Posts

November 14, 2014

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11:18 PM | Why stop there? Probing species range limits with transplant experiments
[ This post is by Anna Hargreaves; I am just putting it up. –B. ]Understanding why species occur where they do is a fundamental goal of ecology.  Predicting where they might occur in the future is also an increasingly important goal in conservation, as invasive species spread and native species respond to climate change.  One approach to explore both issues is to study the edges of species distributions and the processes that currently limit them.Do species stop occurring where […]
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8:46 PM | Study examines effects of San Francisco paid sick leave policy, finds low-wage workers especially benefited
As paid sick leave policies gain momentum across the country, a new study finds that such policies do indeed improve worker morale and have little overall effect on employer profitability.
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8:05 PM | “We got the top dog”: Prosecutors indict former coal company CEO
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicated by federal prosecutors for events that led to the April 2010 death of 29 West Virginia coal miners.
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5:58 PM | The Story of Chinchillas in 20 Photos
To celebrate the excellent news that Sweden’s last chinchilla fur farm has just been closed down, we decided to take a closer look at these sweet animals – and how they suffer at the hands of the global fur trade. Continue reading →
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3:42 PM | New books party: Books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
This week, I share my first impressions about a scientific biography about John Napier, a Very Small Introduction about Alexander the Great, and a novel by an Australian writer.John Napier: Life, Logarithms, and Legacy by Julian Havil [Princeton University Press, 2014; Guardian bookshop; Amazon UK hardcover; Amazon US hardcover/kindle US] Continue reading...
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3:37 PM | Photo of the Week – November 14, 2014
The praying mantis is an impressive predator, especially when it’s a Chinese mantis the length of a ball point pen.  The ones who live around here seem to have a particular affinity for sphinx moths.  I haven’t yet watched the … Continue reading →
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2:46 PM | #sfn2014 by the numbers
SfN is really just a lot of words. I downloaded the PDFs of the abstract booklets, textified, tokenized, and counted them. Here is what I found. The most common word is ‘the’. The most common non-common word is ‘neurons’. Here … Continue reading →
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1:35 PM | How to use Twitter (for scientists!)
People try to use Twitter all the time and often give up with a shrug: it seems useless to get anything from that noise, with their voice getting lost in the roar. It’s a shame, because Twitter is one of … Continue reading →
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1:27 PM | The Secret Life of Starbuck
Have you heard that Cat Tracker has now launched on Long Island? We’ve recently downloaded tracks from our first set of Long Island felines. Meet Starbuck, a kitty from the suburbs of central Long Island. Starbuck’s home range may not reach as far as the local coffee shop, but this cat’s still pretty active. (Tracks are based on two consecutive 5-day tracking periods). Although coyotes haven’t yet established on Long Island, Starbuck does stick fairly close to home, not […]
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1:00 PM | The forest resounding at rare intervals with the note of … reproductive isolation
Hybrid zones are often used as a window with which to gaze upon the evolutionary process (Barton and Hewitt 1989). With the advent of genomic tools, it is possible to detect the genomic signatures and the architecture underlying reproductive isolation. In … Continue reading →
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12:30 PM | FLUMP – Carbon storage, urban ant diversity
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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12:29 PM | Ant colonies prefer homes infected with fungus
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 9:00am, November 14, 2014 For pharaoh ants, finding a dead body covered in fungus is not a warning sign but an invitation to move in, a new study finds.Animal Diversity Web/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)If you walked into a new home you were considering buying and found a dead body covered in fungus, you’d probably run for the door and call 911. You certainly […]
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11:36 AM | Friday links: female ESA award winners, #overlyhonestcitations, academic karma, and more
Also this week: George Scialabba vs. depression, Andrew Gelman’s thoughts are worth the wait, baseball player vs. evolution, and more… From Meg: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment had a piece by Chris Beck et al. on women and underrepresented … Continue reading →
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11:36 AM | Friday links: female ESA award winners, #overlyhonestcitations, academic karma, and more (UPDATED)
Also this week: George Scialabba vs. depression, Andrew Gelman’s thoughts are worth the wait, baseball player vs. evolution, and more… From Meg: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment had a piece by Chris Beck et al. on women and underrepresented … Continue reading →
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9:53 AM | DOs and DO NOTs of moderation
Moderation is the art of “avoidance of extremes in one’s actions, beliefs, or habits”, according to dictionaries.  In academic meetings chances are to find a colorful mix of extremes ranging from big mouths to shy introverts, and making everyone’s voice heard can be quite challenging. In worst-case scenarios, even hearing one’s own voice can become problematic. In order to make a group discussion productive, smooth and -why not? – fun, participants […]
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4:06 AM | Talking Kelps and Climate Change at the New England Aquarium
It’s always a bit painful to watch yourself talk, but I think this came off pretty well. A public lecture at the New England Aquarium. It was an interesting one to put together, and I’m still working on my style … Continue reading →

November 13, 2014

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3:32 PM | Few humans were needed to wipe out New Zealand’s moa
Wild ThingsAnimals,Archaeology by Sarah Zielinski 10:34am, November 13, 2014 An illustration from the 1896 book Hunting Monsters depicts a Maori hunting a tall species of moa. A new study finds that it didn’t take all that many humans to wipe out the flightless birds.Joseph Smit/Wikimedia CommonsWhen Polynesians in the early 14th century arrived on the islands that would later be called […]
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2:00 PM | Admixture maps in R for Dummies
Before we get started, I’d like to point everyone to an excellent tutorial here by Kim Gilbert on making maps in R. I have been grappling with overlaying admixture plots, and migration routes on top of maps recently, and thought I’d put … Continue reading →
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1:53 PM | Itchcraft by Simon Mayo | review | @GrrlScientist
Our teen-aged hero, Itch, is back. This, the third book in a mystery-thriller trilogy, follows Itchs continuing adventures as he and his friends try to outwit criminal masterminds who are desperately seeking radioactive chemical element 126 -- an element that still lurks out there. Somewhere.Even though its dangerously radioactive, element 126 is indestructible. Or so it seems in Itchcraft, the third instalment in Simon Mayos trilogy about a teen-aged element hunter and chemistry aficionado […]
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12:59 PM | Strategic Foresight Conference at IFPRI
A one-day Strategic Foresight Conference took place at IFPRI Headquarters in Washington DC on November 7, 2014. Participants from leading global modeling groups, collaborating CGIAR centers and research programs, and other partners reviewed new long-term projections for global agriculture from IFPRI and other leading institutions, examined the potential impacts of climate change and other key challenges, […]
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10:07 AM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 Nov 14)
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 identification of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus infecting common bean in Japan, Diaspididae scale insects in olive trees in Brazil and the first report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum‘ on carrot in Africa. […]

November 12, 2014

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10:35 PM | New requirement for scientists: You cannot be a sexist pigdog
I live in the city where Richard Feynman did a bunch of amazing things. I’ve chatted with a number of people who knew him. He is fondly remembered as an inspiring teacher, engaging writer and phenomenal scientist. He is also remembered as a creepy guy who frequented a local strip club, and for misogynist quips,…
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9:21 PM | New report: More action needed to protect salon workers’ health
Decreased lung function, breast cancer, miscarriage, depression and neurological disease. These are just a few of the health and disease risks that salon workers disproportionately face while on the job, according to a new report on the impact of toxic chemicals within the beauty and personal care industry.
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5:34 PM | 50 Cruelty-Free Companies
Originally posted on The Friendly Fig:Thousands and thousands of brands test their products on innocent animals. Yes, this is a reality, and we are all aware. But have you ever really stopped and thought about it? I do… all…
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5:00 PM | Madagascar team tracks lemurs as they spread the seeds of the rainforest
On the island nation of Madagascar, the long-limbed loc […]
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2:52 PM | Is genetics a requirement for restoration?
The fields of conservation and genetics have relied heavily on one another for quite a while now (they even made an aptly named journal together!). Using genetic information is now an accepted, and even expected, step in recognizing and protecting … Continue reading →
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2:35 PM | US Wet Areas to Get Wetter And Dry Areas To Get Drier
These results confirm earlier predictions. The projected changes are milder if we cut greenhouse gas emissions now, but they still occur. Interesting that while drought continues in the Southwest, the Arizona monsoon will intensify. Continue reading →
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2:28 PM | Being a Bobolink Detective
Find out if our detectives were able to find a bobolink.
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2:17 PM | Des détectives sur la piste du goglu des prés
Il faut un grand talent pour trouver et attraper des goglus des prés. Cet oiseau sait mieux se cacher qu’un ours polaire dans une tempête de neige!
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1:30 PM | Middle School Fossil Club Makes Real Discoveries
Recently, the buzz of excitement could be heard outside Exploris Middle School in downtown Raleigh. Members of the school’s Fossil Club, led by Students Discover 2014-2015 Kenan Fellow, Juliana Thomas, were sifting shark tooth fossils out of “fossil reject dirt” from the phosphate mine in Aurora, North Carolina.  I made my way, unnoticed, into the bustling room of 20 middle school students huddled over paper plates containing precious samples of shark teeth. […]
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