Stop the bot: grapevines, fungus and fungicides

Grapevines Photo by Christine und Hagen Graf CC BY 2.0 When it comes to grapes, people think of fresh table grapes, grape juice, jam, jelly, raisins and, of course, wine! However, these fruit products on your table take more than just a grape to make. Behind the pictures of vines dripping…

The little things matter in restoration

“Nature does not compartmentalize. Its instinct is integrative and holistic.”– Ram Nath Kovind Lyra Chu is a postgraduate student in the Master of Science. She wrote this article as part of her assessment for ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology. *Dollery, R., Bowie, M., & Dickinson, N. (2018). Tree guards…

Kaikōura: whale-watching (or wailing at watchers?)

As a picturesque little town nested between mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Kaikōura is known for its marine life encounters. Due to the specific offshore topography including deep dropping continental shelves and a U-shaped canyon, two oceanic currents meet and…

Playing favourites – using calls to save the kokako from extinction

Moving to a new city can be a stressful yet exciting situation. Whether you move for a job, to learn a new language or just to get a fresh new start, you are facing a life-changing experience. For wildlife, moving permanently from one location to another can be a life-saving…

Fire and the dragon leaf

Smaug the Magnificent (and excerpt from John Howe). Dragons. Huge, fire-breathing, flying reptiles. Sometimes cunning, sometimes chatty, often noble and inscrutable, occasionally savage and despicable. Always covetous of gold and precious items. Dragons are probably the fantastical creature that has most permeated our modern world. Everyone knows about dragons. Every region has…

Stop rot in salads! Crop rotation stalls carrot fungus

Carrots are a staple vegetable, found in most salads and filled rolls. The crisp carrots that we see every day only get to the table after a long battle against a bunch of pathogens. Alternaria radicina is an ascomycete fungi that infect carrots. It can infect all parts of the…

Raising chicks: Why invest, when there is no test?

Although house chores are usually shared among those living together, the concept of women being responsible for a tidy house and everybody’s full tummies is still present in our societies. The same applies to raising children, as women are often, once again, expected to invest more time with their kids…

Darwin and the Sandwalk: social distancing

I wonder how Darwin would have coped with the current Covid pandemic. I guess Victorians were somewhat used to plagues and so on sweeping through the land. I suspect Darwin wouldn’t have minded much if he lived today. Yes he had a lot of children, but I don’t think he…

Plane and simple: your travel is ruining the planet

The glaciers are melting; polar bears are starving; and many small islands are slowly drowning. “Quickly book this flight to Iceland before the snow disappears completely, you don’t want to miss out on the beautiful glaciers there”, a voice whispers in my ear. “You are selfish”, another voice comes to…

Hoverfly heroes- win the war on aphids

New Zealanders spend a fair bit of spare time in their gardens. If your roses are looking like the one below, covered in aphids, or your citrus trees have gone black with mould, you could spray insecti- or fungicides. Or, you could add some plants into your garden to encourage…