Communities and African conservation: a chance or a challenge?

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Shakhzoda Alikhanova as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Shakhzoda revisits a Lincoln University research area that looks at community based wildlife management in Africa published in 1999. “Indigenous knowledge is an integral part of the culture and…

Predators in the long grass: spiders in alpine tussocks

Times in my life when I have thought worriedly about my impending mortality have, fortunately been few and far between. Three of these events have been associated with the recent Canterbury earthquakes. The most frightening was the 7.1 event of September 4, 2010 which kicked it all off. Getting thrown…

The web stays in the pitcher

Some of my earliest biology memories are as a 9 year old at Balclutha Primary School working through food web diagrams. The idea of the interconnectedness and interdependence of life was an extremely powerful idea and I recall the first afternoon we worked on food webs more vividly than most…

It’s thieves, not killers, that you should worry about!

You know, just once I would love to see some ecological research that found a really simple answer that explained the phenomenon under study. Alas, we live in a complicated world where it is difficult to make robust predictions. I guess it keeps us ecologists in jobs. For example, possums…

Sharing knowledge with the community – the Styx Living Laboratory Trust

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Megan Oliver as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course. Communities around New Zealand are becoming more aware of the state of natural areas in their community and how they are becoming degraded from pollution. This awareness has resulted in…

Bringing nature (back) into cities…

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Cynthia Resendiz as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course. “Canterbury plains are one of the worst examples of the loss of native plants in New Zealand…less than 0.5% of native vegetation remains on our plains”, New Zealand’s Spellerberg, a…

The long invasion

New Zealand has worried about invasion for the last 200 years. Dotted around our major harbours are gun emplacements built to repel Russian and Japanese imperial designs in the late nineteenth and mid twentieth century’s, respectively. Of course neither of these invasions eventuated but there have actually been enormous numbers…

The big pitcher

Ecologists spend a lot of time thinking about how species in communities are linked together. While we have made progress in understanding this at small scales (like your backyard) we have seldom tried to understand this at large scales (like across continents). One of the reasons for this is that…