Archive for April, 2015

The moral of the story

The moral of the story

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

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

Zoological Zodiac

Zoological Zodiac

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

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

Academic challenge

Academic challenge

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

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

Productivity!

Productivity!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

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

No time like the pheasant

No time like the pheasant

By EcoEvo@TCD | News

  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

Tern the Tide

Tern the Tide

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

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

The Inspirational Role of Ecosystems in Popular Music

The Inspirational Role of Ecosystems in Popular Music

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

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

Mixed Messages, Pesticide Pestilence and Pollinator Populations

Mixed Messages, Pesticide Pestilence and Pollinator Populations

By EcoEvo@TCD | News, Perspectives, Research

“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