COVID-19 is eroding scientific field work – and our knowledge of how the world is changing

The COVID-19 pandemic is interrupting scientific field work across North America, leaving blank spots in important data sets and making it harder to track ecological change.

Casey Setash, PhD student in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University • conversation
May 19, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change covid-19 biology nature ecology coronavirus-2020 wildlife ducks phenology massachusetts migratory-birds colorado thoreau field-research

Coastal fish populations didn't crash after the Deepwater Horizon spill – why not?

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill caused widespread damage in the Gulf of Mexico, but some parts of this complex ecosystem fared better than others.

F. Joel Fodrie, Associate Professor of Marine Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • conversation
April 16, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: ecology fisheries oil deepwater-horizon gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill gulf-of-mexico offshore-drilling marshes estuaries oil-spills

Here's why soil smells so good after it rains

That smell you detect after it rains is part of a chemical language between bacteria and animals.

Paul Becher, Associate professor in Chemical Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences • conversation
April 8, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  bacteria  soil  ecology  antibiotics  chemical-compounds  invertebrates

Is racism and bigotry in our DNA?

If we are not careful, the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a rise in xenophobic attitudes.

Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology, University of Reading • conversation
April 2, 2020 ~16 min

Tags:  dna  evolution  genetics  environment  psychology  ecology  lifes-big-questions  racism  bigotry  xenophobia

It's wrong to blame bats for the coronavirus epidemic

The value that bats provide to humans by pollinating crops and eating insects is far greater than harm from virus transmission – which is mainly caused by human actions.

Peter Alagona, Associate Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara • conversation
March 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  covid-19  coronavirus  mammals  ecology  coronavirus-2020  viruses  pollinators  bats  endangered-species  zoonotic-diseases

Meet the meat-eating ducks of South Georgia

On one of the world's most remote islands, a species of duck has learned to scavenge on dead seals.

Joshua Powell, PhD Researcher, Conservation Biology, UCL • conversation
March 16, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  ecology  ducks  wildlife-conservation  south-georgia  james-cook  captain-cook  captain-james-cook

How British wildlife greeted the warmest winter on record

While many plant species fail to germinate, some mammals may wake up to a landscape devoid of prey.

Paul Ashton, Head of Biology, Edge Hill University • conversation
March 13, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  climate-change  ecology  winter  spring  uk-wildlife  winter-weather

Huge ecosystems could collapse in less than 50 years – new study

Our findings have worrying implications for the functioning of our planet.

Simon Willcock, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography, Bangor University • conversation
March 10, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  climate-change  ecology  tipping-points  ecosystems

Do wasps have a queen like bees do?

Bees aren't the only species that has a queen.

Caralyn Zehnder, Lecturer in Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
March 5, 2020 ~4 min

Tags:  insects  bees  pesticides  ecology  wasps  hymenoptera  social-insects  curious-kids  speed-reads  curious-kids-us

It's OK to feed wild birds – here are some tips for doing it the right way

Millions of Americans feed wild birds, especially in winter and spring. Studies show that this can influence birds' health and behavior in surprising ways.

Julian Avery, Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
March 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  biodiversity  birds  ecology  citizen-science  wildlife  wildlife-conservation  ornithology  competition  bird-feeding  wildlife-biology

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