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Posts

April 18, 2014

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8:40 PM | 2-3 ecology grad student positions in Jeremy Fox’s lab
Through a mixture of circumstances, I suddenly have 2-3 grad student positions open in my lab for fall 2014 or winter 2015. So while I know this is very much not the season for this sort of thing, if you’re … Continue reading →
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3:45 PM | Study: New fathers struggle with depression, need interventions, too
Women aren’t the only ones at risk for depression and in need of screening services when a new baby comes into their lives. Young fathers face significant mental health challenges as well, according to a new study.
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2:35 PM | Moon dust probe crashes
A NASA spacecraft that studied lunar dust vapourized into its own cloud of dust when it hit the far side of the Moon, as planned, in a mission-ending impact on 17 April. Launched last September, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) finished its primary mission in March. In early April, on an extended mission, it made close passes as low as 2 kilometres above the surface, gathering science data on more than 100 low-elevation orbits. Mission controllers deliberately crashed […]
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2:35 PM | Moon dust probe crashes
A NASA spacecraft that studied lunar dust vapourized into its own cloud of dust when it hit the far side of the Moon, as planned, in a mission-ending impact on 17 April. Launched last September, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) finished its primary mission in March. In early April, on an extended mission, it made close passes as low as 2 kilometres above the surface, gathering science data on more than 100 low-elevation orbits. Mission controllers deliberately crashed […]
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2:06 PM | New Books Party: books received this week | @GrrlScientist
A veritable smörgåsbord of brilliant science, nature and history writing awaits you! (Well, in this case, a very small smörgåsbord.)Below the jump, I mention the books that I received recently. They are gifts, review copies that arrived in the mail, or that I purchased in London. These are the books that I may review in more depth later, either here or in print somewhere in the world. Continue reading...
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1:43 PM | Old conservation, new conservation, true conservation
Should conservation science be united against the common enemy? I’m sure most people know the scene from from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, where the text goes something like: “Brothers, we should be united against the common enemy! / The Judean people’s front? / No, the Romans!” I was reminded of that scene by the…
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1:00 PM | What we’re reading: Stick insects, Gulf of Mexico oysters, and how many peer reviewers it takes to change a lightbulb joke?
In the journals Comeault, A. a., V. Soria-Carrasco, Z. Gompert, T. E. Farkas, C. A. Buerkle, T. L. Parchman, and P. Nosil. 2014. Genome-wide association mapping of phenotypic traits subject to a range of intensities of natural selection in Timema … Continue reading →
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12:30 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Barry Brook
 I recently sat down with Dr. Barry Brook, a leading environmental scientist from Australia, to talk about his middle school years. Learn about how living next to a giant astronomical observatory and frequent visits to a natural history museum as a kid set Barry up for a successful career in science. He also shares some interesting insights about what he’d do with a superpower… Lea: So, we’re thinking back to middle school. Barry: I’ll just think about my two boys […]
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12:00 PM | Recommended reads #25
Google tries to have it both ways when it comes to geopolitical boundaries. Where does Russia start and where does Ukraine end? That depends on your IP address. They want to tell the truth, but not if it involves pissing off Putin, I guess. If Google is so craven in a situation like this, then we […]
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11:53 AM | Photo of the Week – April 18, 2014
A couple weeks ago, I posted a few photos from the timelapse cameras at a restored wetland on our Platte River Prairies.  One of those showed the first documented use by sandhill cranes of that site, which was pretty exciting.  I downloaded … Continue reading →
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11:30 AM | The biotech industry with Rob Carlson
In this interview, I speak to Dr. Rob Carlson, a Principal at Biodesic, an engineering and strategic consulting firm in Seattle that provides services to governments and corporations around the globe. At the broadest level, Dr. Carlson is interested in the future role of biology as a human technology. He is the author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press; it received the […]
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11:30 AM | The biotech industry with Rob Carlson
In this interview, I speak to Dr. Rob Carlson, a Principal at Biodesic, an engineering and strategic consulting firm in Seattle that provides services to governments and corporations around the globe. At the broadest level, Dr. Carlson is interested in the future role of biology as a human technology. He is the author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press; it received the […]
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11:30 AM | Friday Links – Hydrothermal vents as a nursery for early life?
It’s Friday and that means that it’s time for our Friday link dump, where we highlight some recent papers (and . . .
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11:19 AM | Friday links: women in science x3, Peter Godfrey-Smith at 3 am, Dr. Zen on postpublication review, and more
Also this week: Meg has started reading the internet again, happy 50th birthday kin selection theory, the changing nature of academic celebrity, pretty pictures of Jeremy’s “backyard”. Also a link specifically for longtime reader Jim Bouldin! From Meg: Here’s an … Continue reading →

April 17, 2014

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9:28 PM | Thou shall not steal: Houston’s wage theft ordinance in action
Workers in Houston test the City's new anti-wage theft ordinance, making a complaint against companies contracted by the City of Houston.
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8:38 PM | Public higher education is not a reward for hard work
Here in California, there was a measure to officially restore affirmative action to the public university admissions process. (The movement navigated through our state senate, but then the popular narrative is that the Asian-American community tanked it before public had a chance to vote on it. More here.) Whenever white folks (or non-Hispanic European, or whatever […]
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8:38 PM | How a chimp goes mattress hunting
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 4:49pm, April 17, 2014 Chimpanzees can’t go to a mattress store when they need a bed. They have to create one each night from tree branches.Francesco Veronesi/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Note: The following scene is fiction (probably). Stay tuned for the real story below.Two chimps, a mother and daughter, are touring a mattress store. They’re […]
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3:56 PM | Identifying and quantifying fitness effects across loci
The following guest post by Ethan Jewett is cross-posted from the is cross-posted from the CEHG blog at Stanford. Enjoy! The degree to which similarities and differences among species are the result of natural selection, rather than genetic drift, is … Continue reading →
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11:50 AM | Patches of Fire and Habitat
It’s been a difficult year for conducting prescribed fires so far – the wind seems to be blowing even harder and more consistently than in recent memory.  And that’s saying something, living in the Great Plains. A couple of weeks … Continue reading →
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11:24 AM | When a series of entirely reasonable decisions leads to biased outcomes: thoughts on the Waterman Award
The National Science Foundation just announced the winner of the 2014 Alan T. Waterman Award, the highest award it gives to a scientist or engineer under the age of 35. The winner is Feng Zhang, a molecular biologist at the … Continue reading →
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8:47 AM | Family Farming and Women in Agriculture
Originally posted on LukesmithT.v:Today’s post highlights family farming and women in agriculture in Trinidad.I recently visited a humble,hardworking,passionate female farmer named Sheliza Ramlogan.She is 54 years of age with over 30 years experience in the agricultural sector. She currently has 3 acres land of which 2 ½ acres are under sweet pepper production…
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12:51 AM | 7th Bear–Including An Adult Female Bear–Killed After Woman Bitten in Florida
[Never mind that the subdivision backs up against a wildlife sanctuary. When a non-human animal dares to threaten a human, it's not just an eye for an eye, but SEVEN pairs of eyes for an injury.] 7… See on exposingthebiggame.wordpress.comFiled under: Nature … Continue reading →

April 16, 2014

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11:12 PM | Threatened staghorn coral invades Fort Lauderdale!
Last week I was visiting FIU and talking with Lionfish guru Zack Judd when the topic of the Acropora range shift came up.  He and Laura Bhatti wanted to take me to do something fun on my last day in Miami.  So we decided on snorkeling off the beach on the world famous Fort Lauderdale strip […]
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5:20 PM | Pulitzer Prizes and public health
The list of Pulitzer Prize winners released earlier this week includes several journalists who addressed public-health issues, from black lung to food stamps.
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4:49 PM | White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)
What simplicity and gentleness this scene sings. As children, we are often told that we have outgrown something. A toy or a book that is no longer suitable, because we are too old for […]
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4:39 PM | Take a look at SciDev.Net’s scoop on what Plantwise is doing with mobile
SciDev.Net, an online magazine aiming to ‘bring science and development together through news and analysis’, covers the work that Plantwise are doing with mobile in Kenya. It reports on how Plantwise’s mobile initiative is using new technologies to deliver good scientific information to agricultural extension workers in developing countries. This information aims to assist extension workers as they advice farmers […]
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2:42 PM | Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle | book review | @GrrlScientist
The third installment in a children's book series that follows the adventures of twin amateur sleuths who build several science-y spy gadgets to aid them in their quest to solve a mystery. The summer holidays are only two weeks along but 11-year-old Nick Holt already misses his parents. In Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith [Quirk Books, 2014; Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US], we learn that Nick is convinced that someone is spying on his twin […]
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2:26 PM | When sponges take over
Below is a guest post by UNC student Kati Moore: Overfishing, pollution, and most of all, climate change, are destroying corals, causing the collapse of ecosystems and fishing industries around the world. “Corals are the backbone of the entire ecosystem,” said Emily Darling, a marine and climate change researcher at the University of North Carolina […]
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1:17 PM | Journal Club: What’s old is new again: newly discovered songbird family is ancient
SUMMARY: Scientists analysing songbird DNA discovered that the spotted wren-babbler is neither a wren nor a wren-babbler, nor even a babbler. Instead, it represents an old evolutionary family that has no close living relatives. Spotted wren-babbler, Elachura formosa (previously Spelaeornis formosus). Image: Per Alström/SLU [doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.1067]. A newly published study has uncovered a previously unknown family of songbirds that is represented by just one species. After analyzing one […]

Alström P., Hooper D.M., Liu Y., Olsson U., Mohan D., Gelang M., Hung L.M., Zhao J., Lei F. & Price T.D. & (2014). Discovery of a relict lineage and monotypic family of passerine birds, Biology Letters, 10 (3) DOI:

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12:00 PM | Our expert advice remains unheeded
Once in a while, tropical biologists get bot flies. We sometimes find this out while were are in the field. But on five occasions, my students have returned to the US, and then discovered that they are hosting a bot. They all contacted me for advice. I told them a few things, but the most important one was: Whatever […]
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