Posts

October 20, 2014

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1:16 PM | Thoughts on preprints and citations
A couple of months ago Micah J. Marty and I had a twitter conversation and subsequent email exchange about how citations worked with preprints. I asked Micah if I could share our email discussion since I thought it would be useful to others and he kindly said yes. What follows are Michah’s questions followed by […]
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12:23 PM | How to answer to reviewers
This is another of the aspects of doing science that nobody explicitly teach you. The basics are pretty simple to explain (just respond to everything and point by point). You start by mimicking what your mentor does, how other co-authors respond, and how … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Having “The Talk” with students
Recently, I posted on my regular blog about two separate incidents at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. One was a male allies panel gone horribly awry, and the other (which was all over the news outlets the next day) was a statement from Microsoft’s CEO about how women should trust the system…
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11:17 AM | Seeking help for her amaranthus crop in India, Sarathambal finds a local plant clinic
A Plantwise experience from Tamil Nadu. Writing and reporting by Kavya Dashora, CABI India 50-year-old Sarathambal lives with her husband and son, in Pooncheri village near Iluppakkorai, in Thanjavur district. The family engages in diversified cropping systems in their 2 acre land, to expand the source of subsistence and income, to increase yield, and to […]
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9:16 AM | Selection and evolution of causally covarying traits
Michael Morrissey. Evolution 68(6): 1748-1761 DOI:10.1111/evo.12385. Selection and evolution of evolution of causally covarying traits This was not the paper I was expecting, but it was a paper I enjoyed. Morrissey argues that we can use path analysis to tease apart the evolution of different aspects of species’ traits, and I think he makes a very good […]
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7:57 AM | Birdbooker Report 343
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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1:13 AM | Roads Benefit People But Can Have Massive Environmental Costs
Roads can become environmental disasters—opening a Pandora’s Box of problems such as illegal logging, poaching, wildfires, and land speculation. Continue reading →

October 19, 2014

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11:01 PM | Nature jargon
At a recent meeting on “Natural Capital”, Jo Pike from the World Forum on Natural Capital drew our attention to a “sustainability jargon buster” that they developed last year. Jo has a background in communications and highlighted an important point: if we are to conserve and sustainably exploit the environment, we need a common language. Ecologists can’t always agree on terminology amongst themselves but when we try to talk to economists and businesses to try and […]
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10:38 PM | Sex? It all started 385 million years ago (w/ Video)
Sex began 385 million years ago and stopped the evolution of intelligence in its tracks. Continue reading →
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10:15 PM | Developing a Taste for Animal Rights: For Our Health, for Our Planet, for Our Future
There is no greater example of inequality than the question of animal rights and our diet choices. When will we stop eating animals? Source: eatdrinkbetter.com GR:  This post’s title suggest that we should care about animals is for our benefit.  … Continue reading →
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9:49 PM | Australia aims to end extinction of native wildlife by 2020
We must also work to reverse human impacts that damage wildlife habitats. Continue reading →
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9:24 PM | Behind on biodiversity targets, govts pledge to increase funding for conservation
The fundamental fuel for environmental decline, human population growth, remains uncontrolled. Continue reading →
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1:18 PM | Caught stealing
Nope, not a post about the Kansas City Royals, or baseball at all for that matter, though I do hope to get there at some point. Rather, it’s about getting away with thievery at the local library yesterday. I did. … Continue reading →

October 18, 2014

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6:45 PM | Top Ten Big Scary Looking Animals
It's almost Halloween, so to get you into the season of freight here are some big and terrifying animals!
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12:09 PM | Caw vs. Kraa: meaning in the calls of crows and ravens | @GrrlScientist
This short video, by the Cornell Lab of O, discusses the differences between and potential meanings of the sounds made by crows and ravens.Since today is caturday, that wonderful day when the blogosphere takes a breather from hell-raising to celebrate pets, I thought some of my favourite animals: corvids. I ran across this lovely video created by Cornell Universitys Laboratory of Ornithology (more fondly referred to as the Lab of O) that discusses the differences between and potential meanings […]
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4:31 AM | How to write/present science: BABY-WEREWOLF-SILVER BULLET
As an editor, reviewer, supervisor, committee member, and colleague, I have read countless papers and proposals and have seen similarly countless presentations. Some work well and some don’t. Beyond the picky details of slides that are too wordy, speaking that is too fast, sentences that are poorly constructed, and so on – the most critical problem is making clear why the work is interesting and important. Why should we read further rather than moving to the next paper on the pile? […]

October 17, 2014

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9:29 PM | New research finds that drinking soda may lead to cell aging and disease, regardless of obesity
At this point, it’s pretty clear that soda is bad for your health. But a new study has found that it may be even worse than we thought.
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5:25 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Doug Emlen
I recently sat down with evolutionary biologist Dr. Doug Emlen when he was in town to give a seminar at NC State. We met at the Hunt Library, and after testing out a few of their famous chairs, we settled in for an interview that took us around the world. Read on to learn how Doug spent the first six months of sixth grade in Kenya with his dad studying birds, got singled out in science class and learned early on in his academic career that he would never be Indiana Jones. Lea: We’re […]
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5:14 PM | Interns Summer in Review, Part 4: So, what do YOU know?
An Explanation of NEON’s Airborne Observation Platform and Cyber Infrastructure through New Eyes After spending time together in NEON’s summer internship program, Ariel Kaluzhny (a computer science student) and Maddy Ball (an environmental science major) learned a lot about their NEON projects, explored a good bit of Colorado and became great friends. But, coming from … Continue reading »
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2:25 PM | New books party: Books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
After my bookgasm (book-buying binge) at last weeks Frankfurt Book Fair, Ive got a mountain of wonderful books to share with you -- a project that will take place over the next few weeks.When I get new books, I like to share them with people. Unfortunately, since you all are so far away, I cannot host a book party in my crib where you can look over them, so Ill do the next best thing. Ill host a book party on my blog each Friday of the week when I either purchase books, they are given to me or […]
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1:45 PM | Creature Feature IX: Bagworms
Here is my next piece for The Hindu BLink, on the central role of wind in shaping the life of the bagworm.
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1:00 PM | What we’re reading: A meta-analysis of meta-analyses, plants’ cytoplasmic genomes, and science under political attack
In the journals Koricheva, J. and J. Gurevitch. 2014. Uses and misuses of meta-analysis in plant ecology. Journal of Ecology, 102: 828–844. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12224. We found many cases of imprecise and inaccurate usage of the term ‘meta-analysis’ in plant ecology, … Continue reading →
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12:32 PM | Photo of the Week – October 17, 2014
Who could be mad at these big beautiful brown eyes? As it turns out, lots of people can. The differential grasshopper is one of a long list of native North American species, headlined by white-tailed deer and raccoons, that have … Continue reading →
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11:30 AM | FLUMP – Shipwrecked amphipods and underdog journals
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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11:22 AM | Friday links: new p-hacking data, grant lotteries, things ecologists will never experience, and more
Also this week: a blogging anniversary, betting on replication, Shakespeare vs. dead animals, Brian and Jeremy have a link fight, and more. Also terrible philosophy puns. From Brian (!): Does which countries whose researchers you coauthor papers with affect the … Continue reading →
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4:17 AM | An Overthinker’s Thoughts on Dealing with Unkindness
Do you know what a Necker Cube is? It’s nothing fancy, just a line drawing of a cube that, if you look at for long enough, suddenly and disorientingly switches to inhabiting a new perspective: Nothing about the cube has … Continue reading →
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2:30 AM | Animatronics!
If you’ve all watched movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Clash of Titans, to name a few, then you’ve all seen animatronics – even if you did not recognise it! Animatronics are simply put – special effects come to life! Indeed they bring together 2 of the unlikeliest fields – engineering and arts – in… Continue reading »

October 16, 2014

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11:01 PM | A tern-up for the books
The last two years have seen successive record breeding seasons for Little Terns (Sternula albifrons) on the Irish east coast, with over 350 pairs breeding in 2013 and over 400 pairs in 2014. These record years are the result of 30 years of dedicated efforts to rescue Little Terns as an Irish breeding species, after population collapses in the 1980s and 1990s. As part of the BirdWatch Ireland team involved in these two exceptional years, we reflect on the conservation success story which has […]
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8:59 PM | Network Theory Seminar (Part 2)
  This time I explain more about how ‘cospans’ represent gadgets with two ends, an input end and an output end: I describe how to glue such gadgets together by composing cospans. We compose cospans using a category-theoretic construction called a ‘pushout’, so I also explain pushouts. At the end, I explain how this gives […]
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8:51 PM | A visit from the garden spider
This past week I noticed something other than Brussels sprouts in my garden — a beautiful garden spider! I did what any curious entomologist and gardener would do… I got as close as I could and took a picture and watched in amazement as she sat and waited surrounded by meals in little to-go containers of silk in her web. A week later I stopped by to say my daily greeting to her and noticed she was gone, her web reduced to a single strand connecting my rosemary to my tarragon. And […]
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