Category Archives: Ecology

Passenger Pigeons: Speculation on Humans and Ecological Release

There’s a review of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction that’s worth reading. I’ll probably end up getting a copy of the book at some point, but, according to the review, the book doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Aves, Ecology | 4 Comments

Reconsidering the Easter Island Collapse (and the Irony of Jared Diamond’s Interpretation of It)

Barbara King recently asked “Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad?” It’s not my place to speak for anthropologists (I’m not Mike the Mad Anthropologist), but I do know what has made me very skeptical of Diamond’s claims: his … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Easter Island, Ecology, Environment | 3 Comments

I Know Beavers Are Important Ecosystem Engineers…

…but, based on the below specimen, I’m having a hard time believing it. You see, beavers can have massive effects on ecosystems: Beavers are famously busy, and they turn their talents to reengineering the landscape as few other animals can. … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Rodents

On Boston’s Fishweirs and the Demise of Coral Reefs

Andrew Revkin, in response to a NY Times op-ed claiming that the coral reefs are doomed, finds some other marine ecologists who disagree. Frank Bruno states: It is scary, but is it true? I don’t think so. I have been … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, Ecology, Environment, Fish, Food, Lobstah! | 2 Comments

Heuristics Are Not a Cognitive Flaw, But a Necessity in an Uncertain World

So says economist Gerd Gigerenzer. As far as I’m concerned, this video is essential viewing for not only economists, but also biologists, especially those interested in behavior. As one behavioral ecologist I know once quipped, “I don’t believe in optimal … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Economics, Evolution | 3 Comments

Where Did the Term ‘Core Microbiome’ Come From?

In an excellent post about the vaginal microbiome (the microbes that in the vagina), Dr. Rad asks: I wonder if the idea of a ‘core microbiome’ came from Lourens Baas Becking’s oft-quoted idea in microbial ecology that ‘Everything is everywhere, … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Genomics, Microbiology, Microbiome, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A Handy Transformation for Microbiome Data

Handling non-normal frequency data that also have zeros.
Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Microbiome, Statistics | 10 Comments

The E. coli O104:H4 Outbreak Gets More Confusing–and Potentially More Disturbing

I engage in some speculation, and hope that I’m very, very wrong.
Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, E. coli, Ecology, Microbiology, We're Really Fucked | 4 Comments

Are Shiga-Toxin Phages E. coli Diseases? (File Under Speculative Hypotheses)

Or maybe wild-ass speculation.
Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, Viruses | 4 Comments

When Economists Misunderstand Biology

And why it matters: we need economists to be better economists.
Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Economics, Evolution, Philosophy Shit | 44 Comments