Curtis Lubbe – tired and in a Canadian prairie.

Curtis Lubbe: How much do plants store and why?

In our February cover story, Curtis Lubbe from the Institute of Botany (Czech Academy of Sciences) presents his new work ‘The effect of moisture, nutrients, and disturbance on storage organ size and persistence in temperate herbs’, highlights the importance of looking belowground to understand plants persistence and provides some extra artistic flavour to plant ecology. About the paper This paper is another vital step in … Continue reading Curtis Lubbe: How much do plants store and why?

Teresa Rosas working in their COVID-19 office

Teresa Rosas: single traits are not enough to predict tree growth

In our new post Teresa Rosas, Talent and Gender officer at CREAF (Spain), presents her work ‘Are leaf, stem and hydraulic traits good predictors of individual tree growth?’, discusses the complexity of ecological relationships and shows that there is life for a PhD beyond academia. About the paper In the 21st century, humanity faces the huge challenge to adapt to rapid global change. As ecologists, … Continue reading Teresa Rosas: single traits are not enough to predict tree growth

Alexander Walton with paper wasp workers, temporarily individually housed in deli cups.

Alexander Walton: Nutritional environment is an important regulator of aggression in paper wasps

 Dr. Alexander Walton, a Postdoctoral Researcher working collaboratively at Iowa State University and Cornell University, discusses with us his recent paper, “Resource limitation, intragroup aggression, and brain neuropeptide expression in a social wasp.” Nourishment can affect behaviour in many ways, including social behaviours. In this study, my co-author and I explored the link between a social animal’s nutritional environment and how cooperative or aggressive they … Continue reading Alexander Walton: Nutritional environment is an important regulator of aggression in paper wasps

Beetle replicas with a bird predation attempt (left) indicated by the beak marks across the wings and head and a rodent (right) indicated with the incisor teeth marks in the clay.

Amanda Franklin: Reflecting on mirror camouflage

Our cover story for January 2022 is all about the dazzling world of mirror camouflage. Amanda Franklin of University of Melbourne tells us about her latest research “Cracks in the mirror hypothesis: High specularity does not reduce detection or predation risk” and explains why all may not be as it seems. How can an animal make itself invisible? Perhaps by perfectly mimicking a leaf or … Continue reading Amanda Franklin: Reflecting on mirror camouflage

A male great bustard displaying at dawn, when ambient light is richest in UV wavelengths, in Extremadura, Spain. The insert photo shows the pink colour of still undegraded porphyrins at the base of body feathers of a captive male bustard. Photo credits: Ismael Galván.

Why is pink the colour of virgin birds?

Ismael Galván of National Museum of Natural Sciences (Spain) uncovers to exciting role of porphyrin colouration and what it might mean in an ecological setting. This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Few things in nature are as … Continue reading Why is pink the colour of virgin birds?

The striking colouration on male mandrill's faces is a rare example of structural colouration in mammals

Why are some plants and animals more colourful than others?

Matthew Shawkey of Ghent University paints a colourful picture of the range of colouration techniques created by the natural world, and how these inspire technological advances to create new and exciting materials. This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown … Continue reading Why are some plants and animals more colourful than others?

Hannah White

Hannah White: Looking at historical climate helps map current ecosystem stability

In this post Dr Hanna White, lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, presents her latest work “Ecosystem stability at the landscape scale is primarily associated with climatic history”. She discusses how biodiversity could not be enough to maintain a stable plant productivity in a changing climate, the importance of ecosystem monitoring and why ecologists are a great community for doing science. About the Paper … Continue reading Hannah White: Looking at historical climate helps map current ecosystem stability

Convergent optical illusions in colourful creatures

Dakota E. McCoy of Harvard University dazzles us with a tale of showy creatures and the complex world of ultra black colouration. This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Pop quiz: you are a male bird trying to … Continue reading Convergent optical illusions in colourful creatures

Mathias Dezetter

Mathias Dezetter: Physiological responses to increasing temperature combine energy and water balance in a long-lived snake

Mathias Dezetter, PhD student at the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé and the Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, discusses with us his recently accepted paper, “Additive effects of developmental acclimation and physiological syndromes on lifetime metabolic and water loss rates of a dry-skinned ectotherm.” About the paper How organisms can adjust their physiology in response to climate warming is a crucial … Continue reading Mathias Dezetter: Physiological responses to increasing temperature combine energy and water balance in a long-lived snake

Laura (She/her) and Leslie (He/him) are PhD students of the Stuart-Fox lab

When Animals Wear Iridescence

Laura Ospina-Rozo and Leslie Ng both of University of Melbourne decipher the confusing and dazzling world of animal iridescence and how it may not all be as it seems This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Roses are … Continue reading When Animals Wear Iridescence