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.


16 November 2017. Ecologists are gender-biased – I normally don’t do this, but this is an extra-ordinary circumstance. As many of you are already aware, Franck Courchamp and I published a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution on Monday that ranked high-profile ecology papers. I won’t go into any details about the list here, because you can read the paper and the […]

13 November 2017. 100 papers that every ecologist should read – How do you objectively identify the 'classic' papers in ecology? Here we tell you how, and provide the list

7 November 2017. Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecological Networks – Well, we’ve been a bit unlucky. We had a fantastic round of applicants for our previously advertised position in palaeo-ecological network modelling, and had offered the position to someone who had great potential. Well, due to unforeseen circumstances (the person to whom we offered the position received another offer for a longer contract in her […]

31 October 2017. You know you’re screwed when the insects disappear – Last Friday, ABC 891 here in Adelaide asked me to comment on a conservation paper doing the news rounds last week. While it has been covered extensively in the media (e.g., The Guardian, CNN, and Science), I think it’s probably going to be one of those things that people unfortunately start to forget right away. But this […]

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, […]