Giant turtles all the way down
Nov08

Giant turtles all the way down

A Colombian coal mine opens a treasure chest of fossils. By Liza Lester IT was large, that much was obvious. When Edwin Cadena first saw the fossil in 2005, he thought he might be uncovering another specimen of Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the ancient snake he and his colleagues discovered in 2004 on a Smithsonian expedition lead by Carlos Jaramillo, Jason Head, and Jonathan Bloch. But as he slowly picked the rock away, the fossil was...

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Landscape connectivity: corridors and more, in Issues in Ecology #16
Oct19

Landscape connectivity: corridors and more, in Issues in Ecology #16

WE live in a human-dominated world. For many of our fellow creatures, this means a fragmented world, as human conduits to friends, family, and resources sever corridors that link the natural world. The latest installment in ESA’s Issues in Ecology series takes on models and methods for reconnecting wildlife habitat in restoration and conservation planning and management.

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Better a John than a Jennifer
Oct07

Better a John than a Jennifer

On the market for scientific jobs, male applicants enjoy a substantial advantage, say Yale University researchers. by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer A SUBTLE but persistent bias dogs women entering into scientific professions. A recent study in PNAS found that faculty, regardless of gender, favor male applicants over female applicants for entry level lab management positions. Though they found female applicants more likable,...

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Global economic pressures trickle down to local landscape change, altering disease risk

by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer The pressures of global trade may heighten disease incidence by dictating changes in land use. A boom in disease-carrying ticks and chiggers has followed the abandonment of rice cultivation in Taiwanese paddies, say ecologist Chi-Chien Kuo and colleagues, demonstrating the potential for global commodities pricing to drive the spread of infections. Their work appears in the September issue of...

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Ecology branches into the tree of life

An August 2012 supplementary issue of Ecology explores the interface of ecology and phylogenetics. By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Lebensbaum (Tree of Life): Detail from Gustav Klimt’s 1910/11 drawing for the immense dining room frieze at Stoclet Palace, in Brussels. Watercolor and pencil. Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. NATURALISTS of the late 19th century tended to holistic interpretations of the...

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Watching the river flow – the complex effect of stream variability on Bristol Bay’s wildlife

Sylvia Fallon, a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, blogged about ecosystem dynamics and the key role of salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed last week, in a post inspired by Peter Lisi’s presentation at ESA’s 2012 annual meeting in Portland. Peter is a postdoc in Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Here’s an excerpt from Sylvia’s post: Bristol Bay in...

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A unified field theory for public participation in scientific research
Jul26

A unified field theory for public participation in scientific research

Disparate citizen science disciplines come together at the Public Participation in Scientific Research conference by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer The idea of a big, cross-disciplinary meeting had been floating around citizen science circles for a while. Though public participation in scientific research has deep roots in the history of science, in the last few years it has taken off spectacularly from launch pads across the...

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A marketplace for nature’s services

In the Willamette River watershed, an experiment in ecosystem economics is underway. Map of the Willamette River Basin; Temperature Effects of Point Sources, Riparian Shading, and Dam Operations on the Willamette River. Credit, Oregon Water Science Center, USGS. “What we want to do,” said Bobby Cochran, “Is take the money that we’re spending now and redirect it the way nature would spend it.” Cochran is executive director of the...

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