Grad Students- Nix the Snacks

As a graduate student I never brought snacks to my committee meetings.  It was definitely a thing in our department though- the bakers would prepare homemade cakes and pies, the I-can-burn-cereal-set would pull out the fruit and cheese, and the coffee lovers made sure there was a very full pot for the whole committee.  And…

Happy 5th Blogiversary WildlifeSNPits

I’m writing this year’s blogiversary post as me, Emily, instead of as the blog.  When I started SNPits one of my goals was for it to be an active blog at 5 years.  So YAY, today’s the day!  But while it’s still here (and growing annually in hits), I know (and take responsibility for) the…

The Future of Wildlife Management?

I recently attended the Western Black Bear Workshop and like many of these meetings the theme was on how to reduce human-bear conflict.  The workshop is mostly a forum for managers from different states and provinces to gather and exchange ideas on management problems and solutions, population trends, and hunting regulations.  I tried to capture…

Rhino Conservation: Dehorning Demand

There are five living species of rhinoceros: black (Diceros bicornis), white (Ceratotherium simum), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), and Sumatran (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) rhinos.  And not too long ago there was a woolly rhino (Coelodonta antiquitatis) that roamed northern Eurasia until it went extinct ~14,000 years ago.  The IUCN lists black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos as…

Domestication of Your Jack-O-Lantern

Happy Halloween everyone! As I was walking around the pumpkin patch picking out my Jack-O-Lantern-to-be, I started wondering: where in the world are pumpkins from?!  To be fair, as a phylogeographer it’s my job to wonder where different species came from and what geographic routes they took to arrive at their current distribution.  Usually a…

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 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…

We Marched for Science- Now What?

Like many of you I joined a local March for Science this past Saturday (April 22, 2017).  Local for me is New York City, so I enjoyed a pretty large march (~20k) with fellow scientists, engineers, physicians and nurses, environmental advocates, science supporters, and their spouses and kids.  I enjoyed the pithy signs and marching…

CRISPR for Conservation

I’ve got this feeling that CRISPR is the next PCR.  Have you ever met someone who was an early adopter of PCR?  No, I mean an early adopter of PCR where the technique required three water baths, a swivel chair, a stop watch, and AN ACTUAL PERSON to move the reaction tubes between water baths every…

A Year of Science Selfies- Emily

When the WildlifeSNPits team first started discussing whether to participate in the #365scienceselfies challenge, I really didn’t want to do it.  I was uncomfortable that my face would be all over the Internet (more than it already is).  But it also sounded like an opportunity to learn something new about myself, so I agreed to the…

Is Krill the New Palm Oil?

For Earth Day 2016, I wrote about how growth of palm oil plantations has removed habitat for many tropical species, and that plantations are expanding globally as demand for cheap oil increases.  But if demand for these cheap oils does not decrease, what other sources are available?  Some consider krill oil a potential replacement or…

FWS Gives Conservation Scientists a To Do List

The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that they were changing how they prioritized species to be listed as threatened or endangered of extinction under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  (Here’s the final rule in the Federal Register- 81 FR 49248).  The Service claims that changing how 90-day petitions and 12-month status reviews are…