A history of the use of holly
Kissing under the mistletoe – why do we do it?
Advent botany – plants used to celebrate Christmas around the world
More advent botany – this time from Jeanne Osnas
At this time of year you are quite likely to find butterflies in the house – this is what you should do with them
Fascinating video about the evolution of humans with a haunting soundtrack
Turns out we can’t blame Jimi Hendrix or Katherine Hepburn for the UK’s parakeets 🙂 If you want to read the scientific version it it is here
Turning science into fiction – check it out
Why don’t modern day scientists write like Darwin?
Long live the apostrophe – we need them desperately
The problem with ‘Sugar Daddy’ science, why state funding is better
Simon Leadbeater on rewilding a planation woodland
Did you know that Scotland has rain forests?
Some advice on writing papers from novelist Cormac McCarthy
Making cities greener – what we can do and what benefits result
If you like the Moomins you will appreciate this
Clothing accessories that pay homage to the insect world; some other animals too 😊
Freedom of press and environmental protection – did you know that they are linked? Jeff Ollerton and colleagues explore this interesting topic
Working from home might not be as stress-free as you think – go to work instead
Did you know that there are more male specimens of birds and mammals in museum collections than females? Press release here, actual paper here
Depressing news for taxonomists – too specific a title limits your citation rate
Hilarious – A periodic table…of scientists!
Interesting research that suggests trees might improve academic performance in schools in deprived areas
Plastic, plastic everywhere – biobeads litter our beaches
Talk about precision application – using bees to apply fungicide to crops
What maps get wrong – how the projection maps use distorts our picture of the World
A road can be moved a, ecologically important raised bog cannot – planners need to think harder
Who publishes in predatory journals and why they do it – surprisingly quite a few authors report a positive experience
This comment by ecologist Thomas Crowther caused a huge Twitterstorm from ecologists – I must admit I found it rather offensive too “ “The point is, I don’t believe it’s science until you’ve put it in that context: I can say ‘that bird is flying weirdly’ — that’s not science; that’s what most of ecology is at the moment. It’s natural history.” The full story is here.
And see this excellent post by Manu Saunders on science communication and how not to do it
May Berenbaum has written an excellent editorial on the many failings of journal impact factors
Wow, a caterpillar that ‘shouts’ at would be predators
Ray Cannon writes about the wonders of dragonfly wings
More on insect declines, their causes and ways to minimise them
A pair of researchers found evidence that the insect population in a Puerto Rican rainforest was in free fall. But another team wasn’t so sure.
Failing exams doesn’t stop you becoming a professor
Why you should get out more – Visitors to urban greenspace have higher sentiment and lower negativity on Twitter
The Understory – excerpted from Robert MacFarlane’s recent book, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, “The Understory” is an examination of the life beneath the forest floor.
A fun visual time-line highlighting 100 years of UK forestry
Lovely obituary of a forest entomology legend – C.S. (Buzz) Holling
When tree planting actually damages ecosystems – interesting article from Kate Parr and Caroline Lehmann
What natural smaller changes in climate have done to human civilisations should really make us worry about what lies ahead
Studying the history of science is more than the interpretation of ‘landmark’ texts but must involve following ideas in circulation- studying both the people speaking on behalf of the dead scientists and the consumers of that information. Mendel as an example in this blog from the John Innes Centre.
Urbanisation of water courses has detrimental effects on damselflies
Mating damselflies from Ray Cannon’s excellent site
This recent paper suggests that plant sucking bugs feeding on plants (in this case citrus trees) where the levels of neonicitinoid insecticides are too low to kill the pests, can instead kill beneficial insects that feed on the honeydew produced by the pests
Do we realize the full impact of pollinator loss on other ecosystem services and the challenges for any restoration in terrestrial areas? Interesting article from Stefanie Christmann
Collaborating with artists to improve science communication
On a similar line, Peter Pany and colleagues at the University of Vienna, have come up with an idea to cure plant blindness or as they put it “to encourage plant vision”
This artist’s oil paintings of women are considered the most realistic in the World
How resilent is your garden?
Angela Saini’s third book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, makes the compelling case that scientific racism is as prevalent as it has ever been, and explores the way such backward beliefs have continued to evolve and persist and here is a review
They may be small but they can move very large distances – insect migration in the news
Edible insects? Lab-grown meat? The real future food is lab-grown insect meat
Good advice from Megan Duffy on writing your discussion – to be sure
Aphids are wonderful – a long time ago they borrowed some virus genes to help them decide when to produce winged individuals
Here Stephen Heard defends the use of parenthicals
Botanists are arguing amongst themselves as to whether plants have brains or not – what do you think?
What sort of conservationist are you?
Manu Saunders on the windscreen phenomenon – another viewpoint on insect declines