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Posts

April 16, 2014

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11:12 PM | Threatened staghorn coral invades Fort Lauderdale!
Last week I was visiting FIU and talking with Lionfish guru Zack Judd when the topic of the Acropora range shift came up.  He and Laura Bhatti wanted to take me to do something fun on my last day in Miami.  So we decided on snorkeling off the beach on the world famous Fort Lauderdale strip […]
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5:20 PM | Pulitzer Prizes and public health
The list of Pulitzer Prize winners released earlier this week includes several journalists who addressed public-health issues, from black lung to food stamps.
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4:49 PM | White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)
What simplicity and gentleness this scene sings. As children, we are often told that we have outgrown something. A toy or a book that is no longer suitable, because we are too old for […]
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4:39 PM | Take a look at SciDev.Net’s scoop on what Plantwise is doing with mobile
SciDev.Net, an online magazine aiming to ‘bring science and development together through news and analysis’, covers the work that Plantwise are doing with mobile in Kenya. It reports on how Plantwise’s mobile initiative is using new technologies to deliver good scientific information to agricultural extension workers in developing countries. This information aims to assist extension workers as they advice farmers […]
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2:42 PM | Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle | book review | @GrrlScientist
The third installment in a children's book series that follows the adventures of twin amateur sleuths who build several science-y spy gadgets to aid them in their quest to solve a mystery. The summer holidays are only two weeks along but 11-year-old Nick Holt already misses his parents. In Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith [Quirk Books, 2014; Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US], we learn that Nick is convinced that someone is spying on his twin […]
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2:26 PM | When sponges take over
Below is a guest post by UNC student Kati Moore: Overfishing, pollution, and most of all, climate change, are destroying corals, causing the collapse of ecosystems and fishing industries around the world. “Corals are the backbone of the entire ecosystem,” said Emily Darling, a marine and climate change researcher at the University of North Carolina […]
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1:17 PM | Journal Club: What’s old is new again: newly discovered songbird family is ancient
SUMMARY: Scientists analysing songbird DNA discovered that the spotted wren-babbler is neither a wren nor a wren-babbler, nor even a babbler. Instead, it represents an old evolutionary family that has no close living relatives. Spotted wren-babbler, Elachura formosa (previously Spelaeornis formosus). Image: Per Alström/SLU [doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.1067]. A newly published study has uncovered a previously unknown family of songbirds that is represented by just one species. After analyzing one […]

Alström P., Hooper D.M., Liu Y., Olsson U., Mohan D., Gelang M., Hung L.M., Zhao J., Lei F. & Price T.D. & (2014). Discovery of a relict lineage and monotypic family of passerine birds, Biology Letters, 10 (3) DOI:

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12:00 PM | Our expert advice remains unheeded
Once in a while, tropical biologists get bot flies. We sometimes find this out while were are in the field. But on five occasions, my students have returned to the US, and then discovered that they are hosting a bot. They all contacted me for advice. I told them a few things, but the most important one was: Whatever […]
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11:58 AM | Our least-read posts
Just for fun, I just looked up our least-read posts. Some of what I found was unsurprising, but other things were kind of interesting. Any of you who are thinking of starting your own blogs might find some useful tips … Continue reading →
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11:17 AM | New agricultural trends to feed the world
The agriculture sector needs to double food production by 2050 to meet growing global populations – a tremendous feat considering the challenges posed by climate change, water shortage and how the increase in farming land is not catching up with demand. That’s why scientists are up to their ears looking for ways to sustainably increase production of crops capable of withstanding different environmental stresses.  Read more
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11:17 AM | New agricultural trends to feed the world
The agriculture sector needs to double food production by 2050 to meet growing global populations – a tremendous feat considering the challenges posed by climate change, water shortage and how the increase in farming land is not catching up with demand. That’s why scientists are up to their ears looking for ways to sustainably increase production of crops capable of withstanding different environmental stresses.  Read more
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10:13 AM | Tiger sharks: Each to their own diving depth
Despite some broad similarities, the diving behaviour of tiger sharks appears to vary greatly amongst individuals.  Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are one of the top predators in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the world. These large sharks are known to occupy both coastal and open seas, and can travel over both short and long distances. […]

Vaudo, J., Wetherbee, B., Harvey, G., Nemeth, R., Aming, C., Burnie, N., Howey-Jordan, L. & Shivji, M. (2014). Intraspecific variation in vertical habitat use by tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in the western North Atlantic, Ecology and Evolution, DOI:

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9:14 AM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (16 Apr 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 first report of Fomitiporia maxonii causing citrus wood rot in commercial orange and grapefruit groves in Cuba, the first report of Daldinia concentrica on Ficus benjamia from India, and Monilinia species identified […]

April 15, 2014

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10:44 PM | ESA’s 2nd annual Science Cafe Prize — take your science out of the box
Have a science story you want to tell? Send in your pitch for our public pub talk at the Ecological Society's 99th Annual Meeting this summer. Contest deadline: Friday, 30 May 2014.
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8:52 PM | Don’t be fooled by the safety talk
Two recent incidents reminded me of what a worker said about "safety talks."
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8:41 PM | Highlights from the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells & Reprogramming
I recently attended the joint Keystone Symposium “Stem Cells & Reprogramming” and “Engineering Cell Fate & Function” at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek. In addition to gorgeous weather, there was an amazing lineup of talks demonstrating the power and promise of stem cells and cell/tissue engineering. Here are just a few of the highlights from the meetings:  … Read more
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8:41 PM | Highlights from the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells & Reprogramming
I recently attended the joint Keystone Symposium “Stem Cells & Reprogramming” and “Engineering Cell Fate & Function” at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek. In addition to gorgeous weather, there was an amazing lineup of talks demonstrating the power and promise of stem cells and cell/tissue engineering. Here are just a few of the highlights from the meetings:  … Read more
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4:25 PM | The Wild Life of Chimpanzee Nests
We share a lot with you, dear readers. Some might say too much (ahem, the plight of our own armpit bacteria, for example). Yet believe it or not, we don’t share quite everything. Sometimes we’re working behind the scenes, out of the public eye, cooking up a new project, developing a nugget of an idea or cultivating a collaboration. Sometimes it takes awhile to get these new things organized, to gather all the ingredients, to slowly bring the collaboration or project to a boil, to […]
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4:22 PM | Interview with Abel Valdivia about lionfish and biotic resistance
I LOVE this interview PeerJ just posted (and excerpted below) with Bruno lab PhD student Abel Valdivia about our new paper on lionfish and biotic resistance.   PJ: What were your motivations for undertaking this research? AV: The invasion of lionfish into the Caribbean basin over the past ten years provides a unique possibility to study marine […]
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1:32 PM | PostDoc position for a forest modeller with stats knowledge in our lab
We are looking for candidates to fill a 3-yr postdoc position in our lab. The plan is to use Bayesian statistics to connected a process-based forest model to data, and use the fitted models to test the effect of functional diversity on ecosystem responses and community stability. Details here or via NatureJobs.
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12:00 PM | Backyard science
Spring is springing in Sweden and I’m finally out from under my grant writing load. It is pretty easy to complain about writing grants and I am not innocent in this respect. But it is also an opportunity to explore new ideas and topics. This year I decided to try at the more applied government […]
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11:38 AM | Pupfish on the adaptive landscape, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the cable tie
[ This post is by Christopher Martin; I am just putting it up.  –B. ]Like most evolutionary biologists, when I think of evolution I imagine rugged mountain landscapes, as Carl Zimmer eloquently introduced the concept of the adaptive landscape. Try to imagine a vast landscape connecting the phenotypes of all organisms where spatial location indicates a particular phenotype and the terrain – the height at any particular location – corresponds to the fitness of each […]
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10:28 AM | OpenSciLogs – A Glimpse of the Future of Science Blogging
Guest blog post by Paige Brown, SciLogs.com blogging manager and Ph.D. student in the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.  Read more
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10:28 AM | OpenSciLogs – A Glimpse of the Future of Science Blogging
Guest blog post by Paige Brown, SciLogs.com blogging manager and Ph.D. student in the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.  Read more
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10:00 AM | Food security and Biofuels
A short extract of some of the main points raised during the course “Examining Issues around Global Food Security” by Dr Julie Flood from CABI at the Department of Continuing Education’s program of the University of Oxford on March 7th, 2014. The course aimed to highlight the issues of food security/insecurity, and particularly around growing […]
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4:39 AM | Ross Sea, Antarctica
If you look at a map of Antarctica, below the long arm of the Graham Land Peninsula which reaches out towards the Shetland Islands, there is an inlet that, for most of the year, is glued by a vast swath of sea ice to the ice sheets and mountains that  Read more »
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12:19 AM | Events
Grab your calendar, plan ahead — biotech events through June, including the annual BIO Convention.  Read more
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12:19 AM | Events
Grab your calendar, plan ahead — biotech events through June, including the annual BIO Convention.  Read more

April 14, 2014

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9:14 PM | Darn Gophers…
People who live in the country tend to view “gophers” in much the same way city people view rats. Suffice it to say, neither animal is particularly popular. Much of the time, when farmers, gardeners, or groundskeepers are complaining about … Continue reading →
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6:23 PM | Worth reading: Veterans’ health, Medicare data, and public-health challenges in West Virginia
The Washington Post provides in-depth coverage on issues facing veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan; an unprecedented release of Medicare data gives reporters a lot to work with; and journalists consider how West Virginia's reliance on a few industries has influenced the state's response to contaminated water and drug addiction.
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