What a great start to the new year - our book is out, showcasing many diverse facets of the urban ecology of bats, with chapters co-authored by > 40 diverse authors based in many different countries. What an honour to work with all these wonderful people !
As you may know, bats are, in many cultures and contexts, undeservedly maligned. The COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated that. Most likely, a species of horseshoe bat was the original reservoir for the viral ancestor to SARS-CoV2, which causes COVID. But the media and even the scientific literature have widely misrepresented the role of bats [...]
Introducing our newest lab member, Taylor Rubin, who will do her PhD research with us. Taylor comes with a slightly unconventional and super appealing background. She obtained her master’s degree in neuroscience and animal behaviour in 2012 from Emory University. Her research subjects were tufted capuchins – am I the only one who wonders if [...]
Sulaimon Lawal will soon join our lab as my first PhD student. He grew up (and still lives) in Lagos, the largest of Africa’s three megacities. Sub-Saharan Africa! The motherland for our species. The only land that was spared the worst of the Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions. A land of huge cultural and biological diversity. [...]
These days, we recognise that cities play a starring role in the global climate crisis. Indeed, at least 70 % of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from cities themselves or activities that take place elsewhere but satisfy urban demand for goods and services. So, limiting warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels — a goal [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Check out my friend and colleague, Dr John Ascher, talking about urban bees in Prospect Park in New York City.
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. [...]