Category Archives:

biology

In sexual selection and thermoregulation, bigger is better, at least for fiddler crabs

biology, ecology, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceSeptember 21, 2011

Imagine yourself a fiddler crab. For this exercise, imagine yourself a male fiddler crab. Are you with me? Great. Check out your right claw, it’s a sleek, slender machine, perfect for picking through the sand as you sift out bacteria and other microorganisms for food. It also makes a handy shovel for digging nice deep […]

What killed this lemon shark? University of Miami scientists perform necropsy to solve this mystery

biology, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksAugust 15, 2011

Last week, volunteers monitoring a sea turtle nesting beach on Virginia Key came across a beached lemon shark. They called in scientists from the University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation program, including myself . Dunlap program director Dr. Neil Hammerschlag decided to film the necropsy to use as an online teaching tool. The end […]

Conservation and the Concept of Species in a Biodiversity Crisis (Part 1)

biology, Conservation, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceJanuary 24, 2011

In The Mass Extinction of Scientists Who Study Species, Dr. Craig McClain argues that we are loosing a fundamental unit of biological science – the Taxonomist. He’s right, of course. Taxonomy is a shrinking field. Entire phyla sit, unstudied, as the expertise necessary to understand them retires and expires. With few to train the next […]

Sharks get new protections at ICCAT

biology, Conservation, ecology, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksNovember 29, 2010

Last week, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas met in Paris. Among other responsibilities (such as the conservation of Atlantic tunas), ICCAT sets guidelines for several shark fisheries. My friend Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International, was there representing SAI. She is optimistic about a series of new shark conservation measures […]

Shades of Gray: Gray literature, peer-review, and the struggle for data in fisheries management

biology, Conservation, ecology, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharks

The dissemination of science follows the conventional route of rigorous peer-review followed by publication in an accredited scientific journal. This process has been the standard foundation from which the general public can trust that the science is, at the very least, valid and honest. Of course this system is not without its flaws. Scientific papers of questionable […]

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