IMECO Blog

Birds in paradise: biogeography in the subtropics

Animal Ecology In Focus

Biogeography is often more complicated than the species-area relationship as discussed in a Journal of Animal Ecology paper testing multiple extensions of island biogeography theory. Sam Ross, lead author of the study, is a PhD student at Trinity College Dublin studying ecological responses to global change. Sam has additional interests in community ecology and macroecology, and works closely with colleagues at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan. Here, he describes how this work fits into the long history of biogeography research.

Blog header pic Light-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis), one of the species of interest in the Ryūkyū archipelago (Photo: Sam Ross)

The species-area relationship is considered one of the only ‘rules’ in ecology. We have observed more species on larger ‘islands’ (whether true islands or simply some habitat patch of interest) in studies of different plants and animals all around the world. When MacArthur and Wilson…

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The 2019 Round-up

As the year—and the decade (who let that happen?)—draw to a close, I’ll once again recap my year in science. So here are my favourite papers, achievements, moments, and music from 2019. Let's start with my favourite papers I've read this year. The standout science First up is this opinion piece by Rebecca Gladstone-Gallagher and … Continue reading The 2019 Round-up

Birds in paradise: biogeography in the subtropics

The species-area relationship is considered one of the only ‘rules’ in ecology. We have observed more species on larger ‘islands’ (whether true islands or simply some habitat patch of interest) in studies of different plants and animals all around the world. When MacArthur and Wilson (1967) proposed this pattern and the pioneering biogeographical principles which … Continue reading Birds in paradise: biogeography in the subtropics

ESJ 66: Best in Show

This was my first time in Kobe, famous for its beef and cheesecake. Much of the city was rebuilt in the wake of a devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of more than six thousand people in 1995. The city mascot is Kobear (コーベア), a pun almost as clever as the bear is cute. The … Continue reading ESJ 66: Best in Show

The 2018 Round-up

Is two years in a row too soon to call it a tradition? That’s right; It’s time for this year’s round-up. Cue the theme tune for my ‘yearly highlights of the year’. So here’s my favourite science, achievements, moments and even music from 2018. Let’s start with my favourite 2018 papers. The stand out science … Continue reading The 2018 Round-up

Should we stop using the term “PhD students”? – Prof. Jeff Ollerton

Jeff Ollerton's Biodiversity Blog

2018-11-10 17.40.18

Back in the early 1990s when I was doing my PhD there was one main way in which to achieve a doctorate in the UK.  That was to carry out original research as a “PhD student” for three or four years, write it up as a thesis, and then have an oral examination (viva).  Even then the idea of being a “PhD student” was problematical because I was funded as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant and to a large extent treated as a member of staff, with office space, a contributory pension scheme, etc.  Was I a “student” or a member of staff or something in between?

Nowadays the ways in which one can obtain a Level 8 qualification have increased greatly.  At the University of Northampton one can register for a traditional PhD, carry out a Practice-based PhD in the Arts (involving a body of creative work and a smaller…

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