• Monitoring Freshwater Populations in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

    This week’s paper looks at the effect of radiation on Daphnia populations in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Whilst monitoring the effects of radiation on an individual might seem straightforward, monitoring the effects of radiation at a population level can be difficult.

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  • The Big Challenge: Increasing City Biodiversity

    The Big Challenge Science Festival is currently in Trondheim, bringing a host of celebrities, scientists and futurists together. Their goal is to present solutions for the challenges the planet currently faces, and get people thinking about how they can adjust their lives to help the planet. While there are some big names in attendance, there are also a large number of local students and scientists working tirelessly on stands, and it’s them that I spent yesterday working alongside.

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  • Ecological data is constantly being collected worldwide, but how accessible is it?

    Modernising Ecological Data Management: Reflections from the Living Norway Seminar

    This week Trondheim played host to Living Norway, a Norwegian collective that aims to promote FAIR data use and management. It might sound dry from an ecological perspective, but I was told I’d see my supervisor wearing a suit jacket, an opportunity too preposterous to miss. While the latter opportunity was certainly a highlight, the seminar itself proved fascinating, and highlighted just how important FAIR data is for ecology, and science in general. So why is it so important, what can we do to help, and why do I keep capitalising FAIR?

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  • Shelley Adamo: The State of Support for Mothers in Science

    During her recent visit to the University of Arkansas (you can read our first interview here), I took the time to sit down with Dr. Shelley Adamo and talk about the state of support for women in science with children. In this interview, we discuss practical solutions to the family/career conundrum in science, how to trigger prompt action, and whether it’s possible to have a family and be a highly successful scientist.

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  • Knocking Down the Paywalls: The Quest for Accessible Science

    Scientific understanding is constructed, developed and advanced through open sharing of knowledge generated by scientists worldwide. Yet for years that collective knowledge has only been accessible to those who pay exorbitant amounts of money. Now the pressure is building for publishers to change the system, as more and more scientific communities push to bypass or break down the expensive paywalls that restrict access to global scientific progress.

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  • Dag Hessen: Advancing the Teaching of Ecology

    The way we teach ecology can often be quite static, with too little emphasis on how our ecosystems are changing, and how we can communicate this to a world thoroughly in need of more scientific understanding. One person working to change how we teach ecology is Dag Hessen. We went in-depth on how the teaching of ecology needs to change.

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Current Issues

The Big Challenge: Increasing City Biodiversity

The Big Challenge Science Festival is currently in Trondheim, bringing a host of celebrities, scientists and futurists together. Their goal is to present solutions for the challenges the planet currently faces, and get people thinking about how they can adjust their lives to help the planet. While there are some big names in attendance, there are also a large number of local students and scientists working tirelessly on stands, and it’s them that I spent yesterday working alongside.

Ecological data is constantly being collected worldwide, but how accessible is it?

Modernising Ecological Data Management: Reflections from the Living Norway Seminar

This week Trondheim played host to Living Norway, a Norwegian collective that aims to promote FAIR data use and management. It might sound dry from an ecological perspective, but I was told I’d see my supervisor wearing a suit jacket, an opportunity too preposterous to miss. While the latter opportunity was certainly a highlight, the seminar itself proved fascinating, and highlighted just how important FAIR data is for ecology, and science in general. So why is it so important, what can we do to help, and why do I keep capitalising FAIR?

Knocking Down the Paywalls: The Quest for Accessible Science

Scientific understanding is constructed, developed and advanced through open sharing of knowledge generated by scientists worldwide. Yet for years that collective knowledge has only been accessible to those who pay exorbitant amounts of money. Now the pressure is building for publishers to change the system, as more and more scientific communities push to bypass or break down the expensive paywalls that restrict access to global scientific progress.

Life Under Lake Ice: A Mysterious (and Threatened) World

Ice has become (pardon the pun) something of a hot topic lately. Professional and amateur scientists alike have studied the timing of seasonal ice formation on lakes and rivers for hundreds of years, and the patterns that have emerged from these studies provide a window into the progression of climate change. Overwhelmingly, the data show that lakes and rivers are freezing up later in the winter and their ice cover is melting earlier in the spring than in the past.

From the Experts

Shelley Adamo: The State of Support for Mothers in Science

During her recent visit to the University of Arkansas (you can read our first interview here), I took the time to sit down with Dr. Shelley Adamo and talk about the state of support for women in science with children. In this interview, we discuss practical solutions to the family/career conundrum in science, how to trigger prompt action, and whether it’s possible to have a family and be a highly successful scientist.

Stories from the Coalface & Paper of the week

Locating Shark’s Teeth in the Phone Book

Supervisors: they’re our mentors, bosses, idols. Sometimes, they can seem almost super-human – they know everything, and find every single flaw in your work. So it can be easy to forget that your supervisors and various other higher-ups are not necessarily a species of perfect, paper mass-producing, hyper-creative geniuses, but in reality just experienced people, who still make mistakes and have “brain-farts”. The following is a personal encounter I had which serves as proof.