The great work-life balancing act

Can women (or parents?) ever have it all? by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Erin McKittrick and her daughter Lituya at remote Malaspina glacier on the coast of Alaska. Credit, Erin McKittrick,  Bretwood Higman,  Ground Truth Trekking, 2011.   The trials of balancing a competitive research career on top of the other demands and joys of life, most prominently family, is a perennial obsession of ESA’s Ecolog-L listserv....

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Field Talk: Termites enrich the soil in East Africa

Alison Brody holds a piece of termite mound Vertebrate fertilizer is not the only source of nutrients in the soils of East African savannahs, at least according to a study recently published in the journal Ecology. Alison Brody from the University of Vermont and colleagues found that termites actually had more of an effect on the fruiting success of Acacia trees in Kenya than did dung and urine deposition from ungulate herbivores,...

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Actually, you ARE walking in circles

This post isn’t quite about ecology. But it’s about a phenomenon that many ecologists have ample experience with. A study out last week in Current Biology found that when people get lost in the wilderness, they actually do walk in circles. Jan Souman of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, and his colleagues set volunteer hikers loose — without maps, compasses or GPS units —...

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