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Just out: fruit bats, diet and potential ecosystem services

Of Singapore's 20+ bat species, perhaps none epitomises the urban denizen better than the dog-faced fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis). You can find this bat almost everywhere on the urbanisation gradient, and this bat seems to have adapted well to city life (notwithstanding the apparent genetic impacts of urbanisation) - including by adopting the behaviour of [...]

By |2020-07-20T05:50:53+00:00July 20th, 2020|Bats, biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Urbanisation|Comments Off on Just out: fruit bats, diet and potential ecosystem services

The genetic side effects of urbanisation

For humans, urbanisation has generally been beneficial. Cities are often where people find better access to clean water and sanitation, better housing, employment and opportunities for education - hence extensive rural to urban migration. For other species, the effects of urbanisation are mixed, and many urban ecologists have characterised species according to how successful [...]

By |2020-06-02T08:53:46+00:00May 31st, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The genetic side effects of urbanisation

The urban ecology of COVID-19 – links to the wildlife trade

A few weeks ago, I was asked about my thoughts on the urban ecology of COVID-19. Interesting question. One that has had me thinking ever since. There are many dimensions to it. One is the clear link between the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and wildlife markets. Markets where many animal species are densely maintained [...]

By |2020-06-02T08:52:44+00:00May 18th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The urban ecology of COVID-19 – links to the wildlife trade

Evolution of urban ecology – three paradigms

Let me start this post by looking back at my PhD candidacy exam. Here’s what this rite of passage involves at University of Calgary. The professors on the supervisory committee and internal examiners all submit questions to the PhD supervisor, who whittles them down to three pairs of questions sent to the PhD candidate. [...]

By |2020-05-18T04:02:46+00:00May 9th, 2020|Urbanisation|Comments Off on Evolution of urban ecology – three paradigms

Threats to bats

In a previous post, I laid to rest some common myths about bats. In another I highlighted a few things that make bats awesome. Indeed, bats are weird and wonderful and rather essential to ecosystems and human wellbeing. But here's the thing. They're in trouble. In 2020, 15 % of 1 [...]

By |2020-05-16T12:45:20+00:00April 24th, 2020|Bats|Comments Off on Threats to bats

Why bats are extremely awesome

In an earlier post, I addressed myths about bats. Today, in honour of Bat Appreciation Day, I thought I'd write about some of the many reasons to not only learn more about bats, but also, well, appreciate them. TThere are nearly 6 400 described species of mammals living today, divided into 29 separate groups, [...]

By |2020-05-16T10:36:14+00:00April 17th, 2020|Bats|Comments Off on Why bats are extremely awesome

Nature deficit disorder in a highly urbanised nation – part 2

This is part 2 of a two-part blog entry. Click here to read part 1. From the perspective of future motivation to conserve biodiversity, one of the most troubling signs of nature-deficit-disorder (NDD) is our reduced connection with the natural world, which may manifest as a reduction in our ability to identify common species. [...]

By |2017-05-09T09:24:28+00:00January 15th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Nature deficit disorder in a highly urbanised nation – part 2

Nature deficit disorder in a highly urbanised nation

This is part 1 of a two-part blog. Urbanisation has been identified by some authors as the top human cause of species endangerments and extinctions. That it has such a large impact on biodiversity is pretty surprising when you realise that cities occupy a very small fraction (estimated at 1.5-3 %) of all the [...]

By |2017-05-09T09:24:28+00:00December 19th, 2015|Urbanisation|Comments Off on Nature deficit disorder in a highly urbanised nation
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