Announcing a new PLoS Collection, Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP)

Today, PLoS is delighted to publish a Collection of articles highlighting biologging research from the Tagging of Pacific Predators group (TOPP), a Census of Marine Life (COML) project.

Advances in electronic marine tracking technology, also known as biologging, allow researchers to take measurements from free-swimming marine animals as they move undisturbed through their environment. Recent technology improvements, including electronic tag miniaturization and enhanced animal movement models, have revolutionized understanding of the ecology of marine top predators. This has permitted observations well beyond the reach of standard measurement techniques, and provided extensive data on the animals’ behavior at the scale of and within the context of their environment. Such studies are essential for the effective management of marine ecosystems and conservation of top predator populations.

Some of the marine animals tracked by TOPP

The first six articles (five from PLoS ONE and one from PLoS Biology) to be published in this Collection have examined how our understanding of animal movement and migration has been improved by electronic tagging and tracking across a diverse range of marine species including sharks, tunas, sea birds, sea turtles and marine mammals. More work will be added to this “living” collection as soon as each TOPP article is published.

In the coming months, PLoS will be publishing more Biodiversity research from other groups that make up the Census of Marine Life, a 10 year project to explore and understand the diversity and distribution of life in the oceans, past, present and future. In this so called “transparent ocean” scientists will have the tools to say where marine organisms are, how many of them there are and where they are going – knowledge which will help mankind best conserve and support these precious resources.

Here’s what Dr Randy Kochevar, TOPP Marine Biologist and Science Communicator, said about his experience of working with PLoS on this collection:

“TOPP is a broad, interdisciplinary program – and it’s fantastic to have a range of articles represented in this PLoS collection, freely accessible online to the world thanks to open-access publishing. We are excited about the media coverage this exposure has brought us and we look forward to adding to the collection in the future – we would encourage other groups within the COML community to publish their work in PLoS ONE. They really are a pleasure to work with.”

Other member groups of COML who also want to work with PLoS to create a collection are encouraged to contact Pete Binfield (pbinfield@plos.org), the Publisher of PLoS ONE and the Community Journals for more information.

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