• 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

  • List-372766_640
    17 Apr 2015 • Perspectives • 2 Comments


    A few months ago in our weekly NERD club we ran a session on dealing with stress. Part of this session revolved around what made us stressed, and one of the big problems was feeling like we had too much to do and too little time to do it. To follow up on this, this week we looked at how to be more productive. Many of our discussions revolved around the ideas presented here and here. What makes us less productive? The causes of our lack of productivity varied across career stages and the types of work we were [&hellip

  • Tauraco_hartlaubi-20081223b
    13 Apr 2015 • News

    No time like the pheasant

      Let’s run another photo competition. Starting today and running until Monday 18th May anyone can submit one photograph to this album here. Just log in with username ecoevoblog and password is the same. Don’t make it obvious that it’s your image in case it biases the judge. The theme for this month will be ‘Fowl Play’. Prizes will be determined in due course. Author: Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie, @P1zPalu Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aves#/media/File:Tauraco_hartlaubi-20081223b.jpg

  • GoPro still 04
    10 Apr 2015 • Research

    Tern the Tide

    In a previous blog post we wrote about the Little Tern conservation project at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, which we worked on last summer. While working on this project we recorded a unique behavioural response from Little Terns in a response to inundation by high tides, which we have published in the latest issue of Irish Birds and write about below. Little Terns nest in a scrape on shingle beaches and rely entirely on their camouflage for protection. Therefore they are acutely vulnerable to the effects of high tides. The terns of Kilcoole once again suffered the effects of [&hellip

  • Bob_dylan1
    7 Apr 2015 • Perspectives

    The Inspirational Role of Ecosystems in Popular Music

    Nature, natural phenomena, animals and ecosystems have always inspired human beings and references to it are omnipresent in ancient and contemporary cultures. To take just a narrow example, composers and songwriters have found inspiration in Nature an uncountable number of times. Rivers, mountains, forests, sea and desert are evoked by the lyrics of songsters far from their homeland, or just carried away by the beauty of Nature they are experiencing. In “River” Joni Mitchell wishes to have a river to skate on it on Christmas days. In a different mood, Bob Dylan sits down on a bank [&hellip

  • Honey_bee_on_flower_with_pollen_collected_on_rear_leg
    3 Apr 2015 • News, Perspectives, Research

    Mixed Messages, Pesticide Pestilence and Pollinator Populations

    “We’re getting mixed messages from scientists about the effects of neonicotinoids on bees” – I have heard this from several sources, including a very senior civil servant in the UK and from an intensive tillage farmer in Ireland. A recent article in the US media says pretty much the same thing. An article in the Guardian last week entitled “UK drew wrong conclusion from its neonicotinoids study, scientist says”, reports on Dave Goulson’s reanalysis of the Food & Environment Research Agency (FERA)’s own data, but draws the opposite conclusion. So why is there confusion on bee decline [&hellip

  • IMG_0496
    30 Mar 2015 • Research • 2 Comments

    Using a ‘Big Brother’ Approach to Help Combat TB in Badgers and Cattle

    Badgers are a very common mammal in Ireland, but few of us have actually seen one of these iconic creatures in the wild. That’s because they are nocturnal, mostly coming out of their setts only at night to forage, patrol their territories and meet the opposite sex. They have found themselves at the centre of unwanted attention in the UK over the past few years as a result of controversial culls, which have been designed to reduce the threat of their spreading tuberculosis (TB, caused by Mycobacterium bovis) to cattle. In addition to criticism from animal welfare [&hellip

  • 800px-Human_pidegree
    27 Mar 2015 • Perspectives, Reviews

    Evolution is – surprise! – Darwinian!

    I sometime come across papers that I missed during their publication time and that shed a new light on my current research (or strengthen the already present light). Today it was Cartmill’s 2012 Evolutionary Anthropology – not open access, apologies… Cartmill raises an interesting question from an evolutionary point of view: “How long ago did the first [insert your favorite taxa here] live?”. This question is crucial for any macroevolutionary study (or/and for the sake of getting a chance to be published in Nature). If one is studying the “rise of the age of mammals” (just for [&hellip

  • Jurassic_Park_poster
    22 Mar 2015 • Perspectives

    Is the medium a monster?

    “Dinosaurs have become boring. They’re a cliché. They’re overexposed” – Stephen Jay Gould Dinosaurs have always been inextricably linked to popular culture. Despite going extinct 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period they pervade our society. Dinosaur exhibits are the main attractions of natural history museums and outside of this setting, they can be found in films, documentaries, books, toy shops etc. A new discovery of one of these animals frequently adorns our newspapers. Even the word dinosaur has entered our everyday language as a metaphor to describe something as hopelessly outdated. Because of this pervasiveness there [&hellip