Posts

October 15, 2014

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6:17 PM | Water rises, cattle graze, dunes walk on the Kalahari
There is water under the dry sands of the Kalahari. Perversely, this gift has lead to a cycle of land degradation.
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5:44 PM | Does your campus allow Federal Work Study awards for undergraduate research?
I used to have Work-Study students doing research in my lab, when I was visiting faculty at Gettysburg College. Then I got a job somewhere else, and I couldn’t do that anymore. The university where I now work does not assign Work-Study students to work with professors, just like my previous employer. There was a clear…
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5:09 PM | How Beavers Build Biodiversity
Originally posted on strange behaviors:It’s not postcard pretty to human eyes. But it’s habitat to wildlife. Even species as small and relatively uncharismatic as beavers produce dramatic changes in the environment, to the benefit of many species and the…
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4:20 PM | Psychohydraulics
On twitter, @mnxmnkmnd pointed me to Lorenz’ model of ‘psychohydraulics‘ as a theory of behavior. Wut? From a book chapter (I can’t figure out which book): Lorenz introduced the (artificial) concept of an action-specific energy, ac- cumulating in a tank with a … Continue reading →
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3:27 PM | Subscribe to the Nature Conservation (NatCon) News
The NatCon News' global coverage includes information and issues for animals, plants, soils, and ecosystems they form. Continue reading →
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3:03 PM | Pentagon: Preparation for Climate Change
The Department [of Defense] is responding to climate change in two ways: adaptation, or efforts to plan for the changes that are occurring or expected to occur; and mitigation, or efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Clarifying “biodiversity,” but is it enough?
Below is the another installment on the philosophical and ecological values of biodiversity motivated by the University of Oregon lecture . . .
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10:03 AM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Oct 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 a pathogen that’s causing fruit rot of tomato, orange, and apple in Pakistan, the first report of Phomopsis citri associated with dieback of lemon in India and the  first report […]
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4:35 AM | Backslider
I’m a poor backslider, in the pit of sin Every time I try to get out, I just slip back in again Come savior save me, take hold of my hand Please don’t let me slip back into that pit … Continue reading →
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3:33 AM | Introducing… Bart Ting!
Much as this man needs no introduction, I shall do it all the same – for the uninitiated! It takes someone special to render the ordinary – extraordinary! And that’s just what cardboard boy-wonder – Bartholomew Ting does best! Graduating from business and gravitating to the creative arts, Bart (in short) has made quite a name… Continue reading »
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2:27 AM | To be a bee or not to be a bee? Oh. Mimicry.
A warm mid-October day has invited the flies and the bees to get a last sip of supper from the white daisies that bob their heads in an autumnal zephyr. The six-legged sippers dance and swirl on a yellow stage of the flower disks at the center of the white-petal apron. The tongues and siphon […]
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1:43 AM | Still on Track for the Collapse of Modern Civilization
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:Two recent pieces of scientific evidence really hammer home the predicament of modern industrial civilization, and they have to do with the fact that our globalized, just-in-time economic model is hopelessly wed to…
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1:40 AM | Current Sea Level Rise is Faster Than at Any Time in Last 6,000 Years
Originally posted on robertscribbler:(NASA satellite shot of Antarctica on October 13 of 2014. Recent scientific papers point toward a vicious cycle of Antarctic glacial melt. Expanding sea ice results from increased cold, fresh water outflows from melting land-anchored glaciers…

October 14, 2014

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11:01 PM | Demonstrating: getting the most out of undergraduate teaching
One of the benefits of doing research in an academic institution is the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students. Students benefit from being taught by leading researchers while staff have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists. Practical lab classes are usually a focal point of this direct interaction between student and researcher. However, due to the logistics and practicalities of managing large class sizes, PhD students are playing an increasingly important […]
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9:37 PM | Study: Public views of drug addiction much more negative than views of mental illness
When it comes to substance abuse disorders, public health and the public at-large are hardly on the same page — in fact, they’re not even reading the same book. And that’s a serious problem for sustaining and strengthening efforts to treat addiction and advancing effective public health policy.
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9:00 PM | STS and the Super Science Side of Tumblr TA Tips for Teaching
We here at STS have TAed a lot.  We both taught lab sections when we were juniors and seniors in undergrad and then we taught more sections during our master's work.  I also taught during my first year in PhD land.  As a graduate student, TAing is often non-optional (gotta' pay those bills), exciting (young minds!  oh golly!), frustrating (it's ON THE SYLLABUS!), and intimidating (wait, so I have to be in charge of 20+ other legal adults for an hour or more?).  So, what […]
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5:03 PM | Quick-moving toads take the straight and narrow path
Wild ThingsAnimals,Evolution BY Sarah Zielinski 1:04pm, October 14, 2014 Cane toads have been spreading faster and faster across northern Australia since their arrival on the Queensland coast in 1935. This increase in speed is due in part to toads at the forefront of the invasion, which have evolved to move in […]
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4:29 PM | So Similar, Yet So Different
It’s wrong to assume that successful restoration or management tactics from one prairie will work in another.  Instead, every prairie has its own “personality” and responds accordingly.  The key to success is experimentation and adaptive management. Bill Kleiman is one … Continue reading →
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4:27 PM | Emodiversity: why a mix of emotions is good for you
Neuroskeptic covered a paper (pdf) that postulates that it is healthiest to have a mix of emotions: It turns out that emotional diversity was a good thing (in terms of being associated with less depression etc.) for both positive and for negative emotions. … Continue reading →
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2:22 PM | Treating school uniforms to reduce dengue: the Finances
 [A shorter version of this article first appeared on SciDev.Net] Scientists working to reduce dengue among school children in Thailand are testing something new: insecticide-treated school uniforms. A recent model published in PLoS One suggests that this intervention can be economically attractive in the context of Thailand. Using data from dengue studies in Thailand, the […]

Tozan Y, Ratanawong P, Louis VR, Kittayapong P & Wilder-Smith A (2014). Use of insecticide-treated school uniforms for prevention of dengue in schoolchildren: a cost-effectiveness analysis., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25247556

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11:31 AM | How to get a postdoc position (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post by Margaret Kosmala, a postdoc in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. It’s the first in a planned series on life as a postdoc. ************************************** I did not start thinking about getting … Continue reading →
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1:05 AM | Go ahead and peep. I won’t tell.
The North Shore, Massachusetts The autumnal paintbrush has dabbed the trees here north of Boston. The red maples scream, me first, me first with their red and sometimes ghostly oranges – colors I cannot adequately describe nor capture on film. For those of you who can’t make it up this way for a little leaf peeping […]
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12:07 AM | El Nino Project (Part 8)
This time I’d like to compare a different paper on climate networks: • Y. Berezin, A. Gozolchiani, O. Guez and S. Havlin, Stability of climate networks with time, Scientific Reports 2 (2012). The goal of this paper is to see how stable over time climate networks over time. They divide the world into 9 zones: […]
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12:07 AM | El Niño Project (Part 8)
This time I’d like to compare a different paper on climate networks: • Y. Berezin, A. Gozolchiani, O. Guez and S. Havlin, Stability of climate networks with time, Scientific Reports 2 (2012). The goal of this paper is to see how stable over time climate networks over time. They divide the world into 9 zones: […]

October 13, 2014

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8:09 PM | Network Theory (Part 31)
Last time we came up with a category of labelled graphs and described circuits as ‘cospans’ in this category. Cospans may sound scary, but they’re not. A cospan is just a diagram consisting of an object with two morphisms going into it: We can talk about cospans in any category. A cospan is an abstract […]
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5:16 PM | Imperfect generalism in Darwin’s finches
[ This post is by Luis Fernando De León; I am just putting it up. –B. ]How species coexist in nature is one of the long-standing questions in evolutionary ecology. This is particularly relevant for understanding the process of adaptive radiation, which is thought to explain a large portion of the Earth’s biodiversity.Adaptive radiation often results in a large number of coexisting, closely-related species that share (or compete for) similar resources, environments, or […]
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3:52 PM | BioBlitz at the New York Botanical Gardens
How many plant, mammal or invertebrate species live in the New York Botanical Garden? While it seems like there should be a straightforward answer – it is a well-known, carefully maintained and studied garden, after all – the truth is, nobody really knows. Along with the plants and animals that are deliberately planted, maintained and tracked, there are a slew of other organisms, including other plants, insects, fungi, mammals and microbes that might take up residence without being […]
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3:41 PM | Monday open question: Which neuroscientists have most influenced your thinking?
With the release of the NIH BRAIN Initiative grants, it’s become clear that there’s a big disconnect between members of the different subfields: people working molecular neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, systems neuroscience, etc. I’m just as bad as anyone else so I … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | How technology can help scientists with chronic illnesses (or Technology FTW!)
This is a guest post by Elita Baldridge (@elitabaldridge) I am currently the remotely working member of Weecology, finishing up my PhD in the lower elevation and better air of Kansas, while the rest of my colleagues are still in Utah, due to developing a chronic illness and finally getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  The relocation is […]
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1:57 PM | Birdbooker Report 342
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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