Posts

October 09, 2014

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6:25 PM | The WWFs report on the shockingly rapid decline in wildlife should surely move us to action | Michelle Nijhuis
Most of us will be forced to combat climate change, but the ones profiting from it will not. Continue reading →
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6:18 PM | Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country
A new analysis of sea levels and flood risk around the world offers more evidence that the brunt of climate change will not be borne equally. More than a quarter of Vietnam’s residents live in areas likely to be subject … Continue reading →
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5:03 PM | River Flow By Design: Environmental Flows Support Ecosystem Services In Rivers Natural And Novel
"When the sun peeped over the Sierra Madre, it slanted across a hundred miles of lovely desolation, a vast flat bowl of wilderness rimmed by jagged peaks. On the map the Delta was bisected by the river, but in fact the river was nowhere and everywhere, for he could not decide which of a hundred green lagoons offered the most pleasant and least speedy path to the Gulf."
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3:49 PM | Kavli Prize
Looks like it’s science prize week on neuroecology… I missed that the Kavli prize winners were announced earlier this month. The Kavli Prize goes to researchers in astrophysics, nanophysics, and neuroscience (yeah, I don’t get the connection either.) This year’s … Continue reading →
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12:49 PM | Long-acting contraceptives for teens
The American Academy of Pediatrics published a "Contraceptives for Adolescents" policy statement that advises pediatricians to consider long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods as first-line contraceptive choices for adolescents. Recent research shows that women, including teens, will choose LARCs when cost is not a barrier and when healthcare providers can help patients choose and access the contraceptives that best meet their needs.
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11:45 AM | Poll results: what should ecologists learn less of?
Here, for what they’re worth*, are the results so far from yesterday’s poll asking readers to name the most important thing for ecologists to learn more of, and the thing they should learn less of in order to free up … Continue reading →
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4:59 AM | Go read the Survey of Academic Field Experiences study!
As happens to any academic study that receives a lot of press coverage and blogger attention, the actual content of the Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE) study by Clancy et al. (2014) has gotten a bit obscured in the ensuing … Continue reading →
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4:54 AM | Fighting the war on science
There has been a long-standing dogma within the scientific community that scientists can not, and should not, be activists. “To be effective,” my undergraduate mentor told me, “scientists need to be impartial, they need to do science and let others worry about the advocacy.” I was as dissatisfied then and I am today, almost 10 years later (!!!!), with the choice that he put to me. “If you want to go into advocacy, that’s great, but you have to choose that […]
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1:50 AM | It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s …
Dominic? That’s right. Dominic Fonde to be exact! The Brit’s in da house! In town actually. For a limited time only. While the exhibition lasts. “What exhibition?” you ask. I’ll come to that in a minute… It was great to see Dominic – my glass blowing, drill engraving artiste of a friend who has been… Continue reading »
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1:01 AM | Citizen Naturalist Opportunities
There are many citizen naturalist projects you can join. Continue reading →

October 08, 2014

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8:58 PM | ESA Policy News October 8: Obama designates world’s largest marine reserve, Science committee reviews NSF grants
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy New […]
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6:38 PM | What is the motivation for pursuing graduate school?
Last week an interesting hashtag was floating around twitter:  #whyididaphd.  It was great to see reflections on this topic, and during our most recent lab meeting, I asked my students why they were pursuing advanced research-based degrees, and here are some of their responses: Graduate school allows an opportunity for freedom to do the things […]
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6:01 PM | Nobel Prizes in Neuroscience
After O’Keefe and the Mosers winning the Nobel prize this year, I was wondering how many of the prizes have been for neuroscience research (directly). From the full list, these seem to be the winners: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or … Continue reading →
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5:29 PM | Byssinosis, an infamous booklet, and Reagan-era OSHA
In his first week on the job, President Reagan's appointee to head OSHA ordered a booklet about the hazards of cotton dust destroyed. He considered the image and words of textile workers afflicted by "brown lung" disease "biased."
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5:00 PM | Zebra finches use camouflage
Wild ThingsAnimals BY Sarah Zielinski 2:00pm, October 8, 2014 Male zebra finches are the nest builders in this species. A new study suggests that they camouflage their nests to blend in with the background.William Warby/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)Bird’s nests come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and […]
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4:55 PM | I see the mountain
I was born in a fork-tongued story Raised up by merchants and drug store liars Now I walk on the paths of glory One foot in ice and one in fire Some build temples, some find alters Some come in … Continue reading →
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4:43 PM | New Old Perspectives
The first month in the Netherlands and of MSc Forest and Nature Conservation at Wageningen University (WUR) is behind me. And what an interesting and illuminating month that was! About programme, people and Conservation.
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3:15 PM | Warts & All!
Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble. Shakespeare’s witches open Macbeth by tossing a toad into their cauldron, along with parts of snakes, newts, bats and other dejected, unfortunate creatures. Why such a bad rap? After all, people LOVE frogs – they turn into princes and are considered quite lucky by some cultures. But toads? Feared, reviled. What’s the big difference? Toads (like the American toad, Bufo americanus, pictured above) tend to live […]
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1:56 PM | Urban Protected Areas: Important for Urban People, Important for Nature Conservation Globally
The international conservation movement traditionally has concentrated on protecting large, remote areas that have relatively intact natural ecosystems. It has given a lot less attention to urban places and urban people. About ten years ago, four of us long involved … Continue reading →
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1:16 PM | White Lab PhD openings at the University of Florida
I’m looking for one or more graduate students to join my group next fall. In addition to the official add (below) I’d like to add a few extra thoughts. As Morgan Ernest noted in her recent ad, we have a relatively unique setup at Weecology in that we interact actively with members of the Ernest […]
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11:13 AM | What should ecologists learn LESS of?
There are lots of things that it would be nice for ecologists to know more of. Natural history. Math. Programming. Statistical techniques. The mathematical foundations of statistics. Philosophy of science. Genetics. Evolution. Other things. If you’re like me, you probably … Continue reading →
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10:16 AM | Once in a red moon (again)
Three years ago, shortly after I joined Science Centre, I learnt about the last total lunar eclipse of 2011 on 10 Dec 2014 and managed to enjoy the eclipse process with my husband and friends at the Jurong Lake Park. We had coined it as a “Once in a red moon” affair back then as… Continue reading »
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10:05 AM | Ascomycetes Wannabes: Cyphelloid Fungi—Part I
A few days ago I found a pale resupinate fungus growing on the side of a very rotten, mossy log up near Algonquin Park. Log-clinging fungi can be difficult to identify. There are a lot of them, and, outwardly, the majority are not particularly exciting. I took out my loupe to see if this one had anything fun going on—teeth, for instance, or velveteen bumps, or rubbery undulating ridges. I got something better, so much better that I actually did a double take: […]
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10:04 AM | Step into the Light: Have Scientists found Evidence for Life after Death?
Step into the light... Image source: The IndependentThe largest study of its kind may have found evidence that consciousness can survive death. A paper published in Resuscitation has concluded that consciousness may be able to avoid detection in a dead patient, while still existing somehow, with "2% (of cardiac arrest survivors) exhibiting full awareness." The report, based on a four year observational study of 2,060 cardiac arrest events, suggests that "this supports other recent studies that […]
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9:31 AM | Update: Plant Health News (08 Oct 14)
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the promotion of grain storage bags to prevent pest damage in Kenya, the fight against herbicide-resistant weeds and managing Fusarium wilt disease in watermelon. Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news! Farmers in Kenya demonstrate the […]
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7:58 AM | Invasive myrtle rust impacts discussed at international forestry congress
Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:CABI has recently published a comprehensive review and update of its ISC datasheet on the globally important pathogen Puccinia psidii, commonly known as myrtle rust or guava rust. This problematic fungus is of worldwide importance and is capable of infecting a wide range of hosts. To date it has…
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1:00 AM | The Large-Number Limit for Reaction Networks (Part 3)
joint with Arjun Jain We used to talk about reaction networks quite a lot here. When Arjun Jain was visiting the CQT, we made a lot of progress understanding how the master equation reduces to the rate equation in the limit where there are very large numbers of things of each kind. But we never […]

October 07, 2014

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11:01 PM | On the writing of a PhD thesis
“Writing a [thesis] is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” Winston Churchill I’ve just finished my PhD thesis and thought I’d share some of my opinions on how best to go about writing one. But before we get there I’d like to express my […]
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9:26 PM | For Miami, Sea Level Rise Has Already Gone Exponential
Decades or even years ago, astronomical high tide wasn’t so much of a problem for Miami. Now, it means flooded roads and runways. It means salt water backing up through city drainage and municipal water systems. It means sea walls over-topped. It means lawns, properties and businesses covered in water. Continue reading →
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9:00 PM | Is there a Doctor in the House?
I’m over a month into my PhD program and I’m still oscillating between wild, ecstatic optimism and stone cold, stop you in your tracks fear of the route ahead.  Completing a Master’s degree was two and a half years of hard work and setbacks culminating in one of the proudest, happiest moments of my life - successful defending of my thesis. I’m back on track for five more years of the grad student life, but these will be harder, faster, stronger times ahead than […]
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