Tag Archives: natural history

Suburban biodiversity: surprising flies in the neighborhood

Christine Barrie, a grad student in the lab, found a fly she couldn’t put a name on. Other students in the lab had trouble too. So did I. It looked familiar, but it didn’t key out in the standard North … Continue reading

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Natural history’s place in science and society

One of the themes that runs through many of the posts on this blog is that natural history matters, that it’s relevant, that it’s science, and that there’s still a lot we don’t know about the natural history of some … Continue reading

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Two flies, one leaf: new leafminers from Costa Rica

There are many reasons why insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet One of them is herbivory. Feeding on plants opens a huge number of opportunities for insects to diversify. There are new food sources to … Continue reading

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A natural history tool box for the 21st Century

“It’s the binoculars of our age” — Josh Tewksbury My last two posts focused on topics that are apparently very different: the importance of basic natural history; and the power of DNA barcoding (the first went a lot more viral … Continue reading

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Why we do science: the paradox of natural history

There are few things on Earth that I would willingly be the President of. A couple of months ago I assumed the Big Chair of one of them — The Natural History Network, a fine organization dedicated to the rebirth, … Continue reading

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to a young naturalist

I was on a collecting trip to Banks Island in the Canadian arctic in 2011. We were there for 17 days with no internet, no electricity, no generator and 24 hours of sunlight. Not a problem at all — we … Continue reading

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Natural history known, unknown, and assumed: a fly tale

My previous post was part of an exchange with Chris Buddle on whether taxonomists should describe new species without knowing their natural history. When many of the specimens upon which we base species descriptions are already long dead by the … Continue reading

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