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Natural History Notes

Natural History Notes

Unfortunately, the Natural History Notes series in Frontiers has now ended. However, you can still send short natural history papers to The Scientific Naturalist, published in our sister journal, Ecology.

We are also publishing a new series called Frontiers EcoPics. Each EcoPic consists of one or more photos that tell an intriguing natural history story, accompanied by a short description. Click here for more details about the series and what we’re looking for. 

Check out the Author Guidelines

Or send a presubmission inquiry to the Guest Editor, John Pastor (

Otherwise, you can upload to the Ecology submission system at

Submit an article



New natural history series in Frontiers

The natural history of organisms and the landscapes they inhabit has long been the foundation of ecology, evolution, and conservation. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in scientific natural history and the larger questions that it raises.

Natural history has had a long tradition of high quality art and writing and we are looking to continue this tradition in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, with the new series, launched in March 2015, entitled Natural History Notes.

The new series, which is open access to attract as wide a readership as possible, showcases the natural history of particular organisms (their morphology and behavior, their habitats, and their roles in food webs and ecosystems). Submissions about animals, plants, fungi, or microorganisms are all welcome. Submissions should consist of a striking, high-quality photo (or pair of photos) documenting some interesting or previously unknown aspect of an organism’s life cycle or ecology, accompanied by an essay of no more than 1200 words, explaining why it is scientifically interesting or significant. Submissions are reviewed based on equal consideration of the accompanying essay and the quality and natural history significance of the photo.

Photo and essay should:

  • Illustrate a rare, unusual, or fascinating organism, behavior, process, or other natural phenomenon
  • Describe something new or important in ecology, evolution, conservation, phenology, or human–environment  interactions
  • Represent a scientific “aha” or “wow” moment in your own research
  • Help to teach or support a key ecological concept or generate new hypotheses
  • Inspire and engage us in natural history
  • Elaborate on some other new point captured by the photograph.

Essays are reviewed for scientific and aesthetic merit by the Guest Editors of the series, John Pastor (University of Minnesota, MN) and Brad W Taylor (Dartmouth College, NH), who are the co-chairs of the Ecological Society of America’s Natural History Section.

The text accompanying the photo should not just cover previously published work. Each submission should contain something new (eg a new hypothesis, based on the observation captured in the photo). It may be helpful if the observation is put into a wider context, so a maximum of 15 citations can be included, if necessary.

Send high resolution jpeg or tif files of images (minimum original file size 1.5MB) together with the accompanying essay (as a Word file) to Sue Silver, Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers, ( Presubmission enquiries are also welcome but must include a 100–150 word explanation of what points the text will highlight.

We will make every effort to provide a short turnaround time in reviewing submissions.