Student @ Fresno State , Madhu , Madhusudan Katti

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  • December 10, 2012
  • 07:19 AM
  • 353 views

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
  • 988 views

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  

  • June 21, 2011
  • 12:28 PM
  • 607 views

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

by Madhusudan Katti in a leafwarbler's gleanings




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 in PNAS meticulously reconstructs global sea-levels over the past two millenia to show that the oceans have been steadily rising, in concert with climatic changes, and that their rise has accelerated in recent years. This figure ought to worry you:




via realclimate.org
Meanwhile, though........ 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  

  • June 21, 2011
  • 12:28 PM
  • 653 views

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

by Madhusudan Katti in a leafwarbler's gleanings




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 in PNAS meticulously reconstructs global sea-levels over the past two millenia to show that the oceans have been steadily rising, in concert with climatic changes, and that their rise has accelerated in recent years. This figure ought to worry you:




via realclimate.org
Meanwhile, though........ 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  

  • December 2, 2010
  • 07:02 PM
  • 619 views

Arsenic and Old Lace

by Madhusudan Katti in a leafwarbler's gleanings



As you may very well have heard by now, NASA made a bit of a splash today in the mainstream media and especially the science (and sci-fi too, of course) blogosphere / twitterverse through its press conference about a fascinating biological discovery with potential astrobiological significance. An "alien" life-form that incorporates Arsenic (which normally kills our kind of life-form) instead of Phosphorus in the "backbone" of its very DNA. Actually its a bacterium from ........ Read more »

Wolfe-Simon, F., Blum, J.S., Kulp, T.R., Gordon. G.W., Hoeft, S.E., Pett-Ridge, J., Stolz, J.F., Webb, S.M., Weber, P.K., Davies, P.C.W., Anbar, A.D., and, Oremland, R.S. (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science. info:/

  • August 23, 2010
  • 05:47 AM
  • 777 views

Overlooking the familiar in cataloging biodiversity

by Madhu in Reconciliation Ecology

via myrmecos.net



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 »

  • August 23, 2010
  • 05:22 AM
  • 656 views

Overlooking the familiar in cataloging biodiversity

by Madhusudan Katti in a leafwarbler's gleanings





via myrmecos.net
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 be—that Tapinoma sessile, the odorous house ant of North America, the very same little brown one that is pictured above, and that you may well have swept off your kitchen counter today, remains relatively poorly studied! It is so widespread and common across a variety of habitats in ........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 04:39 AM
  • 737 views

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
  • 1,189 views

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
  • 632 views

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/

  • March 6, 2010
  • 04:51 PM
  • 656 views

Ooze like an amoeba, float like a bird - wish we could still do that when stressed!

by Student @ Fresno State in Darwin's Bulldogs


Here's another fun weird science story from NPR, about a creature that might be in the dirt in your own backyard:




20100305 Me 03 by Npr
Download now or listen on posterous
Naegleria-NPR.mp3 (1426 KB)






Courtesy of Lillian Fritz-Laylan
Naegleria gruberi grows a pair of flagella when under stress. But unlike a sperm tail, it puts these appendages out front, and swims by breast stroke. The organism is stained to emphasize its anatomy.



If you prefer to read the story rather th........ Read more »

Fritz-Laylin, L., Prochnik, S., Ginger, M., Dacks, J., Carpenter, M., Field, M., Kuo, A., Paredez, A., Chapman, J., & Pham, J. (2010) The Genome of Naegleria gruberi Illuminates Early Eukaryotic Versatility. Cell, 140(5), 631-642. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.01.032  

  • September 20, 2009
  • 08:16 PM
  • 1,274 views

A punk-size T-rex and an Eagle that ate children?!

by Student @ Fresno State in Darwin's Bulldogs

One trait that shows interesting evolutionary trends is the size of animals. Body size plays a significant role in the most important interactions between animals: competition (for resources or mates) and predation (for both predator and prey). Body size is also, of course, significant for a variety of physiological reasons. It's no surprise, therefore, that biologists spend a lot of time thinking about body size, and have discovered some intriguing patterns. For instance the so-called island ru........ Read more »

G. Grey. (1873) Description of the extinct gigantic bird of prey, Hokioi, by a Maori. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, 435. info:/

Sereno, P., Tan, L., Brusatte, S., Kriegstein, H., Zhao, X., & Cloward, K. (2009) Tyrannosaurid Skeletal Design First Evolved at Small Body Size. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177428  

  • August 23, 2009
  • 11:12 PM
  • 732 views

Science knows it doesn't know everything... and neither did Darwin

by Student @ Fresno State in Darwin's Bulldogs

A couple of interesting examples of the self-correcting nature of Science today:1. It turns out that good ol' Charlie Darwin was wrong about the human appendix! Bollinger and colleagues reported several years ago that this sometime exemplar of vestigial organs is not so useless after all: The human vermiform (“worm-like”) appendix is a 5–10 cm long and 0.5–1 cm wide pouch that extends from the cecum of the large bowel. The architecture of the human appendix is unique among mammals, and ........ Read more »

Randal Bollinger, R., Barbas, A., Bush, E., Lin, S., & Parker, W. (2007) Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the human vermiform appendix. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 249(4), 826-831. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.08.032  

SMITH, H., FISHER, R., EVERETT, M., THOMAS, A., RANDAL BOLLINGER, R., & PARKER, W. (2009) Comparative anatomy and phylogenetic distribution of the mammalian cecal appendix. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01809.x  

  • June 13, 2009
  • 04:43 AM
  • 1,193 views

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
  • 1,784 views

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
  • 2,504 views

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
  • 2,287 views

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
  • 07:48 PM
  • 1,068 views

Why are all earthly lifeforms lefties?

by Student @ Fresno State in Darwin's Bulldogs

What, you think you are not left-handed? Just because you favor your right hand to write/eat/pitch that baseball, etc.? Actually, in case you didn't already know this: deep down, at the amino acid level, we are all lefties! Southpaws, each and every one of us! That's just another one of those wonderfully weird arbitrary fact about life on earth! Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are fundamental to the structure and function of life as we know it on our planet (which is pretty much ho........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2009
  • 06:11 AM
  • 2,223 views

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  

  • December 22, 2008
  • 06:31 AM
  • 2,189 views

Phylogenomics suggest ratites lost flight multiple times

by Student @ Fresno State in Darwin's Bulldogs

Rebekah Wukits discusses recent findings about ratite evolution for Bio 135.Ratite evolution has been debated for centuries. Some of the earliest evolutionary biologists questioned whether or not ratites had a linear evolution or if the major groups had had independent origins. Richard Owen proposed that living ratites had much more in common with other flight capable groups while being united by the “arrested development of wings unfitting them for flight”. In 1951, two ornithologists, Mayr........ Read more »

J. Harshman, E. L. Braun, M. J. Braun, C. J. Huddleston, R. C. K. Bowie, J. L. Chojnowski, S. J. Hackett, K.-L. Han, R. T. Kimball, B. D. Marks.... (2008) Phylogenomic evidence for multiple losses of flight in ratite birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(36), 13462-13467. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803242105  

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