Ecology by the numbers

It is probably safe to say that the job description of an ecologist in 2016 is quite different from that of an ecologist back in the 1970’s or 1980’s. Our work today involves computer programs and fancy technology, some of which make our work much easier. But some appear to make…

Finding your niche

In which we dwell on the problems of the niche Most people tell me that they don’t remember much about ecology from school. One thing that does remain, once you scratch the surface with some gentle probing, is the concept of the niche. The niche does have an advantage in…

A risky business: predicting invasive species

In which we talk about identifying risk of pest species in light of climate change. Consider these events: a violent home invasion, a major earthquake, and being hit by a ball on a cricket boundary. Which of these are you most at risk from? Obviously this may depend a little…

DNA’s kitset models

In ecology and evolution we work with models all of the time. Perhaps, if this was more widely known, we would find our class sizes swelling. Of course students expecting long blonde hair, white teeth or rippling six packs might be a bit disappointed when they realised that models mean…

Modelling the invasion

Although the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is not the fourth best novelty folk group in New Zealand it is impressively ranked in the top 6 most invasive ant species in the world. In a country like New Zealand this species poses a threat to the local biodiversity by removing native…