Some resources for PhD students who want to publish

From a couple of people who were until very recently PhD students themselves…

More and more these days, PhD students are being encouraged to publish during their candidature. This can be a bit of an intimidating process, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. In recognition of this, and the fact that the ANU’s Conservation and Landscape Ecology Group had experienced a fresh influx of new students, Karen Ikin and myself decided to give a presentation to the group entitled “Eight key hints for getting stuff published during your PhD”.   Read more of this post

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To be or not to bee? Valuing the unknown.

Why do some groups get overlooked in favour of the more familiar? Why you should care about native bees.

Native Megachile bee. Image: Alvesgaspar

I am now going to ashamedly confess that when I started my PhD, I didn’t even know that Australia had any species of native bee. This may be due to the fact that, growing up in inner Melbourne, deprived of contact with indigenous wildlife much of the time, I am a terrible naturalist. Alternatively, it perhaps stems from the phenomenon whereby many zoology undergrad and honours students are preoccupied by the cute and furry, instead of the small and functional, so I hadn’t really thought to think about them before. In any case, the fact of the matter is we do – about 1,500 species in fact. Now, at the risk of enraging my entomologically-minded colleagues who claim that bees are the ‘birds of the insect world’ (i.e. pretty and charismatic, and get more attention than other groups), I’m just going to put it out there and say YES, they are incredibly colourful and charming. Read more of this post

Fire history – is it really that important?

Fire in mallee vegetation

Fire is an ecological process that is critical to the survival of many plants and animals. It has been used by humans as a tool for thousands of years: either by creating fire or suppressing it.

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What value an old tree?

Typical park with old tree in Duffy Canberra

Large, old trees are a familiar part of the suburban landscape, protected for their environmental and economic benefits.  But do they provide biodiversity benefits too?

It’s easy to get lost in Canberra’s suburbs: streets curve and dogleg in bewildering patterns that make a map a necessity in unfamiliar areas.  But what is the reason for this tangle?  Although I would not presume to understand what goes on in an urban planner’s mind, my guess is that part of the answer comes down to the presence of remnant eucalypts, i.e. large, old trees.

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