Reconciliation Ecology

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12 posts · 22,492 views

Casting an evolutionary eye on biological conservation and the interaction between humans and nature, this blog focuses on evolutionary ecology in human dominated environments, addressing how other organisms respond to what we do to earth's habitats.

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  • December 10, 2012
  • 07:19 AM

How to make the elephant want to leave the room

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

When you pack over a billion people into a relatively small subcontinent containing several globally important biodiversity hotspots, and many species of large, fierce, charismatic megafauna, the challenges of conserving all that biodiversity while meeting human needs are not simple. You find that solutions invented in other places, in simpler contexts, seldom work. Some simple [...]... Read more »

  • June 21, 2011
  • 01:09 PM

The oceans rise, even as they decline... so long, fish!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Two interesting, alarming reports this week about what's happening (no small thanks to us) to the dominant habitat on this watery planet. First, that habitat is becoming even more dominant: a paper...

... Read more »

Kemp, A., Horton, B., Donnelly, J., Mann, M., Vermeer, M., & Rahmstorf, S. (2011) Climate related sea-level variations over the past two millennia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015619108  

  • August 23, 2010
  • 05:47 AM

Overlooking the familiar in cataloging biodiversity

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology


Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt. Or, even if we aren't actually contemptuous of the familiar, we often simply ignore it. It is not surprising, then—although it should...

... Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 04:39 AM

Where in the world is the Yellow-billed Magpie? Help us find out this weekend!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

See and download the full gallery on posterous

What a handsome corvid, the Yellow-billed Magpie. How curiously restricted, its global range:


This lovely bird is another one I consider...

... Read more »

Reynolds, M. (1995) Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli). The Birds of North America Online. DOI: 10.2173/bna.180  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 05:59 PM

Twist it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

You are brightly colored - enough to be considered charismatic even by humans who like to keep you as a pet! You can make fairly loud calls. So how do you communicate with each other? Especially in...

... Read more »

  • May 13, 2010
  • 04:18 AM

Even waterfowl like the green. Of the $$ kind, that is, it seems.

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

I've noted the so-called "luxury effect" in the distribution of biodiversity in urban areas on this blog before, as seen in the pattern of higher bird diversity in the more affluent areas of...

... Read more »

Ann P. Kinzig, Paige Warren, Chris Martin, Diane Hope, & Madhusudan Katti. (2005) The Effects of Human Socioeconomic Status and Cultural Characteristics on Urban Patterns of Biodiversity. Ecology and Society, 10(1). info:other/

  • June 13, 2009
  • 04:43 AM

Lost Sounds

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Deep in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh, where the mighty Siang river carves its way through the Himalayan wall, nestled the Adi hamlet of Tuting, surrounded by a sea of green—overgrown fields, verdant mountains, the river itself deep green. The very moonlight seemed green as it shone on the ghostly mist rising from the gorge. Eighteen years ago, a search for India's last Takin—that... Read more »

  • May 9, 2009
  • 05:06 AM

Plagiarism, peer-review, and protecting the integrity of science

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

I am, (it seems) almost constantly reading, evaluating, and passing judgment on, material written by others: not just when I'm synthesizing material for my own papers or blog essays, but as a peer reviewing manuscripts and grants written by colleagues, or as a teacher grading student papers. Comes with the territory of being a professor, or course. As it happens, its that time of year again when... Read more »

  • March 18, 2009
  • 09:08 PM

Urban forestry through the lens of "socio-ecological systems"

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Contributed by Seth Reid, following a vigorous class discussion with guest presentation by Genevra Ornelas.

Our March 4th class discussion revolved around urban forestry and how it pertained to an article written by John M. Anderis, Marcos A. Jannsen, and Elinor Ostrom. This article provided, “A Framework to Analyze the Robustness of Social-ecologcial Sytems from an Institutional Perspective.”... Read more »

  • March 18, 2009
  • 08:38 PM

Ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, and how to pay for them

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Brad Schleder shares this summary of class discussion of two very interesting papers that Brett Moore brought to the table.

Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales

Erik Nelson, Guillermo Mendoza, James Regetz, Stephen Polasky, Heather Tallis, D. Richard Cameron, Kai MA Chan, Gretchen C. Daily, Joshua Goldstein,... Read more »

Nelson, E., Mendoza, G., Regetz, J., Polasky, S., Tallis, H., Cameron, D., Chan, K., Daily, G., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P.... (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7(1), 4-11. DOI: 10.1890/080023  

Bohlen, P., Lynch, S., Shabman, L., Clark, M., Shukla, S., & Swain, H. (2009) Paying for environmental services from agricultural lands: an example from the northern Everglades. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7(1), 46-55. DOI: 10.1890/080107  

  • March 16, 2009
  • 06:11 AM

Coupled Human And Natural Systems - a class discussion

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

Heather Hanlin wrote the following summary of our class discussion on Feb 17th:

We discussed two different papers: “Coupled Human and Natural Systems,” by Jianguo Liu et al (2007), and “The Effects of Human Socioeconomic Status and Cultural Characteristics on Urban Patterns of Biodiversity” by Ann Kinzig et al (2005). The “Coupled Human and Natural Systems,” are referred to as CHANS. CHANS are... Read more »

Liu, J., Dietz, T., Carpenter, S., Folke, C., Alberti, M., Redman, C., Schneider, S., Ostrom, E., Pell, A., Lubchenco, J.... (2007) Coupled Human and Natural Systems. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 36(8), 639-649. DOI: 10.1579/0044-7447(2007)36[639:CHANS]2.0.CO;2  

  • August 27, 2008
  • 03:49 AM

Holy magnetic cow!!

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

File this one under the "who woulda thunk it?", or "why didn't I think of this?" or simply "whaaa...?!" categories! Quick, can you tell which way is north in this picture?

Do you think of asking the cow for directions? Why not? For it seems that cow probably knows which way north is! Read on...

You know, these big dumb-seeming large mammals you pass by every day, these big walking, grazing... Read more »

S Begall, J Cerveny, J Neef, O Vojtcch, & H Burda. (2008) Magnetic alignment in grazing and resting cattle and deer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803650105  

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