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BIOL 211 : Ecology

Ecology Citation Style

For Biology 211, you will follow the citation format used by the journal Ecology.

See papers published in that journal [such as Dang et al. (2009)] for an example of how the citation format looks, both within the text and in the Literature Cited section. Below are additional selected examples:

In-text Citations:

  1. Citations and sentence structure:
    “Travers (1999) found that fire can affect the pollen tube growth rate of annuals.”
    “Fire can affect the pollen tube growth rate of annuals (Travers 1999).”
  2. Number of authors:
    Papers with one author: Spell out surname and provide year (Jones 2004)
    Papers with two authors: Spell out both authors’ surnames and provide year (Jones and Smith 2004)
    Papers with three or more authors: Spell out surname of first author only and use “et al.” to indicate the list of other authors (Jones et al. 2003)


Journal article with One author :

FORMAT: Last name, First initial. Second initial. Date. Title. Journal title volume number: inclusive page numbers.

EXAMPLESmith, V. H. 1986. Light and nutrient effects on the relative biomass of blue-green algae in lake phytoplankton. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 43:148–153.

Journal article with two or more authors:

FORMAT: Last name and initial(s) of author, followed by Initials and then Last name of additional authors. Year of publication. Title of article. Title of journal Volume number: Inclusive page numbers.

EXAMPLE: Elser, J. J., and J. Urabe. 1999. The stoichiometry of consumerdriven nutrient recycling: theory, observations, and consequences. Ecology 80:735–751.


FORMAT: Last name and Initial(s) of author, [followed by Initials and Last name of additional authors if any]. Year of publication. Title of book. Edition number if any. Name of publisher, City, State, Country of publisher.

EXAMPLE: Sterner, R. W., and J. J. Elser. 2002. Ecological stoichiometry: the biology of elements from molecules to the biosphere. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

Get Help at CWL

The Center for Writing & Learning (CWL), located in Howarth 109, offers students opportunities to get help on all aspects of the writing process.  Services include:

  • Writing Advisors who are selected through a rigorous application process and who are specially trained to help students get started on a paper, organize their thoughts, or improve their editing skills.
  • Peer Tutors in a wide range of subjects who are nominated by professors in their disciplines and who are specially trained to help students individually or in small groups.
  • Language Partners who work with multilingual students to help them navigate the conventions and quirks of academic English writing.
  • Academic Consultants who are specially trained to help students improve their time management skills, organization, study skills, and test-taking strategies.

Sound Writing


Sound Writing is the official writing handbook on campus, written by student writing advisors and specifically tailored to the needs of Puget Sound students and their faculty.

In addition to supporting the development of successful academic writing skills, Sound Writing also includes sections on research methods, writing in the disciplines, and more.

Sound Writing provides help with three citation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago (notes & bibliography).

Current Edition: 2020

Notes on Ecology Format

  • Always list the author names in the order in which they appear on the paper. Researchers carefully determine the order of authorship on a paper, and you need to preserve it to ensure that the article is recognizable, findable, and fairly credited.
  • Note that all author names are listed as first initials and last names. Even if you know the whole first name, the Ecology format dictates that using initials only in the Literature Cited list. Note also that the first name is given last name first, then intitials and any additional authors are listed intitials first, then last name.
    • Note that there are spaces between the initials.
  • Note that the journal name is written out completely. In older issues of Ecology, citations included bold font for volume number of journal articles. In recent issues, the volume number has not been bolded. Note that issue numbers for journal articles are not listed.
  • Always italicize species names.

Citing in the Sciences

For this course, do not directly quote from the literature.Using quotes is not customary in scientific writing. Instead, use your references to support and contextualize your clains. References in scientific writing are used to:

  • put your study in context with other work done in the field (e.g., similar work on other organisms or in other habitats)
  • show the accepted use of study methods (e.g., show that other people have used the same methods with success)
  • incorporate ideas generated by other research (e.g., perhaps another researcher encountered something similar in their study and they suggested a possible reason for their results)

Citing Sources

Citations are key to participating in the scholarly community. They are a way to converse with other scholars, but they also:

  • Give fair credit to others for their ideas, creations, and expressions.
  • Back up claims and statements.
  • Provide a way for an interested reader to learn more.
  • Support academic integrity.

Consult Citation Tools to learn more about different citation styles.  Collins Library also supports two knowledge management tools:  RefWorks and Zotero.