Blog

Promoting Diversity in Science – useR!2017 conference is leading by example.

How refreshing to see this.

Not only the 2017 R (https://www.r-project.org/) user conference has a #diversity scholarship aimed at “provide an opportunity for traditionally under-represented individuals (such as, but not limited to, #LGBTQ people, #women, ethnic #minorities, or those with #disabilities) who might not otherwise be able to attend due to logistical or financial constraints” but they also provide #childcare https://user2017.brussels/news/2017/user-2017-childcare and have a code of conduct aimed at providing an “harassment-free conference experience for everyone regardless of #gender, gender expression, #sexual orientation, #disability, physical appearance, body size, #race, or #religion (or lack thereof)” https://user2017.brussels/code-of-conduct

The bar has been raised in terms of promoting #Diversity and a culture of #Respect at scientific gatherings.

The useR!2017 organisers are leading by example and I hope other conferences will adhere to the same level.

Kudos to the #R people.

“a journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles” – so are PhDs, Thank you.

Someone once said that “a journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles”.

Well, I somehow feel that something similar can be said about PhDs. I have been lucky enough to have a PhD that has been a journey both in the figurative and literal sense. This marvelous journey has been shared with many friends that have greatly contributed for it to be much more enjoyable that it would otherwise have been. Words fall short to express my gratitude but in the following lines I’ll do my best to express how thankful I am to all those colleagues, institutions and friends that have been part of making this dream come true.

Continue reading “a journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles” – so are PhDs, Thank you.

Conference for the tropical ecology course of the MSc in Conservation Biology (Univ. of Lisbon)

 

So, in Lisbon and with no plans for the 21st of January? Why not drop by the Faculty of Sciences (University of Lisbon) and learn about the birds & bats of Madagascar?

Ana Rainho and Ricardo Lima have invited several ecologists & conservationists to speak about their experiences in some exotic corners of the world for the tropical ecology course they co-run (as part of the MSc in Conservation Biology). The conferences will take place between 12-13h in the room 2.3.13 and will cover a wide range of topics & taxa. Anyone can join so please feel free to drop by.

ce3c

Here’s the full list of talks:

Continue reading Conference for the tropical ecology course of the MSc in Conservation Biology (Univ. of Lisbon)

Diogo Ferreira (my 1st MSc student!) defended his thesis with flying colours! …

diogo-640x360

After several months of hard work (two of which in the deep Amazonian jungle), Diogo is finally a MSc! He has joined the team in mid-2014, to investigate how Neotropical bats respond to seasonality within a fragmented landscape and I had the great pleasure to act as his supervisor alongside my own supervisor, Christoph Meyer. Needless to say that it was a tremendously gratifying experience. Diogo presented himself as an enthusiastic learner with a great passion for all things ecological and conservation related. He has an outgoing (and easy-going) personality and it was great fun to work with. His work is due to be submitted soon. Stay tuned for the manuscript.

Continue reading Diogo Ferreira (my 1st MSc student!) defended his thesis with flying colours! …

Being vegetarian and mobile pays off for bats living in tropical fragmented landscapes

Functional traits such as diet, mobility and body mass dictate species’ capacity to persist in human-modified landscapes. Understanding how such traits interact with environmental characteristics allows a crystal-ball view into the future of biodiversity under different land-use scenarios. In a study now published in the Journal of Applied Ecology we did just that for Neotropical bats, finding that the future looks gloomy for large-bodied, less-vagile, non-vegetarian species. 

The gnome fruit-eating bat (Artibeus gnomus), an example of a small, fruit-eating and mobile species. Photo by Oriol Massana & Adrià Lopez-Baucells

Continue reading Being vegetarian and mobile pays off for bats living in tropical fragmented landscapes

Pachamama at risk

IMG_0943
Tsimane’ kid fetching water in a river in Bolivian Amazonia – photo by Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares

The tension between the Bolivia’s government and the country’s environmental community has reached a worrying point, with President Evo Morales threatening to expel any opposing voices to natural resource exploitation in the country. A correspondence now published in Nature highlights the pivotal work of Bolivian civil organisations in protecting the nation’s exceptional biological and cultural diversity and urges the international scientific community to keep a vigilant eye on shifts towards weaker environmental policies in the country.

Continue reading Pachamama at risk

The BDFFP gets a burst of fresh air

Forest fragment BDFFPForest fragment BDFFP

In the mid-70s a heated debate over the applicability of E. O. Wilson & Robert MacArthur’s Theory of Island Biogeography to conservation planning puzzled ecologists around the globe. Some defended that the best approach to conserve biodiversity was to create large reserves whereas others argued that several smaller reserves would do a better job. This debate, which came to be known as SLOSS (Single Large or Several Small), eventually triggered the North American conservationist Thomas Lovejoy to design a large scale experiment to try to obtain much needed data to support the debate, which until then was mainly about ecological theory than actual data. The project, initially christened as Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystem Project came to be in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest, 80 km North of Manaus, Brazil.

Continue reading The BDFFP gets a burst of fresh air

From the deep Amazon to the pages of the yellow frame magazine

On the cold winter night of January 13, 1888, thirty-tree adventurous men braved a soggy frog to make history. They had assembled at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. to discuss establishing a society that would promote science and exploration – this was the night the National Geographic Society was born.

In less than two weeks the society numbered 165 members and a decision came to be that the new organization was due to have its own magazine, and well, you probably know the rest of the history… The first issue of National Geographic Magazine was published only 9-months after the first meeting, in October 1888 and the yellow border that framed it became forever carved as the most well-known symbol for Adventure, Exploration and Discovery; for the last 125 years the magazine has astonished tens of millions of readers by sharing the vivid accounts of explorers, scientists, photographers and storytellers that have pushed the frontiers of the unknown to “celebrate the world and all that is in it”, the society’s unrelenting mission.

2013 - Madalena Boto - National Geographic (2)

Continue reading From the deep Amazon to the pages of the yellow frame magazine