Nocturnal Activity and Anoles, continued

Collaborator Dr. Chris Thawley and his colleague recently published an interesting paper illuminating the consequences of nighttime artificial light use by diurnal anoles (catch the pun?). Check out the new paper HERE!

Our previous publication offers natural history observations for anoles using artificial light at night (ALAN) but stops short of the fitness consequences of this behavior, i.e., how ALAN use might affect survival and reproduction. Chris’ new paper goes into these important aspects — valuable and interesting work!

 

Citation: Thawley CJ, Kolbe JJ. 2020 Artificial light at night increases growth and reproductive output in Anolis lizards. Proc. R. Soc. B 287: 20191682. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1682

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NCSU Applied Ecology’s 12 Days of Ecosystem Services

Pivoting in a different direction with the holidays approaching, I wanted to share a fun project spearheaded by Michelle Jewell, the Chief Science Communicator for NC State’s Department of Applied Ecology. Check out the carol she put together with the help of vocals from a couple of NCSU students! Each ecosystem service is accompanied by a short explanation and link to additional information.

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High natal homing precision in Caribbean hawksbill sea turtles

Dr. Kathryn Levasseur and her colleagues recently published a must-read paper exploring natal homing in Caribbean hawksbills. Check it out HERE. Primarily through the lens of population genetics, their findings show high natal homing precision to our tiny study site on Long Island, Antigua. Additionally, they contextualize this within the greater Caribbean and discuss the effect of nesting beach context (i.e., small islands versus larger “mainlands”) on the degree of homing precision. Important stuff for the field of sea turtle conservation!

Below, Kate receives the University of South Carolina’s Cindy & Dan Carson Best Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award during her PhD dissertation defense.

 

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It’s not all doom and gloom

A new article in National Geographic sheds a hopeful light on the contemporary status of sea turtles and their conservation. It is a fascinating read, with stunning photography. Check it out here.

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Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt

 

A new paper in the journal Science does a great job explaining the Sargassum phenomenon in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Wang et al. discuss what is happening and, importantly, get into WHY. The image above is from Figure 1 in their article, showing floating Sargassum coverage over time. Check out the full paper HERE.

Citation: Wang M, Hu C, Barnes BB, Mitchum G, Lapointe B, Montoya JP. 2019. The great Atlantic Sargassum belt. Science 365: 83-87.

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New publication: nocturnal activity in diurnal lizards

We recently had another small piece published – this one in Herpetological Conservation and Biology. It documents the nocturnal use of artificial lighting by diurnal anoles and offers various interesting natural history observations. This is a project coincidentally borne out of sea turtle nesting surveys. We just happened to make some interesting observations during nightly turtle patrols and ended up making a study out of it! Check out the paper HERE.

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New publication: Frontiers EcoPic

Excited to share that my colleague Dr. Mike Cove and I recently had a note published in the EcoPics series for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. This series focuses on compelling photographs accompanied by short a passage that poses questions about the organism and/or system pictured. Check out our note on Key Largo woodrat “stick stacking” behavior HERE.

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Sea turtle stable isotope research

 

An exciting new review was just published in Marine Ecology Progress Series that outlines the value of stable isotopes in sea turtle research and the progress that has been made with these techniques. Check out the paper for yourself HERE (it is open access).

We will use some of the points and perspectives presented in the paper as guidance as we move forward with stable isotope sample collection and eventual analysis for Antiguan hawksbills.

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Efficiency of the scientific funding process

 

 

NCSU’s Dr. Kevin Gross and his colleague recently published a fascinating article in PLoS One that explores the efficiency of the scientific funding process. They ask the questions: “To what extent does the community’s aggregate investment in proposal preparation negate the scientific impact of the funding program? Are there alternative mechanisms for awarding funds that advance science more efficiently?”

Really thought-provoking work. Their paper is titled “Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions” and you can read it HERE.

Figure image taken from: Gross K, Bergstrom CT (2019) Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions. PLOS Biology 17(1): e3000065. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000065

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Hawksbill migrations in the Caribbean

Dr. Kristen Hart from USGS and her colleagues recently published some exciting research out of Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix. They tracked 31 hawksbills during their post-nesting migrations and identified foraging areas throughout the Caribbean basin. Checkout their paper in the journal Biological Conservation HERE. The above picture is their fascinating Figure 6 where they compare their identified foraging areas to previous hawksbill tracking studies in the region. Is a pattern emerging? We (the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project and I) hope to add to this body of work with more satellite tracks out of Antigua from our ongoing work!

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