Our new review paper on the genetic processes and considerations underlying urban invasions is now out in Oecologia! Check it out HERE.
This review originated from a class on invasion genetics and was spearheaded by Emily Reed, a PhD candidate in the Burford Reiskind Lab doing fascinating research on the urban landscape genomics of Aedes mosquitoes in the Raleigh area—focusing on the invasive Asian Tiger Mosquito A. albopictus. An additional big shout out to coauthor Dr. Megan Serr, whose PhD research focused on the reproductive behavior and mate choice of wild house mice.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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