From the Community: Ecology in uncommon roles

Based on news articles and studies from last week, ecology can be involved in serenading your mother, inspiring fashion, describing the fundamentals of politics and guiding robots in nano-scale terrain. Here are a few examples of ecology in uncommon roles from the second week in May. Serenading mom: In the above video, a biology student expresses gratitude to his mom with a Mother’s Day song featuring the very specific ways in which...

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Q&A: Ecologists assess oil spill damage

An oil slick originating from a rig about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, which is dumping oil into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of approximately 25,000 barrels per day, is drifting toward the Alabama, Florida and Louisiana coasts, and scientists are still assessing the ecological impact that will result. According to The New York Times, BP—the company responsible for the rig explosion and resulting oil spill—moved today to...

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From the Community: Giant monitor lizard, seafloor scavengers and fruit fly aerodynamics

Climate change prompts migratory birds to stay home, Simpsons’ writer talks conservation and the U.K. announces newest and largest MPA. Here’s what is happening in ecology from the second week in April. Fruit flies in flight: Scientists analyze the locomotion of fruit flies and determine the key to their quick turnaround is simply a 9 degree wing-tilt difference (see above). Read more at “High-Speed Video Shows How Flies Change...

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Scientists and filmmakers are making “Waves” together

This post contributed by Austin Gallagher, a fish biologist and filmmaker from Boston, MA. Even though most of my face was covered by neoprene, acrylic glass and rubber, I could still feel the whiskers of the harbor seal rub against my skin as he repeatedly kissed my face. Believe it or not, the harbor seal wasn’t the only marine organism that was showing me the love during a morning of scientific diving in a marine reserve off the...

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Can birds affect tree growth?

Grasshoppers are one type of herbivorous insect Bridgeland et al. surveyed Growing conditions, such as water and nutrient supply, are the major determinates of tree growth, but insectivorous birds can also play an important role, say scientists in a study published in the January issue of Ecology.  Under the right conditions, birds contribute to whole tree growth by preying on herbaceous arthropods, such as leafhoppers, caterpillars...

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