We are pleased to welcome a new Associate Editor to the Proceedings B Editorial Board, Yitzchak Ben Mocha, from the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour, University of Konstanz, Germany who started as an Associate Editor in January 2023. We asked Yitzchak a few questions about his background, current research and motivation behind joining the journal’s Editorial Board.
Tell us more about your field of research?
I am an ethologist who is curious about taken-for-granted patterns in the behaviour of human and non-human species. Taking a comparative approach, I study animals’ social cognition and behaviour in an attempt to shed light on the origins of equivalent phenomena in humans.
What prompted you to work in this field?
I was fascinated by animal behaviour (and philosophical questions) from early childhood. So, studying these topics in university was obvious and a goal in itself. I think it is always important to see your research as a goal in itself; but it is especially important for students of disciplines like ethology and philosophy, for which there is less demand on the job market. Thus, regardless of whether you’ll continue in academia or not, the joy that you got from your research never gets lost.
What has been the biggest influence on your career?
By the end of my undergraduate studies in philosophy, I accidentally took a wrong turn in the university hallway and ended up in Prof. Amotz Zahavi’s office. This small “navigation mistake” set in motion a multi-year collaboration on studying the Arabian babblers (a cooperative breeding bird species). In many ways, the interactions with Prof. Zahavi shifted my research focus from philosophy to ethology. Prof. Zahavi was a live example of scientific innovation and obstinacy. While it was not always easy to discuss with him, it was always very exciting and inspiring.
Why did you join the Proceedings B Editorial Board?
I chose to be an Associate Editor because I want to promote better science. Namely, I want to foster more replicable scientific research and publication from under-represented groups. I chose Proceedings B because of the journal’s commitment to these values.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to submit to Proceedings B?
Proceedings B aims to publish important scientific discoveries that are of interest to a broad audience. Hence, make sure that your cover letter explains, in a clear and concise manner, how your manuscript fulfils these criteria.
Not less importantly, Proceedings B wishes to uphold rigid scientific quality criteria. Thus, be sure to write the manuscript as if it is “proof” before publication. Do not wait to see whether the editor or reviewers would criticise weak points in your manuscript, rather address them in advance. It will demonstrate research integrity and will make the evaluation procedure easier.
Finally, we highly encourage interdisciplinary and conceptual research that makes insightful connections and comparisons. If you have such a manuscript, please consider Proceedings B for its submission.
Proceedings B is looking to publish more high-quality research articles and reviews in behavioural ecology. If you have an idea for a review, we strongly encourage you to submit a proposal. Find out more about the submission process.
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