Articles on Ecology

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The finer points of Abenomics are not lost on this guy. ippei-janine

Japan’s PM has frog in throat as ecological crisis looms

Japanese PM Shinzō Abe has a problem, and he might end up killing an awful lot of frogs to solve it. Shares are up in Japan, but everything else has flatlined: kick-starting the stubbornly moribund economy…
The decline of this Indian vulture species has costed the economy $30 billion. Bharat Balasubramanian

Neither the charismatic nor the iconic: rethinking conservation

The rate of extinction of species today is many thousand times the natural rate. There are even examples that such loss can have serious impact on humans. So a critical question is: what is the role species…
Diminishing returns. Andrew Matthews/PA

Grafting timeless farming skills on to modern techniques

The Green Revolution that began in the 1940s brought modern methods to farming through selective breeding, machinery, and agrochemicals. But 60 years on a new, more sustainable approach is required. Published…
Lonesome no more. George died on 24 June 2012. A.Davey

Stop singletons becoming endlings to save ecosystems

There can be few words as poignant as “endling”, the name given to the last surviving individual of a species. The picture (below) of Benjamin, the last Tasmanian tiger or thylacine, is heartbreaking…
Literary critical terms and theories have been adopted by education institutions as a way to provoke thought on the relationship between humans and the environment. Thomas Bristow

Ecocriticism: environment, emotions and education

How can art and literature help us imagine a climate-changed world? In 1995, ecocritic Lawrence Buell argued that apocalypse is the single most powerful master metaphor that environmentalism has at its…
Sydneysider bats, such as this lesser long-eared bat, are susceptible to predation even when they keep on the move. Tracy Morris

Urban ecology: boring as batshit or heaven scent?

When I started my PhD to gain understanding of factors affecting the plight of bats living in our cities, I had no idea I’d be stuffing a freezer full of faeces one day. Sorry - I’m getting ahead of myself…
Bacteria can quickly adapt and overcome the antibiotics that used to kill them. Image from shutterstock.com

Superbugs, human ecology and the threat from within

At the beginning of the 20th century, around one in three children in countries such as Australia and the United States died of infection before the age of five. But since Howard Florey first described…
We know next to nothing about Earth ecology. Aschevogel/Flickr

Hurrah for Mars, but why not more curiosity about life on Earth?

The landing of the explorer Curiosity on Mars is a fantastic affirmation of the extraordinary technical capacities of humans. A series of remote, high risk choreographed moves saw a small mobile laboratory…
Herbarium specimens of leaves from the Narrow-leaf hopbush are 40% wider than contemporary specimens. Greg Guerin, Haixia Wen, Andrew Lowe

Climate change linked to narrowing leaves

Climate change is causing the leaves of at least one subspecies of Australian plant to narrow in size, a team from the University…
Tangled up in ourselves: facing up to the fundamental shortcomings of our intellect and science is necessary if we are to limit the damage we do. Flickr/sergiohs391

Ecology is failing and needs to be freed from our limitations

The splendour of nature diminishes day by day despite the strenuous efforts of ecologists and all manner of scientific understandings and interventions. Biodiversity is in decline, and crucial resources…
We’re plummeting into an over-populated world and we may not have a parachute. ...---.../Flickr

Human carrying capacity and our need for a parachute

The issue of human overpopulation has fallen out of favour among most contemporary demographers, economists, and epidemiologists. Discussing population control has become a taboo topic. The silence around…
Serious, interconnected risks are closing in on the globalised community, from climate change to anarchy. Are we heeding the warnings? AAP/EPA/Daniel Deme

Highway to dystopia: time to wise up to the looming risks

In that world of peripheral vision, essential for business, social and political leaders, it is surprising that the World Economic Forum’s report, Global Risks 2012 has not received greater publicity or…
There must be a better way. Wild Singapore

The end of field ecology?

The image of the bearded, grubby ecologist, out-dated spectacles askew and sporting an eccentric grin of geeky, scientific relish, is one that is shared by many, including novice ecologists themselves…

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