Red kites and ravens swooped through Elizabethan London – and helped keep the city clean

Plague-wary Londoners tolerated mischievous red kites and ravens for their services to the city's sanitation.

Lee Raye, Associate Lecturer in Arts and Humanities, The Open University • conversation
Feb. 25, 2021 ~6 min

How we turned a golf course into a haven for rare newts, frogs and toads

Britain's native amphibians are in steep decline thanks to wetlands disappearing and ponds drying up.

Robert Jehle, Reader in Population Biology, University of Salford • conversation
Feb. 24, 2021 ~7 min

Tiny cacao flowers and fickle midges are part of a pollination puzzle that limits chocolate production

Entomologists wonder if the insects currently pollinating farmed cacao are the right ones for the task.

DeWayne Shoemaker, Professor and Department Head, Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee • conversation
Feb. 10, 2021 ~6 min

Citizen scientists are filling research gaps created by the pandemic

COVID-19 kept many scientists from doing field research in 2020, which means that important records will have data gaps. But volunteers are helping to plug some of those holes.

Kathleen Prudic, Assistant Professor of Citizen and Data Science, University of Arizona • conversation
Feb. 3, 2021 ~10 min

Galápagos: we've found out why the islands are blessed with such nutrient-rich waters

How Pacific winds interact with the sea to bring colder waters up from the depths.

Alex Hearn, Professor, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) • conversation
Feb. 2, 2021 ~6 min

Why keeping one mature street tree is far better for humans and nature than planting lots of new ones

Greenwashing spin is often used to justify chopping down mature street trees.

Mary Gagen, Professor Of Physical Geography, Swansea University • conversation
Feb. 1, 2021 ~6 min

In a time of social and environmental crisis, Aldo Leopold's call for a 'land ethic' is still relevant

Jan. 11 marks the birthday of conservationist Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), who called for thinking about land as a living community to protect, not a resource to exploit.

Curt D. Meine, Adjunct Associate Professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison • conversation
Jan. 5, 2021 ~9 min

Goldenrod honey: misinformation is causing a biological invasion of this Canadian weed

Our study is the first to research the impact of online misinformation on biological invasions.

Johannes M H Knops, Professor & Head of Department Health and Environmental Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University • conversation
Dec. 23, 2020 ~8 min

How curators transferred Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks' archives to escape wildfires

The curator at UC Merced describes the evacuation and shows a selection of photographs from the 110-year history of the park.

Emily Lin, Head of Digital Curation and Scholarship, UC Merced, University of California, Merced • conversation
Dec. 23, 2020 ~7 min

Tiny treetop flowers foster incredible beetle biodiversity

In the Amazon, beetles and flowering trees have developed a tight bond. Hundreds of beetle species thrive off of and pollinate blossoms, helping to maintain some of the highest biodiversity on Earth.

Caroline S. Chaboo, Adjunct Professor in Insect Systematics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • conversation
Dec. 3, 2020 ~6 min