In this collaborative paper by 59 co-authors, we asked how the community traits for diverse animals (amphibians, bats, bees, birds, carabid beetles and reptiles) shift with increasing urban land cover in 379 cities around the world. The traits are diverse, with shifts in body size and mobility seemingly driven by changes in dietary and [...]
Just out - a paper with my former undergraduate honours students Deon LUM and YAO Xinyi, whose data were used. We worked along pedestrian footpaths (3.5m tall luminaires) in Singapore and found that shifting from sodium-vapour to LED lights is not detrimental to most insects in most sites (meaning, the LEDs are no more attractive [...]
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.