Biological Flora Editor

Are you a plant ecologist with interest in taxonomy, distribution, community ecology and life-history?

Location: at the holder’s host university or organisation, based anywhere in the world
Closing date: Monday 1 July 2024, 23:59 GMT
Interview date: interviews will be scheduled as applications come in. Please note we reserve the right to close the advert early if we receive enough applications. Interviews via Microsoft Teams

About the Journal

Journal of Ecology is a renowned British Ecological Society journal that publishes original research papers on all aspects of the ecology of plants (including algae), in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The journal has a wide international audience, an active social media presence with over 33,000 followers on Twitter and a dedicated journal blog, and excellent publication metrics including a current Impact Factor of 5.5.

The Journal’s editorial team consists of five Editors who are supported by dedicated editorial office personnel and an international board of around 100 Associate Editors. The Senior Editors work together to determine journal strategy and to increase the reputation and quality of the Journal, in addition to making decisions on around 1000 manuscripts submitted each year. Further details about the Journal and its current editorial team can be found here.

About Biological Flora

Biological flora are a series of autecological plant accounts. Biological Flora are published in Journal of Ecology alongside the journal’s other articles. Over 300 accounts have been published to date, that can be accessed on our database.

We publish Biological Flora of Britain and Ireland (BFBI) and International Biological Flora (IBF). IBF aim to widen the scope of the above BFBI and publish accounts on species occurring elsewhere in the world, that are ecologically significant, meeting for example one or more of the following criteria

  • species of conservation importance
  • foundation species
  • ecosystem engineers
  • important weeds
  • plant model organisms
  • invasive species
  • crop progenitors
  • hosts of pandemic disease

About you

We are seeking two Biological Flora Editors to strengthen and complement the editorial team and to continue raising the Journal’s profile worldwide.

To complement our Editor team, we are looking for an active researcher with an extensive knowledge of species in the British and Irish flora and an Editor who can bring a broad global perspective.

Applications are welcome from leading scientists covering any areas of the Journal’s scope who could contribute to the Journal’s development in topical and developing fields.

The ideal candidate will be a clear communicator who works well as part of a team and a good decision-maker who acts with integrity in both their editorial and own scientific work. They will have a solid understanding of their own field of plant ecology, as well as an overview of the wider discipline; experience of reviewing and editing processes; commitment to maintaining the high editorial standards of the Journal; and an interest in ongoing developments within academic publishing.

About the role

Working with other members of the Journal team to promote the aims of the Journal, commission and evaluate submissions, and plan and implement strategies that will enhance its profile, expand its reach, and better serve its community of authors and readers.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assess the expertise and potential suitability of authors offering to prepare species accounts in the Biological Flora series and allocate species accordingly; where appropriate, arrange collaborations between alternative authors with complementary expertise and experience
  • Solicit contributions for the Biological Flora of Britain & Ireland (BFBI) and the International Biological Flora (IBF)
  • Maintain a register of species allocated to authors, respond to queries about it and periodically prompt authors on the register who have not yet submitted an account
  • Provide advice to prospective authors and informal review of draft accounts in progress
  • Assess submitted Biological Flora species accounts for suitability, referring them to Biological Flora Associate Editors and other reviewers, and making decisions based on their comments and your own judgement
  • Actively promote the Journal and the BES to your networks and when attending conferences
  • Gather opinions from fellow academic ecologists: use this information to suggest changes in procedure, to develop new initiatives and/or to feed into general discussions about the strategic direction of the Journal
  • Identify and recruit new Associate Editors, including through the promotion of open recruitment calls, with a focus on ensuring diverse representation and participation amongst editorial board members
  • Assist the editorial office team to identify papers for further promotion via blogs, video, podcasting and the media
  • Contribute to the Journal’s development and join in discussions with those involved with other BES journals to help identify opportunities for cross-journal initiatives
  • Act as Associate Editor for a limited number of manuscripts
  • Actively engage with social media tools in order to help promote the Journal (desirable)

Selection criteria:

  • Evidence of an active and relevant publication record
  • Knowledge and understanding of the subject area, complementary to that of the existing Editors
  • Experience of reviewing (essential) and of other editorial work (highly desirable)
  • Ability to work as part of a team of Editors, thinking both strategically and creatively
  • Ability to work independently and to prioritise from a range of active projects
  • Ability to form, communicate with, and operate in, scientific networks and engage with other relevant audiences, including through use of social media
  • Ability to consider multiple information sources or viewpoints, and act decisively
  • Commitment to the post and to the mission of the BES, and a desire to explore new opportunities to develop and enhance journal publishing


The Journal recognises the benefits that a diverse editorial board brings. We strongly encourage leading ecologists from underrepresented demographic groups and geographic regions to apply.


This post is a part-time for three years in the first instance, and located at the holder’s host university or organisation, based anywhere in the world. Biological Flora Editors will receive free BES membership and will be able to access some financial support to facilitate attendance at meetings with other BES Editors and to act as an ambassador for the Journal at relevant conferences.