Posts

February 12, 2015

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10:09 AM | Happy Darwin Day!
Source. ;-)Filed under: Just for fun
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1:02 AM | Unintended Consequences Can Be Opportunities for Conservation
In reviewing the wildlife habitats of British towns and cities for my recent book Nature in Towns and Cities (Harper Collins 2014) I became acutely aware that many of the UK’s most spectacular urban wetlands resulted from industrial activities. The most extensive of these are newly created lakes that formed as a result of sand … Continue reading Unintended Consequences Can Be Opportunities for Conservation →

February 11, 2015

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11:38 PM | 10 Species Named After Star Wars Characters
Pictures courtesy of Lucasfilm and J. Armbruster     Leaving the movie theater in 1977, with Greedo's death at the hands of Han Solo a fresh memory, a young Jon Armbruster could not have anticipated the role that Jabba the Hutt's go-to bounty hunter would play in his scientific contributions decades later.     And yet...when he (along with Auburn University researchers Milton Tan, Christopher

Armbruster, J., Werneke, D. & Tan, M. (2015). Three new species of saddled loricariid catfishes, and a review of Hemiancistrus, Peckoltia, and allied genera (Siluriformes), ZooKeys, 480 97-123. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.480.6540

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7:35 PM | Earth Ranger Nicolas and His Amazing Valentine’s Day Cards
Earth Ranger Nicolas sold homemade Valentine’s Day cards to help protect animals!
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7:11 PM | Contraception and Colorado’s dropping teen pregnancy and abortion rates
After the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI) started providing free IUDs and implants to low-income women at family planning clinics, the teen birth rate and abortion rate dropped sharply.
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4:52 PM | Cats and foxes are driving Australia’s mammals extinct
Wild ThingsAnimals,Ecology,Conservation by Sarah Zielinski 11:56am, February 11, 2015 The platypus is threatened by a number of factors, including predation by cats and foxes.Trevira1/Flickr (CC-BY-NC 2.0)Of the 84 mammal species that are known to have gone extinct since the 1500s, 35 percent are from Australia, a new study finds. Since the 1840s — less than 60 years after the arrival of […]
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4:39 PM | How do you unite the stage and actors of the evolutionary play?
When you are forced to give your one sentence, off-the-cuff response to “what kind of scientist are you?”, who do you become? A landscape geneticist? Community geneticist? Landscape epidemiologist? A new opinion in Trends in Ecology and Evolution by Brian … Continue reading →
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3:57 PM | Update: Plant Health News (11 Feb 15)
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including Striga resistant maize yielding well in Kenya, scientists in the UK  finding a potential way to control leaf blotch disease in wheat and a grant under the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) to help small scale rice producers by creating better linkages in […]
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11:40 AM | Plumbing advice for the leaky pipeline (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post by Margaret Kosmala, a postdoc in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. Having children is a critical issue for many early career researchers in academia. Whether grad students, postdocs, or new faculty, … Continue reading →
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11:04 AM | Is That Real? The Pink Fairy Armadillo
Welcome to a series of short posts in which NatureWire takes at look at some of the lesser-known animals of the world. These are the kinds of creatures you might ask 'Is that real?' if you ever saw them.First up is this strange-looking specimen. Yes, it's real! Say hello to the pink fairy armadillo. These animals are small, growing up to just 10 cm, and live in burrows which they leave only at night when they forage for ants. They're great at burrowing, and prefer very dry, sandy soil.They're […]
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10:23 AM | TOMORROW: CABI joins line-up at The Economist FTW 2015
How do we feed 9 billion people by 2050? And why aren’t we feeding 7 billion people in 2015? These are the headline questions to be delved into at The Economist’s Feeding the World annual event, this time hosted in the Netherlands and welcoming industry experts from policy, research, corporate and non-government organizations centred around […]
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9:28 AM | 5 Fun & Memorable Valentine’s Day Ideas @ Science Centre Singapore
Co-authored by Hanisza and Kiat Teng, Science Centre Singapore. Short of ideas for Valentine’s Day? Why not try something unusual and come and visit the Science Centre Singapore? 1. Surprise your date with a packet of astronaut ice cream from our Curiosity Shop. Chocolate is too passé. 2. Try out rock climbing at The Cliff… Continue reading »
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12:06 AM | Who is this man?
…and what did he do that nobody else in American history came even close to doing? And where? Filed under: American History

February 10, 2015

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10:19 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
NPR investigates the high rates of work-related injuries among nurses; Illinois governor signs order targeting collective bargaining; OSHA cites one of the world's largest furniture manufacturers; and thousands of oil refinery workers go on strike.
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9:34 PM | Why We #CitSci
Your Wild Life is relocating to the West Coast this week to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Citizen Science Association in San Jose, California. We’re looking forward to two FUN-FILLED days of building connections and exchanging ideas with 600 other scientists, volunteers, data managers, educators, and science communicators who – like us – are dedicated to engaging the public in scientific research. Together with our colleagues and collaborators at the NC Museum of […]
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9:31 PM | Harry Smith, the founder of Molecular Ecology, has died
We’ve received word that Harry Smith, the founder of Molecular Ecology, passed away yesterday. Smith had a prolific and well-regarded career studying the molecular basis of plants’ responses to their environments. In particular, he helped to demonstrate how plants perceive … Continue reading →
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6:38 PM | Get outdoors on Valentine’s Day by participating in Great Backyard Bird Count
Celebrate this Valentine's Day outdoors by joining the 18th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which begins Friday and ends Monday. Continue reading →
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5:30 PM | Australia in ‘extinction calamity’
A new survey of Australia’s native mammals, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests the scale of the problem is more serious than anticipated. Since 1788, 11% of 273 native mammals living on land have … Continue reading →
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3:24 PM | How to Get Into Graduate School
I am often asked by undergraduate students for advice about how to get into graduate school. In the continuing spirit of recent “how to” posts on this blog (listed at the end of this post), it seems timely to collect these thoughts in one place. I will start with the obvious stuff, where I nevertheless hope to provide some novel insights, and I will then move to the less obvious, but perhaps just as important, ideas.1. GradesLet’s get this obvious one out of the way first. […]
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1:00 PM | What are our academic blind spots?
Here’s a notion: When we discover a big new thing, this often requires an abandonment — or at least serious doubt — of a commonly accepted notion. I’m about a third of the way through Rob Dunn’s brand-spanking-new book about the human heart. I just finished the parts about the science of the heart before the 1900s.…
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12:36 PM | THREAT DOWN! Gene flow from polar bears into brown bears
What do you get when you cross a male polar bear with a female brown bear? Trick question: Nothing, because it doesn’t really happen!* But seriously, folks. A new Molecular Ecology study from James Cahill, Ed Green, and Beth Shapiro … Continue reading →
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11:45 AM | ReviewBox: stop picking on yourself – that’s our job!
I recently learned about AnxietyBox (tagline: Stop making yourself anxious – that’s our job!). The site is not currently active, apparently because it got completely overwhelmed with demand. But the basic premise was that you would enter in your main … Continue reading →
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2:47 AM | Concerns about EARTH A New Wild’s Messages About Grassland Conservation
I know that many of you watched the first two episodes of EARTH A New Wild last week on Public Television, including Episode 2: Plains.  I watched as well, and while I was glad for the attention paid to grasslands, I … Continue reading →

February 09, 2015

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11:02 PM | Not an “accident”: Marvis L. Myers, 31 suffers fatal work-related injury in Columbia, SC
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on February 6, 2015 in Columbia, SC.
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9:26 PM | Barriers to open access publishing at a scientific not-for-profit
Things have been going rather well lately. Lots of science, days are getting longer, and I made an awesome curry last Thursday.  Wary of falling into complacency, I thought I’d open a (possible) can of worms. Please, be kind.   Open … Continue reading →
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8:58 PM | Breaking free of the guide tree: two new species delimitation methods
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new method to incorporate morphology and DNA sequences into species delimitation. Including both data types improved the results but a couple of tricky spots remained: 1) correctly assigning individuals to putative species and 2) estimating … Continue reading →
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6:57 PM | Growing stream-flow variability threatens Chinook salmon spawning in Pacific Northwest
Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:Can Chinook salmon survive global warming? Research documents more fall and winter flooding Staff Report FRISCO — Threatened Chinook salmon have been able to adapt to many changes over millennia, but climate change…
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6:17 PM | Meet Shaun Turney and Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping
This is another in the series of “Meet the arthropod ecology lab“: Meet PhD student Shaun Turney, and a neat project he’s been working on… I joined the lab in September and I’ve been really enjoying my first months as a PhD student. I haven’t done any field work yet so that means no specimens […]
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5:59 PM | Slime mould and researcher set to play piano duet | @GrrlScientist
A single-celled organism will perform a piano duet with a computer musician at Plymouth University on 1 March 2015. The public is invited.A scientist and a single-celled organism will perform a piano duet at Biomusic, the 10th Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival. Professor of Computer Music, Eduardo Miranda, and a slime mould will premiere Professor Miranda’s new composition, Biocomputer Music, on a musical bio-computer that he and his team designed.Professor Miranda is Head of the […]
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5:47 PM | Canada Announces 2020 Biodiversity Goals
GR: Perhaps the drop in oil prices will help biodiversity compete with resource harvest. Continue reading →
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