• summer-city
    22 Jun 2015 • News

    Summer in the city

    The blog is going to take a well earned summer holiday and will start back again in September when hopefully we’ll have a slew of papers and conferences to report on! See you all soon. Author Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie Photo credit https://musiccourt.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/summer-city.jpg

  • Science-vs-Religion-e1364999088759
    19 Jun 2015 • Perspectives

    We have no need for that hypothesis

    Scientists as a demographic group tend to be atheists. One survey of members of the National Academy of Sciences found “…near universal rejection of the transcendent…” As scientists are concerned with the study of the natural world they are liable to eschew any supernaturalistic explanations, although there are notable exceptions. Historically science and religion have frequently crossed swords but recently there has been a marked increase in the criticism of religion by various scientists. An increasing number of scientists have become popularisers of their research area and frequently engage with the public; this inevitably leadsto the person’s own philosophy and opinions [&hellip

  • Mot mot
    12 Jun 2015 • News

    Photo competition Result

    Thanks to everyone who entered the competition. This time around our panel of judges deemed Deirdre McClean’s entry to be the worthy winner. Her picture of a Rufous motmot adorns this very blog so congratulations to her. Author EcoEvoblog Photo credit Deirdre McClean

  • miracle
    8 Jun 2015 • Perspectives • 2 Comments

    There is no magic formula…(sorry!)

    I recently attended a mentoring event that left me faintly frustrated and I was finding it hard to put into words exactly why. Eventually it came to me – at these events people always want the answer to the same question: what is the magic formula for succeeding* in academia? The problem is that there isn’t one, and I always feel really bad having to say that. Sadly being smart is not enough. You need to work hard (not 24/7 or anything insane but you can’t slack off all the time and expect to succeed) and you [&hellip

  • 1024px-Bee_covered_in_pollen
    5 Jun 2015 • News, Perspectives

    Shall we kill all our bees?

    “Kill all the bees!!”, the modest proposal of Prof. Paul Sutton from University of South Australia is a provocative attempt to convince economic rationalists to finally start counting what really counts. If all the bees were to go extinct we will have to replace them by, for example, hand-pollinating our crops. That means employment, economic growth in terms of GDP and tax revenues: very good for the Economy. Now, the fact that not many economists will actually support this policy does not change the fact that if all the bees are going to be gone then GDP [&hellip

  • kids-alexandra-palace-bioblitz
    2 Jun 2015 • Perspectives • 1 Comment

    Outside hours – working for free and making it pay

    Do voluntary work and outreach activities really make much of a difference in an environmental career?  Yes, in general, but not for the reasons you might expect. Picture this: you have finally found an amazing career path that you really want to follow.  It is engaging and challenging and you will make a positive contribution to the world.  But before the excitement carries you away you discover a big problem – other people have found out about your dream job and they want it too.  A good degree is a great start, but if you want to [&hellip

  • Releasing the bird
    29 May 2015 • Research • 1 Comment

    V for Vulture

    I have recently returned from a field trip to Swazliand where I was working with my long-time collaborator Prof Ara Monadjem to tag two African White-backed Vultures with high-spec trackers. These devices were purchased with a $20,000 grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and are currently sending their locations every minute via the mobile phone network. Up to now we have no idea where the Swazi population of this species forages and this is something the tracking data will reveal. With only a few weeks of tracking data we can see the birds have already ventured into Mozambique and South Africa.   Author Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie [&hellip

  • Restless_flycatcher04
    25 May 2015 • News

    Time for the pheasant

    A reminder for the photo competition. We’ll extend the deadline until the 10th June. You 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 is ‘Fowl Play’.  Author: Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie, @P1zPalu

  • 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