Three new Associate Editor recruits discuss their work and reasons for joining the journal.

Natasha Bloch

We are pleased to welcome all new Associate Editors starting their terms to the Proceedings B editorial board in 2021. We recently asked three new Associate Editors Natasha Bloch (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia), Thomas Flatt (University of Fribourg) and Eric Palkovacs (University of California, Santa Cruz) about their backgrounds, current research and their motivation behind joining the journal’s editorial board.

Natasha Bloch

I am currently an assistant professorNatasha Bloch in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Los Andes University. Research in my lab focuses on understanding how our brain produces different behaviours to respond appropriately to thousands of social stimuli. In general, behaviours are mediated by changes in neural activity in the brain, such that when an external stimulus is perceived it triggers acute and rapid cascades of gene expression changes (the neurogenomic response), that generate neural activity. My research program aims at understanding the neurogenomic response underlying social behaviour, its evolution and social behaviour disorders. I study how genes are turned on and off in different parts of the brain in response to different social and mating stimuli, and how individual differences in cognition can impact social stimuli processing in the brain. I conduct my research on the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a highly social freshwater fish, and an ideal study system for social behaviour. 

As a young professor, I welcome the opportunity to contribute to see better research published, to promote diversity in all its dimensions into the publishing system, and to highlight excellent science giving room to innovative and original research. I’m also really interested in continuing efforts to make peer review fast and more efficient, offering constructive and practical suggestions to improve research in ways that are fair to authors. There is no better place to do this than Proceedings B, a leading journal in evolutionary sciences. I also can’t deny I am really looking forward to having a front row to exciting new research!

Thomas Flatt

My name is Thomas Flatt. I am a ProfessorThomas Flatt of Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Biology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. It was an honour for me to be asked to serve on the editorial board of the journal. Proceedings B is one of the top journals in organismal biology – as my own research interests are highly integrative, I have always enjoyed reading Proceedings B papers. Secondly, many of my colleagues are publishing some of their best work in this journal and serving on the board gives me the opportunity to support my community. Finally, I am also a big fan of the Royal Society and the important work it is doing.

My own research centers on understanding the genomic basis of adaptation, mainly in Drosophila, with a focus on the evolution of life-history traits and ageing. Throughout my work I have tried to connect genetic and molecular mechanisms to fitness-relevant traits, for example in the context of mechanisms underlying trade-offs or identifying the genetic factors that underpin evolved differences in life history and longevity. At the moment, I am fascinated by the role of chromosomal inversion polymorphisms in adaptation and the genetics of life-history clines. I hope that with this combination of interests I can make a modest but helpful contribution to the continued flourishing of the journal.

Eric Palkovacs

I am excited to be joining the Proceedings BEric Palkovacs Editorial Board! I am a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I work on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of freshwater and coastal ecosystems and applications to fisheries management and conservation. My work focuses mostly on fishes, but I also work on other freshwater, estuarine, and marine organisms. My overarching goal is to understand how intraspecific variation (variation within species) and contemporary trait change shapes ecological processes. I am interested in the drivers of contemporary trait change and their evolutionary and plastic basis. I use observational studies and experiments to then test how intraspecific variation shapes ecological outcomes for populations, communities, and ecosystems. These ecological outcomes can have important impacts on ecosystem function. Thus, I am interested in understanding how the loss of intraspecific genomic and phenotypic diversity is impacting ecosystems. From a conservation standpoint, my goal is to devise management strategies to restore intraspecific diversity to foster more resilient populations, ecosystems, and fisheries. I am fortunate to live in a place with easy access to nature. In my free time, I enjoy being outside with my family, splashing through streams, hiking in the redwoods and exploring tidepools.

Proceedings B is looking to publish more high-quality research articles and reviews in the fields of ecology and evolution. If you have an idea for a review, we strongly encourage you to submit a proposal. Find out more about the submission process.

Photography credits: 1. Ana Rudas, 2. Thomas Flatt, 3. Chris Schmauch



  • Shalene Singh-Shepherd

    Shalene Singh-Shepherd