• Deep-sea species like the ones seen here are not well studied, yes their habitats are under threat now, before we've even been able to identify many of them (Image Credit: Rawpixel Ltd., CC BY 4.0)

    Venturing Into The Earth’s Great Unknown: The Mesopelagic Zone

    If you were asked what the largest and most common habitat on Earth is, you may intuitively think of forests, grasslands or deserts. When you think of the least explored regions, pictures of some far-off rainforest may come to mind. Introducing: the deep sea, covering over 70% of our planet, and arguably the most unexplored environment on Earth, which is simultaneously highly vulnerable and currently threatened by human activities.

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  • Environmental DNA Provides Lessons On Life

    These days, every organism is an ecosystem, with some scientists arguing that we can’t separate an organism from the microbiome it hosts. Now, using eDNA, we can figure out exactly what that microbiome is made up of.

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  • Extreme Climate Events: Is There A Silver Lining?

    Extreme climate events are bad, but they have the potential to drive evolution and adaptation to future events

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  • Polyps of Schuchertinia allmanii. (Image Credit: Luis Martell, CC BY 4.0)

    From Tiny Polyps to the Origin of Stem Cell Research

    Earth is a fountain of incredible abundances and varieties of life-forms, with many of them still undiscovered. Biodiversity is a key pillar for our life as we know it, and we are not only a small fraction of it, but also use and harness this richness for the benefit of our own species’ advancement. Many human advances are based on other organisms’ attributes and talents, which is why we use certain species as “model organisms” when pioneering scientific breakthroughs. One example of such a specific form of life has made some serious inroads into forms of regeneration and even immortality over the last few billion years ago, and leading us to great discoveries in science.

    Read more »
  • Field Experiences: Changing Lives, One Ecology Student at a Time

    The first time I remember really thinking that I could be an ecologist was during a three-day trip to a field station in northern Wisconsin as part of my college limnology course. Sure, I already loved my ecology classes and learning about nature. But actually being a scientist? Real scientists, I thought, were people like my professors and graduate teaching assistants, who peppered their lectures with captivating tales of their own research.

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  • On Dispersal, Connectivity and the Will of the Fish

    I finally get to break down my own paper to the Masses. Here I look at the relationship between connectivity and dispersal in Species Distribution Modelling.

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  • On The Brink: A Demand For More Ecology Board Games

    This weekend I’ve got some friends coming around to play Evolution: Climate with my wife and me. I’ve never been much of a board game type, but my friends learned recently that if you slap an ecology (or comic book) theme on anything I’ll be there with bells on. While Evolution looks like it’ll be fun, but first I wanted to get weirdly personal this week and talk about a childhood game that really drove me towards ecology as a kid.

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Current Issues

Deep-sea species like the ones seen here are not well studied, yes their habitats are under threat now, before we've even been able to identify many of them (Image Credit: Rawpixel Ltd., CC BY 4.0)

Venturing Into The Earth’s Great Unknown: The Mesopelagic Zone

If you were asked what the largest and most common habitat on Earth is, you may intuitively think of forests, grasslands or deserts. When you think of the least explored regions, pictures of some far-off rainforest may come to mind. Introducing: the deep sea, covering over 70% of our planet, and arguably the most unexplored environment on Earth, which is simultaneously highly vulnerable and currently threatened by human activities.

Polyps of Schuchertinia allmanii. (Image Credit: Luis Martell, CC BY 4.0)

From Tiny Polyps to the Origin of Stem Cell Research

Earth is a fountain of incredible abundances and varieties of life-forms, with many of them still undiscovered. Biodiversity is a key pillar for our life as we know it, and we are not only a small fraction of it, but also use and harness this richness for the benefit of our own species’ advancement. Many human advances are based on other organisms’ attributes and talents, which is why we use certain species as “model organisms” when pioneering scientific breakthroughs. One example of such a specific form of life has made some serious inroads into forms of regeneration and even immortality over the last few billion years ago, and leading us to great discoveries in science.

Field Experiences: Changing Lives, One Ecology Student at a Time

The first time I remember really thinking that I could be an ecologist was during a three-day trip to a field station in northern Wisconsin as part of my college limnology course. Sure, I already loved my ecology classes and learning about nature. But actually being a scientist? Real scientists, I thought, were people like my professors and graduate teaching assistants, who peppered their lectures with captivating tales of their own research.

Stats Corner & Words from the Experts

It’s All Relative: Measuring Abundance In The Face of Detection Bias

There are many papers out there discussing estimates of abundance and occurrence of a variety of plants and animals. Sometimes you’ll also see references to relative abundance and relative occurrence. What makes researchers go for one estimate over the other? When might you face a similar choice? The goal of this post is to try to shed some light on when you might want to keep things relative.

Here Kitty: Our Love-Hate Relationship With Feral Cats

Why is it that despite a wealth of science making the case for feral cat management, many people simply can’t get on board with keeping them in check? And why do ecologists even need the public onside in the first place? To dig a bit deeper, I spoke to Brooke Deak, a socioecologist based at the University of Adelaide. Brooke has spent the last three years studying the feral cat management debate, trying to better understand the relationship between feral cats and the general public.

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’.