Posts

December 12, 2014

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5:49 PM | They wrote it all down as the progress of man
Somebody played this great old John Prine song at our local bluegrass jam the other night. I’d forgotten it completely, even though it’s been covered by everyone and their brother since it was written. I added it to my set … Continue reading →
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2:45 PM | Earth Rangers at Parliament Hill
Find out how a group of amazing Earth Rangers shared their animal saving projects with Members of Parliament!
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2:30 PM | Totally RAD
Puritz et al. (2014) weigh the pros and cons of, the aptly titled, “RAD fad” in a comment recently published online in Molecular Ecology. They challenge: (1) the assertion that the original RAD protocol minimizes the impact of PCR artifacts … Continue reading →
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1:55 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Corrie Moreau
Corrie Moreau grew up a city kid in the South. In middle school, she was on the dance team and marched in Mardi Gras parades while looking for ants in the cracks of the sidewalk outside her apartment. Read on to learn how she took her childhood love of ants and turned it into her full-time career, how she engages girls in science at The Field Museum and how her parents fostered confidence and creativity in her from a young age onward. Lea: Where were you in middle school? Corrie: I grew up in […]
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1:19 PM | Australia’s unexpectedly dangerous creatures
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 8:28am, December 12, 2014 Wombats look cute and cuddly, but they can move fast and have been known to attack people.Raymond Barlow/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)SYDNEY — I jokingly call Australia “the land where everything can kill you.” After all, the continent is home to crocodiles, deadly jellyfish, great white sharks, dangerous spiders like […]
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1:18 PM | TUNING IN: BRAIN & BODY
This Christmas, put your thinking caps on, or we’ll lend you some of ours with our BRAND-new exhibition centered around the ever-so-fascinating organ of our body called the Brain. Come down to the Science Centre and take a look at this new exhibition, open from Saturday 13 December onwards! For more details, click here!
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11:39 AM | Vox populi – when science and the public engage
Scientists are now being held to greater accountability by a variety of communities (both public and private), and the idea that scientists should be trusted to work in the interest of the public good, by virtue of their profession, is no longer accepted. So we now have a situation where government leaders and policy makers worldwide are finding ways to effectively communicating science and technology issues to the public and to include citizens in science and technology decision-making […]
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11:18 AM | Friday links: bucket models (literally), are psychologists psychic, and more
Also: everybody gets rejected (a lot), how many people read Plos One, is biodiversity science political, how to review NSF grants, and more. From Jeremy: Andrew Hendry shares the data on how often his papers are rejected. Answer: a lot … Continue reading →
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2:59 AM | A unicorn in the marsh
In the Great Marsh, he should be a myth, like a unicorn. But there he is. Like a nervous cuckoo clock in the mud, he pops out two or three times before he completely shows himself. A male fiddler crab (Uca pugnax), with a blue burnish to his shell and the characteristic obscenely large claw. … Continue reading A unicorn in the marsh →

December 11, 2014

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10:53 PM | Photo of the Week – December 11, 2014
For no particular reason, here are two unrelated photos from the same day.  Both photographs were taken on September 28, 2014 at our family prairie south of Aurora, Nebraska.  I wish I could come up with a pithy and informative … Continue reading →
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10:34 PM | Study: Americans trading more work for less sleep, putting their health and safety at risk
Feeling tired? You’re not alone. A new study finds that many U.S. workers aren’t getting enough sleep, which is essential to optimal health, and that people who work multiple jobs are at heightened risk of getting less than the recommended hours of nightly rest.
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9:19 PM | Retracing the legacy of guppy introductions past: local differentiation maintained despite high and rapid gene flow
[ This post is by Sarah W. Fitzpatrick; I am just putting it up.  –B. ]When populations adapted to different environments come into contact through range expansions, invasions, or by human-assisted migration, the outcome is often unknown. How will immigrant individuals fare in the new environment and will they hybridize with native populations? If so, what impact does gene flow with non-native individuals have on the local populations? The question of whether gene flow between […]
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7:21 PM | Congressional briefing brings together former lawmaker, scientists to consider climate engineering options
On Dec. 4, 2014 the Ecological Society of America (ESA) […]
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6:51 PM | Meet the Cleanup Crew
Last week, you heard A LOT about the important role arthropods (particularly ants) play in removing food waste from the street medians and parks of New York City. Lead author of this new research study, Elsa Youngsteadt, even appeared on Science Friday to discuss the key findings. We thought you might be interested in learning a little more about the ants who are doing the heavy lift on the food removal front. So this is a friendly little reminder that you can learn fun facts and natural […]
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3:00 PM | Migration Circos plots in R
We’ve all seen them – colorful, and I daresay, pretty darn informative. Circos plots are fun visualizations of large data-sets. I’ve seen them used in two contexts in comparative genomics – to represent structural variants in homologous chromosome segments in … Continue reading →
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12:04 PM | Festive Facts: The Amazing Science of Christmas Animals
By Jon FernChristmas is galloping towards us at a terrific speed, so let's take a look at some lesser-known facts about a few animals associated with the festive season.European robin, Erithacus rubecula.Robins, and indeed all other birds, are dinosaurs. The scientific consensus is that birds are in fact avian dinosaurs.Despite their apparently friendly nature, male robins are territorially aggressive, and confrontations between adult birds are often fatal.Robins will nest almost anywhere, […]
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11:35 AM | Postdoc parental leave policies, part 1 (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post by Margaret Kosmala, a postdoc in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. Note from Margaret: This is the second post in a mini-series examining the enormous variation in U.S. postdoc leave benefits. … Continue reading →
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12:31 AM | Eating our way out of environmental change
Originally posted on Life, the Universe, and a Goldfish Bowl:Agriculture has a dramatic impact on our environment – humans have covered Earth in cropland to feed ourselves or to feed our food. As a result, there has been widespread…

December 10, 2014

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10:19 PM | Life ­– a status report
The status report on life is only an estimate. Our lack of knowledge of Earth's unique creatures would be embarrassing if the great dying we're causing did not evoke more potent emotions. Continue reading →
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9:59 PM | Biodiversity and Climate Are Connected
"The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity – in our forests, mountains and oceans – and the restoration of these ecosystems, can be an important part of the solution to the climate change problem," says Peru's vice-minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources of the Ministry of Environment, Gabriel Quijandria Acosta. "To develop integrated policies for biodiversity and climate change we need to understand how biodiversity and the climate are changing and the […]
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7:56 PM | The Patterns of Bird Population Irruptions
Volunteer citizen naturalist opportunity for bird lovers. Continue reading →
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7:50 PM | Fight club for flies
I’ve been watching a lot of fly behavior recently and it’s pretty spectacular how easy it is to imagine you’re looking at a mammal (just smaller, smellier, and with more legs.) They wander around, clean themselves off, rub their greedy … Continue reading →
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7:00 PM | C.L. Gloger’s favorite owl
Biologists love clines. We’ve been mentally masticating on clines for decades. Clines in body size. Clines in color. Clines in heart size! Clines that go in circles! Recognizing clinal patterns in phenotypes or genotypes is fun, but discovering the mechanisms behind … Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Community Participation in Parks Development: Two Examples from Berlin
On a Friday night at the end of November 2014, nearly 200 people arrived in the departures zone of Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport for five hours of presentations, working groups and community-led exhibitions. A projection screen stood on the baggage … Continue reading →
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4:31 PM | 10,000 Elephants : Poaching Crisis Out Of Control
What’s even more outraging is the factories, yes factories, that are legal in China for carving. A decade ago, there were 9 factories and 31 authorized ivory retail outlets in China. By 2013, the researchers found, there were 37 factories and 145 retail outlets! And even with this “legal” marketplace for ivory, at least a quarter of the ivory sold in Beijing and Shanghai is illegal. Continue reading →
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2:40 PM | A mechanistic model of the S-shaped population growth
The main idea of this note is to show the most basic and purely mechanistic model of population growth, which . . .
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1:36 PM | Save Wildlife from Irresponsible Tourism
Tourism can bring enormous benefit to local communities, people and animals. It can also do great harm to wildlife and the environment. So if you're one of the growing number of people traveling overseas for holidays, it's important to consider your personal actions and decisions. Continue reading →
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1:26 PM | Increase your broader impacts with Data Nuggets
  This week we have a special guest post by Elizabeth Schultheis, a PhD candidate at Michigan State University and the Kellogg Biological Station, to describe her Data Nuggets project. Previous guest posts have discussed other great projects happening in the … Continue reading →
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1:03 PM | New research could help the welfare of working animals
With over 42 million horses and 95 per cent of the world's donkeys found in developing countries, new research could change the health and welfare of millions of working animals in some of the poorest parts of the world. "We hope our research will make a difference to the lives of these animals and our work will advise owners and vets on how to better look after their animals." Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | What I said about my blog in my promotion file
I’m periodically asked about the role of social media and blogs in my career and campus interactions. Here’s some information. I make a point of (almost) never bringing it up. If I were to mention that I have a blog, to someone who hasn’t seen it, I’d just get a roll of the eyes. I’ll…
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