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EcoBloggers


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 qaecology from The Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 2 weeks ago

    We asked our lab members to nominate a paper published in 2017 that they had enjoyed. Recommendations ranged from the skill-based (scientific writing, reproducible coding, camera-trapping) to global reviews (plant traits, climate change, size-based models) and some great case studies (questionable psychologists, waterbirds at Lake Eyre, Finnish foxes).  We hope you find them as interesting as we did!

    – Kate & Bron, hosts of QAECO Reading Group

    Natasha Cadenhead

    Doubleday, Z.A. & Connell, S.D. (2017) Publishing with objective charisma: breaking science’s paradoxTrends in Ecology & Evolution32, 803-805.

    At the risk of sounding a little too Eat,...

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  • via Adrian Paterson from EcoLincNZ
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 2 weeks ago

    Tolkien was a literature scholar and had some interesting ideas about stories and the world. One of these ideas was that of the ‘eucatastrophe’. A criticism of Tolkien’s work is that sudden unlooked for events provide happy outcomes when all seems lost. Giant eagles rescue the heroes from likely death and disaster at least FIVE times (In the The Hobbit when the eagles pluck the heroes from burning trees and later change the tide of the Battle of Five Armies, and in The Lord of the Rings when they save Gandalf from imprisonment at Isengard, change the tide of the Battle at the Morannon, and rescue Frodo and Sam from the errupting Mt Doom). Bilbo saves the dwarves from giant spiders when all is lost. Gandalf saves the dwarves from the Goblin King hordes when all is lost (they really were a bit hopeless these dwarves). Gollum destroys himself and the ring when Frodo finds that he can’t do it. Wormtoungue kills Saraman to end the destruction of...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 2 weeks ago

    (Trigger warning: mental health, self-harm, and suicide discussed below)

    I recently attended a really great workshop on interacting with students who are experiencing mental health issues. The workshop was run by Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), which is a fantastic resource. One thing that makes it especially good is that it has the CRLT Players – a theatre program that “uses a diverse array of performance arts to spark dialogue”. Often, they act out a scenario and then pause, allowing the audience members time to reflect and discuss different aspects of the situation in small groups. It’s amazingly effective! They are really good at creating scenarios where there’s no clear “best” option, which leads to really rich discussions.

    In this case, the focus of this workshop (run by Sara Armstrong) was student mental health, and the players acted out...

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  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 2 weeks ago
    An alternative title for this post might be: Atheism has a jerk problem.
  • via jeffollerton from Jeff Ollerton
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    2 months 3 weeks ago
  • via Terry McGlynn from Small Pond Science
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 3 weeks ago
    Things that are useful to know when you’re teaching with active learning What I’ve learned from my 4 year old (By the way, I’m psyched that Viet Thanh Nguyen is now a contributing opinion writer for the NYT, I’ll be keeping an eye out for his future pieces) Citation vacuums Writing with a point of… Read the full article.
  • via shonilbhagwat from Shonil Bhagwat: Reflections on nature and culture
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    2 months 3 weeks ago
  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 3 weeks ago

    Back when I was a graduate student, I visited a lab where I was hoping to do a postdoc. I had thought about lots of different options and was by far the most enthusiastic about this one. I reached out to the PI and was thrilled when I was invited for an interview.

    At the interview, I saw the PI harass a grad student and a postdoc (both of whom are women). Sometimes, harassment is subtle, and it’s only later that you fully realize something was wrong. This was not that kind of harassment. I mostly haven’t shared the story with others, but, when I have described what happened to a few people, their jaws dropped (literally). And it was definitely sexual harassment – this was not a case of a PI being a bully to everyone in his lab (though obviously that is unacceptable, too). He would not have done the same to men.

    I left the interview feeling very confused. This was the place I wanted to be in terms of the science I wanted to do, but I really didn’t know that I wanted to...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 3 weeks ago

    When I review papers, I often read the introduction and methods, and then skip to the figures to see what I take away from them before reading the results. This can also be done the opposite way: read the results and imagine what they would look like in figure-form, then go look at the figures. I find this really useful when reviewing for making me get out of the passive reading of a manuscript and for encouraging me to think critically about the results. Sometimes, there’s a great match. Sometimes there isn’t and I realize I misunderstood something (which sometimes is just me messing up, but sometimes suggests something that is unclear in the paper). And sometimes I can’t figure out the reason for the discrepancy, which ends up being something I bring up in my review.

    I was originally thinking about this as a tip for reviewing – as I said, it helps me think more deeply and critically about a paper. But, over time, I’ve realized it relates to a bigger issue: the...

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  • via Brian McGill from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    2 months 3 weeks ago

    I have been working on writing one book and helping to revise another one recently. For a while I found it really hard going because I expected it to work like writing a paper (or blog post) is for me now. But gradually I came to realize that I needed to write in a different way and that in fact there were other situations when I wrote that way. I have gotten very used to writing with or from a point of view, where as for the book I was needing to go back to the way I wrote my very first papers – writing to find my point of view.

    Every piece of non-fiction writing has a point of view. By which I don’t mean the perspective from which the story is told (e.g. 1st person vs 3rd person), which is the meaning of point-of-view in fiction writing. In non-fiction writing I am using point of view as synonymous with slant, angle, spin, argument, claim, thesis, hypothesis, interpretation. It is impossible (and deadly boring and misleading) to write as if you are just...

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