Insects gather, and now our watch begins

Above: Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, Lowland Kahikatea in the Riccarton Bush forest remnant. Jon Sullivan (CC BY-NC 2.0) With the final season of Game of Thrones recently completed, it is only fitting for this blog post to be inspired by the greatest TV show of all time (no bias intended). Although attempting to squeeze…

It’s all about the birds, but what about the bugs?

Predator control by poisons is considered a must by many in New Zealand. This is a touchy subject to approach as people’s opinions tend to be polarised with arguments for and against. These are particularly focused on how humane these controls are, and the risk to non-target species, especially birds….

On the value of collections: pinning down the answer

All around the world, natural history collections are under a major threat. This major threat comes not from ravenous specimen eating beasties, or changes in the ethics of collecting specimens with the insidious infiltration of the idea that a mixture of DNA and photography can be as good as a…

On the value of ecology

I often find that I have to comment on the value of ecology. One gets the sense when talking to some people that they wonder why we need to bother with ecology. Surely there are more pressing issues and more immediate uses of limited funds? This has been particularly true…

Saving the planet, one bottle of wine at a time.

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Michael Fake as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Michael revisits a Lincoln University research area that looks at increasing pollinators in vineyards published in 2012. We have entered a period of global declines in both managed and wild pollinator…

The rules of attraction

It’s the end of the year and, as such, I get to combine two things that I like and dislike the most. It’s cricket season with representative tournaments all over the place. I am fortunate to have three boys with good cricket ability and I have a real passion for…

Strewth! Australasian insect conference at Lincoln

The third combined Australian and New Zealand Entomological Societies conference will be held at Lincoln University from 28th August to 1st September. The theme of the conference is “The Status of Australasian Entomology: Where the bloody hell are we?”. Currently, about 200 lovers of all things insecty (and honorary insects…

Fly my pretties

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Nick MacDonald as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course.For those of you who have ever ventured beyond the boundaries of buildings and urban assemblages you would at some stage be greeted by one of Mother Nature’s miracles of aviation….

Butterflies and wine: friends or foes?

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Hannah Lewis as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course.Most of us enjoy the sight of a butterfly flitting around our backyard, however many of us will not be aware of the importance of native butterflies in agricultural ecosystems and…

Newly discovered interaction has farmers buzzing

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Sam Read as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course.Nature is full of wonderful and surprising phenomena. Organisms can often be linked directly or indirectly in amazing and unpredictable ways. It came as somewhat of a surprise when honeybees were…