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.


18 October 2017. Postdoctoral position re-opened in Global Ecology – I believe it is important to clarify a few things about the job advertisement that we are re-opening. As many of you might recall, we advertised two positions in paleo-ecological modelling back in July — one in ecological networks, and the other in vegetation modelling. We decided to do something a little unusual with the […]

17 October 2017. Dangers of forcing regressions through the origin – I had an interesting ‘discussion’ on Twitter yesterday that convinced me the topic would make a useful post. The specific example has nothing whatsoever to do with conservation, but it serves as a valuable statistical lesson for all concerned about demonstrating adequate evidence before jumping to conclusions. The data in question were used in a […]

9 October 2017. Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss XLIV

Number 43 of my semi-regular instalment of biodiversity cartoons. See full stock of previous ‘Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss’ compendia here. —

27 September 2017. Four decades of fragmentation – I’ve recently read perhaps the most comprehensive treatise of forest fragmentation research ever compiled, and I personally view this rather readable and succinct review by Bill Laurance and colleagues as something every ecology and conservation student should read. The ‘Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project‘ (BDFFP) is unquestionably one of the most important landscape-scale experiments ever […]

17 September 2017. A gender-diverse lab is a good lab – — Another little expurgated teaser from my upcoming book with Cambridge University Press. — My definition of a ‘lab’ is simply a group of people who do the science in question — and people are indeed a varied mob. I’d bet that most scientists do not necessarily give much thought to the diversity of the […]

7 September 2017. Less snow from climate change pushes evolution of browner birds – Climate changes exert selective pressures on the reproduction and survival of species. A study of tawny owls from Finland finds that the proportion of two colour morphs varies in response to the gradual decline of snowfall occurring in the boreal region. Someone born in the tropics who travels to the Antarctic or the Himalaya can, […]

31 August 2017. Which countries protect the most of their land? – One potentially useful metric to measure how different nations value their biodiversity is just how much of a country’s land its government sets aside to protect its natural heritage and resources. While this might not necessarily cover all the aspects of ‘environment’ we need to explore, we know from previous research that the more emphasis […]

26 August 2017. When to appeal a rejection – A modified excerpt from my upcoming book for you to contemplate after your next rejection letter. — This is a delicate subject that requires some reflection. Early in my career, I believed the appeal process to be a waste of time. Having made one or two of them to no avail, and then having been […]

11 August 2017. Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss XLIII

Number 43 of my semi-regular instalment of biodiversity cartoons. See full stock of previous ‘Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss’ compendia here. —

2 August 2017. World of urban rangers – Bridging the gap between an urban population and the wildlife we love. The world continues to urbanise. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the developed nations of the world are 74% urban, and it is expected that by 2050, 70% of the entire world will be ‘urban’. Besides all the other consequences, people’s connection to […]