Conservation Bytes

A feed from Consercation Bytes, a site dedicated to highlighting, discussing and critiquing the science of conservation that has demonstrated measurable, positive effects for global biodiversity.


17 April 2017. Noses baffled by ocean acidification – Smell is like noise, the more scents we breathe in one sniff, the more difficult it is to distinguish them to the point of olfactory saturation. Experimental work with clownfish reveals that the increase in dissolved carbon dioxide in seawater, mimicking ocean acidification, alters olfactory physiology, with potential cascading effects on the demography of species. […]

13 April 2017. Job: Research Fellow in Palaeo-Ecological Modelling – I have another postdoctoral fellowship to advertise! All the details you need for applying are below. — KEY PURPOSE  Scientific data such as fossil and archaeological records used as proxy to reconstruct past environments and biological communities (including humans) are sparse, often ambiguous or contradictory when establishing any consensus on timing or routes of initial […]

7 April 2017. Future of conservation – Last year I posted about a paper that attempted to gauge the opinions of modern-day conservationists about the perceived role of conservation biology today and in the near future. My main point was that it’s not a dichotomy (or trichotomy, etc.), and that the complexity of the modern discipline means that many different approaches and philosophies must […]

5 April 2017. Not 100% renewable, but 0% carbon – Anyone familiar with this blog and our work on energy issues will not be surprised by my sincere support of nuclear power as the only realistic solution to climate change in the electricity (and possibly transport and industrial heat) arena. I’ve laid my cards on the table in the peer-reviewed literature (e.g., see here, here, […]

27 March 2017. Limited nursery replenishment in coral reefs – Coral reef fishes are wonderfully diverse in size, form, and function, as well as their need for different habitats throughout the life cycle. Some species spend all of their life in the same kind of coral habitat, while others need different places to breed and feed. Fishes requiring different habitats as they progress through life […]

15 March 2017. Credit for reviewing & editing — it’s about bloody time – As have many other scientists, I’ve whinged before about the exploitative nature of scientific publishing. What other industry obtains its primary material for free (submitted articles), has its construction and quality control done for free (reviewing & editing), and then sells its final products for immense profit back to the very people who started the […]

8 March 2017. Singin’ in the heat – Frog songs are species-specific and highly useful for the study of tropical communities, which host the highest amphibian diversities globally. The auditory system of females and the vocal system of males have co-evolved to facilitate reproductive encounters, but global warming might be disrupting the frequency of sound-based encounters in some species.

6 March 2017. Job: Koala Data Research Technician – If you live in South Australia, and in Adelaide especially, you would have had to be living under a rock not to have heard of the Great Koala Counts 1 and 2. So I’m not really writing this for those sotto pietra types. If you are a regular reader of, you’ll also know that I’ve […]

3 March 2017. Job: Research Associate in Eco-epidemiological modelling – Earlier this week I advertised two new PhD scholarships in palaeo-ecological modelling. Now we are pleased to advertise a six-month Research Associate position in eco-epidemiological modelling. The position will be based in the School of Biological Sciences at Flinders University. Flinders University offers a dynamic research environment that explores the continuum of environmental and evolutionary […]

1 March 2017. Palaeo-ecology PhD scholarships – With my new position as Matthew Flinders Fellow in Global Ecology at Flinders University, I am in the agreeable position to be able to offer two PhD scholarships to the best candidates from around the world. If you feel that you’re up to the challenge, I look forward to hearing from you. These projects will […]