The first evidence that climate change has affected fishing catches, revealed by William Cheung from the University of British Columbia and his team, shows tropical countries are set to be hardest hit.... Read more »
Cheung, W., Watson, R., & Pauly, D. (2013) Signature of ocean warming in global fisheries catch. Nature, 497(7449), 365-368. DOI: 10.1038/nature12156
A new genetic study by Mondol et al. 2013 examines the contemporary and historical genetic diversity of Indian tigers. They have found that the large reduction in the population has also wiped out many of the mitochondrial DNA haplotypes that were historically present, and the remaining populations are becoming more isolated and at greater risk for future extinctions. Mondol et al. 2013 is currently freely available!... Read more »
Mondol S, Bruford MW, & Ramakrishnan U. (2013) Demographic loss, genetic structure and the conservation implications for Indian tigers. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1762), 20130496. PMID: 23677341
This article could use a little more reflection about working alongside potentially dangerous animals and a little less sensationalism. But, it's still an incredible story: I was swallowed by a hippo.
Who knew? Snakes like hot springs too.
The Roundup from a couple weeks ago featured amazing pictures of a pod of Orcas attacking a group of Sperm Whales. This week's unlucky victim is a dolphin.
... Read more »
Wenger SJ, Isaak DJ, Luce CH, Neville HM, Fausch KD, Dunham JB, Dauwalter DC, Young MK, Elsner MM, Rieman BE.... (2011) Flow regime, temperature, and biotic interactions drive differential declines of trout species under climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(34), 14175-80. PMID: 21844354
Any given species of bird probably has a variety of different songs. Most bird studies track individual birds in their own habitats, and then make more or less one-by-one comparisons—a bird in a forest will sound different from the same species in a city. An international team has taken these studies one step further—by making a giant leap into space.... Read more »
The newly-sequenced scarlet macaw genome will provide many important insights into avian and human biology, behaviours and genetics and will contribute to parrot conservation.... Read more »
Seabury Christopher M., Dowd Scot E., Seabury Paul M., Raudsepp Terje, Brightsmith Donald J., Liboriussen Poul, Halley Yvette, Fisher Colleen A., Owens Elaine, & Viswanathan Ganesh. (2013) A Multi-Platform Draft de novo Genome Assembly and Comparative Analysis for the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao). PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062415.s019
Oleksyk Taras K, Pombert Jean-Francois, Siu Daniel, Mazo-Vargas Anyimilehidi, Ramos Brian, Guiblet Wilfried, Afanador Yashira, Ruiz-Rodriguez Christina T, Nickerson Michael L, & Logue David M. (2012) A locally funded Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) genome sequencing project increases avian data and advances young researcher education. GigaScience, 1(1), 14. DOI: 10.1186/2047-217X-1-14
I am thrilled to announce that this month I am joining a new top-notch science blogging team at Scitable, Nature Education’s award-winning science education website! (But don’t worry, friends. I will continue to post here about animal physiology and behavior every Wednesday). Next week, Scitable will be launching eleven new blogs covering topics like neuroscience, genetics, oceanography, physics and more. I will be co-authoring an evolution blog called Accumulating Glitches together with Se........ Read more »
Johnson, J., Trubl, P., Blackmore, V., & Miles, L. (2011) Male black widows court well-fed females more than starved females: silken cues indicate sexual cannibalism risk. Animal Behaviour, 82(2), 383-390. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.05.018
For a long time, it has been thought that evolutionary and ecological research were quite separated from each other. After all, evolution takes place on long timescales while ecological events usually happen much faster. At least, that was the common perception. Lately, however, it has become clear that, in some cases, the relevant timescales in […]... Read more »
Sanchez, A., & Gore, J. (2013) Feedback between Population and Evolutionary Dynamics Determines the Fate of Social Microbial Populations. PLOS Biology, 11(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001547
Worldwide access to modern energy could be achieved with an investment of between 65 and 86 billion US dollars per year up until 2030, a new study has shown.... Read more »
Pachauri, S., van Ruijven, B., Nagai, Y., Riahi, K., van Vuuren, D., Brew-Hammond, A., & Nakicenovic, N. (2013) Pathways to achieve universal household access to modern energy by 2030. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 24015. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024015
One of the most valuable ponds in Alabama, if you ask me
was a drive from Auburn University to a conference in the Florida panhandle
that allowed us a short detour to visit one of the most storied wetlands in
Alabama herpetological history. But, I didn’t realize that at the time.
wouldn’t know it by looking at them now, but there are a... Read more »
Willson, J., Winne, C., Dorcas, M., & Gibbons, J. (2006) Post-drought responses of semi-aquatic snakes inhabiting an isolated wetland: Insights on different strategies for persistence in a dynamic habitat. Wetlands, 26(4), 1071-1078. DOI: 10.1672/0277-5212(2006)26[1071:PROSSI]2.0.CO;2
Winne, C., Dorcas, M., & Poppy, S. (2005) Population Structure, Body Size, and Seasonal Activity of Black Swamp Snakes (Seminatrix pygaea). Southeastern Naturalist, 4(1), 1-14. DOI: 10.1656/1528-7092(2005)004[0001:PSBSAS]2.0.CO;2
Dodd Jr., C.K. (1993) Population structure, body mass, activity, and orientation of an aquatic snake during a drought. . Canadian Journal of Zoology, 71(7), 1281-1288. DOI: 10.1139/z93-177
This week's Caturday morning video smile is a lovely blend of science, animals and humour all rolled up into a short video.... Read more »
(source)Hi Julie, WOW!Dogs in clothes. Corgis in bikinis at the beach. Greyhounds in onesies. We people do some weird things to our canine friends, no?! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy being dressed up in a padded outfit all day long, so I think I'll pass on sharing that experience with my dogs. As you said, cultural perceptions, ethics and expectations add a whole layer of extra consideration. It's not always easy to work out what dogs want or need. That's why I like........ Read more »
Wells Deborah L. (2009) Sensory stimulation as environmental enrichment for captive animals: A review. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 118(1-2), 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.01.002
Graham Lynne, Wells Deborah L., & Hepper Peter G. (2005) The influence of olfactory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 91(1-2), 143-153. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2004.08.024
Wells Deborah L. (2006) Aromatherapy for travel-induced excitement in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229(6), 964-967. DOI: 10.2460/javma.229.6.964
As the world shifts from coal to natural gas, it is becoming more important to find ways of using natural gas efficiently and environmentally friendly. Now chemical engineering researchers have identified a new mechanism to convert natural gas into energy up to 70 times faster, while effectively capturing the greenhouse gas—carbon dioxide.... Read more »
Galinsky, N., Huang, Y., Shafiefarhood, A., & Li, F. (2013) Iron Oxide with Facilitated O Transport for Facile Fuel Oxidation and CO Capture in a Chemical Looping Scheme . ACS Sustainable Chemistry , 1(3), 364-373. DOI: 10.1021/sc300177j
Like Mother, like baby! Photo from freedigitalphotos.net.Moms give us so much more than we ever give them credit for. Biologically speaking, we all have a mom and a dad (unless you’re a flatworm or some other species that can reproduce without sex) that provide us with one of each chromosome type (our chromosomes contain our genes, commonly thought of as our “biological blueprints”). So it makes sense that we tend to think of ourselves as being half-our-mom and half-our-dad. But not so! Al........ Read more »
A new robotic sensor deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides or harmful algal blooms (HABs) are monitored and managed in New England. The instrument was launched at the end of last month, and a second such system will be deployed later this spring.... Read more »
WHOI Media Relations Office. (2013) New Robotic Instruments to Provide Real-Time Data on Gulf of Maine Red Tide. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution . info:/
When Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine paleoecologist Marco Coolen was mining through vast amounts of genetic data from the Black Sea sediment record, he was amazed about the variety of past plankton species that left behind their genetic makeup (i.e., the plankton paleome).... Read more »
WHOI Media Relations Office. (2013) The Black Sea is a Goldmine of Ancient Genetic Data. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. info:/
A recently published paper in Scientific Reports has found that climate variability in the form of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has had a significant impact on the occurrence of disease outbreaks in Europe over the past fifty years. Researchers in France and the United Kingdom studied 2,058 outbreaks occurring in 36 countries from 114 infectious diseases from 1950 to 2009 and found that climatic variations and seasonal changes in air pressure across the continent attributed to the NAO in........ Read more »
Morand S, Owers KA, Waret-Szkuta A, McIntyre KM, & Baylis M. (2013) Climate variability and outbreaks of infectious diseases in Europe. Scientific reports, 1774. PMID: 23639950
As consumers, we like to hear that produce growers and distributers go above and beyond food safety mandates to ensure that healthy fresh fruits and vegetables do not carry bacteria or viruses that can make us sick. But in California’s Salinas Valley, some more vigorous interventions are cutting into the last corners of wildlife habitat, without evidence of food safety benefits, creating tensions between wildlife preservation and food safety where none need exist.... Read more »
Sasha Gennet, Jeanette Howard, Jeff Langholz, Kathryn Andrews, Mark D Reynolds, & Scott A Morrison. (2013) Farm practices for food safety: an emerging threat to floodplain and riparian ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, e-View ahead of print(May 6th). info:/10.1890/1202443
When climates change, species move. It’s a fact of life on Earth and probably has been for the past 542 million years, even when species don’t have legs or wings or fins to get them from place to place.
Quaking aspen is one example of a seemingly stationary species that has managed in just the past 20,000 years to expand into the largest range of any native North American tree.... Read more »
Callahan, C., Rowe, C., Ryel, R., Shaw, J., Madritch, M., & Mock, K. (2013) Continental-scale assessment of genetic diversity and population structure in quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) . Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12115
Hydrocarbon development in the Western Amazon Basin continues to gain momentum. A group of scientists has recently published a paper that outlines ways to save the unique ecosystem of the largest rainforest in the world by reducing the negative impact of oil and gas projects.... Read more »
Finer, M., Jenkins, C., & Powers, B. (2013) Potential of Best Practice to Reduce Impacts from Oil and Gas Projects in the Amazon. PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063022
Ecology is a rapidly changing, dynamic field of research. In recent decades, there’s been a major shift from considering ecosystems as stable and poised to seeing them as systems that are in constant flux. At least, that’s what ecologists want (us) to believe. But how much of this claimed change has been able to seep [...]... Read more »
Carmel, Y., Kent, R., Bar-Massada, A., Blank, L., Liberzon, J., Nezer, O., Sapir, G., & Federman, R. (2013) Trends in Ecological Research during the Last Three Decades – A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE, 8(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059813
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