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Ecologists don their research in an ‘eco-fashion’ show #ESA2016

Ecological scientists are not known for elevated fashion sensibilities. Many take pride in a sartorial identity rooted in a field work chic of practical hats, cargo pants, and judicious applications of duct tape. Button-downs in botanical prints and ties in tiny repeating motifs of anatomically correct fish are favored formal attire when researchers gather for the Annual Meeting of the…

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Restoring prairie and fighting wildfire with (drone launched) fire(balls)

To restore the grasslands of the Great Plains, a Nebraska ecologist says, bring back high intensity fires Ecologist Dirac Twidwell wants to change the way we think about prescribed burns. The University of Nebraska professor says he can harness extreme fire to restore grasslands on the Great Plains—and, with the help of the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems (NIMBUS) Lab,…

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Distant volcanic eruptions foster saguaro cactus baby booms

One hundred and thirty years ago, the volcano Krakatoa erupted in what is now Indonesia, unleashing a cataclysm locally and years of cool temperatures and rain globally. On the far side of the world, a bumper crop of saguaro cacti were getting their start in life in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Many of the large exemplars of the famous cacti standing…

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Two adult Asian tiger mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquito thrives in New York

The aggressive, day-biting Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has spread with global trade from its native home in the tropics and subtropics of Southeast Asia. First observed in Houston, Texas, in 1987, it rapidly spread through the interstate system in the the United States. Its range is pushing northward into New York and Pennsylvania. Does Ae. albopictus crowd out other…

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Battle at the bloodmeal lek #ESA2016

Invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the principal vectors of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses in the Americas. These species often find themselves in competition for mates and resources for their young. Cross-mating between the species creates infertile eggs and permanent sterilization of A. aegypti females. Lounibos and colleague Steven Juliano of Illinois State University described the causes and…

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Side effects of mosquito defense: broad spectrum insecticides kill the pollinators of rare native flowers

As an example of the costs of mosquito suppression, three imperiled native plants in the Lower Florida Keys suffer indirectly from the spraying of insecticides in housing developments flanking National Key Deer Refuge. Harris will present her work in a poster session on Conservation at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in southern Florida this August. PS…

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Invasive mosquito helps break the spread of a parasite

Some species of mosquitoes spread dangerous human diseases. But mosquitoes have their own parasites, like the protozoan Ascogregarina barretti, which is related to the organisms that cause malaria and toxoplasmosis, and infects the native North American mosquito Aedes triseriatus. The invasive mosquito, Aedes japonicus, a recent arrival in North America, does not contract As. barretti. Will the presence of Ae. japonicus dilute the…

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Luring mosquitoes into honeysuckle traps

Beyond the blood meal, mosquitoes need sugar and safe and nurturing pools to cradle their eggs and emerging larva. Fallen leaves floating in still water (like residential stormwater drainage ditches) make appealing hatcheries for the common house mosquito (Culex pipiens), a carrier of West Nile virus. At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this…

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Take the sustainability research leadership survey

Calling ecological researchers around the globe: How do you collaborate across disciplines and institutional sectors? A guest post by Josh Tewksbury, natural historian, global hub director of Future Earth, board member for the Leopold Leadership Program, and a research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder     The Leopold Leadership Program, Future Earth, START, and researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder…

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Richard Hobbs

Richard Hobbs named Honorary Member of ESA

Honorary Membership is given to a distinguished ecologist who has made exceptional contributions to ecology and whose principal residence and site of ecological research are outside of North America. Richard Hobbs, a professor of restoration ecology at the University of Western Australia, is an innovative, collaborative scientist with proven capacity to bridge the fields of basic and applied ecology. He…

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