Archive for October, 2013

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question…

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question…

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

  This August I celebrated one year of being on Twitter. On the auspicious occasion of my Twitter-versary I decided it might be useful to reflect on the year. Did I get what I wanted to get out of the experience? Did I get other things I didn’t expect? Or did I just find myself an amazing way to waste a lot of time? Should I continue my affair with the Twitter-verse? (SPOILER ALERT – I’m obsessed with Twitter so of course the answer is an emphatic yes!) What did I want to get out of the [&hellip

A Raptor-ous Reception

A Raptor-ous Reception

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

Thanks to the DU ZooSoc, TCD staff and students were treated to an exhibition from Dublin Falconry last week. Set against the busy backdrop of joggers and Pav-frequenters, six beautiful birds of prey were the stars of their own lunch time show. Here’s a few pictures from the event, just a flavour of the stunning animals which we were privileged to see, touch (and hear!) up close. And for the full effect, have a look at Keith McMahon’s beautiful video.       Author: Sive Finlay, sfinlay[at]tcd.ie, @SiveFinlay Photo credits: Thomas Guillerme, guillert[at]tcd.ie, @TGuillerme &nbsp

Night in the Research Museum

Night in the Research Museum

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

  On Friday the 27th of September, as part of the Discover Research Night we opened the doors of the department to the public. We decided that since we have a museum full of some really cool stuff, we could use it to demonstrate some of the research in the department. Since the research night had a mix of students, families and the generally curious we introduced each tour with some of the j-awesome teeth (I make no apologies for puns) to demonstrate the basics of ecology and evolution. So, with the help of Baleen, shark jaws, elephant [&hellip

The Placental mammal saga; special summer double episode

The Placental mammal saga; special summer double episode

By EcoEvo@TCD | Reviews

As I wrote in a previous post last winter, O’Leary et al. added their oar into the Placental Mammal origins debate. For anyone who missed that episode, they argued, with the backing of masses of morphological data, that placental mammal orders appeared right after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs (also known as the explosive model). This was in opposition to two other views based on DNA data which argue that placentals appeared way before (long-fuse model) or slightly before (short-fuse model) the Mexican dinosaurs had to deal with some meteorite… Again, have a look at this previous [&hellip

Sulawesi Bird Expedition 2013

Sulawesi Bird Expedition 2013

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

Ah the summer, how I miss it! In mid-June I departed (on the horrendously long journey) to the beautifully sunny, tropical islands off the south-eastern coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia. No, I wasn’t on holidays; I am fortunate enough to call this part of the world my study site. During the six week visit, I aimed to gain further behavioural and ecological data on a number of bird species as part of my current PhD project – for more specifics on that see here. I am even more fortunate to be able to carry out this research with [&hellip

Big is better!

Big is better!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

Reflections on geeking it up at Intecol 2013 by Jane Stout Having not been to a 2000+ delegate, multi-session, international conference for several years, I was a bit nervous in the run up to INTECOL2013 “Into the next 100 years: advancing ecology and making it count” – would it be possible to see all the talks, read all the posters and meet all the people I planned to? (Answer: no). Would I remember everyone and would anyone remember me from past meetings? (Answer: some yes, some no – thank goodness for name tags). Could I follow in the [&hellip

When Perseverance Pays Off

When Perseverance Pays Off

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

The history of science is, as the name suggests, the study of the historical side of science: the people, the process and the development of the knowledge and techniques that have made science the dominating force it is today. In popular culture the history of science is often told through individuals: the mavericks and geniuses so singular that only they could see the right path to take. The problem with this approach is that it does a mis-service to the hundreds and thousands of people who have worked so tirelessly to make the incremental advances in knowledge [&hellip

What I did this summer: Tortured some bees

What I did this summer: Tortured some bees

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

Among the multiple pressures currently driving decline in bee populations, little attention has been given to naturally occurring toxins in plant nectar.  We carried out research this summer on invasive Rhododendron ponticum, a plant that contains neurotoxins in its floral nectar.  We found this toxin to be lethal to honeybees, but apparently benign to the plant’s main pollinators, bumblebees.  Differential responses by bee species to toxins and other pressures means we need to consider bee decline on a species by species basis. It is well documented that bee populations worldwide are in trouble, and we’ve written about [&hellip

Radio Ga Ga Science: a student’s point of view

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

I was planning to write a blog about our new paper recently published in Animal Behaviour  however something relatively unexpected seemed to scupper those plans, the media! For those who haven’t come across an article talking about the best way to swat a fly or heard me rambling away on radio, our paper has been covered from Roscommon to North Korea so I won’t delve into it further here, especially with some nice summaries and our article available through open access. What I wanted to write about was the perspective of a PhD student caught in the [&hellip