Anne-Marie Hodge, writing for Scientific American:
As the socioeconomic weave between nations, continents, and cultures becomes ever tighter, some scientists are putting a great deal of energy into investigating the relationships between large-scale ecological and evolutionary principles as they relate to resource use and misuse. This innovative field of study, dubbed “human macroecology,” is emerging as a hothouse for new and exciting discoveries regarding the close parallels between the dynamics of human societies and natural processes.
Hodge presents a nice overview of the field, but one thing struck me as amiss. She quotes Joseph Burger, a PhD student in James Brown’s lab at the University of New Mexico, who has quite a publication record, including a PLoS Biology paper on the new field. He says human macroecology is “the statistical study of exchanges of energy, materials and information between humans and the environment across spatial scales, from local to global and temporal scales, from years to millennia.” Maybe I’m missing something, but I was under the impression that “macro” meant big. Isn’t what he describes—multiple spatial scales and all—just “human ecology”?