Posts

July 17, 2014

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8:33 PM | Naked mole rats, star-nosed moles, and tentacled snakes: the research of Ken Catania
A classic paper about Naked Mole Rats was passed around on twitter recently and I thought that it would be a good time to revisit some of the greatest hits of Ken Catania, wonder neuroethologist. There is tons of interesting neuroscience questions that pertain to the strange animals you’ll find in the wild but very […]
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5:51 PM | Federal efforts underway to streamline research grant review process
  A recent report from the National Science Board […]
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5:20 PM | Meet the 2014 Students Discover Fellows
As readers of our blog and Twitter feed well know, we’ve spent the last three weeks working side-by-side with 12 North Carolina middle school teachers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. These teacher-scientists and Museum researchers have been busy in the field and at the lab bench, co-creating citizen science projects and lesson plans that the teachers will take back to their classrooms in the fall. The goal: Create opportunities for kids to do REAL science, to make new and exciting […]
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4:27 PM | Sexual harassment and rape in field sciences, part II
A new paper by Kate Clancy and colleagues came out in PLoS One this week, and it paints an alarming picture regarding field work: 64% of survey respondents had personally experienced sexual harassment and 21.7% had been sexually assaulted while … Continue reading →
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11:54 AM | The Launch of the R/V Botryllid
Woohoo! It’s another amazing research season out here at the Shoals Marine Lab. We’re in the midst of our push to sample SML, Salem Sound, and the Boston Harbor Islands. The weather is glorious, and the water is…ok, not warm. … Continue reading →
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10:58 AM | The Frustrating World of Dangerous Living
When I first heard about the show I was very excited. Hollywood finally giving climate change the treatment, yay! I really wanted to like it. And I did - to some extent.
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7:36 AM | We have work to do
I’m not a linguist, but I think the theory that swearing and other “taboo” words came about to express extreme emotion.  Regular readers of The Lab & Field will know that I rarely (never?) use such words.  Similarly, in scientific writing, we couch emotion in verbose syntactical constructions, often devoid of feeling. Such will not be the case […]
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6:01 AM | The House of Dung
We gathered around the specimen with hand lenses, expensive cameras, and intent interest.  After some initial documentation, it was reverently placed in a basket and carried back to the main hall to be further examined and identified.  Pieces were placed under microscopes, and hefty field guides and computer programs referenced.  Read more »

July 16, 2014

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5:27 PM | Peer review, reviewed
Rebecca Schuman, who has almost single-handedly turned Slate into one of best big websites for coverage of the many trials and tribulations of academia, turns to peer review for scholarly journals, in which an author’s academic peers volunteer to weigh … Continue reading →
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4:15 PM | Reynolds in Talks to Acquire Lorillard in Merger of Tobacco Rivals
Paradoxically the US anti-trust laws intended to protect competition and keep prices down for consumers could kill more Americans when it comes to the merger of two of the three largest tobacco companies.
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2:11 PM | You don’t have to go to Antarctica to see wild penguins
Wild ThingsConservation,Animals by Sarah Zielinski 10:11am, July 16, 2014 Visitors to Cape Town, South Africa, can view endangered African penguins at Boulder Beach.Paul Mannix/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)Antarctica’s remoteness, majesty and unique wildlife have made the frozen continent an attractive — if expensive — location for tourism. (For me, though, it’s far too cold.) […]
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2:09 PM | Longhorns on the Prairie
One of the great things about prairies – and nature in general – is that there is way more to discover than I’ll ever have time for.  Especially within the world of invertebrates, there is no shortage of species to … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Teaching Challenges: group projects
Science is a collaborative effort and in essence, more and more of our scientific effort is done in groups. We come up with projects together, divide the labour, and co-write the papers that come out of it. So the idea of the lone scientist, working away in a solitary lab is really something for the…
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11:00 AM | Poll: How do you interpret two-way ANOVAs?
In ecology, it’s common to manipulate two factors at once – say, nutrient levels and herbivory. The standard way to analyze such a design is with a two-way ANOVA. What I’m interested in knowing (in part as the basis for … Continue reading →
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8:38 AM | Update: Plant Health News (16 Jul 14)
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the varying effects of rain on crops in Ivory Coast, the discovery of wheat genes that control boron tolerance and the projects managed by FAO that aim to improve food security in Africa. Click on the link to read more of the […]

July 15, 2014

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9:09 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
Workers at an Alabama car seat manufacturer speak out about workplace illnesses; worker death at a Pennsylvania sugar plant could have been prevented; Los Angeles activists join fight for a living wage; and income inequality gets a laugh.
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8:51 PM | For bees (and flowers), tongue size matters
When it comes to bee tongues, length is proportional to […]
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7:40 PM | June US historical precipitation, a quick analysis
The NCDC June climate summary for the United States is out. June’s a real important month in the Northern Hemisphere, especially agriculturally. I’ll use these data as a chance to demonstrate the probability that June 2014 precipitation (P) in the … Continue reading →
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2:08 PM | Is Uppsala city a Bumblebee hotspot?
Sorry, no data to backup my thoughts today… but I feel that the number of bumblebees I saw in the last two years doubles the previous 30 years of my life. Uppsala is a smallish city in Sweden. Has lots … Continue reading →
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12:32 PM | Nature in NSF’s Backyard
2014 marks the 3rd consecutive year that a pair of black vultures (Coragyps atratus) have chosen the roof of the National Science Foundation to raise their family. NSF is an independent federal agency that promotes the progress of science by funding basic research across all fields of science and engineering research and education. [Editor's note: NSF has provided funding for a number of Your Wild Life projects through grants to our principal investigator, Rob Dunn, including School of Ants and […]
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11:35 AM | Biology-themed potlucks
Back when I was in grad school my classmates often used to hold potluck dinners. I recall one that had a “Brassica” theme (so, mustards, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.). Every dish had to contain a member of the … Continue reading →
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1:34 AM | My Letter to Senator Baldwin and a Message To Anti-Willdife Democrats
my-letter-to-senator-baldwin-and-a-message-to-anti-willdife-democrats Continue reading →
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12:13 AM | Stop the Grizzly Bear Hunt in British Columbia, Canada
Stop-the-grizzly-bear-hunt-in-british-columbia-canada. Continue reading →

July 14, 2014

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11:43 PM | The mountaineer’s privelege
There are turning-points in all men’s lives which must give them both pause and retrospect. In long Sierra journeys the mountaineer looks forward eagerly, gladly, till pass or ridge-crest is gained, and then, turning with a fonder interest, surveys the … Continue reading →
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11:24 PM | “Our eyes often ranged upward”
At last, after climbing a long, weary ascent, we rode out of the dazzling light of the foot-hills into a region of dense woodland, the road winding through avenues of pines so tall that the late evening light only came … Continue reading →
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8:36 PM | Living Without Herbicides
The herbicides used to kill weeds have two undisputed dangers: They can poison arthropods and the animals that eat them, and they eliminate plants that are hosts for Monarch Butterflies and many other small creatures. Continue reading →
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6:54 PM | Dwindling Bird Numbers Linked to Pesticides-Dutch Study
Bird declines linked to pesticides. Continue reading →
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5:06 PM | That stinky gorilla may be trying to say something
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 4:10pm, July 14, 2014 Western lowland gorillas (the species often found in zoos) communicate partly by scent in the wild, according to a new study.Eric Kilby/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Animals can use scent as simple signs of things like “I’m scared” or “I’m stressed.” This can reach a more complex level of communication, […]
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3:18 PM | We are asking the four questions of biodiversity conservation at #NACCB2014 – What’s your answer?
Why is this week different from all other weeks? Because this week, Emily Grason and Fletcher Halliday are serving as . . .
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1:00 PM | Pre-tenure Advice: Blocking out time for your research
As part of the Carnival that Prof-like Substance is organizing on Pre-tenure advice, I thought I’d throw in a piece of advice that anyone who asks me this question gets from me. Here it is: Create a calendar and block out time for you. Sounds simple, and honestly a little stupid, but it’s the best […]
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