Moving forward together

From Nature:

Main_news_pic2008.12 This week sees the publication of a series of papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on one of the traditional indications of life: movement. In their article, Ran Nathan of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his colleagues set out a framework for how to unify research on the movement of organisms. Nature News spoke to Nathan about his plans for a field that looks at everything from the dispersal of seeds to the cheetah's run.

Why is there a need for a 'movement ecology paradigm'?

In one of the papers in this special feature, we found that at least 26,000 papers were published in the past ten years on movement-related studies. That's about 10% of all studies published in disciplines of ecology, evolutionary biology, zoology, ornithology and so on. There's a long tradition of these studies. Aristotle wrote [around] 2,300 years ago that “now we must consider in general the common reason for moving with any movement whatever”. There has been really wonderful progress and some insightful studies in movement research but we are still not even close to the integration that Aristotle was calling for.

More here.