March 18, 2015

8:11 PM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (18 Mar 15)
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 new gall midges from Papua New Guinea, the first report of white rust of rocket caused by Albugo candida in South Africa and the first report of Botrytis pseudocinerea causing […]
8:05 PM | You would not think
Albert Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood– Keeps his memories in a trunk He passed this way, about an hour ago With his friend, some jealous monk He looked immaculately frightful As he bummed a cigarette Then he went off, sniffing … Continue reading →
7:38 PM | Being an Involved Grad Student
A.K.A How to being involved AND score free mealsI'm a fairly involved graduate student. Rachel is as well. The benefits are numerous, but some of the top reasons we like to be involved include contributing to our respective departments and universities, building our C.V., access to amazing workshops/events/etc, in addition to always knowing where the free food on campus is located! Below are some of our top ways for you to get involved within your own programs!Check Your EmailsInbox Success! […]
2:54 PM | Reviewing the reviews: Twelve years of Landscape Genetics
Landscape genetics has grown feverishly since its first formal definition in 2003 (Manel et al). The beauty of combining genetic, environmental, and spatial variation to answer biological questions sure is alluring, and the quest for improving the methodology of landscape … Continue reading →
1:37 PM | Cascades study may rewrite the textbook on forest growth and death
It might not surprise anyone to learn that for the past century, the U.S. Forest Service and it's timber companies have been harvesting forests too often. This research indicates that forests remain healthy and continue to accumulate biomass for more than 100 years. Other research indicates that biodiversity and general environmental health is greater in old-growth forests. So--let's stop cutting our trees until we get our problems with climate change and wildlife decline under control! […]
12:55 PM | Dr. Eleanor Dishes about Ants!
Looking for a new podcast to listen to while waiting for the next season of Serial? Check out Under The Microscope — available for free on iTunes — where you can even hear a friendly voice, Dr. Eleanor Spicer-Rice, discuss ants with Daniel Hill and Clint Bergeron. Under the Microscope Ants, with Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice — Episode 3  Released Feb 01, 2015 Join us as we chat with Senior Science Editor Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice (who literally wrote the […]
10:59 AM | Sciencing with a newborn
A little while back, I wrote a post in response to a reader’s request for tips on how to continue being a productive scientist while in her first trimester of pregnancy. This is the follow up post, also on request, … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick
10:45 AM | Old friends and new faces at CPM10
Blog post by Roger Day, Deputy Regional Director (Development), CABI Africa. As delegates gathered for the opening of the 10th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) at FAO in Rome, it was clear from the greetings and smiles, not to mention hugs and kisses, that many of them know each other well already. That’s probably […]
10:00 AM | Neighborhood Planning for Resilient and Livable Cities, Part 2: Can ‘Nested’ Neighborhood Planning Lead to Urban Ecological Democracy?
Is neighborhood planning worth doing? We argued in our last blog entry (Part 1 of this series) that neighborhood planning has the potential to be transformative in improving community resilience, but that it also has a dark side. It can be divisive both spatially—by setting clear geographic ‘limits’ that signal exclusion or exclusivity—and socially, by putting local … Continue reading Neighborhood Planning for Resilient and Livable Cities, Part 2: Can […]
9:38 AM | Tuta absoluta on the rampage in Africa
Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:Watch a new video illustrating the devastating impacts that Tuta absoluta is having on tomato yields, and what this means for farmers who rely on these crops for sustenance and income. Dr Arne Witt, from CABI commented on the implications of Tuta absoluta infestation across Africa “Tomatoes are one…
3:26 AM | Daylighting and restoring urban streams, ponds and wetlands can provide huge ecological and social benefits. Are such restorations “worth it”? What are the pitfalls? How can we demonstrate these benefits and elevate them in the public discourse so that urban wetlands become urban planning priorities?
No summary available for this post.

March 17, 2015

10:56 PM | Study: Declines in air pollutants had direct positive effect on children’s health
In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that improved air quality in southern California had a direct effect on children’s respiratory health. The findings point to the effectiveness of smart public health policy — in other words, even as southern California experienced increases in traffic and commerce, aggressive air pollution policies resulted in cleaner air and healthier kids.
6:08 PM | Evidence of ‘yeti’ probably came from a Himalayan black bear
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 2:21pm, March 17, 2015 Last year, scientists reported they had found evidence of an unknown species of bear in the Himalayas that could be the long-sought “yeti” or “Bigfoot.” But a new analysis says that the animal hairs probably came from rare, endangered Himalayan black bears.Zoo Hluboka/Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA 4.0)In 1954, […]
5:04 PM | Hubbard Fellowship Blog – The Trouble With Fences
This post is written by Dillon Blankenship, one of our two Hubbard Fellows.   Back in December we kept pretty busy with fence work. The barbed wire fences at a few sites needed to be repaired, and some had to … Continue reading →
3:09 PM | The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide
By the end of the century, the woodlands of the Southwest will likely be reduced to weeds and shrubs. And scientists worry that the rest of the planet may see similar effects Source: GR:  Continued harvest (logging and livestock … Continue reading →
12:31 PM | Gender equality in science: it takes a village
SUMMARY: Late last year, a metastudy was published showing that, since 2000, things are improving for women working in most STEM-based fields, although there are some notable exceptions The scarcity of women in the ranks of working scientists has been in the news for a discouragingly long time. But research that tries to understand the reasons is filled contradictions, mainly because these studies were conducted at different times and on different science, technology, engineering and […]

Ceci S.J., S. Kahn & W. M. Williams (2014). Women in Academic Science: A Changing Landscape, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 15 (3) 75-141. DOI:

Smith K., Fiona M. Watt & Susan L. Solomon (2015). Seven Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Cell Stem Cell, 16 (3) 221-224. DOI:

12:00 PM | Taxonomist Appreciation Day is Thursday!
Taxonomist Appreciation Day is March 19th – this Thursday! Among all the sciences, one of the least heralded and most critical roles is the taxonomist. We need more funding and more jobs for taxonomy. That’s not in my power, but the very least we can do is to explicitly value taxonomists and work they do with…
11:44 AM | Birdbooker Report 364
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 […]
11:16 AM | Happy St. Patrick’s Day from biology!
I’m going to make posting this an annual tradition: Filed under: Just for fun
10:17 AM | Socially structured gut microbiomes in wild baboons
“You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.” Well, that old adage may still be true, but baboons certainly pick (up) their friends’ gut microbes. A new study by Jenny … Continue reading →
9:04 AM | Gender equality in science: it takes a village | @GrrlScientist
Late last year, a metastudy was published showing that, since 2000, things are improving for women working in most STEM-based fields, although there are some notable exceptionsThe scarcity of women in the ranks of working scientists has been in the news for a discouragingly long time. But research studies designed to explain the reasons for this gender disparity are filled contradictions, mainly because they were conducted at different times and on different science, technology, engineering and […]
1:02 AM | How to Succeed in Graduate School - Part 2
Almost immediately after posting “How to Succeed in Graduate School” 10 days ago, I started receiving comments reminding me of other tips that I should have included. Now 1300+ views later, the original post clearly has to be Part 1 and I here provide Part 2. (Don't worry, I won't test your patience further with a Part 3.) As in Part 1, this post applies most directly to students who wish to make a career of research in academia or, to some extent, in government/industry/NGO. In […]
1:00 AM | Planets in the Fourth Dimension
You probably that planets go around the sun in elliptical orbits. But do you know why? In fact, they’re moving in circles in 4 dimensions. But when these circles are projected down to 3-dimensional space, they become ellipses! This animation by Greg Egan shows the idea: The plane here represents 2 of the 3 space […]
12:02 AM | Citizen Science Helps Find Utah Toads, Frogs
The season to spot frogs and toads has arrived, and Hogle Zoo is part of a nationwide, citizen-science effort to monitor them in Utah. The zoo’s Suzanne Source: kuer.orgFiled under: citizen-naturalist Tagged: citizen-naturalist

March 16, 2015

7:41 PM | Evolution of the Indoor Biome
There is something living in the north-facing wall of our apartment. My partner and I have narrowed it down to an organism in the phylum Chordata; though we have not seen the thing, we are fairly certain it has a backbone. It likes to make squeaking or cawing noises at 4 a.m. Sometimes the noises make it seem very small, like a house mouse, and sometimes the noises make it seem very large, like a well-nourished raccoon. Or perhaps it is a bird. Perhaps it is a new, awesome bird species. We know […]
6:39 PM | Getting stabbed is no fun for land snails
Wild ThingsAnimals,Evolution by Sarah Zielinski 2:39pm, March 16, 2015 As these hermaphroditic land snails mate, one of them has turned its muscular sac outwards (arrow) and shot a love dart from within into its partner. The behavior is advantageous for the shooter, but its partner suffers, a new study reveals.K. Kimura and S. Chiba/Proceedings of the Royal Society B 2015If you’re a […]
4:32 PM | Training school and workshop on calibration and validation of dynamic vegetation models in France
Two events I’m involved in that may be interesting for people that work on connecting process-based vegetation models to data. Both are organized through CA 1304 PROFOUND, and fully funded by COST: There will be a training school on Bayesian calibration, forecasting and multi-model predictions of process-based vegetation models in Rencurel / Grenoble, France, 12.-16.…
4:04 PM | London’s congestion charge and Seattle’s affordable transit
Researchers analyze crash data following London's 2003 implementation of a congestion-charge zone, while Seattle reduces transit fares for low-income riders.
2:35 PM | Keep it in the ground: Guardian climate change campaign
Please sign the petition. Continue reading →
1:15 PM | To sequence a genome or not to sequence a genome, that is the question
In a paper out last month in the Journal of Phycology, Bhattacharya et al. (2015) provide a perspective on the need for more algal genomes. [A] relevant question on the minds of many phycologists might be: do we really need more algal … Continue reading →
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