Theoretical Ecologist’s New Book Earns Literary Award

A new book by Arild O. Gautestad, which examines theories about how animals use space, has earned the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence. It was just one of nine books released by the company in 2015 to achieve the honor.

Indianapolis, IN, January 29, 2016 --( Theoretical ecologist Arild O. Gautestad hoped to bring a new point of view to others in his field by combining approaches of different disciplines studying animal space use into one book. His new book does that and more, and it earned the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence in the process.

“Animal Space Use: Memory Effects, Scaling Complexity, and Biophysical Model Coherence” presents the author’s personal contributions to the combined effort of biologists, physicists and statisticians in describing animal space use. The book includes a range of new ideas how to bring the various directions of research closer together. The complexity of the topic emerges through both individual animals and populations of animals, all analyzed by a range of system descriptors, simulations and model designs.

The book was one of only nine releases from Dog Ear Publishing in 2015 to be recognized with the literary award. The company’s editorial team decides which products qualify for the award, and the recommendations are then reviewed by the managing editor, editorial services manager, and the publisher.

It is a distinction that is very challenging to achieve, and Gautestad was thrilled his book did so. “I was quite surprised, given the complicated theme and the high level of page-to-page concentration that is required to grasp how the pieces of the puzzle may be brought together,” he said. “I also felt honored, of course.”

The scientist considers the award a validation of his work “a confirmation that I may have succeeded in presenting complex aspects of a complicated scientific field in a manner that makes sense even when read by nonexperts on animal ecology. That is an excellent starting point while waiting for how the experts themselves are reacting on the proposed synthesis.”

Gautestadt said he realizes “Animal Space Use” might be unorthodox and may spark debate. “Since the unifying model that is particularly advocated requires some serious breakout of respective labs’ comfort zones, I expect two main responses: controversy or ignorance,” he said. “Heated debated is what I hope for, since this represents the trademark of any scientific progress if a paradigm is challenged.”

He hopes the spirit of learning will prevail instead of ignorance. “I hope that the provision of our preliminary tests of basic elements from the theory on real date will spark both curiousness and broader follow-up tests by the readers.”

Gautestadt has nothing but praise for staff at Dog Ear Publishing. “I was pleasantly surprised by how Dog Ear not only responded swiftly and in detail to all my critical questions during the phase where we discussed a contract but also followed up the entire pre-publishing process in a streamlined and highly professional manner,” he said.

Gautestad is a theoretical ecologist especially interested in biophysical aspects of animal space use. He has studied individual movement and population kinetics for more than 25 years, performing computer simulations, creating mathematical models and testing on data. He is currently affiliated with the University of Oslo, Norway’s, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis.

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Animal Space Use: Memory Effects, Scaling Complexity, and Biophysical Model Coherence
Arild O. Gautestad
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4180-3 Paperback 336 pages $79.00 US
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4412-5 Hardcover 336 pages $89.00 US
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4414-9 Ebook 336 pages $64.00 US

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