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EcoBloggers is a feed of ecology blogs aggregated from around the web. If you write an Ecology blog (made up primarily of original posts by you or contributors), and you'd like to have it included here, email the feed link to the site webmaster. Each contributed post is trimmed to stay on the right side of copyright law and to encourage readers to click through to contributors' sites. You can get the RSS feed here. Each post is also automatically tweeted by @EcoBloggers.
  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 weeks 1 day ago

    Later this week Brian will provide a bunch of tips on where to eat and drink in Portland, including several brewpubs. Commenters on our Portland open thread also have great tips. But if you’re a beer geek like me, you’re not going to be happy drinking at whichever decent bar is closest to the convention center. I’d rather go a bit further afield to seek out someplace really good and hopefully also less crowded. So here are the fruits of my background research on beer geek websites like RateBeer, plus a bit of personal experience from the last time ESA was in Portland, plus the...

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  • via Brian McGill from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 weeks 2 days ago

    I have been musing a lot lately, motivated in part by the post-fact era we seem to have moved to, on what makes science such a powerful way of knowing. Hopefully, my thinking will advance enough that I can write a post on that soon. The one thing I’m sure of is it is not the conventional answer of “we have the scientific method”. But in the mean time, I served on a criminal jury not too long ago. It got me thinking about how the criminal trail process and science were and were not similar. This seems like at least a good starting point to think about what makes science a powerful way of knowing.

    Although I am not legally barred from discussing my experience, probably better not to say too much specific. In general I was on the jury for a case involving OUI (operating a vehicle under the influence – a car and alcohol in this case). It was a very typical trial in the Anglo-Saxon legal system (I am aware many other countries have very different...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    3 weeks 8 hours ago

    Occasionally in the past readers have asked me to post the list of talks and posters I’m planning to see at the ESA meeting. I appreciate where such requests come from; there are a lot of talks and posters and I’m flattered that some people would like their favorite blogger to help them choose. But I’m a little uncomfortable with such requests. I choose which talks and posters to see for my own reasons, which are probably not (and shouldn’t be) your reasons.

    So rather than post the list of talks and posters I’m planning to see, here are some suggestions on how you can choose which ones you want to see. Please add your own suggestions in the comments!

    My advice is oriented toward the ESA meeting, which is the only conference I attend regularly, but most of it should generalize to any conference large enough to have at least a few parallel sessions running at any given time.

    • Do some planning...
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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    3 weeks 2 days ago

    Stephen Stearns’ classic piece, “Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students,” includes this excellent advice under the heading “You must know why your work is important” (emphasis added):

    When you first arrive, read and think widely and exhaustively for a year…

    If some authority figure tells you that you aren’t accomplishing anything because you aren’t taking courses and you aren’t gathering data, tell him what you’re up to. If he persists, tell him to bug off, because you know what you’re doing, dammit.

    This is a hard stage to get through because you will feel guilty about not getting going on your own research. You will continually be asking yourself, “What am I doing here?” Be patient. This stage is critical to your personal development and to maintaining the flow of new ideas into science. Here you...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    4 weeks 9 hours ago

    On the recommendation of our commenters, I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature Of All Things. Here’s my (brief) review.

    tl;dr: This is one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

    Warning: a few very mild semi-spoilers ahead. Honestly, I wouldn’t consider them spoilers myself. But I know some people don’t like to know any details about a book before they read it.

    As a reader, when you open a book, and these are the first two sentences, you know you’re in good hands:

    Alma Whittaker, born with the century, slid into our world on the fifth of January, 1800.

    Swiftly–nearly immediately–opinions...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 10 hours ago

    I recently finished Michael Lewis’s The Undoing Project, which focuses on the lives and work of psychologists Danny Kahneman and Amos Tversky. They changed how we think about how we think, with their work on psychology having major influences in economics and medicine, in particular. I really enjoyed the book, and there were a few points I wanted to write about here, as I think they are important for scientists, mentors, and/or academics to consider. It’s not a full review of the book* – I’m just focusing in on a few areas that I thought were particularly notable.

    ...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 4 days ago

    One year ago, I was sitting at my computer, working on a post in which I talked* about having an anxiety disorder. My hope was that, by being open about having an anxiety disorder, I could help reduce some of the stigma associated with mental health problems, be a more vocal advocate for mental health in academia, and could help other academics with mental health issues know that they are not alone and that help is available and worth seeking. I think the post succeeded in those goals.

    Below, I talk more about how people responded, give my thoughts – as well as some crowdsourced from twitter – on how to be a good colleague or advisor to someone with anxiety, talk about ongoing bias against mental health issues in academia and how that might affect early career folks, and summarize some of the key messages that I think are most important related to mental health,...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
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    1 month 1 week ago

    Intro from Meghan: This is the follow up to Gina Baucom’s guest post last week on her experience asking on twitter about sexist comments made about women in academia. In that post, she summarized (and categorized) the variety of sexist comments that occur regularly in academia. The responses to her initial tweet were overwhelming, and her original post generated quite a lot of discussion (some of it, unfortunately, sexist). In this post, Gina has thoughts on how to move forward (with some additions from me at the end). Here’s Gina’s post:

    “We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” -Beyoncé

    ...

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  • via Joe Drake from The Secret Life of a Field Biologist
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    1 month 1 week ago
    Water voles are believed to have lost 90-95% of their historic numbers in the UK.  Although they may seem to be flourishing if you see them, that is only because it is a local group doing well.  These small groups … Continue reading → Read the full article.
  • via freshwaterblog from The BioFresh blog
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    1 month 1 week ago
    ipadm resized

    The Bloomin’ Algae app’s algae ID guide. Image: CEH

    Blooms of blue-green algae can occur through the summer and early autumn in UK lakes and slow flowing rivers, particularly when nutrient concentrations are high, and there has been sunny, warm weather.

    Whilst algal blooms occur naturally, they can be exacerbated by human pressures, particularly nutrient pollution. We have previously written about the negative ecological effects of algal blooms – such as hypoxia. However, some blooms may also produce...

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