The MER Prize
As we stated in our editorial, we think that rapid progress on complex or apparently intractable problems often comes when many researchers tackle the problem at the same time. As funding in basic research rarely directs funds towards specific questions and most groups have nonoverlapping interests, focusing attention on a single issue can be challenging. To fill this gap, we have decided to create the Molecular Ecology Resources Prize. The prize will be awarded to the best solution to a previously described problem, much like the X Prizes for genome sequencing or space flight, but specific to the field of ecology and evolution.
The first round of the MER Prize will be run this year and will focus on the analysis of population genomic data to infer the underlying combinations of demographic and evolutionary history. As it turns out, getting our simulated data sets together has taken a bit longer than we have anticipated, so we’re asking for your patience while we get these finalized. If you would like to be informed of dataset availability, please email Kevin Livingstone, who will be send out an announcement when the datasets are ready.
The winning entry will be selected by a panel of expert judges (including Robin Waples, Rémy Petit, Stuart Baird and Fréderic Guillaume) and published alongside a selection of the remaining submissions in a special issue of the journal.
We very much look forward to seeing what you come up with!