Posts

July 03, 2014

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2:41 PM | Stop the execution of Siberian wolves
stop-the-execution-of-siberian-wolves Continue reading →
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1:44 PM | Red kangaroo’s tail acts like a fifth leg
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 11:30am, July 3, 2014 When moving slowly, a red kangaroo employs its tail like a fifth leg.Catharina VendlWhen a red kangaroo moves fast, it bounds across the Australian landscape on its powerful hind legs. But when the animal moves more slowly, grazing for food, it uses both its front and hind limbs, with its tail on the ground behind. Scientists […]
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1:11 PM | A career as an environmental consultant (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is an email interview I conducted with Brian Gaas, who got a Ph.D. in oceanography and then went into environmental consulting. It’s part 4 in our series on non-academic careers for ecologists. For links to earlier … Continue reading →
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12:16 PM | Photo of the Week – July 3, 2014
I was back up at the Niobrara Valley Preserve last weekend.  The weather was beautiful, and so were the sandhills.  A few of us went exploring in the late evening, but the sun was hiding behind clouds, so photography wasn’t … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Respectful conversation at academic conferences
You’re probably familiar with this scene from academic conferences: Person A and and Person B have been chatting for a few minutes. Person C strolls by and makes eye contact with Person A. Person C gives a big smile to Person A, which is reciprocated, perhaps with a hug. Both A and C enthusiastically ask one another about…
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11:12 AM | Thursday links: bird papers > insect papers, the genealogy of theoretical ecology, and more (UPDATED)
A day early because of the US holiday tomorrow. Also this week: Charley Krebs vs. the biodiversity-ecosystem function “consensus”, the gender distribution of major NSERC prizes, #Evol2014 word cloud, scientific journal blogs, how to do good science in one handy … Continue reading →
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11:12 AM | Thursday links: bird papers > insect papers, the genealogy of theoretical ecology, and more
A day early because of the US holiday tomorrow. Also this week: Charley Krebs vs. the biodiversity-ecosystem function “consensus”, the gender distribution of major NSERC prizes, #Evol2014 word cloud, scientific journal blogs, how to do good science in one handy … Continue reading →
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6:25 AM | Journal Club: DNA analysis indicates Bigfoot may be a big fake
SUMMARY: A newly-published genetic analysis of hair samples suspected as being from a cryptic primate known by various names such as "bigfoot" or "yeti", has revealed they actually originated from dogs, horses, bears or other well known mammals. A newly-published genetic analysis of hair samples suspected as being from a cryptic primate known by various names such as "bigfoot" or "yeti", has revealed they actually originated from dogs, horses, bears or other well known mammals. The analysis was […]
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2:09 AM | Well, isn’t that interesting…
Today, Ed Hawkins and a number of co-authors published a critical comment, in Nature, on a paper that came out many months ago, by Mora et al. I read that paper when it came out but I’ve got to go … Continue reading →
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12:16 AM | Director : Daniel M. Ashe: USFWS.: Ban Endangered African Animal Trophy Imports From Namibia.
director-daniel-m-ashe-usfws-ban-endangered-african-animal-trophy-imports-from-namibia Continue reading →

July 02, 2014

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10:21 PM | I Didn’t Care About Climate Change Until I Visited Greenland
i-didn-t-care-about-climate-change-until-i-visited-greenland-now-i-m-freaking-out-about-it' Continue reading →
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9:09 PM | Academic-NGO partnerships to optimize and utilize conservation science
by John Bruno Problems: (1) Many academic scientists in conservation biology are isolated from end-users of their work, including policy makers, stakeholders, and conservation NGOs (CNGOs). (2) CNGOs rely on science and scientists, however, a science staff is very expensive to maintain. Assumptions: (1) Science is valuable and useful to CNGOs. (2) Some academic scientists […]
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8:03 PM | The West Africa Ebola outbreak
A WHO-organized meeting on the current, West African Ebola outbreak is occurring today and tomorrow in Ghana. The outbreak began several months ago in Guinea, with a significant mortality even in mid-March, and now a larger and more extensive second … Continue reading →
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6:13 PM | Friends of the Earth Petition to Lowe’s to Stop Pesticide Sales
petition-to-lowe-s-to-stop-pesticide-sales Continue reading →
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6:01 PM | Notes on the word ‘scientist’
  The term ‘scientist’ was invented only in 1833, by the polymath William Whewell, who gave it a faintly pejorative odour, drawing analogies to ‘journalist’, ‘sciolist’, ‘atheist’, and ‘tobacconist’. ‘Better die … than bestialise our tongue by such barbarisms,’ scowled the geologist Adam Sedgwick. ‘To anyone who respects the English language,’ said T H Huxley, […]
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5:51 PM | New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of “bee-friendly” plants from garden centers across U.S. and Canada
New-tests-find-bee-killing-pesticides-in-51-of-bee-friendly-plants-from-garden-centers-across-u-s-and-canada'> Continue reading →
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5:42 PM | Ridiculous redactions by the Labor Dept’s mine safety agency
A reporter's request for an MSHA citation is probably the worst case of redaction overkill that I’ve seen.
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4:42 PM | Behind the Science: A Meeting of Scientists and their Mites at Evolution 2014
Once a year, thousands of evolutionary biologists, students, and educators from all around the world converge on a single city for the annual Evolution meeting. The Evolution meeting is jointly hosted by three professional scientific societies: the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN). Scientific meetings like Evolution provide an opportunity for the scientific community […]
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3:46 PM | Chimps stick grass in their ears to be cool: notes on cultural transmission
1. In 2010, a female chimpanzee named Julie began repeatedly stuffing a stiff blade of grass into her ear. This Grass-in-ear behavior has affectionately been dubbed “GIEB” by the scientists who observed it. 2. Out of a group of twelve chimpanzees, eight engaged in GIEB. In three other groups of chimpanzees found in other locations in […]

Huffman, M., Nahallage, C. & Leca, J. (2008). Cultured Monkeys: Social Learning Cast in Stones, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17 (6) 410-414. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00616.x

van Leeuwen, E., Cronin, K. & Haun, D. (2014). A group-specific arbitrary tradition in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Animal Cognition, DOI: 10.1007/s10071-014-0766-8

Laland, K. & Williams, K. (1998). Social transmission of maladaptive information in the guppy, Behavioral Ecology, 9 (5) 493-499. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/9.5.493

Nunn, C., Thrall, P., Bartz, K., Dasgupta, T. & Boesch, C. (2009). Do transmission mechanisms or social systems drive cultural dynamics in socially structured populations?, Animal Behaviour, 77 (6) 1515-1524. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.02.023

Stocker R, Green DG & Newth D (2001). Consensus and cohesion in simulated social networks, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 4 (4) Other:

Rendell L, Fogarty L, Hoppitt WJ, Morgan TJ, Webster MM & Laland KN (2011). Cognitive culture: theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies., Trends in cognitive sciences, 15 (2) 68-76. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21215677

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2:55 PM | If at first you don’t succeed…
Speaking of bad asses…Congratulations to the NASA OCO-2 team for their hard work over many years, and this morning’s successful launch of the OCO-2 spacecraft. Let their be some serious high-fiving, even if fingers remain crossed for subsequent phases. Liftoff … Continue reading →
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1:41 PM | Sentience in Plants: Plants Respond to Sound of Chewing Caterpillars
Researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that plants respond to the sounds that eating caterpillars make. Continue reading →
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9:45 AM | Update: Plant Health News (02 Jul 14)
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the release of EFSA’s scientific opinion on biotech oilseed rape, why using too much fertilizer is bad for crops and bad for climate and how the El Niño is already impacting Peruvian fruit crops. Click on the link to read more of the latest […]
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1:37 AM | DNA analysis reveals Bigfoot is a big fake | @GrrlScientist
A newly-published genetic analysis of hair samples suspected as being from a cryptic primate known by various names such as "bigfoot" or "yeti", has revealed they actually originated from dogs, horses, bears or other well known mammals. A newly-published genetic analysis of hair samples suspected as being from a cryptic primate known by various names such as "bigfoot" or "yeti", has revealed they actually originated from dogs, horses, bears or other, well known, mammals. The analysis was […]

Sykes B.C., Mullis R.A., Hagenmuller C., Melton T.W. & Sartori M. (2014). Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0161

MacLeod N. (2014). Molecular analysis of ‘anomalous primate’ hair samples (commentary), Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0843

Hailer F., B. M. Hallstrom, D. Klassert, S. R. Fain, J. A. Leonard, U. Arnason & A. Janke (2012). Nuclear Genomic Sequences Reveal that Polar Bears Are an Old and Distinct Bear Lineage, Science, 336 (6079) 344-347. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1216424

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12:43 AM | Oddballs or Innovators?
I spotted an upland sandpiper on top of a power pole last week.  In central Nebraska, that’s not really noteworthy – upland sandpipers are pretty common across much of the state.  They tend to nest in large open grasslands with … Continue reading →
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12:29 AM | World’s oceans filling with plastic
Every day the air, the rivers, and the barges carry our garbage out to sea. Plastic might be the least harmful. Continue reading →

July 01, 2014

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8:55 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
The U.S. Supreme Court deals a blow to union fair-share fees; Massachusetts raises minimum wage to $11 an hour; and Texas lawmakers scoff at the idea of better safeguards in the wake of the West fertilizer blast.
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7:42 PM | Tell Congress to Protect Your Right to Know: Oppose the DARK Act; Don’t Hide Food Contents
>The Grocery Manufacturers Association, along with allies like Monsanto and Dow, have teamed up with Koch-backed Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas to introduce a federal bill that would deny your right to know what is in your food. Continue reading →
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6:22 PM | Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows
It doesn't take much to shove Arctic sea ice toward new record low values Continue reading →
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4:40 PM | New York Mets Smitten with Meatless Meat
Plant-based company Beyond Meat is reaching out to the New York Mets, in hopes of garnering the support of mainstream American consumers. Continue reading →
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2:43 PM | New HHMI Professors announced for 2014
HHMI announced a new slate of professors to be inducted into their Professors program. This program is specifically for faculty who are both excellent researchers and teachers; it’s nice to see the latter actually rewarded. Here are the Professors who are most relevant to the theme of the blog; they’re all doing good stuff. Mark Goldman […]
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