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  • Transforming the rapidly growing ocean economy into a ‘blue economy’ based on principles of sustainability, equity and inclusivity is crucial. We contend that marine biotechnology is not on this trajectory and that a more holistic approach for people and nature is needed to bring marine biotechnology into the blue economy.

    • Robert Blasiak
    • Jean-Baptiste Jouffray
    • Henrik Österblom
  • Calls to decolonize disciplines and institutions circulate in the scientific community. In ecology, only the surface of the colonial structure has been scratched. We propose that two gaps must be filled to decolonize the ‘decolonial turn’ itself: recognition of decolonial theories produced in the Global South and a deeper historical and socioeconomic analysis of forms of production and validation of knowledge in ecology.

    • María N. Clerici Hirschfeld
    • Luiz R. R. Faria
    • Carlos Roberto Fonseca
  • Over the past seventy-five years, long-term population studies of individual organisms in their natural environments have been influential in illuminating how ecological and evolutionary processes operate, and the extent of variation and temporal change in these processes. As these studies have matured, the incorporation of new technologies has generated an ever-broadening perspective, from molecular and genomic to landscape-level analyses facilitated by remote-sensing.

    • Ben C. Sheldon
    • Loeske E. B. Kruuk
    • Susan C. Alberts
  • Many academics move countries in pursuit of career opportunities. With every move, personal identities are renegotiated as people shift between belonging to majority and minority groups in different contexts. Institutes should consider people’s dynamic and intersectional identities in their diversity, equity and inclusion practices.

    • Alejandra Echeverri
    • Laura Melissa Guzman
    • Maria Natalia Umaña
  • Recent breakthroughs have led to the development of biodegradable sensors which, after collecting data, break down into byproducts that are harmless to their surroundings. Using these sensors to collect ecological data on vast scales and in fine resolution could transform our management and understanding of natural ecosystems.

    • Sarab S. Sethi
    • Mirko Kovac
    • Clementine M. Boutry
  • Life emerged from and amidst non-living phenomena that already possessed some of the hallmarks now used four billion years later to recognize fossil organisms. It may be next to impossible to distinguish the earliest signs of life against this background. What can we still learn from fossil-like materials on the early Earth and elsewhere?

    • Sean McMahon
    • Seán F. Jordan
  • Humans have influenced global fire activity for millennia and will continue to do so into the future. Given the long-term interaction between humans and fire, we propose a collaborative research agenda linking archaeology and fire science that emphasizes the socioecological histories and consequences of anthropogenic fire in the development of fire management strategies today.

    • Grant Snitker
    • Christopher I. Roos
    • Rachel A. Loehman
  • Data on tropical forests are in high demand. But ground forest measurements are hard to sustain and the people who make them are extremely disadvantaged compared to those who use them. We propose a new approach to forest data that focuses on the needs of data originators, and ensures users and funders contribute properly.

    • Renato A. F. de Lima
    • Oliver L. Phillips
    • Rodolfo Vásquez
  • Achieving net-zero targets and climate stabilization will require better accounting for the immense amount of carbon naturally stored belowground. We propose ‘carbon parks’ as a conservation tool and financial instrument to protect and value carbon-rich ecosystems.

    • Julie Loisel
    • Jayme Walenta
  • Approaches to financing biodiversity conservation tend to focus on funding gaps, but fail to address underlying political and economic drivers. We propose two strategies — tax reform and debt justice — to supercharge public financing for biodiversity and deflate harmful financial flows, while chipping away at the causes of state austerity.

    • Jessica Dempsey
    • Audrey Irvine-Broque
    • Adriana DiSilvestro
  • Advances in spatial biodiversity science and nationally available data have enabled the development of indicators that report on biodiversity outcomes, account for uneven global biodiversity between countries, and provide direct planning support. We urge their inclusion in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

    • Walter Jetz
    • Jennifer McGowan
    • Maria Cecilia Londoño-Murcia
  • Global spatial information on biodiversity, carbon storage and land-use abound. Yet maps are conspicuously absent from national climate and biodiversity strategies, hampering integrated approaches to meeting economic, social and environmental objectives, including those under the forthcoming Global Biodiversity Framework.

    • Guido Schmidt-Traub
  • Global priority maps have been transformative for conservation, but now have questionable utility and may crowd out other forms of research. Conservation must re-engage with contextually rich knowledge that builds global understanding from the ground up.

    • Carina Wyborn
    • Megan C. Evans
  • Recent advances in AI-based 3D protein structure prediction could help address health-related questions, but may also have far-reaching implications for evolution. Here we discuss the advantages and limitations of high-quality 3D structural predictions by AlphaFold2 in unravelling the relationship between protein properties and their impact on fitness, and emphasize the need to integrate in silico structural predictions with functional genomic studies.

    • Shimon Bershtein
    • Daniel Kleiner
    • Dan Mishmar
  • The future of SARS-CoV-2, including the possibility of elimination and eradication, remains uncertain, but much hinges on characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 immunity. The next few months to a year is a critical period for understanding these characteristics.

    • Rachel E. Baker
    • Sang Woo Park
    • C. Jessica E. Metcalf
  • Global scientific partnerships should generate and share knowledge equitably, but too often exploit research partners in lower-income countries, while disproportionately benefitting those in higher-income countries. Here, I outline my suggestions for more-equitable partnerships.

    • Dolors Armenteras
  • Global conceptions of Antarctica are dominated by colonial narratives despite an ostensibly collaborative paradigm. We argue that an Indigenous Māori framework centring relational thinking and connectedness, humans and non-human kin, and drawing on concepts of both reciprocity and responsibility, offers transformational insight into true collective management and conservation of Antarctica.

    • Priscilla M. Wehi
    • Vincent van Uitregt
    • Krushil Watene
  • Concerted conservation efforts have led to a remarkable recovery of multiple green turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations worldwide. The voracious feeding of these returning populations is radically transforming tropical seagrass habitats in ways that prompt a re-think of the reference state and management plans for seagrass meadows.

    • Marjolijn J. A. Christianen
    • Marieke M. van Katwijk
    • Teresa Alcoverro