Lonnie Aarssen

Queen's University Queen's University

Dr. Lonnie Aarssen


Department of Biology

decorative plant drawing

Plant Ecology and Evolution

My ecology and evolution research includes a broad range of topics, with particular emphasis on the development and testing of new hypotheses and conceptual models for the interpretation of adaptive strategies for growth, survival, and reproduction in plants along environmental gradients, and how these strategies help to explain patterns in the abundance, distribution, composition, and diversity of organisms, taxa, biomass, and productivity within and between habitats. (Recent example here)

decorative art - evolution of humans

Evolution and Human Affairs

I am also interested in exploring how evolutionary thinking can affect our understanding of our lives, our species and our ability to share the planet with other species; e.g. see Meet Homo absurdus, Darwinism and meaningWill empathy save us?, my recent book, TEDx Queens, TEDx Belgium. I have developed this theme for courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, where students apply Darwinian evolutionary theory to the interpretation of contemporary human motivation, social life, and culture, and how these effects impact on civilization, and the challenges it faces for the 21st century.

Ideas in Ecology and Evolution (IEE) logo

Ideas in Ecology and Evolution

I am founder and editor of Ideas in Ecology and Evolution - a peer reviewed, open access, electronic journal published at Queen's University. IEE publishes forum style articles that develop new ideas or that involve original commentaries - serving effectively as a 'catalogue' for modelers and empiricists, as well as for educators and the media, from which they can 'shop' for novel ideas and hypotheses that have been subjected to critical evaluation and response by professional biologists, and that are available to be explored, debated and tested.

Science Open Reviewed logo

Science Open Reviewed

I am founder and director of Science Open Reviewed - an online community of researcher using a unique model for promoting efficient and accountable author-directed open (non-blind) peer review, effective reviewer participation incentives and reputation metrics, and rapid dissemination of discovery and commentary in the natural sciences, health sciences, and social sciences. SciOR is based at Queen's University, which also publishes Proceedings of Science Open Reviewed, for which I am editor.