• The Concept of Certainty in Ecological Science

    Go through any scientific paper and you’ll find it littered with uncertainty. Scientists qualify parameters, give standard errors, make way for random processes even when experiments have been planned to the finest detail. So why is uncertainty such a crucial part of science? How does this affect the non-scientific public’s perception of science? And does this relationship with knowledge need to change in the future?

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  • Getting Older is Favored in Choosy Species

    This week’s paper looks at a timeless (get it?) question. What is the point of getting old?

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  • Birds are Reptiles

    You read that correctly, birds are reptiles. Now, I can hear you saying “but we learned that they are a different group of organisms, and that reptiles are just those scaly animals that have cold blood?” While reptiles don’t have cold blood per se, some of them DO have feathers. And can fly. But birds belong with the snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles in the reptile group.

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  • Johanna Schmitt: Climate Change and Plant Life

    From the California wildfires to the recent strikes across Australian primary schools, climate change is a topic that only seems to grow in its ubiquity. Yet whilst humans are increasingly focused on more obvious repercussions, such as extreme weather events, animal extinctions and shifting coastlines, we sometimes forget that climate change will have severe repercussions for plant life as well.
    I spoke to Professor Johanna Schmitt of the University of California earlier this year to discuss some of those repercussions.

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  • Misinformation in Ecotourism: An Example from the Great Barrier Reef

    Scientific communication is at the forefront of what we do here at Ecology for the Masses. We like to celebrate good examples of SciComm whenever we can. But every now and then it’s misused so overtly that you have to talk about it. So today I want to use a share a recent example of scientific communication that confused and worried me.

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Current Issues

The Concept of Certainty in Ecological Science

Go through any scientific paper and you’ll find it littered with uncertainty. Scientists qualify parameters, give standard errors, make way for random processes even when experiments have been planned to the finest detail. So why is uncertainty such a crucial part of science? How does this affect the non-scientific public’s perception of science? And does this relationship with knowledge need to change in the future?

Birds are Reptiles

You read that correctly, birds are reptiles. Now, I can hear you saying “but we learned that they are a different group of organisms, and that reptiles are just those scaly animals that have cold blood?” While reptiles don’t have cold blood per se, some of them DO have feathers. And can fly. But birds belong with the snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles in the reptile group.

Eating beef isn't great for the environment. But ca someone who occasionally snacks on cows still be in favour of conservation and other ecological causes?

The Perfect as the Enemy of the Good in Sustainable Living

Vegetarian diets aren’t that hard to maintain, and I thoroughly encourage anyone who’d like to minimise their meat consumption to look into doing so. But today I want to talk about negative attitudes toward people who still eat meat, and why the thought that someone who isn’t completely vegetarian can’t be a true conservationist is flawed.

From the Experts

Johanna Schmitt: Climate Change and Plant Life

From the California wildfires to the recent strikes across Australian primary schools, climate change is a topic that only seems to grow in its ubiquity. Yet whilst humans are increasingly focused on more obvious repercussions, such as extreme weather events, animal extinctions and shifting coastlines, we sometimes forget that climate change will have severe repercussions for plant life as well.
I spoke to Professor Johanna Schmitt of the University of California earlier this year to discuss some of those repercussions.