Tag Archives: urban

The Effects of City Life On a Species’ Body

Species like the anole exist in natural and urban environments. So how does where they live affect their body shape? (Image Credit: RobinSings, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Linking locomotor performance to morphological shifts in urban lizards (2018) Winchell, K. et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences, 285, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0229

The Crux

We know that human construction leads to displacement of many species, regardless of the ecosystem. But just because we put up a city, doesn’t mean that all the species that lived there go disappear. Some stay and adapt to their new surroundings. Understanding how certain types of organism respond to new environments is important when considering our impact on a species.

Today’s paper looks at the response of lizards, in this case anoles, to living in the city. The authors wanted to find out, among other things, whether individuals of the selected species showed different locomotive abilities on natural and man-made surfaces based on whether or not they came from the city or the forest, and whether these corresponded to morphological differences.

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The Changing Face of Ecology: Part 1

Ecology is a discipline that is constantly evolving. I spoke to (from top left to bottom right) Mark Davis, Madhur Anand, Paul Hebert, Andrew Hendry, Amy Austin and Bill Sutherland about the biggest changes they've seen in their careers

Ecology is a discipline that is constantly evolving. I spoke to (from top left to bottom right) Mark Davis, Madhur Anand, Paul Hebert, Andrew Hendry, Amy Austin and Bill Sutherland about the biggest changes they’ve seen in their careers (Image Credits: Mark Davis; Karen Whylie; Guelph University; Andrew Hendry; Amy Austin; British Ecological Society)

With so much of ecology focused on how the world around us is changing, it should come as no surprise that the discipline itself has undergone considerable transformation since its inception. And as with the world around us, many facets of ecology which are now commonplace were once a thing of the past.

Over the last 10 months, my colleague Kate Layton-Matthews and I have had the fortune to speak with a number of influential researchers in ecology, and there’s one question that we’ve always asked them: how has ecology changed over the course of your career? Here are some of their responses.

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