Posts

July 13, 2014

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12:28 AM | Ebola epidemiology data scraper
I wanted to find certain statistics for the West African Ebolavirus (EBV) outbreak from its inception, e.g. short-term case and death rates, among others. But the sites where’d I’d expect to find such (WHO, CDC etc) didn’t have them. However, … Continue reading →
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12:26 AM | Why Mountain Biking is Inappropriate in Wilderness
why-mountain-biking-is-inappropriate-in-wilderness Continue reading →

July 12, 2014

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8:31 PM | Hamsters, pizzas and playgrounds
SUMMARY: Dwarf hamsters are small but they have an outsized effect on one's life. Phodopus sungorus. Image: Ko1 (CC by SA 2.5). Once again, it's caturday, which means it's time for us to relax and recover from that most recent post-World Cup game hangover by watching animals doing fun stuff! This week's cute animal videos were inspired by a piece I wrote a little while ago, about a study of wheel-running behaviour in wild mice. Although that study focused on... Read more
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6:56 PM | BLM, Cattle, Wild Horses, and Biodiversity on Western U. S. Ranges
Are we sacrificing vegetation, soil, and biodiversity in the western U. S. to protect domestic cows? Continue reading →
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6:32 PM | Notes from France
I’ve just returned from two weeks in France, the first week on the International Statistical Ecology Conference 2014 in Montpellier, and the second at the Laboratoire d’Écologie Alpine (LECA) in Grenoble, visiting the groups of Wilfried Thuiller and Sébastien Lavergne, which was both great. Some impressions from the ISEC: First of all, my compliments to…
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4:51 PM | The slow drown
Salt marsh sparrows are little brown birds that have short, hopping flights in the marsh that you may not pay much attention to. But scientists keep a close eye on this species because they are obligate marsh breeders (the birds, not the scientists) that nest on the ground. In terms of marsh persistence, instead of […]
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4:39 PM | The story of stress
A history of the science behind stress: “He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot,” the medical historian Mark Jackson says. “Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs.” What was interesting to Selye was that no matter how […]
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1:15 AM | Outdoor Annoyances and the Perils of Urban Fieldwork
Fieldwork can be wonderful for many reasons. But every field site invariably has something–an organism, a certain confluence of weather conditions, particular people–that make it difficult to do research at that site. And in this context, difficult is different from … Continue reading →
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1:00 AM | El Niño Project (Part 5)
  And now for some comic relief. Last time I explained how to download some weather data and start analyzing it, using programs written by Graham Jones. When you read that, did you think “Wow, that’s easy!” Or did you think “Huh? Run programs in R? How am I supposed to do that?” If you’re […]

July 11, 2014

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9:46 PM | ESA Policy News July 11: Report urges US military to improve climate planning, House DOE, Interior spending bills advance
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy New […]
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9:14 PM | U.S. Census: One in four U.S. residents live in communities of concentrated poverty
Last year, the U.S. Census reported that record numbers of people were living in poverty. But along with overall poverty numbers, the Census recently reported that concentrated poverty is up, too — and that’s worrisome because it means that more people may face even greater barriers and fewer opportunities to moving out of poverty.
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7:02 PM | Fukushima: Our Greatest Nuclear Radiation Accident (Isn’t Over)
After 3 years, material continues to leak from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. Some of the material will remain radioactive for millions of years. Continue reading →
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3:37 PM | Unrelated to all that, 7/11 edition
The Human Brain Project: malcontents and sadness See also my first post here. Revisiting both of these links because they were updated several times and some of you may have missed the new content. The drama, the gossip, the sadness. “However, the HBP has been controversial and divisive within the European neuroscience community from the […]
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1:45 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Joan Herbers
I had the wonderful opportunity to [virtually] meet Joan Herbers this past week and talk about her life as a middle school student and pick her brain about her winding career path. Read on to learn how this preeminent social insect ecologist maintained her individualism while growing up with 12 brothers and sisters, gained a strong appreciation for educators and mentors, and how, at six-years-old, she taught math to nuns. Lea: Just to set the scene for middle school let’s think about […]
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1:00 PM | What we’re reading: Sexual selection and fish placentas, SNPs versus observational pedigrees, and the stupidest statement ever on replication
In the journals Pollux BJA, RW Meredith, MS Springer, DN Reznick. 2014. The evolution of the placenta drives a shift in sexual selection in livebearing fish. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature13451. We show that post-zygotic maternal provisioning by means of a placenta … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Recommended reads #31
Setting boundaries for summers when faculty are not paid. Whoa. A “peer review ring” was caught and sixty papers were retracted. I’ve joked about such a thing before, but never truly thought that something like that would actually exist, especially on such a large scale. Considering the difficulty in detecting such a thing, it really makes…
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11:35 AM | Friday links: visualizing sampling error, Ben Bolker vs. statistical machismo, why be wrong, and more
Also this week: big news about peer review at Am Nat, allometry vs. monsters, zombie ideas ideas about zombies, administrators > faculty, pointless (?) scientific prizes, and more. Also, the delicious, starchy future of crowdfunding. :-) From Brian: On our … Continue reading →
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11:30 AM | Flump – Spontaneous mutualism, ant-tracking, diversification models, and more
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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4:43 AM | On a Fast Fade – Lyssa Zampa sightings
It appears that sightings of the tropical swallow tail moth have nearly petered out. Flying in to all corners of the North, South, East and West, our large, velvety brown friends earlier made quite the splash in significant numbers outside of their usual cyclical appearance (May to August). But it now looks like the glitzy… Continue reading »
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4:17 AM | Cancer Linked To Oil Sands’ Toxins In Wild Food
The study reveals that wildlife killed for food contained elevated levels of heavy metals and carcinogens, and that nearly a quarter of the Aboriginal participants -- 23 out of 94 -- had cancer, among other ailments. Continue reading →
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2:57 AM | The great Ohio collecting trip of '14
I've just returned to Arkansas after 3 weeks of sampling in Ohio for millipedes, in what was a very fruitful collecting trip. The trip was funded with a grant from the Ohio Biological Survey, and I was able to find many of the species I was after.A series of posts about some of the places I went will follow in the coming weeks, as will an account of my adventures. Currently I'm still recovering from the trip (not to mention the 10 hour drive yesterday), so writing will come into full swing as […]
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1:08 AM | Raju the elephant slave meets his new family
raju-the-elephant-slave-meets-his-new-family-for-the-first-time Continue reading →

July 10, 2014

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9:13 PM | Not an “accident”: Chandler Warren suffers fatal work-related injury at FedEx Hub, Memphis, TN 
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality. This one occurred on July 2 at FedEx's flagship sorting facility in Memphis, Tennessee.
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8:45 PM | As Rhinos Die, CITES Hands Out Certificates
Action is needed from true leaders to prevent rhino extinction. Continue reading →
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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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