Posts

July 10, 2014

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8:11 PM | Ricky Gervais calls for public to hand in ivory and other wildlife products
Non-political leadership can support nature conservation as Ricky Gervais is in London. Continue reading →
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7:57 PM | Ebola references
This is an abbreviated list of accessible, Ebola-related articles. Some are specific to the current outbreak, others are more general, some traditional science articles and others good online articles. [There are some also useful links in the article below.] There … Continue reading →
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7:09 PM | Photo of the Week – July 10, 2014
When I was at the Niobrara Valley Preserve in late June, I did some macro photography, in addition to the sunset photo I showed last week.  Here are four photos from that trip. . . .  
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6:37 PM | Sign The Petition Against Exotic Animal Abuse In New York Circuses
Originally posted on Animal Blawg:Nadya Hall (x post from  ePolicy) The cruelty-free show must go on. Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION), an animal advocacy non-profit, has initiated a petition through Change.org in support of the Traveling Wild and Exotic Animal Protection Act. (See memorandum…
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5:56 PM | Concerned About Exposure to Toxic Chemicals?
Toxic chemicals enter the natural environment as wastes from human activities. Insuring chemicals are safe for humans will insure that they are safe for wildlife too. Continue reading →
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5:43 PM | Robots can be a bit TOO friendly
I’ve been a bit too busy for a proper post this week so here are some overly-friendly robots via kottke etc
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5:37 PM | “The members of the HBP are saddened by the open letter posted on neurofuture.eu” (updated)
Truly, the Human Brain Project has become sad :( Here is their response to the neurofuture petition that I talked about on Monday (in PDF only, for some reason): The members of the HBP are saddened by the open letter posted on neurofuture.eu on 7 July 2014, as we feel that it divides rather than […]
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5:33 PM | A small mammal with an outsized impact
[ This post is by Craig W. Benkman; I am just putting it up.  –B. ]When we think of species having large and disproportionate impacts on communities, animals like sea otters come to mind. By eating and depleting sea urchins, sea otters prevent urchins from eating and depleting kelp. The huge difference between having kelp forests and their diverse community of fishes, sea lions, and eagles, versus largely kelp-less barrens arises simply from contemporary ecological processes; otters […]
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1:20 PM | The Tip of the Gutberg: The World’s First Map of the Patina of Feces
If one tells the story of the history of the Earth from the perspective of microbes, one of the great leaps forward was the evolution of animals with guts. From the microbial perspective, animals are wondrous contrivances that evolved for carrying their habitat, the gut, from one patch of food to another and keeping it safe. Guts are predictably full of food and, even when they are not, all one has to do is wait. They are also constant in their pH and other conditions. They are the perfect […]
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12:49 PM | The unfortunate plight of the pollinators- Who are the culprits?
Why are pollinators declining? New research suggests neonicotinoids are to blame. When we talk of the crop production we hardly remember to acknowledge the services of these tiny pollinators and also don’t bother to safeguard them when we invest a lot in plant protection. These pollinators play an elemental role in an important process of […]
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11:46 AM | What do we do with the aliens among us? by Madhusudan Katti
Over at the excellent The Nature of Cities blog, editor David Maddox is hosting the site’s 8th Global Roundtable, this time focusing on the challenge of invasive and exotic species in cities. David recently invited me (as one of the regular contributors to the blog) to take part in this roundtable with a brief essay stating […]
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11:26 AM | Faculty position in ecology at University of Ottawa
Friend of the blog Rees Kassen passes on news of a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Global Change and Macroecology at the University of Ottawa. Details here. Application deadline is Aug. 31. Note that Ottawa has a history of … Continue reading →
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9:59 AM | Dying to save the world
Ensia has published a feature article I wrote about reports of growing violence against people who defend their local environments from powerful forces. I have reproduced it here under Ensia’s creative commons licence… Jeannette Kawas was an accountant whose concept … Continue reading →
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4:00 AM | Tracking changes in markdown
Using markdown to write papers is an insanely great experience, because it is a concise yet powerful markup language, that pandoc can export to almost anything you like (and Word). Some journals, though, require that you upload a document with all changes highlighted in addition to the revised manuscript. As a reviewer, I find this helpful, but as an author, I’m always trying to find a way not to do it because it is not really straightforward. Well, as it turns out, this is not true. I […]

July 09, 2014

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7:43 PM | The importance of investing in the researchers of the future
In the most recent edition of the Ecologist Goes to Was […]
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6:49 PM | Sheep Killed, Punched, Stomped on, and Cut for Wool
Animal cruelty found across the wool industry. Continue reading →
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6:21 PM | Yet another reason to hate ticks
Wild ThingsHealth,Animals by Sarah Zielinski 3:09pm, July 9, 2014 The American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is one of several tick species that has a bite that can cause paralysis.James Gathany/CDCIs there anything redeeming about a tick? These small arachnids — of which there are 850 members in three families in the order Parasitiformes — latch onto the skin of a pet, […]
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5:06 PM | Forests and fish on CBC radio
Listen to us talk about our latest work on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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2:29 PM | Safety whistleblowers on Warren Buffett’s railroad
Tony Schick of Oregon Public Broadcasting profiles the experience of BNSF railway employees who blow the whistle on safety problems.
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12:58 PM | The Kingdom of Rarities by Eric Dinerstein | review | @GrrlScientist
In this engaging and thought-provoking narrative, Eric Dinerstein shares his journeys to exotic and remote places, as he explores and explains the many nuanced reasons why some species rare and why rare species are important. Why are some species naturally rare whilst others are common? Do rare species make any difference in the larger scheme? These questions have puzzled biologists for centuries. Truth be told, even today, scientists have uncovered just a few pieces within this complex puzzle […]
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12:17 PM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (9 Jul 14)
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 rusts on sugarcane in Ecuador and Southern Africa, outbreaks of the whitefly Aleurothrixus aepim in Brazil, and the first report of the fungus Alternaria arborescens causing leaf spot on […]
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12:00 PM | The Giant Wild Life of our Giant Backyards
Today we’re serving up an elephant double-feature. Click on over to Buzz Hoot Roar to get your second helping of pachyderms. Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. After several unsuccessful attempts to rouse every animal and human in my house for company, I stared out the back window into my moonlit yard. There, creeping through the branches of our sycamore tree was a fat, wiry raccoon. I caught my breath. He was beautiful. His fur silvery […]
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11:18 AM | The benefits of continuing to work in the lab as a PI
How much do you work in the lab? Is it the amount you want to? Has it changed over time? For me, the answers are: Regularly during field season, rarely otherwise. I think so, but it’s hard to be sure. … Continue reading →
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8:30 AM | Maize lethal necrosis has spread to Rwanda
Report by Abigail Rumsey, Beatrice Uwumukiza and Bellancila Uzayisenga. In the past two years, we have reported on the presence of the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease in East African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The disease is also present in South Sudan. The most recent report has been of its spread to the […]

Adams, I., Harju, V., Hodges, T., Hany, U., Skelton, A., Rai, S., Deka, M., Smith, J., Fox, A., Uzayisenga, B. & Ngaboyisonga, C. (2014). First report of maize lethal necrosis disease in Rwanda, New Disease Reports, 29 22. DOI: 10.5197/j.2044-0588.2014.029.022

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6:13 AM | Human Impacts Causing Great Dying on Earth
"Every day that passes the world is in worse shape" (Patricia Randolph). Continue reading →
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3:02 AM | Climate Change Will Alter Fire Patterns and Caribou Distribution
The absolute best-case result of the fire regime change is that the herds move. The worst case is that the herds diminish in size, Continue reading →
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1:33 AM | U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reverses Wolverine Protection Proposal
Jeff Copeland, a spokesman for the nonprofit Wolverine Foundation and a retired U.S. Forest Service biologist, said that for Walsh to reverse the recommendation "without any new scientific evidence is a sign of strong political pressure from the states." Continue reading →
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12:33 AM | If Rhinos Go Extinct
Rhinos are the irreplaceable savanna maintenance crew and tourist magnets. More of the savanna's human occupants need to realize this and protect rhinos. Continue reading →

July 08, 2014

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11:20 PM | Another study finds that despite rare adverse events, childhood vaccines are safe
Vaccine safety is one of those topics that has become so tragically mired in misinformation and myth that there can never be enough supporting evidence. So, here’s some more.
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7:08 PM | Ebola update
The West Africa Ebola epidemic is not waning. The latest (July 6) numbers from the WHO show that about 5.6% of the total cases (including probable and suspect cases), and 4.6% of the deaths, originated just in the four days … Continue reading →
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