• The Ecological Fallacy: What Does It Have To Do With Us?

    Image Credit: Erik Karits, Pixabay licence, Image Cropped Every once and awhile the term “ecological fallacy” gets thrown around to critique a particular study. Some Twitter discussion around this pre-print,

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  • Rebuilding Our Relationship With Urban Rivers With Dr. Cecilia Medupin

    After meeting at last year’s British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, I got in touch with Dr. Cecilia Medupin, a freshwater ecologist at the University of Manchester. Cecilia works to increase peoples understanding of rivers, including the project Our Rivers, Our Cities. I asked Cecilia abut our connection with rivers, the challenges they face, and how to inspire research and change in urban rivers.

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  • Bad Neighbors

    Disease dynamics depend on a variety of factors, including the immune system. Today’s study looks at how conspecifics can affect the immune system, with consequences for disease dynamics.

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  • Calling All Scientists: Letters to a Pre-Scientist Needs Your Help!

    Last year, 1650 students from across the US exchanged letters back and forth throughout the school year with professional scientists from around the world as part of the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program. Through the friendships formed between students and their scientist penpals, Letters to a Pre-Scientist helps kids see scientists as real people and empowers them to see themselves as future scientists.

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  • A Guide to Improving Data Coverage Using Australian Reptiles

    Constant improvements in data integration technology have meant that its now possible to bring together large numbers of separate datasets into enormous datasets spanning many species and regions. This sounds great in practice – that means we can look at important trends at large scales with plenty of data, right?

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  • Ecological Modelling, the Coronavirus, and Why They’re Not A Perfect Match

    As it quickly became clear in late February and early March that COVID-19 was not going away anytime soon, attention turned to trying to figure out when and where the virus would spread. Epidemiologists and virologists have had their work cut out for them, trying to simultaneously reassure and warn people the world over about the dangers, the nature and the potential timeline of the virus.

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  • Aliens & Invaders & Exotics, Oh My: The Language of Invasive Biology

    Language is important. It’s a lesson many biological scientists would have learned a long time ago if we hadn’t kept social sciences at such a wary arm’s length. Ecologists have a tendency to label and relabel ecological concepts (anyone up for a debate about the word ‘niche’?), species and even global phenomena (think global warming vs. climate change) based on anything from shifts in public perception to new findings that challenge our earlier labels.

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Current Issues

Calling All Scientists: Letters to a Pre-Scientist Needs Your Help!

Last year, 1650 students from across the US exchanged letters back and forth throughout the school year with professional scientists from around the world as part of the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program. Through the friendships formed between students and their scientist penpals, Letters to a Pre-Scientist helps kids see scientists as real people and empowers them to see themselves as future scientists.

Aliens & Invaders & Exotics, Oh My: The Language of Invasive Biology

Language is important. It’s a lesson many biological scientists would have learned a long time ago if we hadn’t kept social sciences at such a wary arm’s length. Ecologists have a tendency to label and relabel ecological concepts (anyone up for a debate about the word ‘niche’?), species and even global phenomena (think global warming vs. climate change) based on anything from shifts in public perception to new findings that challenge our earlier labels.

On Fish Dispersal and the Perpetual Evil of the Duck

Woe betide my fishy ancestors, for I am come here today to vent my grievances at a paper so dastardly it has cast a tepid patina of anxiety on a LOT of the structured squabbling my colleagues and I call ‘research’. Actually, I shouldn’t vent too harshly on the sarcopterygiites, those ancient lobe-finned ancestors of ours and their close cousins the regular fish. Birds, as always, are the main culprit here. An abhorrent series of mutations that messed up a perfectly good reptile.

Stats Corner & Words from the Experts

Rebuilding Our Relationship With Urban Rivers With Dr. Cecilia Medupin

After meeting at last year’s British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, I got in touch with Dr. Cecilia Medupin, a freshwater ecologist at the University of Manchester. Cecilia works to increase peoples understanding of rivers, including the project Our Rivers, Our Cities. I asked Cecilia abut our connection with rivers, the challenges they face, and how to inspire research and change in urban rivers.

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’.

Bad Neighbors

Disease dynamics depend on a variety of factors, including the immune system. Today’s study looks at how conspecifics can affect the immune system, with consequences for disease dynamics.