Posts

September 06, 2014

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12:30 AM | Wolf Weekly Wrap Up
Alpha Female of Huckleberry Pack Killed by Washington Wildlife Officials: Last week we updated you about a series of livestock-wolf conflicts occurring on a sheep grazing operation in Stevens County, Washington. Source: www.defendersblog.org Governor’s office suspended hunt for 45 days … Continue reading →

September 05, 2014

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8:34 PM | It’s Not Just Deforestation, it’s Degradation. And Wildlife Loses
Originally posted on strange behaviors:Black bear meets dragonfly (Photo: Reuters) Deforestation—the worldwide destruction of forests—is the calamitous problem that everybody worries about.  But a new analysis makes the case that forest degradation is also happening at “alarming speed” and…
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6:37 PM | PEGE’s bringing it all back (and starting to post again)
PEGE’s back! Starting on the 19th of September, we’re re-starting our fortnightly posts! We’ve put a schedule up (it’s also at the top-right of the page) showing all the papers we’ll be covering for the next few months so you can join in more easily. See you next week! The above is what happens when […]
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6:01 PM | New study finds the greener the neighborhood, the healthier the baby
Forget pink or blue. It turns out that the best color for baby may be green. In a new study, researchers found that mothers living in neighborhoods with plenty of greenness — grass, trees and other types of lush vegetation — were more likely to carry their pregnancies to full term and deliver babies at healthier weights.
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5:41 PM | Unrelated to all that, 9/5 edition
MY FIRST GRADUATE SCHOOL ROTATION, WRITTEN AS A BUDDY COP MOVIE FEINSTEIN: Hey, there’s something else you should know, Johnson. He’s not just with the graduate program. He’s an MD/PhD student. JOHNSON: his mouth hangs open in rage He’s with … Continue reading →
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4:19 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Emilie Rissman
It was an honor to chat with biologist Dr. Emilie Rissman before she officially assumes the role of department head for the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences here at at NC State University. My M.O., of course, was to learn about her life as a middle school student and what it was about her particular experiences back then that brought her to where she is today. Read on to learn how her middle school years spanned very different experiences in […]
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1:00 PM | What we’re reading: Hyper-mutating symbionts, cichlid genomes, and active learning in biology class
In the journals Remigi P, D Capela, C Clerissi, L Tasse, R Torchet, et al. 2014, Transient hypermutagenesis accelerates the evolution of legume endosymbionts following horizontal gene transfer. PLoS Biology. 12(9): e1001942. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001942. Following introduction of the symbiotic plasmid … Continue reading →
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12:13 PM | Meet the 2014 Arthropod Ecology Lab!
Welcome back to the new Academic term!  We had our first lab meeting yesterday, and made sure to run outside to get a “Start of year” lab photo: From left to right we are: Yifu Wang, Anne-Sophie Caron, Sarah Loboda, Shaun Turney, Chris Buddle, Elyssa Cameron, Jessica Turgeon, Crystal Ernst, Etienne Normandin, and Chris Cloutier. […]
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11:27 AM | Friday links: is ecology’s explanatory power really declining that much, John Harte vs. Tony Ives, and more
Also this week: the wisdom of Randall Munroe, banning students from emailing you, the benefits of active learning, and more. Oh, and buried in one of the entries is the story of how “functional groups” are a statistical artifact. From … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Flump side of the moon
It’s Friday and that means that it’s time for our Friday link dump, where we highlight some recent papers (and . . .

September 04, 2014

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9:47 PM | Photo of the Week – September 4, 2014
It’s not often the wind is calm enough to get a good sharp photo of a spider in its web, but everything came together nicely late last week as I walked around one of our restored wetlands.  There were a … Continue reading →
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9:37 PM | Report: Little progress in adult obesity rates and significant disparities persist
During the past year, not one state experienced a decrease in adult obesity rates and, in fact, six states are home to even higher rates than before, according to a new report released today.
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2:48 PM | Spike is on his way to Long Island: What does that mean for Tom and Jerry?
Like the best stories, the Tom & Jerry cartoon is rooted in basic principles of real life: dogs chase cats and cats chase mice. Spike was the bulldog that terrorized Tom the cat, to the benefit of little Jerry the mouse. You might be surprised to hear that there is real predator-prey science behind the violent comedy of Tom & Jerry. Larger carnivores really do terrorize their smaller rivals, and the results trickle down to affect smaller prey, the mice and squirrels of the world. And […]
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12:00 PM | Efficient teaching: Doing active learning an easy way
Here are a few difficult facts about education in college classrooms: Lectures don’t work well. People just don’t really learn much from hour-long lectures. People learn when they discover ideas on their own. People learn best when working with peers. It’s a hell of a lot easier to just explain something to someone than to set…
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11:42 AM | Start-of-the-year advice for everyone!
Over the years we’ve done lots of advice posts on all sorts of things, aimed at everyone from prospective grad students to postdocs to faculty. Here are links to some advice posts that are relevant for the start of the … Continue reading →
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11:15 AM | Newly Discovered Mushroom-Shaped Animal Baffles Scientists
Dendrogramma enigmatica. Picture credit: Jorgen Olesen.In an extremely rare event, a genus new to science has been described. Bizarre mushroom-shaped animals were found in the sea off south-east Australia at depths between 400 and 1000 meters in the mid-1980s, and have only now been scientifically categorized. The animals are so different from any other living creature that they have been assigned their own genus, called Dendrogramma.Genus Dendrogramma contains two species, D. […]
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10:53 AM | Pregnant Mascarene petrel shows off ginormous egg bump as she soars over open seas: picture | @GrrlScientist
Ornithological paparazzi snapped photos of the critically endangered seabird south of Réunion Island in the southern Indian Ocean.A critically endangered Mascarene petrel, Pseudobulweria aterrima, with a very pregnant egg bump is taking centre stage by storm in the ornithological world on Thursday. This mysterious seabird was expected to lay her egg and she lays only one egg per season within hours after being photographed on 22 December 2012 by ornithological paparazzi. Continue […]
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7:27 AM | August Observation @ Ecogarden, Science Centre Singapore
I was inspired by a post on Facebook to make my way down to our Science Centre Ecogarden after a heavy rain one Friday (22 August) to see what insects I might spot. It was in the evening just before 6pm and I headed straight to a row of potted plants right in front of… Continue reading »
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1:14 AM | Existing Coal Power Plants Will Emit 300GT Of CO2
Existing power plants around the world will pump out more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide over their expected lifetimes, significantly adding to atmospheric levels of the climate-warming gas, according to UC Irvine and Princeton University scientists. Continue reading →

September 03, 2014

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9:47 PM | Konza Prairie Trip Part 2 – Tree and Shrub Encroachment
A couple years ago, I wrote about some work from Kansas State University related to woody plant expansion in prairies.  Many of us who work with prairies constantly wrestle with questions about trees in prairies. Why are they encroaching so … Continue reading →
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6:08 PM | Highlights of occupational health and safety research published in the last year
Some of the best research published in the last 12 months on worker health and safety topics is profiled in The Year in US Occupational Health & Safety: Fall 2013 - Summer 2014. The third edition of the report was released on Labor Day.
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5:25 PM | Limits to Growth was right. Research shows pending collapse as human population rises and resources decline
The Guardian: Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse as human population increases and resources decline. Continue reading →
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5:04 PM | Underwater walking
I wade into a marsh pond and see a funny speck of dirt crawling on the surface of the water. But on the underside of the water’s surface . And it’s not dirt, but a minute snail from the family Hydrobiidae. This particular snail is not content enough to walk with its stomach foot on the ground […]
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5:00 PM | Stewarding Memories: Caring for People, Trees, and Land 
“We will never forget.”  After September 11 (2001), this claim was made in countless political speeches, memorial eulogies, bumper stickers, carved stones, tattoos, and tee-shirts. But we do forget.  Time rolls on.  We age.  New people are born who have … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick
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4:39 PM | Greg Dunn’s neural landscape
Every so often these fantastic neural paintings by Greg Dunn get passed around. I never wondered about the backstory until now: My artistic career began during my tenure as a graduate student in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. As I … Continue reading →
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3:07 PM | Behind the Science: Ants, Mushrooms, Bees and Yeast
One of the perils of walking into our lab on any given day is that someone will be working on something so exciting that it will make you forget what you initially entered the lab to do. I fell prey to this exact predicament when I “popped” into the lab the other day to quickly check on a sample, only to have my attention fully rapt by the experiments of our post-doctoral researchers, Mary Jane Epps and Anne Madden. Mary Jane Epps (also the lead author of our new camel cricket […]
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2:56 PM | Before there were none
SUMMARY: What was it like to witness a flock of passenger pigeons flying overhead? What did this spectacle look and sound like? Start by imagining a murmuration of starlings multiplied by ten thousand times ... The passenger pigeon was driven to extinction (by people, of course) one hundred years and two days ago, when the last individual, a captive-bred individual named Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo on 1 September 1914. One of the first things that astounds most people... Read more
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1:53 PM | The Ghost of Plasticity Past, or Why Plasticity Inferences are too Plastic
Several months ago, I attended a meeting of the American Genetics Association organized by Robin Waples in Seattle, Washington. The theme for the meeting was “Evolution and Plasticity: Adaptive Responses by Species to Human-Mediated Changes to their Ecosystems.” The meeting was a particularly clear example to the current excitement about the role of plasticity (including epigenetics) in the evolutionary process – an enthusiasm that really crystalized around Mary Jane […]
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12:46 PM | Before there were none | @GrrlScientist
What was it like to witness a flock of passenger pigeons flying overhead? What did this spectacle look and sound like? Start by imagining a murmuration of starlings multiplied by a thousand times ...The passenger pigeon was driven to extinction (by people, of course) one hundred years and two days ago, when the last individual, a captive-bred individual named Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo on 1 September 1914. One of the first things that astounds most people about passenger pigeons are […]
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10:17 AM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (03 Sep 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 the occurrence of Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum on banana pseudostems in the Brazillian state of Minas Gerais, fire blight disease on apricot and cherry plum in Hungary and identification of […]
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