Posts

October 07, 2014

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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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1:22 PM | The 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology goes to the discoverers of grid and place cells
I was joking last night that when they announced the Nobel Prize, I wouldn’t have any clue who the winner was because I basically don’t know biology from before 10 years ago. Then I wake up and the winners are … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | When are minority-focused conferences the best choice?
Sometimes, the title has a question mark. The body of the text usually has the answer to the question in the title. This is not one of those. I don’t have an answer to this question. Have you heard of SACNAS or ABRCMS?* These organizations put on a big science conference somewhere in the US…
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11:28 AM | Should journal editors be anonymous?
Should journal handling editors be anonymous? Editor anonymity used to be rare or nonexistent at ecology journals. But it seems to be more common now, at least for certain decisions and at certain journals. In particular, it now seems to … Continue reading →
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9:43 AM | Backstopping visit to Hanoi, Vietnam
After our stay in Cambodia, Claire and I continued on our way to Hanoi, Vietnam on September 8th and 9th. From there we drove out to Hưng Yên province, visiting two plant clinics and an agro-dealer. We had the opportunity to speak with farmers and plant doctors about how clinics are going, and how useful they […]
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9:17 AM | Blog Awards Winners 2014
EcoEvo@TCD was awarded Best Science & Technology Blog in Ireland at the Blog Awards ceremony on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who has contributed posts over the past couple of years. It’s nice to know that we’ve put some good thoughts down on paper! Keep the posts coming.  
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9:01 AM | Climatic niche shifts between species native and naturalized ranges raise concern for ecological forecasts during invasions and climate change
Early & Sax (in press). Global Ecology and Biogeography DOI: 10.1111/geb.12208. Climatic niche shifts between species native and naturalized ranges raise concern for ecological forecasts during invasions and climate change I like this paper a lot. It plays to all my new found interests in, what I like to call, intelligent macroecology. It takes a small subset […]
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8:45 AM | PhD – Pretty Huge Disaster
This is a mini series of two posts about finding positive things in negative results. Science is often a trial and error process and, depending on what you’re working with, errors can be fatal. As people don’t usually share their bad experiences or negative results beyond the circle of close colleagues and friends, I thought (and hope!) that sharing my point of view, as a PhD student might be useful. If you’re about to do a PhD you will fail and if you’ve already […]
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3:39 AM | Do urban green corridors “work”? It depends on what we want them to do. What ecological and/or social functions can we realistically expect green corridors to perform in cities? What attributes define them, from a design and performance perspective?
No summary available for this post.
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1:56 AM | Leaf Litter Staphylinids
Back in June, I was collecting a lot of leaf litter for a small sampling project. I was trying to determine if collecting litter at different times over 24 hours would result in different groups of arthropods being collected at different abundances, and I've been sorting through the samples since then.I'm about halfway done, and I'm now working on the Staphylinidae in my samples. Staphylinids are rove beetles, and they're the most numerous insect family, which makes them a bit intimidating. For […]

October 05, 2014

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3:54 PM | Research Shows Great Barrier Reef Coral Is Failing
"The Hebrew University researchers found that although the extent of coral cover was about the same as when it was first examined, calcification rates had fallen by between 27 and 49 per cent, leaving the corals less dense and more fragile." Continue reading →
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12:52 AM | Global biodiversity targets won’t be met by 2020, scientists say
Writing in the journal Science, in the same week that a major report by WWF suggested the world had lost half its animals over the past four decades, the scientists say that the state of biodiversity and the pressures on it are getting worse, not better. Continue reading →
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