Posts

October 08, 2014

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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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8:04 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
Latino workers face higher fatality rates on the job; health care workers in Spain blame inadequate protective gear for Ebola infection; California law aims to prevent violence in health care settings; and the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the 10 deadliest occupations.
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5:24 PM | Students Discover Goes to Washington
Members of the Students Discover team recently visited the Nation’s Capital to present at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) Washington Symposium. This conference highlighted university, college, and community programs that are incorporating STEM education into real world applications. We were invited to speak about Students Discover and shared our experiences passionately. As part of this conference, we also met with Representative David Price of North […]
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4:19 PM | Orangutan facts
They’re surprisingly smart: “They say that if you give a chimpanzee a screwdriver, he’ll break it; if you give a gorilla a screwdriver, he’ll toss it over his shoulder; but if you give an orangutan a screwdriver, he’ll open up … Continue reading →
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2:52 PM | Pourquoi faut-il protéger le petit-duc des montagnes
Voici cinq bonnes raisons de lancer une campagne pour la protection du petit-duc des montagnes
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1:00 PM | Color, Movement and Noise
A couple months ago, I wrote a post asking you how you evaluate your prairies as you walk around them.  I appreciated the thoughtful responses you shared.  This week, I’ll be facilitating a discussion on the same topic at the … Continue reading →
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12:54 PM | Checking in on the MDGs: how have we scored so far?
Established in 2000 by the UN, the eight Millennium Development Goals provide a priority blueprint for ending poverty and meeting the needs of the world’s poorest- and they will hit their deadline in a little over a year’s time. The two questions which are on the minds of many policy leaders and international development institutions: […]
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12:00 PM | Writing a review: thoughts from the trenches.
Somehow I’m in the middle of writing three review papers so I am gaining some perspective on writing them. The first one is basically my own fault; I started thinking a lot about nectar rewards and how they fit into my research. That thinking lead to a talk last year on some of my ideas…
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11:00 AM | The dark side of theoretical ecology
Dedicated to the memory of Sir John Maddox (1) Good science must be transparent in its theories, models and experiments. . . .
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10:22 AM | Backstopping visit to Bangkok, Thailand
As the last part of our data management trip, Claire and I headed to Bangkok for the 11th and 12th of September. We joined a group of plant doctors and farmers at the plant clinic/rally in Nong Kung village, Suppaya district, Chainat province. We saw a demonstration on biocontrol, looked through pamphlets and information available to […]
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2:16 AM | How I feel about climate change
Originally posted on ConservationBytes.com:Angry. Furious. Livid. And a just little bit sad. Well, I’m not pissed off with ‘climate change’ per se – that would be ridiculous. I am extremely pissed off with those who are doing their damnedest to prevent…
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1:32 AM | Leaf Litter Staphylinids 2: Electric Boogaloo
I finished sorting through the rest of my Staphylinid samples today, over 50 samples in all. They're making more sense to me now, and soon I'll identify the morphospecies to their actual species. I feel confident about identifying a few more subfamilies now, including Osoriinae, Omaliinae, and Paederinae, of which the Osoriinae are the coolest.Next I'll move onto either the ants, spiders, or centipedes. Probably the centipedes. For now, here are some more Staphylinid photos from my […]

October 06, 2014

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6:45 PM | What Species is this Feces? A New Readers Write In Blog Series
Hi, Please could you identify the droppings in the attached photo? I regularly see them around the perimeter of a large wild pond.  At some point the "owner" found and ate a nesting coot's egg (shell found). Also, the animal enters and dives to collect fresh water crayfish. Thank you for any help.  Regards, Tony Dorset, UK Readers: What Species is this Feces? -----
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6:33 PM | 2013 Retro Post: Science Program at Lake Vanda
Once the full field team was out on site at Lake Vanda, we started the science program.  Water sampling and measurements of the lake’s physical properties came first, and diving operations began a few days later.  Everything was scheduled to make the most of our short time on site – we didn’t want to have a backlog of samples to be processed when microscopes were tied up or use up the nicest parts of the day with tasks that could easily be done inside the […]
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6:21 PM | 2013 Retro Post: Setting up camp at Lake Vanda
For all the drama that went into getting this field season started, everything went very smoothly once we were able to get down to the ice.  Antarctica New Zealand did a phenomenal job picking up the bits of operations that had originally relied on the United States Antarctic Program.   This is an overview post on the field season as a whole, and I plan to revisit specifics of the work in later posts.We had a quick transition in Scott Base, made a bit quicker than we had planned […]
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6:08 PM | Return to Lake Joyce -- kicking off the 2014 field season
In just a few short days, I will be heading to New Zealand to start up my fourth Antarctic field season.  This year we are planning to spend two months on site at Lake Joyce, making up for time we lost to the government shutdown last year.Our current plan is to fly south from New Zealand on October 15, making our way in to McMurdo Station to work through the US Antarctic Program.  It will be a bit of a transition to go through the US rather than the New Zealand Antarctic program this […]
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5:57 PM | Grandmother calls for mandatory minimum penalties for work-related fatalities
A Wyoming grandmother wants the State to impose more meaningful sanctions in work-related fatality cases. Her 20 year-old grandson was killed on-the-job. Despite finding serious violations, the company paid only a $6,700 penalty.
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4:06 PM | Birdbooker Report 341
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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1:26 PM | EcoData Retriever now supports R and environmental data, and has more datasets
We are very excited to announce the newest release of our EcoData Retriever software and the first release of a supporting R package, ecoretriever. If you’re not familiar with the EcoData Retriever you can read more here. The biggest improvement to the Retriever in this set of releases is the ability to run it directly […]
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