Posts

March 23, 2015

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11:09 PM | A Week in the Life of U131
When you’re collecting data on the behaviour of individual animals over time, as I am this summer, your observations sometimes feel less like a collection of numbers and more like a collection of personal narratives. Of course, the data are both … Continue reading →
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10:49 PM | World Ocean Heartbeat Fading? ‘Nasty’ Signs North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation is Weakening
“Scientists call it Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). But we may as well think of it as the heartbeat of the world ocean system. And when that heartbeat begins to slow down, we’d best sit up and start paying attention.” … Continue reading →
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5:52 PM | Students share eMammal!
On Thursday, March 5, eight middle school students from the classrooms of two 2014 Students Discover Kenan Fellows, Dave Glenn and Dayson Pasion, presented their research on wildlife camera-trapping at the North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) conference in Raleigh. Over the last year, the students have participated in the eMammal citizen science project, deploying wildlife cameras in their schoolyard to capture animal activity. The students have been working in collaboration […]
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2:35 PM | Public health activities during the recession
A study published in a new supplement to the American Journal of Public Health investigates the extent to which public health activities in metropolitan areas suffered during the recent recession.
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2:34 PM | Perú: Una visita al campo con los Doctores de Plantas en Huamanga-Ayacucho
Texto escribido por los doctores de planta de la Estación Experimental Agraria Canaán (INIA): Victoriano Eduardo Núñez Cuba, Melancio Huamani García y Aníbal N. Huarancca, y editando por Léna Durocher-Granger (CABI-UK). English summary follows El Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agraria (INIA), organismo público adscrito al Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego, a través de la Estación Experimental […]
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2:07 PM | A love letter to sponges
Like many kids interested in marine biology, growing up I wanted to work on sharks. After college I interned for a year at the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Lab under the guidance of two great mentors, Jim Gelsleichter and … Continue reading →
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1:36 PM | The Art and Science of Art Conservation | @GrrlScientist
Behind-the-scenes looks at the science that goes into art conservation so we all can (potentially) experience the original work for ourselves rather than looking at a digitised scan, a poster-sized print or an encyclopaedia thumbnailWhen people think of great works of art, they probably think of Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, or Rembrandt. But rarely does anyone think of scientists; specifically, most people are unaware of the exquisite marriage of science and art that underpins art conservation so […]
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12:00 PM | The more things change, the more they change
I just had the pleasure of spending a couple days hiking around the interior of Catalina Island. The last time I did this was about 23 years ago, when I was a student on an undergraduate field trip for a course in Conservation Biology. I learned a lot from that course, and a lot of…
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10:53 AM | Keeping track of lab finances
Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time working through lab finances. I need to make personnel decisions, and what I want to do is: Make sure the amount of money I think I have to spend is the amount I … Continue reading →
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7:53 AM | It's Museum Week on Twitter | @GrrlScientist
Today is the first day of Twitter’s international Museum Week, which celebrates our many museums, galleries and cultural institutions that make valuable contributions to science, the arts, history and culture around the worldIf you are a twitter fiend, as I am, and if you are passionate about museums, galleries and other cultural institutions, as I am, then you will be thrilled to learn that today is the first day of Museum Week on twitter. This community event runs from 23-29 March and […]
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4:00 AM | Reproducibility - do you have what it takes?
Reproducibility is supposed to be a cornerstone of modern science, in that everything we do (writing methods, almost releasing data, the whole peer-review system) is supposed to ensure that, given only your paper, some hypothetical person can reproduce your results without having to look for additional information. It's the way I've first been told about scientific literature. It's also a blatant lie, and it's only getting worse. First, and although I'm yet to try it for myself (this would be […]

March 22, 2015

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11:50 PM | Is the medium a monster?
“Dinosaurs have become boring. They’re a cliché. They’re overexposed” – Stephen Jay Gould Dinosaurs have always been inextricably linked to popular culture. Despite going extinct 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period they pervade our society. Dinosaur exhibits are the main attractions of natural history museums and outside of this setting, they can be found in films, documentaries, books, toy shops etc. A new discovery of […]
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3:13 PM | Possibly pedantic points: scientific names
When it comes to certain things, I am a pedant. Not the annoying beat-you-over-the-head type of pedant, but the type that has been known to geek out over methods for reporting taxonomic authorities (it’s all in the parentheses). This weekend, … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | Lessons on Post-Resilience from Venice, 2015
“Stronger than the storm.” I can’t get this phrase out of my head, nearly one week into my sabbatical move to Venice, Italy. It so happens that we arrived on a week when the moon and the winds lined up to create acqua alta (high water) for six days in a row. On day 1, … Continue reading Lessons on Post-Resilience from Venice, 2015 →

March 21, 2015

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4:21 PM | Lost Animals–Garry Rogers Goodreads Comment
Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record by Errol Fuller Garry Rogers rating: 5 of 5 stars This book was hard to read. As you pass from one tragedy to the next, you gather sadness like a rolling ball gathers … Continue reading →
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11:59 AM | Watch a baby hummingbird grow up | @GrrlScientist
For “Caturday”, I share a lovely video created by one of my birding pals that captures a mother hummingbird as she raises her son from hatching to fledgingSpring is springing! Already, a few of my Seattle birding pals have spotted hummingbird nests. Thus, since today is “Caturday”, I was inspired to share a video of a mother rufous hummingbird as she raises her son from hatching to fledging. In this video, you will see how fast the chick grows (especially its beak), and […]
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11:00 AM | Top Ten Animals That Can Outrun You
Find out which animals you shouldn't challenge to a footrace!
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1:00 AM | Thermodynamics with Continuous Information Flow
guest post by Blake S. Pollard Over a century ago James Clerk Maxwell created a thought experiment that has helped shape our understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: the law that says entropy can never decrease. Maxwell’s proposed experiment was simple. Suppose you had a box filled with an ideal gas at equilibrium at […]

March 20, 2015

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9:29 PM | Study finds transforming vacant urban lots into green spaces could reduce stress, improve health
For all you city-dwellers out there, next time you walk by a vacant lot that’s been refurbished with green gardens and budding trees, take note of your heart rate. You might find the pleasantly green view caused a welcome moment of relaxation and lowered stress.
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5:19 PM | Conservationists should make friends with hunters
Wild ThingsAnimals,Conservation by Sarah Zielinski 1:22pm, March 20, 2015 People who spend time in nature, whether to hunt with guns or binoculars, are more likely to take action to protect it, a new study concludes.Renee V/Flickr (CC-BY 2.0)For the sake of wildlife conservation everywhere, birdwatchers and other animal lovers should join forces with hunters.Fans of wildlife are going to read […]
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4:06 PM | Guardian climate change petition reaches 100k signatures
The campaign asks the world’s two largest charitable foundations to divest from the top 200 oil, gas and coal companies within five years and to immediately freeze any new investments. It was launched by Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in partnership with the global climate movement 350.org. Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | Haploid-diploidy, a (brief?) history
Haploid-diploid life cycles are not only good exercise for the brain, but they’re also fantastic study systems to investigate a myriad of questions. Yet, the majority of molecular studies have focused on the diploid-dominated life cycles of animal and plant … Continue reading →
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2:52 PM | World Planting Day – 21 of March 2015
According to the astronomical definition, the first day of spring in 2015 is on March 20. When spring starts, nature also awakes! Not surprisingly, many favoured vegetables in Europe are sown in spring. That is why on March 21 we celebrate the World Planting Day. Urban gardening brings planting back to the cities Recently, the […]
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1:57 PM | Eco-evolutionary Island Biogeography
(This post is by Tim Farkas. I am just putting it up. Andrew)If pressed to list the most influential paradigms of the last century, few ecologists would forget MacArthur and Wilson’s
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1:56 PM | Fatal work injury that killed Jose Isagirrez-Mejia was preventable, OSHA cites Structural Prestressed Industries
The fatal work-related injuries that killed Jose Alfredo Isagirrez-Mejia could have been prevented had his employer followed worker safety regulations.
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1:27 PM | Electronic noses and other pest detection tech
Contributed by Roger Day, CABI Some of the latest gadgets and gizmos for detecting plant pests were demonstrated and discussed at the 10th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures on Thursday. Inspecting for pests, whether in the field or in consignments, can be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. So anything […]
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1:00 PM | British fineSTRUCTURE
Leslie et al. (2015) provide an analysis of genome-wide SNP data from over 2,000 individuals in the United Kingdom in a paper out this week in Nature. The population structure in the UK was limited with FST estimates averaged 0.0007, with a … Continue reading →
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12:51 PM | New books party: books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
This week, I share my thoughts about a travel-adventure story about a quest to see one of the world’s last surviving “unicorns” (the saola); a paperback about the natural history of Ebola and a second by the same author about the origins of HIV/AIDS, and a book that examines the strange behaviour of numbersThe Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures by William deBuys [368 pages, Little, Brown US; 2015; Guardian Bookshop; Amazon UK […]
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11:55 AM | Friday links: Andy Warhol on citations, and (a bit) more
From Jeremy: Philosopher of ecology Jay Odenbaugh argues that ecological theory doesn’t need to make accurate predictions to be successful science, and that you’re misunderstanding the purpose of theory if you think otherwise. The paper’s a few years old, but … Continue reading →
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8:22 AM | Third of a Lunar Tetrad – Find out what this means!
Some things always cause excitement. One of them is an eclipse. In Dec 2011, I felt the awesomeness of being in the exact paths of the Moon and Sun, and facing the right side of Earth to be able to observe the total lunar eclipse. It was especially so because that was the last total… Continue reading »
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