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Connecting experts in the agricultural and meteorological sciences to advance knowledge of pest management in a changing climate

Young, Stephen L., Goldowsky-Dill, Nicholas W., Muhammad, Javed, Epstein, Michelle M.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.673 pp. 694-698
algorithms, climate change, climatic factors, experts, pest management, pests
There has been considerable progress in elucidating the physical aspects of climate change that directly impact food, feed, and fiber production. However, these impact assessments rarely account for climate induced changes associated with biological pests. The lack of collaboration between the pest management and climate science disciplines could be contributing to the problem. Therefore, we assessed research-based relationships, identifying possible barriers to and gaps in successful collaboration. We developed an algorithm capable of identifying author affiliation and associated disciplines. We found that pest management and climate scientists most often authored papers in their respective disciplines (>90%), but rarely in the opposing disciplines (<1%). Atopica, an international research group, is one of the few examples of how interdisciplinary collaborations have led to the co-production of knowledge to better understand and manage a pest responding to climate change. Researcher-to-researcher relationships, as demonstrated by Atopica, are an often overlooked area of science and key to solving major societal challenges.