• Are Wind Farms A Threat To The Planet’s Birdlife?

    While there seems to be a neverending deluge of pessimism surrounding the climate change debate these days, there is plenty of cause for optimism as well. One of the biggest examples is how quickly renewable energy is growing as a power source in a vast number of countries. A large proportion of that energy is generated by wind farms, dotted all across the globe, which have often come under intense public scrutiny. While many complaints often concern the impact on local aesthetics or property values, there is one concern with genuine consequences for local wildlife: bird deaths.

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  • The Key Component

    Species within ecological networks are known to affect one another, but can these effects play out on the scale of the meta-population?

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  • Can Wind Farms Slow the Growth of Shorebird Populations?

    A green on green conflict is what occurs when forms of renewable energy can have a potentially negative effect on the local environment. We see it in hydropower disrupting freshwater fish populations, or in the case of today’s paper, wind farms causing bird deaths. Marine shorebirds are often killed by wind turbines, yet it’s not totally clear to what extent population numbers are impacted by these deaths.

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  • Viruses and Their Influence on Marine Life

    Even before Corona hit our society, viruses didn’t have the best reputation. The first things that come to mind when thinking about viruses are almost always negative: deadly diseases, plagues or nasty infections. For a long time, viruses were only seen as parasites, taking what they need from others and harming them in doing so. But viruses also shaped our planet and its inhabitants as we see it today.

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  • What To Do About “Overkill Conservation”

    This is your friendly reminder that dinosaurs are not going to be coming back anytime soon, but the imaginative science behind this idea is currently bringing back some other near-extinct species. Species cloning is one of a wealth of recent cutting-edge approaches to save species on the brink of extinction. However the technology is oftentimes so costly that I’ve dubbed them “overkill conservation”.

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  • The How, Why, and When of Transforming Data

    We’ve been out in the field, painstakingly collecting each butterfly and measuring its body length and wingspan. Now is the moment of truth. We’re about to make a plot and see if the assumptions we make about the relationship between the two measurements are backed up by a linear regression. Is the relationship between length and wingspan what we’d expect? Will a linear model be appropriate or are we going to have to break out the heavier machinery?

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  • Jokes in Journals: Humour and Engagement in SciComm

    Communicating the importance of restoring biodiversity and fighting against climate change is particularly crucial in a world where facts can be so easily distorted. Misinformation and fake news can be easily spread through social media and other online outlets, but the same outlets could also provide effective means of communication for scientific research. However there’s still a lot of work to be done figuring out how to use these new tools, and today’s paper looks at some of the pitfalls involved.

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Current Issues

Are Wind Farms A Threat To The Planet’s Birdlife?

While there seems to be a neverending deluge of pessimism surrounding the climate change debate these days, there is plenty of cause for optimism as well. One of the biggest examples is how quickly renewable energy is growing as a power source in a vast number of countries. A large proportion of that energy is generated by wind farms, dotted all across the globe, which have often come under intense public scrutiny. While many complaints often concern the impact on local aesthetics or property values, there is one concern with genuine consequences for local wildlife: bird deaths.

Viruses and Their Influence on Marine Life

Even before Corona hit our society, viruses didn’t have the best reputation. The first things that come to mind when thinking about viruses are almost always negative: deadly diseases, plagues or nasty infections. For a long time, viruses were only seen as parasites, taking what they need from others and harming them in doing so. But viruses also shaped our planet and its inhabitants as we see it today.

What To Do About “Overkill Conservation”

This is your friendly reminder that dinosaurs are not going to be coming back anytime soon, but the imaginative science behind this idea is currently bringing back some other near-extinct species. Species cloning is one of a wealth of recent cutting-edge approaches to save species on the brink of extinction. However the technology is oftentimes so costly that I’ve dubbed them “overkill conservation”.

The Elusive Climax

Somewhere in my education, I distinctly remember a video that explained ecosystem succession moving towards a climax condition. The film depicted the gradual filling of a lake and subsequent encroachment of saplings as the system aged towards its inevitable end as a hardwood forest in the eastern United States. I remember thinking even then, “but where do lakes come from?” I couldn’t work out how there could be a mosaic of habitats if there was a steady progression towards a single endpoint.

Stats Corner & Words from the Experts

The How, Why, and When of Transforming Data

We’ve been out in the field, painstakingly collecting each butterfly and measuring its body length and wingspan. Now is the moment of truth. We’re about to make a plot and see if the assumptions we make about the relationship between the two measurements are backed up by a linear regression. Is the relationship between length and wingspan what we’d expect? Will a linear model be appropriate or are we going to have to break out the heavier machinery?