Yes, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species on this day, 157 years ago. Happy Evolution Day!
Here’s an article by Carl Zimmer – who it was nice to meet – about the Roy Soc meeting I went to a couple of weeks ago.
I come in near the bottom. I hasten to add that I didn’t keep quiet for a day and a half, as my ex-student Emily rightly queried…
Here’s an excuse to delve into that biology book you always meant to read but never got round to… Book Week Scotland 2016 is taking place from Monday 21 – Sunday 27 November 2016.
My tip for something to read would be John Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez, perhaps the best non-science science book ever written?
Here is a really interesting recent blog by Dave Goulson on the neonic moratorium in the UK and a critique of the positions of the various interested parties.
Our own second neonicotinoid paper is now out online at Ecological Entomology – again we show that sub-lethal exposure to field-realistic doses of imidacloprid disrupts facultative sex allocation behaviour, this time in the context of super-parasitism. Sex allocation is an important behaviour for parasitic wasps (which give us plenty of “ecosystem services” for free, by killing pest arthropods when we are not looking), and we need to expand our understanding of how chemical exposure disrupts the biology of the natural world we so (unwittingly) rely on. Our paper (open-access) can be found here.
The work on neonicotinoids has been interesting, both intellectually, but also in terms of the rubbing up against various vested interests. It has been a new departure for me, and I am not completely sure what to make of it yet. Still, there are more experiments in the pipeline, and that is the fun bit…