Friday, August 21, 2015
Thursday, August 13, 2015
It seems difficult to keep track of all the different sources of available data, and these repositories differ in their openness to public access, with some requiring registration, permission requests, and the requirement to include data submitters as authors on publications. With Genbank as the gold standard for a data repository, it is inevitable that other types of ecological data will soon be required to be freely available. I've never figured out why genetic data has different accessibility expectations than, say, leaf trait data.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Green roofs are now a mainstay of urban green infrastructure and a tool to promote sustainable urban development. A number of municipalities, including Toronto-where I live, now have bylaws or policies requiring green roofs on certain types of infrastructure. The rationale for these requirements is that green roofs provide direct energy savings, reduce albedo, reduce storm water runoff, and support other ecosystem functions and provide wildlife habitat. But it is these last two –the ecological benefits, though often touted, lack clear evidence. I attended an organized oral session on green roof biodiversity organized by Whittinghill, Starry and MacIvor, and it was clear from the presentations that people were excited by the opportunities for ecological research. More importantly, they made the case that we know so little about these systems, and research is desperately needed to guide policy –we simply need more ecologists working on this problem.
|Chicago City Hall green roof, adapted from Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA 3.0)|
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
|Photo credit: S. Yasui|
Monday, August 10, 2015
Random notes: I always try to see what I like in talks so I can emulate them. Today I noticed a number of speakers for whom confidence and careful, practiced wording went a long way, even on talks where the concepts were very difficult.
Favourite quotes (unattributed for anonymity):
Use of "2 cents" to title that section where you extrapolate your results to bigger-picture discussion.
"Community ecologists always want more than two species, although, two species is a good starting point." (absolutely!)
"The data isn't very good; it doesn't support the model"
Thursday, August 6, 2015
If you are attending, a few links from past years for those last minute preparations:
Apparently this was my take-home in 2012
|I think "postdoc trying to finish their talk" should be added to this...|