• Predicting Apocalypses: Lessons From Fox News on the Climate Change Debate

    Yesterday Fox News released an article that is worth talking about. I won’t name it here, they don’t need more clicks. They were reporting on a blog post which had collected a series of predictions related to climate change and biological degradation, all of which had turned out to be wrong. The article, I believe, intends to show that any prediction of negative environmental consequences as a result of our actions are just more of the same sensationalist, attention-seeking stuff scientists are always spouting.

    Read more »
  • Using Yesterday’s Models for Today’s Conservation

    Ecologists often attempt to predict where species are using the spread of the resources that the species depends upon. But what happens when the species habitat changes drastically? Are the models still valid?

    Read more »
  • Preserving Biological Heritage: The Importance of Type Specimens

    Last September, the devastating news of a fire in Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro hit the world. The fire destroyed most of the collection, including about 5 million insect specimens. Many of the samples were holotypes, a subset of type specimens which are particularly valuable to the scientific world. But what are type specimens? What makes them so important that people risk their lives to save them from being burned? And why do they always end up at Australia customs?

    Read more »
  • Climate Change: Don’t Forget About the Plants!

    When we think of global warming, we tend to think of how it affects us in our daily lives, but the warming temperatures on our planet have the potential to affect the base of all of our food webs.

    Read more »
  • Creating the Ecology of the Tooth Fairy

    Whenever there’s a weird opportunity to relate my kid’s interests to my work, I jump at it. Such an opportunity presented itself last week when he lost his first tooth.

    Read more »
  • The Changing Face of Ecology: Part Four

    Running EcoMass means we get to sit down with some exceptionally interesting ecologists, conservations, and in this post, even environmental politicians. Most of these individuals have been a part of the discipline for much longer than we have, so when we get the chance we pick their brains about how ecology has changed over the past decades. It’s always interesting to hear which aspects of ecological life we take for granted simply weren’t there 40, 30 or even 10 years ago.

    Read more »
  • If the Anthropocene is a Joke, It’s a Useful One

    Last week, an article appeared in the Atlantic proclaiming that the Anthropocene was a joke. The basic tenet of the article was that because our impact on the planet has taken place over such a short period of time, the fact that we’ve seen fit to name a new geological epoch (the Anthropocene) after the short timespan that we’ve been wreaking havoc on the planet is incredibly self-centred and arrogant. Maybe this is true, but the concept of the Anthropocene still serves a valuable purpose.

    Read more »

Current Issues

Predicting Apocalypses: Lessons From Fox News on the Climate Change Debate

Yesterday Fox News released an article that is worth talking about. I won’t name it here, they don’t need more clicks. They were reporting on a blog post which had collected a series of predictions related to climate change and biological degradation, all of which had turned out to be wrong. The article, I believe, intends to show that any prediction of negative environmental consequences as a result of our actions are just more of the same sensationalist, attention-seeking stuff scientists are always spouting.

Preserving Biological Heritage: The Importance of Type Specimens

Last September, the devastating news of a fire in Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro hit the world. The fire destroyed most of the collection, including about 5 million insect specimens. Many of the samples were holotypes, a subset of type specimens which are particularly valuable to the scientific world. But what are type specimens? What makes them so important that people risk their lives to save them from being burned? And why do they always end up at Australia customs?

The Recycling Crisis

Despite what the Magic School Bus, Captain Planet and other environmental icons from our childhood taught us, effectively recycling an object is not as simple as simply ensuring it goes in the right bin. This presents problems, as our ability to recycle effectively is currently being greatly diminished by a number of factors. Between “wish cycling” by consumers, poor infrastructure at the municipal level, and Asian countries refusing to take the mounting amount of single-use waste other countries are producing, the Global North’s recycling is facing a sharp drop in efficiency. So let’s look at some common recycling misconceptions.

If the Anthropocene is a Joke, It’s a Useful One

Last week, an article appeared in the Atlantic proclaiming that the Anthropocene was a joke. The basic tenet of the article was that because our impact on the planet has taken place over such a short period of time, the fact that we’ve seen fit to name a new geological epoch (the Anthropocene) after the short timespan that we’ve been wreaking havoc on the planet is incredibly self-centred and arrogant. Maybe this is true, but the concept of the Anthropocene still serves a valuable purpose.

From the Experts

The Changing Face of Ecology: Part Four

Running EcoMass means we get to sit down with some exceptionally interesting ecologists, conservations, and in this post, even environmental politicians. Most of these individuals have been a part of the discipline for much longer than we have, so when we get the chance we pick their brains about how ecology has changed over the past decades. It’s always interesting to hear which aspects of ecological life we take for granted simply weren’t there 40, 30 or even 10 years ago.

Conference Reviews & Paper of the week

Thoughts on ESA2019: Inclusion, Biodiversity Data, and Twitter

It’s been two weeks since the 2019 Ecological Society of America conference and I’m still collecting all my thoughts about the meeting. My experience at ESA was, as they say, a little like drinking from a firehose: there was an enormous number of exciting talks, sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities, and I inevitably had time to experience only a fraction of them.