Are invasive species bad? Also “Long live the weeds”, by Theodore Roethke

I’ve attended a lot of conferences this autumn (3 down, 2 to go!). When I registered for all these conferences, I didn’t have a job lined up for next year, so I was feeling a little desperate. Now that I have a job lined up, I just get to enjoy everyone’s amazing research. Seriously…if you […]

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The more we learn about microbes, the more we realise they are essential symbiotes for most (all?) life forms. In the insect world, it’s stunning how specific and unique these interactions can be: The Wasp That Paints Its Nursery In Bacteria A nice article explaining the complexity of the interactions that form each spring: The […]

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This crazy project trying to develop nesting habitat for solitary, ground nesting bees: A pretty exciting progression on the path to better recycle plastics! This plastic-eating bacteria naturally evolved on a dump in Japan, and scientists were able to isolate and improve the enzyme used to break down the plastic in a lab. Let’s […]

Declines in insect biomass

I had a surreal conversation with my (conservative) uncle this Christmas. It went a little like this: Me: A study in Germany this year showed a large decline in insect biomass…75% over the past thirty years or so (Hallmann et al 2017, open access). We call it the “windscreen effect“, where when you used to […]

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This blog post on depression is so good…maintaining mental health is a constant process not a switch, you can’t magically just “be better.” If you’re suffering from depression, you’re not alone! Seek help…things can get better. And read this: Mental health — it is important I’ve been very curious about the Travellers in Ireland…they are […]

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This is a really interesting article, but I resent the implication that ecologists don’t pay any attention to evolution. Of course we do! Like what is this crap in a Nature article: “Ecologists have generally ignored evolution when studying their systems; they thought it was impossible to test whether such a slow process could change […]

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Okay, I don’t care who you are, dinosaurs are just cool. This new finding of pterosaur eggs in China contributes to a long debate about the origin of flight. PS. The wingspan of 13 ft is comparable to modern dinosaurs (aka birds) like the wandering albatross and the California condor. Hundreds Of Eggs From Ancient […]