Posts

October 21, 2014

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3:28 PM | Karen’s Wetland Videos
One of my favorite places within our Platte River Prairies is a restored wetland we usually call “the sandpit wetland” because it is a former sand and gravel mining pit.  We restored the site over about 10 years, a little … Continue reading →
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3:17 PM | Network Theory Seminar (Part 3)
  This time we use the principle of minimum power to determine what a circuit made of resistors actually does. Its ‘behavior’ is described by a functor sending circuits to linear relations between the potentials and currents at the input and output terminals. We call this the ‘black box’ functor, since it takes a circuit: […]
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2:40 PM | Taxonomy vs research theme based conferences: which do you attend?
These two weeks are allowing me to contrast two very different kinds of meetings. As a member of the Linnean Centre of Plant Biology in Uppsala, I attended our yearly meeting last week*. The centre aims to bring together the plant biologists working in Uppsala and I was lucky that it started up in the…
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8:56 AM | 1-on-1 with a Cardboard Extraordinaire!
Here’s snippets of my exclusive with cardboard sculptor – Bart Ting whom I met at Science Centre Singapore straight after his media interview only last Wed! Me: “Your installations all look massively impressive. Have you produced any miniatures?” Bart: “Yea! I designed a 23-cm F1 car, made from 2 pieces of A4 cardboard. It was… Continue reading »
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8:52 AM | Next week: Join us for Agricultural Communications drinks in London
Now launching a monthly series of meet-ups in London to bring together cross-sectoral communications professionals interested in issues related to agriculture, food security and nutrition. All those working for non-profits, government institutions, private corporations, start-ups, and academia are welcome. Read news from the recent Global Hunger Index launch and find out more details about this […]
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2:31 AM | Vegan because plants don’t have feelings? You’re going to need a new reason.
Have fun eating air. Source: grist.org GR:  The title is just a bit misleading.  Unlike most animals, plants can lose parts with minimal harm.  I doubt if a Bermuda grass clone is too concerned when my friend Moe eats a … Continue reading →

October 20, 2014

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10:49 PM | Worth reading: Ebola, family planning and “the conversation that matters most”
Recent pieces address healthcare workers' safety and the research behind controlling Ebola's spread; end-of-life planning; contraception; and more.
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10:00 PM | Network Theory (Part 32)
Okay, today we will look at the ‘black box functor’ for circuits made of resistors. Very roughly, this takes a circuit made of resistors with some inputs and outputs: and puts a ‘black box’ around it: forgetting the internal details of the circuit and remembering only how the it behaves as viewed from outside. As […]
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7:44 PM | Connective Tissue Matters in the Nature of Cities
The TNOC Roundtable for October 2014 focused on green corridors in cities to support nature, and the ‘natural’ ecology that resides in the city.  I am focused on the ecology of the city.  The aim of ecologists and scientists to strengthen … Continue reading →
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5:33 PM | Camouflaged fish found hiding in plain sight
Wild ThingsAnimals BY Sarah Zielinski 1:36pm, October 20, 2014 The rock goby can change its skin coloring within a minute to blend in with its environment, a new study finds.Bas Kers (NL)/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Last year, I spent a week fossil hunting on the southwest coast of England. In between sifting […]
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4:37 PM | The role of ecology in natural resource management decision-making
Science has an important role to play in helping to inf […]
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4:06 PM | Development could lead to extinction of rare Australian bird
The critically endangered Regent Honeyeater could be at risk of extinction if plans to develop an industrial estate in New South Wales in Australia goes ahead, experts have found.The bird is endemic to South Eastern Australia and this site contains … Continue reading →
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3:54 PM | Belly Button Portraits – An Opportunity to Create Art through Science!
We’d like to think that over the course of the last few years, our Belly Button Biodiversity project has inspired quite a few things. We’re confident it inspired participants and the millions around the world who heard about the project to think differently, perhaps appreciatively, about their skin microbes, even those inhabiting this funny little spot on your abdomen. We’re thrilled it inspired educators from middle school to college to bring Belly Button Biodiversity into […]
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2:27 PM | Biodiversity emerges as key U.N. development goal – The Korea Herald
Around 25,000 participants and observers from 164 countries agreed to ask the UN to emphasize biodiversity as an essential component of sustainable development. Continue reading →
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1:18 PM | What math should ecologists teach
Recently Jeremy made the point that we can’t expect ecology grad students to learn everything useful under the sun and asked in a poll what people would prioritize and toss. More math skills was a common answer of what should … Continue reading →
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1:16 PM | Thoughts on preprints and citations
A couple of months ago Micah J. Marty and I had a twitter conversation and subsequent email exchange about how citations worked with preprints. I asked Micah if I could share our email discussion since I thought it would be useful to others and he kindly said yes. What follows are Michah’s questions followed by […]
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12:23 PM | How to answer to reviewers
This is another of the aspects of doing science that nobody explicitly teach you. The basics are pretty simple to explain (just respond to everything and point by point). You start by mimicking what your mentor does, how other co-authors respond, and how … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Having “The Talk” with students
Recently, I posted on my regular blog about two separate incidents at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. One was a male allies panel gone horribly awry, and the other (which was all over the news outlets the next day) was a statement from Microsoft’s CEO about how women should trust the system…
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11:17 AM | Seeking help for her amaranthus crop in India, Sarathambal finds a local plant clinic
A Plantwise experience from Tamil Nadu. Writing and reporting by Kavya Dashora, CABI India 50-year-old Sarathambal lives with her husband and son, in Pooncheri village near Iluppakkorai, in Thanjavur district. The family engages in diversified cropping systems in their 2 acre land, to expand the source of subsistence and income, to increase yield, and to […]
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9:16 AM | Selection and evolution of causally covarying traits
Michael Morrissey. Evolution 68(6): 1748-1761 DOI:10.1111/evo.12385. Selection and evolution of evolution of causally covarying traits This was not the paper I was expecting, but it was a paper I enjoyed. Morrissey argues that we can use path analysis to tease apart the evolution of different aspects of species’ traits, and I think he makes a very good […]
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7:57 AM | Birdbooker Report 343
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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1:13 AM | Roads Benefit People But Can Have Massive Environmental Costs
Roads can become environmental disasters—opening a Pandora’s Box of problems such as illegal logging, poaching, wildfires, and land speculation. Continue reading →

October 19, 2014

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11:01 PM | Nature jargon
At a recent meeting on “Natural Capital”, Jo Pike from the World Forum on Natural Capital drew our attention to a “sustainability jargon buster” that they developed last year. Jo has a background in communications and highlighted an important point: if we are to conserve and sustainably exploit the environment, we need a common language. Ecologists can’t always agree on terminology amongst themselves but when we try to talk to economists and businesses to try and […]
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10:38 PM | Sex? It all started 385 million years ago (w/ Video)
Sex began 385 million years ago and stopped the evolution of intelligence in its tracks. Continue reading →
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10:15 PM | Developing a Taste for Animal Rights: For Our Health, for Our Planet, for Our Future
There is no greater example of inequality than the question of animal rights and our diet choices. When will we stop eating animals? Source: eatdrinkbetter.com GR:  This post’s title suggest that we should care about animals is for our benefit.  … Continue reading →
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9:49 PM | Australia aims to end extinction of native wildlife by 2020
We must also work to reverse human impacts that damage wildlife habitats. Continue reading →
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9:24 PM | Behind on biodiversity targets, govts pledge to increase funding for conservation
The fundamental fuel for environmental decline, human population growth, remains uncontrolled. Continue reading →
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1:18 PM | Caught stealing
Nope, not a post about the Kansas City Royals, or baseball at all for that matter, though I do hope to get there at some point. Rather, it’s about getting away with thievery at the local library yesterday. I did. … Continue reading →

October 18, 2014

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6:45 PM | Top Ten Big Scary Looking Animals
It's almost Halloween, so to get you into the season of freight here are some big and terrifying animals!
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12:09 PM | Caw vs. Kraa: meaning in the calls of crows and ravens | @GrrlScientist
This short video, by the Cornell Lab of O, discusses the differences between and potential meanings of the sounds made by crows and ravens.Since today is caturday, that wonderful day when the blogosphere takes a breather from hell-raising to celebrate pets, I thought some of my favourite animals: corvids. I ran across this lovely video created by Cornell Universitys Laboratory of Ornithology (more fondly referred to as the Lab of O) that discusses the differences between and potential meanings […]
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