Dear Colleagues,

We have decided to relaunch the department newsletter EcoNews to help us stay better connected as a department.

We are a large department spread over several campuses and it is a good way for us all to keep in touch and be aware of what’s happening.

In the two and a half years I’ve been Head we’ve welcomed around twenty new staff and more are still to arrive this year. I believe it is important for us to communicate what we do to new staff to make them feel welcome and for us all to get to know them.

2018 has so far started in a very positive spirit. We’ve had a really exciting recruitment year. We look forward to welcoming Zac Gross from Oxford University, Gordon Leslie from Stanford University and Weijia Li from University of California, Berkeley, Xiaojian Zhao from Chinese university in Hong Kong before the end of the year.

From the number and quality of applicants to the department I believe our reputation is constantly improving.

Another very exciting development is the investment in teaching and learning. Superstar educator Wayne Geerling from the University of Arizona is joining us and we’re looking forward to his contributions within this field.

I am very pleased with the creation of the learning and teaching committee, of which Simon Angus is chair. The increased focus on pedagogy and innovation is very inspiring. Research has always been our priority but it is wonderful to see us making education more of an emphasis.

Lastly, the department is on a great research trajectory as you can see from the list of new publications. But there is always more to a department than doing well individually. We should be more than a sum of the parts. By mentoring, reading each other’s papers, being generous with help and advice we build a warm and welcoming community. It is in this spirit that we should move forward.