For the love of field ecology

The first rule for teaching ecology: “Get them outside; early and often”. David Schindler, University of Alberta. Recent commentary on the ECOLOG-L email list (a US-based ecology discussion group) has been lamenting the decline in field ecology training at several (but not all) universities in the US, and noting similar…

Ecology by numbers

In which we see that maths and stats are at the heart of ecology. One of the things about aging, gracefully or otherwise, is that you obtain a better appreciation of being organised. That’s not to say that we necessarily get better at organising ourselves as we age but we…

The hills are alive with the sounds of … research

 Mistletoe My first taste of real research was back in my third year at Otago. I was doing an animal behaviour course and a couple of other classmates and I were able to design and conduct an experiment, all on our own. We had access to the DSIR facility at…

Field tripping coast to coast

Rifleman in matagouri at Glentanner Photo by Jon Sullivan Mid-semester break was field trip season for our undergraduate ecology classes this year. Our second year biological diversity course, Ecol202, did their annual three day biodiversity coast-to-coast between Lincoln and Punakaiki. Our third year applied ecology and conservation course, Ecol302, did…

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The 2011 Biodiversity Night-Out

In this age of iPhones and electric cars, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that we are all animals in a food web. Despite our technological prowess, we are completely dependent on nature and the services provided by the world’s biological diversity. To appreciate just how…