Posts

October 29, 2014

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12:57 AM | Tricks of the Trade: LaTeX
Ok, guys. I’ve been studying as a baby statistician (scienctician? statscientist? ecologitician?)  for a little while now and I’m here to share some of their secrets. Before I started here at Penn State I had a couple ideas about what other grad students in my department would be like. First, everyone would be computer masters of any and all statistical programs: R, SAS, others that I hadn’t even heard of yet. Second, they’d all be completely on top of everything in […]
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12:50 AM | Will there be a ‘hostile takeover’ of western public lands?
Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:Federal lands in the U.S. Courtesy Univ. of Montana. New website offers glimpse of ongoing efforts to ‘de-federalize’ the West Staff Report FRISCO — On and off efforts to force the transfer of…
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12:48 AM | The Caterpillar and the Butterfly
‘There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.’         —Buckminster Fuller Architecture | Education | Landscape | Nature It’s been six months since Sweet by Nature was penned and released … Continue reading →

October 28, 2014

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7:19 PM | Genetics reveal the diversity of pollinators’ other cargo: fungi
The following is a cross-posting from the Stanford CEHG Blog by Jeremy Hsu, a graduate student in Elizabeth Hadley’s lab at Stanford University. Many animals that visit flowers are known to carry microfungal communities; these fungi are important ecologically because … Continue reading →
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7:03 PM | Paid sick days and working women: new (and disturbing) results from a Kaiser survey
A new Data Note on results from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent survey highlights how this country’s lack of nationwide paid sick leave places a disproportionate burden on women – and is particularly hard on low-income mothers.
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6:44 PM | How wolves are beneficial
Originally posted on Coalition for American Wildbirds:? ? On Utah’s National Public Radio affiliate, KCPW, on Tuesday, October 21, host Roger Mc Donough interviewed Kirk Robinson, Executive Director of Western Wildlife Conservancy on the topic of wolves – and…
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5:12 PM | NEON releases a higher education video on photosynthesis
Did you ever wonder how scientists measure photosynthesis? Check out the latest NEON educational video, developed in collaboration with David Moore (University of Arizona), Ankur Desai (University of Wisconsin) and Pat Morgan (LiCOR). This video is the second in a series of data-science focused videos hosted on YouTube. Also be sure to check out our … Continue reading »
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4:03 PM | A message from Martha by Mark Avery | review | @GrrlScientist
This absorbing book is an engaging and wistful, yet measured, chronicle about the tragic loss of one very special, iconic, species, the passenger pigeon. This is the year of the passenger pigeon. Despite this, you might wonder how three books about the passenger pigeon could possibly have been published this year -- and, iconic or not, what more could possibly be said about an extinct species one hundred years on? Yet each book brings something new to the table. But my favourite of this trio […]
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2:17 PM | How to teach yourself about an obscure snake
This article will soon become available in SpanishThe world is full of obscure snakes. According to Darren Naish at Tetrapod Zoology, the more you know about them, the better a person you are. Writing this blog, and in my research, I am often confronted with the challenging task of finding out something - anything at all - about a species of snake that I've never heard of before. This post is a walk-through of the process that I usually use to track down even the most basic information […]
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2:16 PM | Lawsuits challenge EPA’s approval of new herbicide
Despite significant unanswered questions about human and environmental health impacts – and no exposure monitoring requirements – the EPA has approved a new herbicide called Enlist Duo for use on genetically engineered corn and soybeans in six Midwestern states. Environmental groups and farmers are suing to block approval, saying EPA failed to adequately assess health risks.
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1:50 PM | Tristan Adventure 3: Mice predation causes devastating Tristan Albatross breeding success
The third installment of my Tristan Adventure series is over at the RSPB Saving Species blog:   “One of the most important tasks during takeover is the Tristan Albatross (Diomedea dabbenena) chick count. These wanderer-type albatrosses breed only on Gough (with one pair on Inaccessible Island; they were extirpated from Tristan over 100 years ago) […]
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12:00 PM | The statistics of busy, or the management of approachability
In one Seinfeld episode, George puts on an annoyed busy-all-the-time act at work. Consequently, nobody bothered him with work. Academia is a cult of busy. We all are very busy, and often complain about it when we shouldn’t. However, being busy is part of becoming more efficient. Here are a couple claims: In academia, the…
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11:42 AM | Lockheed Aims for Commercial, Compact Fusion Reactor Within Ten Years
Originally posted on robertscribbler:Ever since major industrialized nations learned how to fuse atoms in megabombs able to blast scores of square miles to smithereens, the quest has been on to harness the vast potential energy store that is nuclear…
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9:39 AM | Local refrigeration: Key to reducing #Postharvest losses in Rural areas
Originally posted on Kalu Samuel's Blog:l did bump into this when l visited Eco-Resource centre in Nairobi, Kenya. l got fascinated by the simplicity and its functionality. The simple piece of innovation so ideal for the preservation of vegetables and fruits in areas especially rural where there is no access to electricity. Built…
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9:24 AM | Island of Lemurs – Madagascar
Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a preview screening of the IMAX show “Island of Lemurs – Madagascar” which had recently opened at the Omni-Theatre Singapore on 10 October. It is always an enjoyment for me to watch a nature-themed documentary. The script of “Island of Lemurs – Madagascar” is actually well decorated with… Continue reading »
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1:47 AM | An invasive species drives rapid evolution in a native
 Anolis carolinensis male, dewlapping. Photo by Ambika Kamath.In 1959, W.L. Brown and E.O. Wilson proposed the following eco-evolutionary process: two closely-related species come into contact, interact strongly (usually over food and other resources), and thereby experience natural selection to diverge from one another--ecology influences evolution. Then, if such divergence resulted in sufficient resource partitioning, the species’ population dynamics would stabilize and the two (or […]

October 27, 2014

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9:56 PM | Biodiversity, Entropy and Thermodynamics
  I’m giving a short 30-minute talk at a workshop on Biological and Bio-Inspired Information Theory at the Banff International Research Institute. I’ll say more about the workshop later, but here’s my talk: • Biodiversity, entropy and thermodynamics. Most of the people at this workshop study neurobiology and cell signalling, not evolutionary game theory or […]
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8:39 PM | Butterfly Indicators of Ecosystem Change
As more researchers begin studying butterflies, the links to other species and whole ecosystems will become clearer and will help guide nature conservation plans and policies. Continue reading →
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5:58 PM | Invasion drives quick evolution of lizard feet
Wild ThingsAnimals,Evolution by Sarah Zielinski 3:59pm, October 27, 2014 After their Florida island homes were invaded by Cuban anoles, Carolina anoles moved higher into the tree canopy and developed feet better suited for taking them there.Dr. Todd CampbellEvolution is often thought of as being such a slow process that it can’t be observed. That’s not true, but to happen quickly, […]
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3:03 PM | Birdbooker Report 344
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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1:10 PM | June Beetle Boogie
Because I’m an Entomology graduate student, meeting people is often like this: Me: Hi, my name is Emily. New friend: Hi Emily, what do you do? Me: I study insects. New friend: OMG, that’s so cool. So, I have these ____ on my _____  . Do you know what they are?** (**I just realized doctors probably have similar conversations, but the blanks are filled with stuff I can’t fathom.) These interactions usually leave me feeling like an imposter, because there are too many […]
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12:56 PM | LANDSCAPE EXPERIENCES MAJOR SHIFTS IN APPEARANCE OVER SHORT TIME SPAN
As I was preparing to post this blog, I received the latest installment of Ian Lunt’s blog, which gives very good advice to science bloggers about how to capture and hold an audience’s attention.  Ironically, I’d just been worrying that … Continue reading →
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11:51 AM | Non-academic careers for ecologists: data science (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from Ted Hart, who holds a Ph.D. in ecology and did a postdoc at the University of British Columbia, but is now a data scientist in Silicon Valley. Thanks very much to … Continue reading →
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8:11 AM | The Second American Revolution Is Brewing in Oregon
In Oregon, the capture of local government by the timber industry results in the destruction of the natural world and the poisoning of the populace, but a Josephine County ballot initiative would ban tree spraying by corporations and government entities. Continue reading →
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1:46 AM | Parrots Over Puerto Rico: An Illustrated Children’s Book Celebrating the Spirit of Conservation
Will the Puerto Rican parrot survive? It is the only remaining native parrot in Puerto Rico. Parrots of the region began disappearing in the 1700's due to logging, farming, and pet collecting. The species' prospects have improved, but the World Conservation Union still lists it as critically endangered. Continue reading →

October 26, 2014

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10:13 PM | Feds launch ocean biodiversity monitoring network
Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:A pelican perches along the coast in Englewood, Florida. Florida, California and Alaska sites will host pilot phase of research effort Staff Report FRISCO — Federal agencies are launching an ambitious $17 million…

October 25, 2014

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2:22 PM | Top Ten Funny Halloween Animals
Check out what these black and orange animals have to say about Halloween!
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8:55 AM | A hummingbird and his man | video | @GrrlScientist
An elderly man takes pleasure in the small things, by sharing his kitchen with a hungry hummingbird in Brasil.Todays caturday video is an amateur video featuring João Silvestrini, a retiree who lives alone in Barretos, Brasil. Seeking to expand his circle of friends, Mr Silvestrini recently joined Facebook. Although he lacks human companions, he clearly has a close relationship with the local hummingbirds. In this video, youll watch as he invites a wild swallow-tailed hummingbird, […]

October 24, 2014

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8:01 PM | A Q&A with public health leaders on the opioid epidemic: ‘Prescription opioid abuse is still raging out of control’
While pharmaceutical companies are making billions in painkiller profits, it’s the public sector that ends up bearing the burden and cost of the fallout that accompanies skyrocketing sales of highly addictive prescription opioids. After the jump is a Pump Handle Q&A with two public health officials at the forefront of the opioid abuse epidemic within America’s big cities.
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2:36 PM | New books party: Books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
Heres a few more books to help you become that modern polymath you want to become.These books arrived recently, either because I purchased them, because a publisher sent them as review copies, or they were gifts from people who know I love books (but who have never seen my groaning bookshelves!). Continue reading...
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