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The windscreen phenomenon refers to people’s perception that there are fewer insects being splattered on their windscreen than they used to see. It is one of the most common anecdotes presented as evidence of global insect decline in the Insectageddon…

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Have you ever seen a fairy? They exist, and may very well be in your garden. But you would need a high-powered microscope to spot the dainty creatures. Fairy wasps (family Mymaridae) are tiny, feathery-winged parasitoid wasps. They’re often called…

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Recently, protecting the environment has been portrayed as a hindrance to economic growth, a fluffy sideshow, or a bureaucratic obstacle to hardworking families. Ironically, the absolute opposite is true. It’s just another false dichotomy. I grew up around Agriculture. Being…

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Dodgy science, dodgy scientists and dodgy humans are not a new thing. And dodgy scientific papers have been published since the dawn of scientific publishing. In 1667 an article on ‘snakestones’, a pseudoscience medical cure with absolutely no basis in…

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The recent Notre Dame fire grabbed global headlines. The morning I woke to see it on the news, I felt sad. I’m not a Christian and I’ve never been to Paris. But my mother is an artist and I studied…

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After my blog post earlier this year on the questionable insectageddon review paper, American Scientist invited me to write a perspective article on the media hype surrounding the story. The review paper has many flaws and caveats (stay tuned for…

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On Wednesday afternoon, I noticed the steadily increasing coverage of the story about sweat bees living in a Taiwanese woman’s eye. It seemed implausible – very few bees are small enough to get in your eye without knowing it, and…

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On Sunday, as I walked a load of washing to the Hills Hoist, an odd pattern caught my eye. It’s autumn here in Armidale (which is very cool climate by Australian standards) and temps have been cooling off for a…

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Saunders ME, Rader R (2019) Network modularity influences plant reproduction in a mosaic tropical agroecosystem. Proc. R. Soc. B 286: 20190296. (all data and code available on github) I’m so excited about our new paper! We use network analysis in…

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I’ve just published my first preprint. If you’re not familiar with preprints, they are final versions of a paper manuscript that are posted online before they have been peer reviewed. Long-time followers of my blog will know that I am…

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