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Let me introduce myself

已有 3851 次阅读 2011-1-13 15:37 |个人分类:未分类|系统分类:论文交流| editing

Dr. Matthew Hughes, Edanz Group China

Dr. Matthew Hughes is an editor with Edanz Group China (Liwen Bianji).

我是Matthew Hughes,新任理文编辑地球和环境科学领域的全职编辑/讲师,在此向大家简短介绍一下我自己以及我的科研经历,同时与大家分享我对未来中国地球和环境科学领域发展走势的预测。在今后的帖子中,我还会以提纲的形式展示英语论文的写作和发表的一些实战经验。


My name is Matthew Hughes, and I’m an editor with Liwen Bianji for the Earth and Environmental Sciences. I want to introduce myself and give you some information on my scientific background. I also want to provide an overview of how I anticipate Earth and Environmental Science research in China is going to develop in the future. I will finish with an outline of future blogs that will address some of the practicalities of writing and publishing.
I’m from New Zealand. I grew up in the city of Auckland, which is where I did my undergraduate training at the University of Auckland in Geology and Biological Sciences. I did my Master of Applied Science and PhD degrees in Soil Science at Lincoln University in Christchurch. My Master’s degree was in quantitative soil-landscape modeling, and you can find a paper based on this work here [1]. My PhD was focused on Quaternary Science, and was an interdisciplinary study using soil science, geology, geomorphology, tephrochronology and paleoecology to understand how the interactions between tectonics and glacial-interglacial climate change influenced ecosystem shifts and landscape evolution in New Zealand. You can find my paper here [2] on climate change-induced effects on soil erosion rates mediated by changes in plant communities, and this one here [3] on landscape evolution in my study area.
After my PhD I spent a year lecturing in Earth and Environmental Sciences and also Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Lincoln University. In addition, I did some consulting for the mining and viticulture industries, making soil maps and providing advice to support resource manager decision making.
For the last two years I have lived in Brisbane, Australia, working as a consultant Environmental Scientist for a company called AECOM. I have worked on projects for the mining and natural gas industries, local government, and the Australian Defense Force. I have been involved mostly in terrain and soil assessments for Environmental Impact Assessments, combining field studies and GIS modeling, but have also worked on assessing aquatic ecosystem and groundwater quality, and have more recently been involved in wildlife monitoring and archaeological investigations.
My combined research and private sector experience means that I bring to Liwen Bianji a broad and in some areas deep understanding of both pure Earth Science and applied Environmental Science.

Earth and Environmental Science in China
The Chinese government recognizes that the rapid population growth and economic development that have pulled so many people in the country out of poverty has, on the other hand, had significant, negative environmental consequences. At the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, in October, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in his address:

While generating enormous wealth, industrialization, urbanization and globalization have also cost us dearly in terms of resource depletion, environmental pollution and ecological degradation…We must respect nature, place importance on resource conservation and environmental protection, and accelerate the transformation of the development model and economic restructuring in order to achieve sustainable development and leave to the future generation a planet where they can survive and thrive [4].

In the Communiqué of the 5th Plenum of the 17th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, issued on 18th October 2010, the following was stated:

It is urged that the building of a resource-saving and environment-friendly society should be accelerated, and the ecological conservation culture should be promoted. More work should be done to proactively combat global climate change, increase environment protection, develop the recycling economy, improve resource conservation and management, speed up the construction of the ecological protection system and that of disaster prevention and reduction, and enhance the ability of maintaining sustainable development [5].

In the Plenum’s proposal for China’s 12th Five-year Program (2011-2015) on National Economic and Social Development, scientific development was declared the theme of the program [6] , and rural modernization was also declared to be a significant goal [7]. The proposal advocated the strengthening of agriculture, what it termed “prudent” urbanization, and the upgrading of China’s capabilities in indigenous research and innovation in science and technology [8].
What will this mean for the future of Earth and Environmental Science in China? I can’t pretend to know how this will affect the entire range of funding programs available for the Earth Sciences, but there are positive signs that the government is allocating significant amounts of money to improve China’s understanding of natural systems, both from a national and global perspective. For example in January this year Tsinghua University in Beijing launched the Institute for Global Change Studies (IGCS) [9]. In addition, in July the Chinese Science Ministry announced funding for 19 major projects to develop China's Earth system models, and with a total funding of approximately 550 billion yuan (approximately US$82 million) [10].
This is a good start, and will go some way towards addressing many of China’s environmental problems. Some of these were addressed in a recent paper published in Nature in which Piao et al [11]. reviewed the impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture. Some key messages in the article were: multidisciplinary synthesis of the knowledge of climate impacts is scarce; to better understand and project occurrences of drought more attention needs to be paid to soil moisture feedbacks on climate; there is high uncertainty in how precipitation patterns will change in the coming century and how this will affect river runoff, irrigation, rural development, urbanization and food security; possible exhaustion of glacial runoff and potential effects on river runoff (again influencing irrigation and food security); the need for regional and crop-specific agricultural studies; the need to discover potential dangerous climate change thresholds; and in general the need for integrated studies over specific climate regions in China, combining dense regional observations with data from agricultural experiments, long-term records of river runoff, local irrigation and glacier mass balance records [11].
Other research areas that China can contribute to are the use of remote sensing and other geospatial technologies to assess urbanization and wider land use change, including serious issues of desertification, soil erosion and salinization. Studies on the extent and nature of industrial and agricultural pollution, and how to remediate contaminated air, soil and water are needed. Fundamental research on the oceans and atmosphere, their natural dynamics and their responses to anthropogenic influences, is also essential. Paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental studies are needed to provide vital historical context for modern processes and human impacts on the Earth system.
The good news is that Chinese scientists are already producing much research on all these things, and here at Liwen Bianji I’ve had the privilege of editing some of it. What Piao et al. [11] are saying is that more interdisciplinary syntheses are needed to really apply findings of individual studies and programs to the multi-faceted environmental problems faced in China. As usual, this is much easier said than done, but the establishment of devoted multidisciplinary institutes and research programs a good sign.
Another aspect is this: the world is watching. Outside of China, much of the world talks about China, particularly in the developed countries. Whether it is about its role as a world superpower and now the world’s second largest economy after the U.S.A., or the nature of its international trade and diplomatic relationships and geopolitical strategies, China is a hot topic. The whole world in one way or another has a stake in China’s future. This is why it is so encouraging to see the concerted efforts of the Chinese government to play its role in addressing global environmental concerns, as the founding of the IGCS demonstrates. From my own perspective as a scientist and Liwen Bianji editor, it is especially important that good quality Chinese science is published in the international literature to disseminate the real extent and nature of environmental problems, and their solutions. Scientific openness, integrity and fostering of domestic and international relationships are essential for addressing humanity’s most serious challenges.
Finally, I want to emphasize that there are whole branches of the Earth Sciences in China not related specifically to environmental or climate change issues that will remain important (to you and to us here at Liwen Bianji). Research on and publication of geophysics and tectonics is of significant interest internationally, especially as it relates to understanding the geosphere and its evolution, and seismic events such as major earthquakes and related natural hazards. Other fields of international interest are mineralogy, and the occurrence of ore bodies and other mineral resources. A new and extremely exciting development is China’s expanding space program. Work is already being published on orbital observations of the Moon, and in the coming decade we can look forward to China’s sample-return missions expanding the country’s growing body of Earth science knowledge into true planetary science.

Looking ahead
My future blog posts will address particular Earth and Environmental issues I think relevant to the Chinese scientific community, particularly as they relate to global concerns and international interest. However, I will also post on issues that address practical issues of writing (and reading), the production of maps and other figures for manuscripts, how to prepare for manuscript submission, and how to respond to the comments of peer reviewers and editors. I have experience of all these things, and will share the lessons I have learned.
In addition, I will also discuss the process I use when I edit your manuscript here at Liwen Bianji. Our goal is to help you produce the best possible manuscript, and get you published.
I look forward to our dialogue, and welcome your comments and contributions.


  1. Hughes, M.W., Schmidt, J. and Almond, P.C. (2009). Automatic landform strati?cation and environmental correlation for modelling loess landscapes in North Otago, South Island, New Zealand. Geoderma 149, 92-100.
  2. Hughes, M.W., Almond, P.C. and Roering. J.J. (2009). Increased sediment transport via bioturbation at the last glacial-interglacial transition. Geology 37, 919-922.
  3. Hughes, M.W., Almond, P.C., Roering. J.J. and Tonkin, P.J. (2010). Late Quaternary loess landscape evolution on an active tectonic margin, Charwell Basin, South Island, New Zealand. Geomorphology 122, 294-308.
  4. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/31/c_13583961.htm
  5. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/18/c_13563388.htm
  6. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/28/c_13580537.htm
  7. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/27/c_13578445.htm
  8. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/27/c_13578403.htm
  9. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/01/elite-universit.html
  10. http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/07/chinas-largest-global-change-res.html
  11. Piao, S. et al. (2010). The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in China. Nature 476, (2 September), 43-51.


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