• Feeding the Flames

    The marriage between plants and their microbial partners can be nurtured to draw water and carbon into the soil. The film ‘Kiss the Ground’ explores how the currency of carbon fuels plant growth and cools our planet in the process. Hope lies in growing trees, shrinking deserts, and feeding gentle fire.

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  • Marvels of the African Great Lakes: Studying Cichlids With Dr. Frederic Schedel

    Although it’s Africa’s terrestrial marvels that often get a lot of the press, its underwater life is just as fascinating. A big part of this is the wide range of cichlids on display, beautifully coloured fish that are key species in studying evolution. I spoke to Frederic Schedel about his work with these freshwater marvels, and why they’re so fascinating.

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  • Can Pizza Affect A Bird’s Fishiness?

    We often worry about how climate change will affect species populations and ranges, but should we really be worried about the effects of mushroom toxicity and pizza toppingness?

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  • "We need the next generation of scientists to be at the coalface, communicating good scientific information."

    Crossing the River Between Fishers and Fish Science

    When a food source provides almost half a planet with protein, you can expect the people who deliver that food source to play an important role in society. Fishing is no exception. So it makes sense that fishers should have access to good fish science, at every level. It follows, then, that there should be open communication between fish scientists and fishers.

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  • Smelly, but Effective

    Today’s paper investigated the use of animal feces by honey bees as a way to protect their hives from their deadly giant hornet predators.

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  • Even More Evil Birds, World-Destroying Cats and More Ecological Mysteries From The Search Terms

    Let’s trawl back through the wreckage that is 2020’s most ‘interesting’ search terms on Ecology for the Masses. Featuring apocalyptic cats, Ross from friends, and mermaid sex (of course).

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  • Image Credit: Isabell Schulz, CC BY-SA 2.0

    Salmon on the Lam

    In a world with a growing human population and overfished seas, farming fish (aquaculture) could be a viable solution to our food security problems. Salmon aquaculture is already a massive industry worldwide, having grown substantially over the last half-century. This week’s paper looks at what sort of variables lead to a river full of farmed salmon, and whether or not we can predict when and where they are likely to show up.

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  • Virtual Virtuosi or Vacuous Vassals: The #BES2020 Festival of Ecology Write-Up

    Every year after I am finished with Europe’s largest ecology conference I write a summary of my most memorable thoughts and experiences. Truth be told, I didn’t think I’d bother

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Current Issues

"We need the next generation of scientists to be at the coalface, communicating good scientific information."

Crossing the River Between Fishers and Fish Science

When a food source provides almost half a planet with protein, you can expect the people who deliver that food source to play an important role in society. Fishing is no exception. So it makes sense that fishers should have access to good fish science, at every level. It follows, then, that there should be open communication between fish scientists and fishers.

Conference in the Time of Corona: A Beginner’s Guide to Hybrid Conferencing

About a year ago, my colleague and friend Jonatan and I were asked to organize EvoDemo7, the 7th Annual Meeting of the Evolutionary Demography Society. Little did we know that a pandemic would turn the world upside down and spark the scientific community to come up with creative ways to meet, forge collaborations and share research ideas. Here, we list some of the lessons we learned from organizing the conference.

A Writer’s Guide to Great Ecological Fiction

Despite the fact that as a kid I was both a voracious reader and a budding ecologist. When you spend hours listening to your mum reading stories about anthropomorphic kangaroos saving lost children, life and death battles between mongeese and cobras, and islands where dinosaurs never went extinct, how can you not grow up with a passion for the natural world. So for the sake of anyone looking for a good book for themselves or (with the holidays coming up) for relatives of any ages, I asked four brilliant ecological writers to tell us about the fiction which has inspired them.

Stats Corner & Words from the Experts

Finding Balance on the Bias-Variance Seesaw

Building models is a tricky business. There are lots of decisions involved and competing motivations. Say we are an ecologist studying owl abundance in a park near our school. Our primary goal may be to have a good understanding of what is going on in our data. However, as scientists trying to add to a broader body of literature, we also want our understanding of owl abundance to be useful to those with other data from a similar context.