• globalPlantago
    22 May 2015 • Research

    PLANTPOPNET – a global Plant Population Dynamics Network

    The environment is changing around us at accelerated rates. Scientists and policy makers have come to realize that large-scale international collaboration and global data syntheses are needed in order to understand universal drivers of current global changes. A response to this need was the emergence of several coordinated distributed experiments worldwide in the last decades. In essence, these globally replicated studies are networks of ecologists around the world, who conceptualize the ecological research questions or participate by following a standardized protocol. Because understanding of ecological phenomena often necessitates long-term observations and experiments, data collection is usually replicated [&hellip

  • robin
    18 May 2015 • Research

    Birds near airports work the early shift for the dawn chorus

    Early morning flights are a pain: nobody likes rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn. But if you’ve spent a few bleary-eyed mornings at airports, spare a thought for the local residents. Birds rely on their song to find a mate and keep intruders out of their territory: not an easy task when you’re competing with the roar of a 747 taking off at 290 km/h. Now, research by scientists in Spain and Germany has found that birds living near major airports sing earlier in the morning to avoid being drowned out by aircraft noise. Researchers [&hellip

  • The team with our goose booty! L-R: Richard Nairn, Darren O’Connell, David Cabot, Maurice Cassidy, Susan Doyle, Alyn Walsh (and Christian Glahder behind the camera!). © Christian Glahder.
    15 May 2015 • Research

    Wild Goose Chase – cannon netting on the Inishkea Islands

    Last March we had the fantastic opportunity to assist with cannon netting Barnacle Geese on the Inishkea Islands, a wild Atlantic outpost off the coast of Co. Mayo. This research was part of Dr David Cabot’s long term study of the Inishkea Barnacle Goose population, which breed in Greenland and return to the west coast of Ireland each winter. Dr Cabot has been studying this population since 1961, providing the longest running dataset of any Arctic migrant breeding in Europe. He established the project as an undergraduate in our very own Zoology Department in Trinity (back in [&hellip

  • dog
    11 May 2015 • Perspectives

    Before training your dragon, print a 3D tail for him

    3D printing (or additive manufacturing, AM) describes any of the various processes used to make a three-dimensional object. In 3D printing, additive processes are used, in which successive layers of material are laid down under computer control. While its limitless potential in manufacturing, the construction industry, transportation and human health has been widely recognized, 3D printing also plays a significant role in animal protection and conservation. Several cases of using 3D printing for animal assistance have been reported during the past few years. Although artificial limbs have been used to help poor dogs and other animals who lost their legs, 3D printing makes the [&hellip

  • Small Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec
    8 May 2015 • Research

    Looks can be deceiving

    We are all taught not to judge a book by its cover, it’s what inside that counts. Our new paper published in PeerJ shows that the same is true for tenrecs. These cute Madagascar natives are often used as an example of a mammal family with high morphological diversity. It’s easy to see why: there are tenrecs which resemble shrews, moles, hedgehogs and even otters. These differences are even more remarkable when you consider that tenrecs are more closely related to elephants and aardvarks than they are to any of the small, “insectivore” mammals. One of only [&hellip

  • benthic
    5 May 2015 • Seminars

    Everything’s Better Down Where It’s Wetter: Benthic Ecology Meeting 2015

    Conference attendance can really impact your development as a Ph.D. student and give you great ideas for future collaboration and research. In March, I was lucky enough to attend the 2015 Benthic Ecology Meeting (or Benthics) in Quebec City, Canada.  The Benthics meeting focuses on the ecology of the bottom layer of water systems, and this conference is mainly marine in focus. There were lots of great talks, one epic toboggan race, and nearly unlimited opportunities for networking and discussion. A quick overview of my three favourite talks is below. Check out what you missed and hope [&hellip

  • PintofScienceFlyer2015_pic
    1 May 2015 • News

    Pint of Science Ireland

    This May, 80 of Ireland’s leading scientists will bring their research to 8 pubs in 3 cities for 3 fun-filled nights of science! Part of the international festival, Pint of Science Ireland takes science out of the lab and mixes it into some of the most interesting, engaging and unusual evenings you will ever spend in a pub. Whether you’re a researcher, student or science-newbie, the festival is a great opportunity to hear about the latest scientific research and chat with Ireland’s top scientists over a pint. Running in Galway, Limerick and Dublin from the 18th to [&hellip

  • polit-marionetten30
    27 Apr 2015 • Perspectives

    The moral of the story

    Most of us have some inbuilt sense of right and wrong; don’t steal and don’t murder are as basic to us as our ability to breathe. But where does this moral sense come from? In general, people of a scientific bent don’t attribute it to God nor as some sort of free floating truth that can be grasped by the human intellect. If you hold a materialistic view, that is to say the idea that at its base the universe is composed of energy and matter, then it’s next to impossible to understand morality in those terms. [&hellip

  • zodiac-signs02
    24 Apr 2015 • Perspectives

    Zoological Zodiac

    Aries- March 20 to April 20. Your model will converge around the 13th, which is in no way related to your model convergence dance (turning in a circle three times and raising your left hand twice).  Please stop doing it, we can all see you. Taurus- April 20 to May 21. A reviewer will suggest additional work prior to publication. Reply to the reviewer with an audio file of yourself singing Bruce Springsteen’s No Surrender and the reviewer will back down. Gemini- May 21 to June 21. May is a great month for fieldwork. Even if you’ve [&hellip

  • bright club
    20 Apr 2015 • Perspectives

    Academic challenge

    Bright Club is a variety night of entertainment combining light-hearted research talks from academics and performances from professional comedians. It has been running for several years now across various venues around the UK and recently made the leap to Dublin. Off the back of some grade-A flattery that pandered perfectly to my ego, I agreed to get involved as an academic for the April show. Although being comfortable with lecturing and presenting my science, I have no experience in comedy, or even drama for that matter, so this was a huge step outside my comfort zone. Thankfully, [&hellip