• Erica McAlister: On the Appreciation of Flies

    The Norwegian ForBio conference occurs once a year, and brings together a large collection of biosystematics experts from around Norway. The plenary talk this year was by Dr. Erica McAlister of the British Natural History Museum, who in late 2017 published The Secret Life of Flies, a brilliant expose on one of nature’s traditionally less sympathetic taxa. Afterwards, I got the chance to sit down and chat with Erica about everything from the problem with honeybees, to the beauty of mosquitoes to issues with a certain Jeff Goldblum character.

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  • Re-Analysing Forest Biodiversity

    Whilst we’ve previously looked at spatial interpretations of biodiversity on EcoMass, today I’m examining a paper that looks at interpretations of biodiversity by species groups.

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  • What About This Cathedral? The ‘Environmentalist’ Response to Notre Dame

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ll know that part of Paris’ beloved Notre Dame cathedral burnt down last Monday. It was a terrible thing to happen to such an iconic building, and naturally there was a global outpouring of grief. So why am I wasting this Monday slot to talk about it?

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  • Carsten Rahbek: The Role of a Natural History Museum

    My number one go-to when visiting a new city is their Museum of Natural History. I now work at NTNU’s Natural History Museum, and getting a glimpse at what happens behind the scenes has deepened that appreciation further.
    With that in mind, I sat down with Professor Carsten Rahbek of the Natural History Museum of Denmark to talk about the role of a Natural History Museum in today’s world.

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  • Citizen Science and Biodiversity: Thoughts From a Meeting With the European Citizen Science Association

    A collection of biodiversity researchers from across Europe came together in Brussels for a unique kind of meeting last week. We were connected by two common threads: first, we are all supported by BiodivERsA, a large network of European biodiversity research projects funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. And second, most importantly, we are all interested in connecting our biodiversity research with citizen science in one form or another.

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  • Rasmus Hansson: The Intricacies of Environmental Politics

    Environmental politics is a tricky business. We live in a world where environmental crises are at the forefront of the news cycle, and in which science is simultaneously becoming the subject of distrust. So it makes sense that at this point, politics should be adapting and evolving as science does. Sam Perrin and I spoke with Rasmus Hansson, former leader of both the Norwegian World Wildlife Fund and Green Party, about whether that is the case.

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Current Issues

Behavioral Ecology for the Masses

Thomas Halland is back to say a bit more about what behavioral ecology actually is. Being introduced to the field of behavioral ecology was what sparked him to actually consider a career in science. It’s a fascinating and beautiful field, and I hope I can show you why!

Citizen Science and Biodiversity: Thoughts From a Meeting With the European Citizen Science Association

A collection of biodiversity researchers from across Europe came together in Brussels for a unique kind of meeting last week. We were connected by two common threads: first, we are all supported by BiodivERsA, a large network of European biodiversity research projects funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. And second, most importantly, we are all interested in connecting our biodiversity research with citizen science in one form or another.

Brexit and Ecology

The last three years have seen some serious political upheaval in the European region, Brexit being perhaps the pinnacle of that. It’s an issue on which everyone has an opinion and which noone seems to have any answers to. So I thought that this week I’d try to put together a synthesis of sorts on how Brexit will possibly affect the ecological science community.

From the Experts

Erica McAlister: On the Appreciation of Flies

The Norwegian ForBio conference occurs once a year, and brings together a large collection of biosystematics experts from around Norway. The plenary talk this year was by Dr. Erica McAlister of the British Natural History Museum, who in late 2017 published The Secret Life of Flies, a brilliant expose on one of nature’s traditionally less sympathetic taxa. Afterwards, I got the chance to sit down and chat with Erica about everything from the problem with honeybees, to the beauty of mosquitoes to issues with a certain Jeff Goldblum character.

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.