Posts

November 24, 2014

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4:54 PM | PITCHFORK SCIENCE: Guppies, Stickleback, and Darwin’s Finches.
[This is a cross-posting with the EXEB blog at Lund - thanks for the reciprocal opportunity Erik. And thanks for your earlier post here on Eco-Evo-Evo-Eco.]I study Trinidadian guppies, threespine stickleback, and Darwin’s finches, surely 3 of the top 10 evolutionary biology “model” systems - for vertebrates at least. I thus fall at one extreme (or is it three extremes?) on the “pick a model system and use it to answer my question” versus “develop a brand new […]
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4:40 PM | Fun facts about Pavlov
I think this should go under “things I never knew about Pavlov”: Pavlov is perhaps best known for introducing the idea of the conditioned reflex, although Todes notes that he never used that term. It was a bad translation of … Continue reading →
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3:52 PM | Apply to be a 2015-2016 Kenan Fellow
The application process for the 2015-2016 cohort of Kenan Fellows is now open! Watch this video to see what being a part of the Students Discover project meant to our first cohort of scientists and teacher-scientists. Learn how the Students Discover project directly relates to what you can do in your classroom and meet some of the scientists you’d be working with!
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1:59 PM | Trophic cascades in fragmented forests
Many birds eat insects and spiders. Some of these insects and spider are themselves predators, feeding on critters lower down in the food web. Some of the insects that are fed upon by birds, or other predators, also play important roles in forest, such as munching upon the fresh, green leaves of young trees (here’s […]
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12:30 PM | All in the family: hierarchical social and genetic structure in the Old World monkey Theropithecus gelada
Complex, multi-level animal societies have evolved convergently across many taxa but we know little about the mechanisms behind their formation and their associated fitness benefits. In their Molecular Ecology paper published online last week, Snyder-Mackler et al. addressed these questions … Continue reading →
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12:01 AM | The Allure of Couzins: Self-organising collective groups
Every now and then you stumble on a paper that changes everything for you. Typically something of a personal zeitgeist moment, it opens your eyes to a whole new world of potential and can spin your own research out in new directions, or encourage a complete re-orientation of your goals. In this new series, we are going to profile some of our favourite papers and maybe share the inspiration a little wider. I don’t get out from behind my computer much, but when I do, my favourite engagement […]

November 23, 2014

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10:32 PM | Weekly facts and quotes, 11/17 – 11/23
Monday saprophagous (səˈpräfəɡəs), adjective - (of an organism) feeding on or obtaining nourishment from decaying organic matter. Tuesday A mass depopulation of cockroaches has been observed since the beginning of the 21st century in Russia and other countries of the former … Continue reading →
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7:47 PM | On busyness and striving for balance
This semester has been rather hectic for me, hence my lack of blogging. Why? Mostly because of a combination of field season and flipping Intro Bio. Intro Bio here at Michigan is huge (over 600 students), and is a bit … Continue reading →
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7:00 PM | A Study of Biodiversity in the World’s Cities
What are the global patterns of biodiversity the world’s cities?  Are urban spaces biologically homogeneous and depauperate, or do they harbor significant native biodiversity?  These are the questions of a collaborative study of biodiversity in the world’s cities. For several … Continue reading →
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5:05 PM | Readers Write In: Two Fall Snakes from the West Coast
It's getting quite cold here on the East Coast of the USA, so that means there are fewer snakes being encountered to identify. But, fortunately we have readers on the West Coast to bail us out. A friend of mine recently took this picture and he thinks this is a rattle snake. We live in Northern Nevada (Great Basin) and we do have rattlesnakes but there is nothing about this snake that looks
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4:38 PM | Birdbooker Report 348
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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11:00 AM | Systematic gender bias in editorial boards in ecology
There is an increasing body of evidence showing that women are at a disadvantage in science. They publish less, and are discriminated against in hiring (by male and female faculty equally). They are also under-represented on editorial boards, and it has been so for a long time. This last study, in particular, motivated me to do a few additional analyses. Journals are where the scientific debate happen. Editors act as the gatekeeper of this debate; especially so since they can render a decision […]

November 22, 2014

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6:33 PM | Scenes at the local library
This post briefly interrupts the TCS prediction posts with a library-related theme, given the overwhelming popularity of these in the past. For various reasons, I sometimes work at the local public library. It’s a small place, but still the largest … Continue reading →
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3:54 PM | Unrelated to all that, 11/22 edition
Scabs, Scantrons, and Strikes at the University of Oregon At the heart of the dispute is a demand by the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTTF) for two weeks of paid leave for illness or childbirth. The city of Eugene, which … Continue reading →
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1:35 PM | Top Ten Coolest Homemade Holiday Cards
Check out these amazing cards made by Earth Rangers like YOU!
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10:40 AM | Shelf Life: 33 Million Things | @GrrlScientist
Natural history museums are many things, but they are not peopled exclusively with dry, dusty old white men, rooting around in dry, dusty old drawers, examining dry, dusty old dead things.Natural history museums are many things but they are not, as I was sometimes told, peopled exclusively with dry, dusty old white men, rooting around in dry, dusty old drawers, examining dry, dusty old dead things.In fact, most natural history museums are modern research institutions filled with a vast […]
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12:17 AM | Buffalo’s 2014 November Snowstorm
Global-warming weather extremes increasing. Continue reading →

November 21, 2014

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8:32 PM | BLM Issues Deadly Permit for Wolf Derby
Originally posted on Straight from the Horse's Heart:Source: The Teton Valley News “The BLM’s self-righteous propensity to play God over the native creatures of our public lands stretches far beyond the destruction of our wild horses and burros…
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7:33 PM | Occupational health and safety leaders honored, new policies adopted at American Public Health Association annual meeting
The OHS Section’s annual meeting at APHA brings together the best of public health: solid research, community-based methods, policy and politics, social justice and solidarity.
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5:00 PM | They’ll let anything through peer review these days
… where “they” are the hordes of bogus pay-to-publish journals that seem to be spamming every .edu email address (especially those connected to corresponding authors in real journals) with invitations to submit. Submission spam from the International Journal of Advanced … Continue reading →
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3:08 PM | Is It Too Cold Out Today?
Arctic researcher Luana Sciullo tells us how Arctic animals stay warm!
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2:59 PM | New books Party: Books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
Today I share my first impressions of books about urban birds, materials science and a children’s dystopian novel that was recently adapted into a film.Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods With Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife by John Marzluff [Yale University Press, 2014; Guardian bookshop; Amazon UK hardcover; Amazon US hardcover/kindle US] Continue reading...
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1:30 PM | The latest gadget for the molecular ecologist’s toolkit
Designing a sampling scheme to collect an organism of interest for a population genetic/genomic study can be fraught with difficulty. How best to sample? Randomly? Or, along a grid? How many individuals to sample? Thirty? Or, perhaps, the sample size … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | Recommended reads #40
A peer-reviewed paper in a computational biology journal called “Ten simple rules for better figures.” Lisa Buckley explains “Why I will always give new students scut-work.” Sounds mostly right to me, at least in that experimental system. Jon Christensen, a historian at UCLA, wants us to abandon the legacy of John Muir. “‘Muir’s a dead end,’ he…
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12:51 PM | Podcast from my Interview on Near FM’s Enviro Show
I was recently invited to participate on the Enviro Show hosted on Dublin’s Community Radio Station, Near FM. We chatted about red squirrels, grey squirrels, pine marten, invasive species and more. The interview starts about 29 mins into the podcast. Enviro 17/11/14 by Enviro On Nearfm on Mixcloud
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12:00 PM | FLUMP- Protected Areas, Community Assembly, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, Global Warming and more
It’s Friday and that means that it’s time for our Friday link dump, where we highlight some recent papers (and . . .
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11:17 AM | Friday links: on live tweeting talks, measurement vs. theory, #myworstgrade, and more
Also this week: the ethnography of Wikipedia, why statistically significant parameter estimates are biased estimates, and more. Plus a hilarious prank instructors can play on their TAs! For some value of “hilarious”. From Jeremy: Lots of sensible discussion in the … Continue reading →
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8:49 AM | Internal Affairs
So for various reasons, one of which was being unsure of whether a PhD was for me, I found myself asking to work as an Intern with the good people in the Zoology Department at TCD. To give you a bit of background, I am a Zoology graduate with an MSc in Marine Biology, so not just some random bloke who happens to like animals and fancied chancing his arm. Anyway, I approached Dr. Ian Donohue whose research group interested me and thus began a 9 month Internship as a Research Assistant. With a […]
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2:14 AM | NASA: October 2014 Tied For Hottest on Record
Originally posted on robertscribbler:(October was again a global temperature record setter. Image source: NASA.) NASA’s monthly global temperature analysis is in and the results are once again record-making. For according to NASA’s global monitor, world temperatures were 0.76 degrees…
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1:37 AM | China’s New Great Wall Threatens One Quarter of World’s Shorebirds
In a society now relentlessly focused on short-term profit that seems like a wonderful bargain, and the collateral loss of vast areas of shorebird habitat merely an incidental detail. Continue reading →
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