Happy 4th Blogiversary WildlifeSNPits!

On our 4th blogiversary, a huge “THANK YOU” to all of our readers! This year we wrote 25 original posts and 21 What We’re Reading posts.  Our top post (by a landslide) was How to Write a Student Travel Award Application.  Who knew there was such demand for travel award tips?!  Our top five posts…

What We’re Reading- Oct 6, 2017

Blood Meal Biodiversity Sampling biodiversity can be difficult for elusive species or at locations that are difficult to reach or navigate within like thick jungle habitat.  But researchers have a clever new way of biodiversity estimates in these places, capture invertebrates that feast on blood, then sequence the blood meal to identify the host species. …

What We’re Reading- Sept 29, 2017

Genetic Diversity on the Sea Floor We have so much to learn about the biodiversity in the deep ocean.  But for the species we do know, we have barely scratched the surface of understand the genetic diversity of these species.  This meta-analysis reviews all population genetic papers (a scant 77) about genetic diversity and population…

Breaking Through the Masses at Scientific Conferences

I’m off to the 2017 Wildlife Society Conference tomorrow. I’ve been to 22 conferences over the years, yet, I still find it can be an awkward experience to meet new colleagues. People think I am a social butterfly, but when you walk into a ballroom full of groups of people standing around tiny tables it…

What We’re Reading- Sept 15, 2017

If You Sing It, They Will Come (and Occupy New Habitat Patches) One of the biggest threats to species are small isolated habitat patches, where species can be extirpated (i.e. go locally extinct) from any patch.  The endangered Kirkland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) lives in these types of patchy pine forests near the Great Lakes in…

What We’re Reading- Sept 8, 2017

Pro-Active Management of Genetic Diversity This paper quantified changes in genetic diversity in an experimental translocation of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) into four isolated populations from a single source population.  The authors found that translocating 10 fish into the experimental populations significantly increased allelic richness and heterozygosity in the first generation following translocation.  They also…

The Intersection of Conservation and Urban Evolution

I recently wrote about the new field of urban evolution which seeks to understand how diverse species have responded to the vast environmental changes related to urbanization.  I now want to focus on biodiversity conservation in urban environments. You don’t have to be a conservation scientist to intuitively understand that species composition and biodiversity are…

What We’re Reading- July 14, 2017

Words Matter A thought provoking opine which asks scientists if we’re being too careful with our words?  The authors discuss how the use of euphemisms to describe environmental challenges, scientific results, and interpretation/recommendations undermines conservation objectives, specifically of changing human behaviors.  They also challenge scientists to understand how we internalize euphemisms to justify our work…

Top 10 Reasons Science is Patriotic

Patriotism is defined as “having or showing great love and support for your country.” This Fourth of July, American bloggers Stephanie Schuttler and Emily Puckett show how supporting science reflects great love and support for the United States of America and is a democratic process in and of itself. Science inspires. Scientific and technological innovations made…

What is Urban Evolution?

In 2009 the United Nations reported that half of the world’s human population lived in cities and was expected to grow to 66% by 2050.  The movement of people from dispersed living to concentration in urban environments is a large change both for human civilization and for the environment.  Urbanization is the process of changing…

What’s the Biodiversity Within Your Closet?

Conservationists and other nature lovers frequently advocate to save or increase biodiversity, but what exactly is biodiversity? One conjures up images of rainforests, coral reefs or animal clipart arranged artistically. These hint at the concept of biodiversity, which on the surface, seems simple, but gets more complicated once you try to measure it (even for…

What We’re Reading- June 16, 2017

Ectotherms and Climate Change Ectotherms regulate their body temperature using external heat sources; for example, turtles bask in the sun or on hot rocks to warm up, then retreat to the shade when they become over heated.  Increasing temperatures due to climate change are expected to have physiological effects on animals and plants.  Heat shock…