Abstract. Scientists have quantitatively studied the structure and dynamics of complex ecological networks since the late 1970s. Such research has accelerated in the last decade, resulting in advances in our understanding of patterns of trophic organization, development and testing of simple and successful models of food web structure and dynamics, and identification of factors related to complex species interactions that promote the stability, robustness, and persistence of ecosystems. However, the datasets still used as the basis of much current food web research are quite limited in terms of their quality, quantity, and type. These empirical limitations call into question the generality of current understanding, impede theoretical development and testing, and highly constrain the kinds of questions that can be effectively addressed. This working group will conduct next-generation ecological network research through compilation, analysis and modeling of new gradient-based, multiweb databases.