Posts

January 23, 2015

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11:00 PM | Chillin’ with the Greats
It’s not every day that a luminary shows up at your door step. But on Tue, we had three of them for GYSS2015 at Science Centre Singapore! Here’s a quick intro in the lives of these science yodas. Prof Michael Levitt. This greying champ won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013. (for the development… Continue reading »
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6:30 PM | The paludicolous life: peatmosses and pH
High dispersal should counteract local adaptation by continuously redistributing genetic variability.  In the bryophyte Sphagnum warnstorfii, the North Atlantic may not be as formidable a barrier as expected.  Spores may traverse the Atlantic Ocean to North America from Europe and vice … Continue reading →
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1:36 PM | Photo of the Week – January 23, 2015
There are a few subjects I can’t seem to keep from photographing.  Milkweed seeds, for example.  Patterns of ice on frozen wetlands.  Dew-covered insects.  And sunflowers. What flower is more distinctive?  Their bright yellow color and big round flowers stand … Continue reading →
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1:03 PM | Fork-tailed Drongos
Here is my new piece for Creature Feature on the clever kleptoparasitism of fork-tailed drongos, featuring photos by Alex Thompson. This is based on research by Tom Flower, including this recent paper in Science titled Deception by Flexible Alarm Mimicry in … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | The academic cold contact
A lot of science that gets done these days results from collaboration. Collaborations can come about it a multitude of ways. Of course there is the classic networking approach. You know someone they know, or you meet at a conference or a departmentally hosted seminar. But what do you do when you’d like to collaborate…
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12:35 PM | Plantwise connecting smallholders to knowledge through ICT Interventions
The emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the last decade has opened new avenues in knowledge management that could play important roles in meeting the prevailing challenges related to sharing, exchanging and disseminating knowledge and technologies. The types of ICT-enabled services are capable of improving the capacity and livelihoods of poor smallholders are growing […]
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11:47 AM | FLUMP: Back with a vengeance!
Don’t call it a comeback! We’ve been here for years! You might have noticed the site was down during the . . .
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11:06 AM | Friday links: the compassionate classroom, universities as newspapers (and cockroaches), and more
Also this week: gender differences in contributing to classroom discussions, misdiagnosing tragedies of the commons, making fun of the microbiome, and more. Oh, and theoretical ecology, the t-shirt. :-) From Meg: Here are two recent studies that relate to gender … Continue reading →
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10:41 AM | Feds seek public comment on offshore wind farm zone
Federal environmental officials are seeking public comment on the environmental impacts of offshore wind farm-related activity proposed for an area of some 480 square miles of Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina’s coast. Continue reading →
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4:38 AM | The Fashionable and Practical Turkey Vulture
Turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) remind me of 16th century European royalty (you know those “ruffs” they wore around their necks?). That regal appearance results from a bald head, which keeps the birds a little cleaner as they dig around in decomposing roadkill. Evolving with bacteria goes beyond losing some feathers though. After all, if you ate rotten meat, you’d get sick. Vultures, however, have extremely acidic digestive tracks and host special gut bacteria that help them […]
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12:37 AM | One body one problem
You may have heard on the academic grapevine that I will soon be leaving Trinity College Dublin. As with all moves I’m both sad to be leaving, but excited to take on new challenges. I’ll be around until the summer, but now this is common knowledge I wanted to explain why I’m moving on. And also to make something else really clear – I’m not leaving because I dislike working here! The School of Natural Sciences (and particularly Zoology where I’m based) has […]

January 22, 2015

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11:13 PM | Forests Precede Us, Deserts Follow
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:As Goes the Amazon, So Goes the World Thought to be up to 100 million years old and home to more species than any other ecosystem on Earth, the Amazon rainforest is a…
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10:53 PM | Coal dust, lung disease and 5 months of a new worker safety rule
MSHA fought for 20 year to eliminate the use of an average over multiple shifts to characterize miners' exposure to respirable coal mine dust. It seems strange now to read MSHA announce the success of a new coal dust regulation by reporting the annual average coal mine dust levels.
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10:08 PM | Yellowstone begins transferring bison for slaughter
Yellowstone National Park has begun shipping wild bison for slaughter as part of a plan to reduce the park's population by as many as 900 animals this winter. Continue reading →
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8:47 PM | Uphill (and downhill!)
Our climate is changing, that much is clear. The main effect of this changing climate is that what once was balancing now starts . . .
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5:17 PM | Pennsylvania pigeon shoots: An early push for their extinction
What killed it was a barrage of political donations from the Flyers Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports the shoots. The fund kicked out $20,000 for members of the House Rules Committee — a grand apiece plus $3,000 to its boss, Rep. Mike Turzai. Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | LaTeX hacks to save your life (and your co-authors’)
In light of this recent study by Knauff and Nejasmic (2014) that makes a lot of presumptive leaps on the utility and effectiveness of in scientific writing, my case for the utility of for every equation, reference, table, figure, and … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | If pursued by a goshawk, make a sharp turn
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski Videos of hunts and dives made by Shinta, this northern goshawk, showed that the bird uses several strategies for catching prey.Robert MustersHumans have been using birds to hunt for thousands of years. And though the practice is known as falconry, falcons aren’t the only birds that have been trained for the hunt. Northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) — a […]
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11:44 AM | Book review: The Bet by Paul Sabin
For Christmas my brother-in-law gave me The Bet by Paul Sabin. Here’s my review. You can find other reviews by googling. Sabin is a history professor at Yale. The Bet is a popular (but fully footnoted and sourced) account of … Continue reading →
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6:40 AM | ポっチャリ せフレ探してるならココ
童貞諸君の方々には恨みしか買わないようなことを言うかもしれませんが、セフレがいっぱいいてヤリまくってると純粋な・・・
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1:00 AM | Is there an optimal urbanization strategy?
Under a “status quo” scenario where no new land use policies are implemented, developed area would increase by 229 percent from 1996 through 2032. Continue reading →

January 21, 2015

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10:12 PM | New fracking study finds link between proximity to gas wells, negative health symptoms
As more research is emerging on the potential health effects of fracking, a new study — perhaps the largest to date of its kind — has found that people living near natural gas wells may be at increased risk for adverse health impacts, including skin and respiratory conditions.
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9:06 PM | The Talking Machines
There’s a great new Machine Learning podcast out called Talking Machines. They only have two episodes out but they are quite serious. They have traveled to NIPS and interviewed researchers, they have discussed A* sampling, and more. On the most … Continue reading →
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8:28 PM | Mine could cause irreparable harm to Smith River
Why should we even take the chance of placing such a valuable resource, and the established economy that depends on it, under threat of perpetual pollution? Continue reading →
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7:56 PM | Scientists warn of impending turtle dove British extinction
Turtle dove numbers in Britain have dropped by a whopping 93% since 1970, the fastest decline of a bird towards extinction in British history. Continue reading →
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6:28 PM | Braving the Cold for Bobolinks
Meet six-year-old Kaylee, an advocate for animals even when it’s cold outside!
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6:13 PM | State of the Union 2015: Obama calls out climate skeptics, urges expansion of educational opportunity, civility
A common refrain from skeptics of the severity of human […]
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6:00 PM | Designing with Nature: Insights for Drought Resilience and Carbon in Elqui Valley, Chile
Measures taken in cities to improve their adaptation to drought and for carbon sequestration are usually based on general standards to reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and/or to reach an efficient use of water and energy. Normally, these proposals are introduced using ‘globalized’ technologies, which are applied everywhere regardless of context. But nature … Continue reading Designing with Nature: Insights for Drought Resilience and Carbon in Elqui […]
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5:49 PM | Leading a discussion of a scientific paper
I’m teaching a graduate class in Entomology this term, and part of that class involves students leading discussions about scientific papers in our discipline. These discussions are typically between 60 and 90 minutes, with a small group (4-6 individuals). This post provides some advice and guidelines around how to go about doing this. That being […]
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3:34 PM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Jan 15)
We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of Turnip mosaic virus on garden nasturtium in Brazil, the occurrence of anthracnose on coloured capsicum under protected conditions and downy mildew of fenugreek in Iran caused […]
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