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research blogging

If fish evolved on land, where did they all go? Evolution and Biodiversity in the Ocean

Challenging the Conventional Narrative, Core Themes for 2012, evolution, Focus on Nuance, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceFebruary 8, 2012

When Carl Sagan described our planet as a “pale blue dot” he was invoking the fact that, despite being called Earth, our world is mostly Ocean. The surface of the Earth is a little more than 70% water and the ocean accounts for 98-99% of our total biosphere–the volume of the planet that can support […]

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 […]

Back from the Brink: Victories in Conservation

biology, Conservation, ecology, Natural Science, ScienceOctober 26, 2010

Earth is facing a biodiversity crisis so severe that many conservation scientists refer to it as a mass extinction event. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a professional network of 11,000 volunteer scientists belonging to more than 1,000 government and NGO agencies in 160 countries, evaluates species worldwide and determines their risk […]

Bad news for sharks in the South China Sea

biology, Conservation, ecology, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksSeptember 30, 2010

While a large percentage of the world’s shark fins pass through Hong Kong fish markets, most come from far-away countries and little attention has been paid to shark populations in adjacent waters. An important new paper, appropriately titled “The sharks of South East Asia – unknown, unmonitored and unmanaged” provides new insight into this problem.

What species of skate is for dinner? New research challenges elasmobranch fisheries policy

Conservation, fisheries, marine science, ScienceSeptember 24, 2010

I write a lot about shark conservation issues, but I rarely focus on their fellow elasmobranchs. Rays and skates have similar life history strategies as sharks, and many species are similarly overfished.  A friend just sent me a cool paper about the conservation of skates, which provides an excellent opportunity to remedy this oversight. A […]

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