Posts

March 06, 2015

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5:51 PM | Photo of the Week – March 6, 2015
Ok, it’s not a world class photo from an artistic standpoint, but it tells a story.  I just wish I knew what the story was… I noticed these two small mounds of snow last month in a restored prairie west … Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | sedaDNA sleuths: embracing your inner Sherlock
Awhile back fellow TME contributor Rob Denton posted about a recent review on environmental DNA by Pedersen et al. (2015). Environmental DNA (eDNA) is obtained from samples such as sediments, ice or water and can provide scientific sleuths with tantalizing clues about past … Continue reading →
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3:49 PM | Moving Photos Show Climate Change Destroying The Nomadic Way Of Life In Mongolia
Just another sad casualty of environmental collapse: These before-and-after shots show how deserts are taking over the pastures where animals once… Source: www.fastcoexist.com The article concludes that climate change is responsible, but it’s own content indicates that the change is … Continue reading →
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2:12 PM | Scientific publishing celebrates 350 years | @GrrlScientist
The first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published 350 years ago today, and established a new model for publishing scientific, medical, academic and scholarly research.The first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published 350 years ago today. It established a new model for publishing scientific, medical, academic and scholarly research that is used by tens of thousands of journals today. This model relies on peer-review of the research […]
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12:38 PM | FLUMP – Slow origins of functional diversity, maladaptation, and more!
It’s Friday and that means that it’s time for our Friday link dump, where we highlight some recent papers (and . . .

March 05, 2015

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11:30 PM | University writing requirements are a joke
When your undergraduates leave campus with a Bachelor’s degree, can they write well? I wish I could say that about our student body as a whole, but I’d be lying. And it appears to me that this condition extends far beyond my own campus. I’m not going to claim that university students could all write…
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7:09 PM | Questions to Ask when Choosing a Graduate Adviser
A few weeks back, my graduate group had its prospective student weekend, where all the top ranked applicants get to come and meet professors and current students.  Meeting and greeting all these hopeful students got me and a few others thinking about the process of choosing a graduate adviser.  STS wrote a bit about how to find and contact prospective PIs in the past, but that post doesn’t touch on how to make a decision once you have a few professors interested in working with […]
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5:50 PM | Announcing my book: Ladders to Heaven
I have spent the past ten years writing a book about an extraordinary group of plants that have affected humanity in profound yet little-known ways. I am therefore delighted to announce today that Unbound will publish Ladders to Heaven: How fig trees shaped our history, fed our imaginations and can enrich our future. These trees […]
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3:55 PM | NPR and ProPublic provide reality check on US workers’ comp system
Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes use the experiences of injured workers as a reality check on the
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3:00 PM | dN(eutralist) > dS(electionist)? Part 2
Last week’s post dealt with the debate over differences in the efficacy of purifying selection across human genomes. This week, we’ll look at the differences in de novo mutation rates across populations. The human de novo mutation rate has gone … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Apples and Tomatoes: Comparing Community Gardens and Municipally Sponsored Urban Agriculture
A review of Public Produce: Cultivating our Parks, Plazas, and Streets for Healthier Cities. Darrin Nordahl. Island Press. September 2014. ISBN: 9781610915496. 224 pages. When Darrin Nordahl first published Public Produce: the New Urban Agriculture in 2009, most urban agriculture took place in community gardens, backyard gardens, and urban farms. Since then, local municipalities have developed numerous … Continue reading Apples and Tomatoes: Comparing Community Gardens and […]
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1:41 PM | #Cosyne2015, by the numbers
  Another year, another Cosyne. Sadly, I will be there only in spirit (and not, you know, reality.) But I did manage to get my hands all over the Cosyne abstract authors data…I can now tell you everyone who has … Continue reading →
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11:07 AM | Axios Review is working; you should try it
A while back I joined Axios Review, an independent editorial board. Axios Review is a service to which ecologists and evolutionary biologists submit their mss. They get back peer reviews, just like with a journal, along with an editorial decision … Continue reading →
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3:13 AM | An ode to graduate students
Last week I saw two of my graduate students successfully defend their PhDs. This is wonderful and exciting, and I am delighted that they are both moving on to post-doctoral research positions in other places. I am also saddened by their departures: seeing good students leave the lab creates a vacuum. This has caused me […]
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2:22 AM | 2015 El Nino to Bring Back-to-Back Hottest Years on Record?
Originally posted on robertscribbler:For the past six months, the Pacific Ocean has been very, very warm. A vast and unsettling expanse of record heat building from the tropics on through the mid lattitudes and into the Arctic. Sea surface…
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1:47 AM | Congress squeezes Obama’s reg czar about lack of transparency
Testifying before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, OIRA chief Howard Shelanski was criticized from both sides of the aisle for his office's lack of transparency in handling reviews of agencies' regulatory actions.

March 04, 2015

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8:43 PM | Melting Permafrost (Part 4)
  Russian scientists have recently found more new craters in Siberia, apparently formed by explosions of methane. Three were found last summer. They looked for more using satellite photos… and found more! “What I think is happening here is, the permafrost has been acting as a cap or seal on the ground, through which gas […]
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8:00 PM | Encountering the Urban Forest
For all the critical scholarship that is written about the harnessing of volunteer labor in caring for urban trees (see, e.g., Perkins 2009), it never squared with my experience of engaging in stewardship. Following attendance at a human geography panel on ‘powerful objects’, I came to realize that my leisure practices were missing from my … Continue reading Encountering the Urban Forest →
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7:14 PM | PEPFAR, abstinence, and evidence
Stanford medical student Nathan Lo reportedly caused a stir at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week when he presented a new finding: After analyzing surveys completed by 800,000 people in 22 sub-Saharan African countries, Lo and his colleagues found "no evidence to suggest that PEPFAR funding of abstinence and faithfulness programs results in reduced high-risk sexual behavior."
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4:48 PM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (04 Mar 15)
We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include new species of plant parasitic nematodes from tea plantations in Iran, the impact of fungicides and biocontrol agents in managing peduncle blight of tuberose caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae, and aphid […]
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4:07 PM | Insects may undermine trees’ ability to store carbon
Wild ThingsAnimals,Climate by Sarah Zielinski 11:08am, March 4, 2015 Forest tent caterpillars, like this one resting on an aspen leaf, are found in U.S. hardwood forests. A new study finds that when carbon dioxide levels are higher, herbivorous insects eat more vegetation. courtesy of John Couture, UW-MadisonTrees are often promoted as an important tool for combating climate change. […]
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4:00 PM | Toying with eigenvectors
There are few things I enjoy more than when someone takes the time to clearly communicate a complex idea. The whole “you don’t know it until you teach it” phenomenon gives me the utmost respect for those who put effort into … Continue reading →
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3:58 PM | ESA Policy News March 4: Science committee reviews NSF budget request, Mikulski to retire, NSF report highlights participation in science among underrepresented groups
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy New […]
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9:33 AM | Rules for the black birdwatcher | @GrrlScientist
Black bird watchers are rare birds themselves, and there are special rules that the black birder must observe to remain safe when out in the field chasing rare birds. “Any bird that’s black is my bird.”Are you a bird watcher, especially one who chases rare birds? If so, you most likely are white, fifty-five or older, and male. Female birders and young birders are unusual (in my experience), but the rarest birds of all are non-white birders. Continue reading...
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8:55 AM | Factsheet of the month: March 2015 – Tomato yellow leaf curl management
A recent plant protection conference in Hanoi highlighted dangerous levels of pesticide use in agriculture in Vietnam. The head of Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department, Nguyen Xuan Hong, announced that a 5-year Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project had been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. IPM will be important in reducing both costs to […]
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8:50 AM | Almost 700 Starving Koalas Secretly Culled in Australia
Almost 700 koalas at Cape Otway, Western Victoria, Australia, were culled in secret, it has emerged. The region's Environment Minister, Lisa Neville, said that the cull, which happened 2012-2013, was carried out due to 'overpopulation issues'.The issue was a complex one, officials have said, but the current media backlash has arisen mainly because of the lack of transparency with the public. However, this may have been just what the secrecy of the cull may have been trying to avoid, since […]
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12:11 AM | Evaluate My Work, Not My Body Art
When I was an undergrad, one of my reasons for wanting to continue in academia was my aversion to Western formal clothing. If I became a Ph.D. student and then a professor, I thought, I would hardly ever need to wear suits … Continue reading →

March 03, 2015

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11:25 PM | Researchers: Beyond social justice and fairness, income inequality is a matter of health
The public health literature is pretty clear when it comes to income status and poverty and their profound effects on health, disability, disease and life expectancy. But what about income inequality? Does a rising gap in wealth and resource distribution affect people’s health too?
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10:11 PM | Hubbard Fellowship Blog – Plains Pocket Mouse
This post is written by Jasmine Cutter, one of our Hubbard Fellows.  She has been studying the way small mammals use our restored and remnant prairies. Remember when I said I was going to highlight some more of our small … Continue reading →
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9:01 PM | How to Look for Signs of Bats
This is a guest post written by Andrew Harrington. Andrew has also written other posts on this blog.  So, you might have figured out by now that I quite like bats, as I’m always writing about them. Well, in fact a lot of the work I do involves bat surveys, and in particular trying to identify bat roosts. Bat roosts are the places where bats sleep by day, have a quick rest by night while they’re out foraging for food, raise their young in summer, and hibernate in […]
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