Posts

November 19, 2014

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2:15 PM | Growing the evolutionary relationship between green algae and salamanders
The presence of  green algae within the developing egg masses of amphibians has been recognized since the early 1900s, but only recently have researchers discovered that the these algae (termed “Oophila”) persist in animal tissues far after leaving the egg. The … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Academic dress code or why women seem to think about clothing more than men
Last week we saw a blatant example of not considering the implications of your wardrobe. There are a lot of good perspectives on That Shirt worn by Dr. Matt Taylor not the least Terry’s own last week; on twitter #shirtstorm or #shirtgate. Rather than discuss the incident itself, which has received plenty of play already…
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9:26 AM | EU Evaluation finds Plantwise ‘highly relevant and timely’
“The Plantwise programme is a highly relevant and timely initiative considering the high percentage of crops lost to pest and disease problems, the impact these problems have on especially small farmer livelihoods, and the probability that in the future plant health problems will be enhanced by climate change and globalization.”  Download and read the Final […]
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1:22 AM | Occupational Health News Roundup
New report chronicles the low wages of child care workers; Johns Hopkins black lung review still unfinished; California nurses go on strike; and OSHA calls on retailers to protect their workers during Black Friday.

November 18, 2014

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6:59 PM | Tasty animals end up on latest list of threatened species
Wild ThingsConservation,Animals,Oceans by Sarah Zielinski 1:59pm, November 18, 2014 Frozen bluefin tuna are stacked before an auction at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The fish, coveted for sushi and sashimi, are now on the decline, and the IUCN has just changed their designation to “Vulnerable,” indicating that they are threatened with extinction.Stewart Butterfield/Flickr (CC […]
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4:40 PM | Building Ecological Services: Restoring the Ecosystem Services of the Habitats We Are Replacing with Human Development
Every year, new scientific advances indicate life is more interwoven than we ever imagined. From recent reports that reveal the cascading effects of wolves’ reintroduction to Wyoming to current studies that track the dire impact of Washington dams on the … Continue reading →
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2:28 PM | Making Smart Assumptions about Prairie Management
Some people say it’s dangerous to make assumptions.  I disagree.  In fact, assumptions are both necessary and empowering.  Land managers make assumptions all the time.  If we didn’t, we’d never get anything done. Assumptions are only dangerous when they are … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Why Conservation? Communicating Applied Biodiversity Science
You might have a favorite science writer. Mine are David Quammen, Bill Bryson, Carl Sagan, and Tim Flannery. Others may . . .
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11:00 AM | From cats to rats: two studies on domestication and tameness
Anyone who has ever read Charles Darwin is acutely aware of his fascination with domestication – particularly how he fancied fancy pigeons. Darwin drew on his domestication obsession while writing his book, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, … Continue reading →

November 17, 2014

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10:42 PM | Navel-gazing Newsflash
A few quick updates on Belly Button Biodiversity and related projects: Azeen Ghorayhshi recently wrote a short bit for Wired Magazine UK recently about Belly Button Biodiversity. You can now download and take a gander at the second and final batch of data from Belly Button Biodiversity. The available file contains both taxonomic information (OTU tables) and meta-data self-reported from our last batch of participants. These are the same data we used to generate the interactive pie chart. In late […]
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7:51 PM | Birdbooker Report 346-7
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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3:52 PM | Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize winner announced | @GrrlScientist
Eye Benders, a children’s book by Clive Gifford & Professor Anil Seth, is filled with optical illusions that are used to explain the science behind how they work and to demonstrate the many different ways that they trick your brain. The children’s science book, Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing & Believing [Ivy Kids, 2013; Amazon UK hardcover/paperback; Amazon US hardcover/paperback], was just announced as the 2014 winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize […]
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1:55 PM | ‘Threatened’ listing for Gunnison sage grouse rouses political scuffle
  A pair of Gunnison sage grouse. Credit/US Fish a […]
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1:34 PM | Healthcare.gov opens again for enrollment, with modest but varying premium increases
As Healthcare.gov welcomes enrollees for 2015 health-insurance plans, we're seeing far fewer technical problems, modest premium increases overall (but not everywhere), and a continued lack of affordable options for those in the "coverage gap."
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1:00 PM | Setting formal expectations for lab members
Are your lab members aware when they do not meet expectations? Out the outset, students should know what is expected of them. This enables their success as well as gives them a way to avoid a shortcoming. It also makes things easier on you when you’re dealing with underperforming students. It’s standard to have a page with information about…
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11:09 AM | Please complete the Dynamic Ecology reader survey! (UPDATED)
Two years ago, when this blog was only a few months old, we surveyed y’all to learn something about who you are, and get feedback on how we can improve Dynamic Ecology. That was really valuable to us. You might … Continue reading →
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10:26 AM | The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology
Leibold et al. (2004) Ecology Letters 7: 601-612. DOI:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00608.x. The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology What surprised me most about this paper was how much of it I feel I have absorbed, and yet I can’t consciously recall reading it. It’s a classic in the field, and I think either influenced or consolidated […]
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9:08 AM | Tropical Field Course Kenya
We’ve just returned from our annual Tropical Ecology Field Course in Kenya with our final year undergraduates. Our trip took us on a journey through the rift valley to the theme of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Here are some of the sights of the trip:       Author: Deirdre McClean Photo credits: Deirdre McClean and Ian Donohue
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5:53 AM | Here, kitty, kitty. The cat genome sheds light on feline evolution and domestication
Although this kitten looks fierce, Montague et al. recently uncovered the genes responsible for the taming of the house cat, Felis silvestris catus, which coincided with the development of agriculture about 10,00 years ago. Grain crops attracted rodents into human … Continue reading →
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1:30 AM | Marcescence – the art of not letting go
I was in Denmark, Maine, this weekend doing very Maine things. Shoving sclerotized sunshine (wood) into the belly of an iron wood stove. Walking alongside a mountain brook with moss-covered rocks licked with a verglas (ver-glaze) of ice. The verglas an art of steely-eyed primeval monsters frozen in time or a hundred fingers overlapping each […]

November 16, 2014

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11:10 PM | Warmest Oceans Ever Recorded
The current record-breaking temperatures indicate that the 14-year-long pause in ocean warming has come to an end. Continue reading →
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10:18 PM | What’s a weed? An Answer from Marcie of Peanuts Fame
Originally posted on The Roaming Ecologist:While browsing through this great presentation about disturbance ecology in the wonderful post-eruption ecosystem of Mt. St. Helens, I came across this comic strip from Peanuts, featuring Peppermint Patty and Marcie. Enjoy!
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6:52 PM | PEER – BLM Grazing Reform
Using the Peer maps, citizen naturalists can visit nearby BLM grazing allotments and perform their own assessment. Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Live-tweeting at conferences
The main appeal of scientific meetings is that you get to see results, and what other people are working on, before any of it is published (and free food – seriously, oh so much free food). Given that there is an increasing number of people using Twitter to cover meetings, it’s no surprise that there is an active discussion about what is off-limits, in terms of what to tweet, and what to keep on the down low. To have an idea of the range of different opinions and issues, you should […]
Editor's Pick

November 15, 2014

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7:36 PM | Creature Feature X: Bulbuls
Here’s my new piece for Creature Feature on bulbuls, about their anti-predator defences and their ability to coexist with one another. These birds are widespread and wonderfully entertaining, with a particular fondness for red cars and always ready to pick a … Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | Top Ten Animals that Love the Snow
As the season changes from fall to winter check out this list of top ten animals playing, hiding, hunting and loving the snow
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11:00 AM | Become a birdsong hero | video | @GrrlScientist
Todays caturday video introduces the online game, Bird Song Hero. It uses audio and visual cues to help people learn birdsongs so they can identify wild birds by voice alone. Those who follow along are aware that Saturdays are known as caturday amongst many within the blogosphere. Some bloggers only share pictures of and stories about their cats whilst others use this day as an opportunity to remind people about the worlds many fascinating animals, almost all of which are overlooked, […]
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11:00 AM | We all took baby steps towards open science
The always excellent and insightful Christie Bahlai has a great blog post about Baby steps for the open curious. Open curious, a term that was coined during a meeting of INNGE’s Open Science group refers to people that would like to start adopting more open practices, but are not sure how to do it, or are still concerned by some of the perceived risks. Our son is learning to stand up and walk, so the metaphor of baby steps is one I can relate to. There are three things to baby steps. You […]
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10:27 AM | Where were you half a billion years ago?
Insects are everywhere and, as far as we humans are concerned, they always have been and always will be. We, as a species, have been around for about 200,000 years. The first members of the primates – the taxonomic order we belong to – emerged around 80 million years ago. And the first vertebrates to leave the sea… Continue reading »
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3:00 AM | A Second Law for Open Markov Processes
guest post by Blake Pollard What comes to mind when you hear the term ‘random process’? Do you think of Brownian motion? Do you think of particles hopping around? Do you think of a drunkard staggering home? Today I’m going to tell you about a version of the drunkard’s walk with a few modifications. Firstly, […]
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