• Radar vs. Optical: Optimising Satellite Use in Land Cover Classification

    The technology freely available, namely high quality optical and radar imagery, to create land cover classification maps has increased immensely during the last couple of years. But is it actually worth it to include images of different sources and different dates to improve land cover classifications?

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  • 5 Musings on Jurassic Park: An Ecologist’s Retrospective

    It has now been 27 years since Jurassic Park initiated sweeping changes throughout the film industry. This is a film that is synonymous with a lot of childhoods, mine included, so let’s have a look back and ask a few key questions. What have we learned about dinosaurs since? What was wrong even at the time? And does it really matter?

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  • In Silico Science: Ecology Without the Nature

    Theoretical biologist Thomas Haaland takes us into a deep dive explaining why although ecology in the absence of animals may seem counterintuitive, it has helped us cross some difficult bridges in theory, including some related to the current COVID-19 crisis.

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  • Don’t Compete If You Don’t Want to Get Eat(en)

    This week Adam takes you through his own recent experiment involving the effect that the presence of predators can have on the competitive interactions between the prey species.

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  • Don’t Let Coefficient Interpretation Make an Ass of You

    Everything that ecologists do – from saving endangered species to projecting climate change impacts – requires ecological data. Sometimes that data can be hard to come by, like when you’re trying to figure out the range of a rare moss. At other times, that data can be smack bang in front of you, but impossible to measure. The depth of a lake for instance, or the surface area of a tree. Today, we’ll look at how to overcome that second situation, by using other, more easy-to-obtain covariates to provide an estimate of the property you’re looking for.

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  • Skype a Scientist: Breaking Down The Barriers Between Science and the Public

    As with most of society, the COVID-19 virus has changed how ecological scientists have operated over the last few months. For some, field seasons ground to a halt as the requisite travel and cooperative work became impractical, or even dangerous. Others saw it as an opportunity to take science in new and interesting directions. One such group was the Skype a Scientist team, who science communication initiative has flourished over the last month. The group facilitates informal online meetings between scientists and classrooms, and with a sudden global boom in video conferencing ability, its no wonder that Skype a Scientist has seen a rise in popularity.

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Current Issues

Skype a Scientist: Breaking Down The Barriers Between Science and the Public

As with most of society, the COVID-19 virus has changed how ecological scientists have operated over the last few months. For some, field seasons ground to a halt as the requisite travel and cooperative work became impractical, or even dangerous. Others saw it as an opportunity to take science in new and interesting directions. One such group was the Skype a Scientist team, who science communication initiative has flourished over the last month. The group facilitates informal online meetings between scientists and classrooms, and with a sudden global boom in video conferencing ability, its no wonder that Skype a Scientist has seen a rise in popularity.

Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change: Is It Possible?

In a world in which it’s still tough to convince many people that climate change is a very real phenomena, figuring out ways to tackle climate change is an even more difficult problem to wrap our heads around. In general, there are two strategies we can use: (1) mitigation (reducing the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) and, (2) adaptation (reducing the vulnerability of societies and ecosystems facing the impacts of climate change).

Stats Corner & Words from the Experts

Don’t Let Coefficient Interpretation Make an Ass of You

Everything that ecologists do – from saving endangered species to projecting climate change impacts – requires ecological data. Sometimes that data can be hard to come by, like when you’re trying to figure out the range of a rare moss. At other times, that data can be smack bang in front of you, but impossible to measure. The depth of a lake for instance, or the surface area of a tree. Today, we’ll look at how to overcome that second situation, by using other, more easy-to-obtain covariates to provide an estimate of the property you’re looking for.

Environmental Responsibility in the Tourism Industry With Professor David Lusseau

There are plenty of great examples of ecotourism as a pathway for both education and conservation. Yet when an industry is driven by money first, nature second, of course there are going to be manifold examples of businesses deprioritising the natural phenomena they are associated with. At the recent Nordic Oikos Conference, at which David was a plenary speaker, we spoke about the responsibilities of tourist businesses, what role humans should play in nature in general, and whether or not ecologists have a good enough understanding of how broader society functions.

Conference Reviews & Paper of the week

The 2020 Oikos Write-Up: Ecology in the Anthropocene

My lord Iceland is gorgeous. There could not have been a better setting for the 2020 Nordic Oikos Society’s Annual Meeting. Driving through deserts of snow that ring of the kind of quiet isolation you’d expect from a town in a depressing British murder mystery was a wonderful experience. As was the conference itself, of course. So let’s recap some of my highlights from this year’s meeting, titled ‘Ecology in the Anthropocene’.