Posts

October 06, 2014

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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 →

October 04, 2014

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11:49 PM | Study shows sharks have personalities
What is interesting is that these behaviours differ consistently among individuals. This study shows, for the first time, that individual sharks possess social personalities. Continue reading →
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11:30 PM | Human Impact: Artificial Light Disrupts Sex Hormones of Birds
Under light at night, something gets broken and you see a dampening of the hormonal system. Continue reading →
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6:50 PM | Ascomycete Wannabes: Cyphelloid Fungi—Part II
The first cyphelloid fungus I found was Henningsomyces candidus. These are tiny, usually snow white, hairy tubules that cluster on the undersides of rotting logs. Though they occasionally reach an astonishing length of three millimetres, their diameter maxes out at only a sixth of that. Tiny, as I said. They can, however, grow in large enough communities that the white patches are easily seen. You just can't tell how startlingly odd they are until you look at them under […]
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4:01 PM | Unrelated to all that, 10/4 edition
The curse of committees and clubs First, the average scientist today is not of the quality of our predecessors; it’s a bit analogous to the so-called “greatest generation” of men and women of the United States who fought off fascism … Continue reading →
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1:25 PM | Read It and Weep: Fungal Guttation
Young Fomitopsis pinicola with guttation drops (click to see bigger)Some fungi are prone to exhibiting a curious phenomenon—they exude beads of moisture, called guttation. In several polypores, such as Fomitopsis pinicola, the liquid produced can look so much like tears that you'd swear the fungus was weeping. Or maybe sweating. Other species produce pigmented drops that can look like milk, or tar, or even blood.Guttation is more well-known in some vascular plants. During the […]
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1:04 PM | Top Ten Things Owls Give a Hoot About
Here’s our countdown of the things owls love. From mice to eyelids and spinning their heads around, these animals have some pretty diverse interests.
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12:00 PM | Readers Write In: A Mixed Bag of Snake Identification Requests
Found this snake trying to get in, Not sure about it. Any help? It is aggressive and its tail quivers just a bluff I'm sure..... Thanks, Mike Pike County, Ohio Found this snake in my house today and can't really tell what it is. Any help identifying it would be much appreciated.  Thank you, Geoff B. South Mississippi I'm about 3 miles from the Ashley River, but

October 03, 2014

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9:34 PM | Study: More action needed to confront millions of preventable child deaths
Worldwide, the numbers of children who die before their fifth birthdays is on the decline. Still, millions of children are being lost to diseases and complications that are completely preventable.
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9:10 PM | The little things, professorial edition
A while back Meg posted on the importance of doing little things to keep your lab happy. Well, if you’re lucky, your lab will also do little things to keep you happy: :-)Filed under: Just for fun, Navel gazing, Personal … Continue reading →
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8:48 PM | How a saber-toothed cat is like a can opener
Wild ThingsAnimals,Paleontology BY Sarah Zielinski 7:30am, October 6, 2014 In this digitized image of a saber-toothed cat skull and neck, four points of possible rotation are circled in blue. A researcher used those points to simulate the cat’s bite.J.G. Brown/PLOS ONE 2014The enormous canine teeth that […]
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6:42 PM | Study: Cheetah Population Dwindling
  GR:  Monospecific landscapes are boring.  Wouldn’t we all prefer to have a few more cheetahs and a few less humans? In 1900, cheetahs numbered around 100,000. Today, there are just 10,000 in the wild. A new study says being … Continue reading →
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5:34 PM | Happy World Smile Day
Do you have a toothy grin like a zebra, a sly smirk like an alpaca or a cheetah chuckle? Check out these top ten smiling animals and see which one you look like when you smile!
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5:12 PM | Which institutions request external review for tenure files?
Today, I’m submitting my file for promotion. It’s crazy to think I submitted my most recent tenure file five years ago, it feels closer to yesterday. Unless I get surprised (and it wouldn’t be the first time), I’ll be a full Professor if I’m here next year. And yet, throughout this entire process, there has…
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4:55 PM | Low
In a previous post, I wrote about the power of photography for ecologists. Now, it is time to provide some . . .
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