (2003-13), is a research associate of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and is the co-Director of the Berkeley Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity. Professor Beissinger’s current research centers on wildlife responses to global change and species’ extinctions – with recent fieldwork carried out in protected areas and working landscapes in California and Latin America. He directs the Grinnell Resurvey Project - a 15 year effort to revisit locations throughout California first surveyed by Joseph Grinnell in the early 1900’s in order to quantify the impacts of a century of climate and land-use change on the birds and mammals of California. Steve’s studies of parrotlets in Venezuela extend more than 30 years. Integrative studies of secretive, threatened rails in California provide a model for understanding coupled natural and human systems.

He has authored over 200 scientific publications and is senior editor of three books. He served on the editorial boards of Ecology Letters, Ecology, Conservation Biology, Studies in Avian Biology, and Climate Change Responses. Steve is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America (ESA), the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the American Ornithological Society, which awarded him the William Brewster Memorial Award in 2010 for his research on Western Hemisphere birds.

Thomas Couvreur

Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Ecuador

Thomas L.P. Couvreur is a senior researcher at the French National Institute for Sustainable Development, and is currently based at the “Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador”, in Quito Ecuador. He received his PhD in tropical biodiversity from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and worked as post doc at the Osnabruck University in Germany and The New York Botanical Garden in the USA.

His main interest lies in understanding the evolution, resilience and diversity of tropical biodiversity, and rain forests in particular, one of the most complex and diverse ecosystems on the planet. He undertakes research in taxonomy, conservation, molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography of tropical plants. His research mainly focuses on tropical Africa and South America. He is chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission for palms since 2018.

Carlos Duarte

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

Professor Carlos M. Duarte (Ph.D.  McGill University, 1987) is the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in Saudi Arabia.  Before this he was Research Professor with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Director of the Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia. 
Duarte’s research focuses on understanding the effects of global change in aquatic ecosystems, both marine and freshwater.  He has conducted research across all continents and oceans, spanning most of the marine ecosystem types, from inland to near-shore and the deep sea and from microbes to whales. Professor Duarte led the Malaspina 2010 Expedition that sailed the world's oceans to examine the impacts of global change on ocean ecosystems and explore their biodiversity.

Professor Duarte served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography between 2007 and 2010.  In 2009, was appointed member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), the highest-level scientific committee at the European Level, where he served until 2013. He has published more than 700 scientific papers and has been ranked within the top 1% Highly-Cited Scientist by Thompson Reuters in all three assessments of this rank, including the 2018 assessment released by Clarivate Analytics. 

He has received many honors, including the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography in 2001, the National Science Award of Spain (2007), and the I. Vernadsky Medal of the European Geophysical Union. the Prix d’Excellence by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES, 2011), and the Carlo Heip award for excellent in Marine Biodiversity (2018), and honorary doctorates from the Université de Québec a Montrèal (Canada) in 2010 and Utrecht University (The Netherlands) in 2012.  He has been appointed to the Expert Group supporting the High Level Group, including 12 heads of states, that under the UN is working to propose, by 2020, a pathway towards a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

Claudia Mettke-Hoffmann

Liverpool John Moores University, UK

Dr Claudia Mettke-Hofmann is Reader in Animal Behaviour at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, and Subject Leader of the Animal Behaviour team. She received her externally conducted PhD from Free University of Berlin, Germany, and subsequently worked as a postdoc at the Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell and Andechs, Germany, in collaboration with the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Comparative Behaviour, Vienna, Austria, before moving to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Washington DC, USA. She is now based at Liverpool John Moores University.

Her research area is cognitive ecology, mainly in birds, with strong links to conservation aspects and animal welfare. She investigates how animals collect and store environmental information in relation to their ecology on the species level but also on the individual level (personality). A focus is how animals respond to environmental change, particularly in species that differ in their movement patterns such as being resident, migratory or nomadic. Differences in cognitive abilities in these groups help explain and predict population developments in our rapidly changing environments. More recently, her research has focussed on individual differences in cognition in colour-polymorphic species highlighting exciting differences in responses to environmental change between colour morphs. Claudia has been a PLOS ONE Section Editor since 2014.

Stuart Pimm

Duke University, USA

Stuart Pimm is the Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He is a world leader in the study of present day extinctions and what we can do to prevent them. Pimm received his BSc degree from Oxford University in 1971 and his Ph.D from New Mexico State University in 1974. Pimm is the author of over 300 scientific papers and four books. Pimm directs SavingSpecies, a 501c3 non-profit that uses funds for carbon emissions offsets to fund local conservation groups to restore degraded lands in areas of exceptional tropical biodiversity. His international honours include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2010), the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006).

PLOS ONE Handling Editors

Pedro Abellan Bhoj Acharya Marco Apollonio Matt Bahm
Tunira Bhadauria Mark Boyce Michael Brewer Elissa Cameron
Erik Caroselli Tzen-Yuh Chiang Andre Chiaradia Roberta Cimmaruta
Mathew Crowther Mark Davis Paulo De Marco Junior Kleber Del-Claro
Bi-Cheng Dong Michael Douglas Valia Drakou Anne Duplouy
Trishna Dutta Antje Engelhardt Marco Festa-Bianchet Varun Goswami
Brian Gratwicke Blaine Griffen Stefano Grignolio William Halliday
Joel Hartter Graeme Hays Berthold Heinze Andrew Hoskins
Margaret Hunter David Hyrenbach Fraser Januchowski-Hartley Clinton Jenkins
Jake Kerby Shashank Keshavmurthy Daehyun Kim Amparo Lazaro
Cristina Linares Romuald Lipcius Jana Mullerova Ricardo Machado
Jesus Maldonado Antoni Margalida Gustavo Martins Johan Michaux
Tim Mousseau Christopher Nice Juan Perez-Garcia Vitor Paiva
Mary Peacock Carlos Portillo-Quintero Craig Radford Stephanie Romanach
Fabio de Oliveira Roque Laurentiu Rozylowicz Paulo Sano Manu Saunders
Patrice Savadogo Laura Scherer James Sheppard Daniel Silva
Julio Souza Ignasi Torre Govindhaswamy Umapathy Andres Vina
Christian Vincenot Zhengfeng Wang Bi-Song Yue RunGuo Zang


PLOS Papers Illustrating the Collection Scope

When roads appear jaguars decline: Increased access to an Amazonian wilderness area reduces potential for jaguar conservation

Authors: Santiago Espinosa, Gerardo Celis, Lyn C. Branch 

PLOS ONEJanuary 3, 2018

Unusual mortality of Tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) in the eastern Bering Sea

Authors: Timothy Jones, Lauren M. Divine, Heather Renner, Susan Knowles, Kathi A. Lefebvre, Hillary K. Burgess, Charlie Wright, Julia K. Parrish

PLOS ONEMay 29, 2019

RNA virus spillover from managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) to wild bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

Authors: Samantha A. Alger, P. Alexander Burnham, Humberto F. Boncristiani, Alison K. Brody

PLOS ONEJune 26, 2019

Human-elephant conflict in western Thailand: Socio-economic drivers and potential mitigation strategies

Authors: Antoinette van de Water, Kevin Matteson

PLOS ONEJune 1, 2018

Understanding the dynamics in distribution of invasive alien plant species under predicted climate change in Western Himalaya

Authors: Sunil Thapa, Vishwas Chitale, Srijana Joshi Rijal, Neha Bisht, Bharat Babu Shrestha

PLOS ONEApril 17, 2018


Publishing Process

We aim to be as transparent as possible about our publishing and peer review processes. Papers submitted to PLOS ONE and under consideration for the Biodiversity Conservation Collection will be specially handled by hand-selected active researchers from our Editorial Board working in this area, in partnership with staff editor Miquel Vall-llosera Camps.

For more information on the PLOS ONE publication process, please see the Editorial and Peer Review Information page. 


Submission Instructions

Are you ready to submit or want to learn more about how the submission process works? To make it as easy as possible for our communities, PLOS ONE has all of our submission instructions posted online. If there are any details you can’t find or if you have any questions, please email us at

When submitting to the Call for Papers, select the Article Type “Research Article” and enter “Biodiversity Conservation” in the Collections field in the Additional Information section of the online submission form. Authors should also specify that they are submitting to the “Biodiversity Conservation” Call for Papers in their cover letter.


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