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On Reading Old Things

Photo of a page from Linneus' 1729 manuscript depicting pollinating plants.

As a young undergraduate, I remember researching my first term papers and take-home exams, flexing my new-found research skills to find the absolute best references. At first, I equated “best” with “newest.” This wasn’t necessarily a product of my training; my undergraduate advisor teaches ecology from Foundations of Ecology, which […]

Climate AND humans? A new study using ancient DNA, fossils, & models contributes to a classic problem in paleoecology

The extinction of the ice-age megafauna is one of the most persistent (and contentious) problems in paleoecology. Since the 1960’s, the literature has been dominated by fierce debates about whether humans or climate change were responsible for the demise of the mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinos, and other now-extinct megaherbivores and […]

Why I was not one of the 141 scientists who objected to Davis et al.’s invasives comment in Nature

Last month, Mark Davis and 18 ecologists argued in a Comment published in the journal Nature that the native-versus-alien dichotomy in conservation is not only increasingly impractical, but potentially counterproductive. The authors acknowledged that while some invasive species (e.g. zebra mussels) have widely-documented negative impacts, the application of the “invasive” […]