NCEAS News and Announcements

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January 21, 2011

NCEAS launches an invasive plant research project through the Center’s Synthetic Undergraduate Networks for Analyzing Ecological Data (Project SUN).

Applying the principles of NCEAS’ success as a pioneer of ecological synthesis, Project SUN offers undergraduates the opportunity to participate in collaborative research in partnership with students from other universities.

December 8, 2010

Researchers evaluate the accumulation rates of non-native forest pests and pathogens in the United States, as well as the damage they cause to trees.

Historical Accumulation of Nonindigenous Forest Pests in the Continental United States
J.E. Aukema, D.G. McCullough, B. Von Holle, A.M. Liebhold, K. Britton and S.J. Frankel
BioScience 60(11), Dec 2010

The following media covered this study:
Los Angeles Times blog: More global trade means more forest pests (Dec 10, 2010)
Washington Post online: Invasive insects are growing threat to trees, forests (Dec 12, 2010)
Washington Post print version: Bugs, beetles and borers put U.S. forests at risk (Dec 13, 2010)
Santa Barbara Independent: Ravenous Foreign Pests Threaten National Forests (Dec 6, 2010)
United Press International (UPI): U.S. forests under attack by foreign pests

More information about this Working Group's research, participants, and publications

December 2, 2010

photo of a large pink jellyfish in motion, its mushroom-shaped pink crown expanded for propulsion and its bright pink body and willowy filament-like tentacles trailing behind as it passes by a tropical rocky reef Jellyfish scientists from around the world took part in an NCEAS-sponsored outreach event to inform and educate the general public about jellies and jellyfish blooms, the good and the bad aspects of jellies, and their importance to both coastal communities such as Santa Barbara and to ocean ecosystems around the world. Called Jellyfish ROCK: Reaching Out to the Community & Kids, the event generated a lot of enthusiasm from community members eager to learn about the diversity and beauty of jellies! More than 170 attendees converged at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for the interactive evening of videos, presentations from international jellyfish experts, live jellyfish, and exhibition of children’s artwork from around the world. The event was a BIG success for all involved, and NCEAS is certainly proud to have sponsored both Jellyfish ROCK and the NCEAS jellyfish working group that inspired it!

November 24, 2010

Knowledge Network for Biodiversity (KNB) announces the release of Morpho 1.9.0, an application for managing and sharing ecological and environmental data through the creation of structured metadata. Morpho enables data sharing among scientists through Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity servers.

Information & Download


November 18, 2010

New article in Nature questions the widely-adopted “fishing down food webs” paradigm as indicator of the health of fisheries

The trophic fingerprint of marine fisheries
T.A. Branch, R. Watson, E.A. Fulton, S. Jennings, C.R. McGilliard, G.T. Pablico, D. Ricard, S.R. Tracey
Nature 468, pp.431-435 (18 Nov 2010)

A sample of the U.S. & international media coverage of this study:
MSNBC: Fish Story: Doubt Cast on Depletion of Big Ocean Species
NineMSN (Australia): Global fish stocks lower than thought
France 24 (France): Some global fish stocks may be lower than thought: study
The Independent (UK): Some global fish stocks may be lower than thought: study
The Star (Malaysia): Big fish seen surviving in depleted oceans - study
Kaleej Times (UAE): Big fish seen surviving in depleted oceans
Reuters (India): Big fish seen surviving in depleted oceans - study
Scientific American: What's the Catch?
Nature News: 'Fishing down food chain' fails global test (Nov 17, 2010)
Science Magazine News of the Week: Key indicator of ocean health may be flawed (Nov 19, 2010)
Thaindian News (Thailand): Scientists question widely adopted indicator of ocean health
China National News: Scientists question widely adopted indicator of ocean health
Philippine Daily Inquirer (Phillipines) blog: Some global fish stocks may be lower than thought--study
Santa Barbara Independent: Health of World's Oceans and Fisheries Inaccurately Measured, Study Claims
Conservation Magazine: Scientists Grapple With Measuring The Human Impact on Global Fisheries
Article in Columbia Basin Bulletin
Article on CLIMATIDE (from NPR affiliate WBGH) (Nov 22, 2010)
Article on CLIMATIDE: "Discovery of the Year" (Jan 4, 2011)

More information about the research project and related Distributed Graduate Seminar that produced this study

More information about the research participants and other publications

October 22, 2010

Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter
Nancy Baron
Island Press
Press Release

American Scientist book review
Miller-McCune 2 Sept 2010 article
Nature 468, Nov 2010 feature interview
Yale Forum for Climate Change & the Media 2 Dec 2010 book review

October 20, 2010

Researchers from the NCEAS Jellyfish Working Group are featured in an article on Live Science: "Jellyfish Swarms: Menacing or Misunderstood?"

This group was also featured at Jellyfish Rock: Reaching Out to Community & Kids, an NCEAS-sponsored event at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

More information about this research project, participants, and publications.

October 14, 2010

aged thumbnail image of a raging river, with a bridge in the distant backgroundScience Magazine publishes NCEAS researcher's findings that a combination of nature and humans is affecting aquatic food webs by leaving an indelible mark on rivers & streams.

The Role of Discharge Variation in Scaling of Drainage Area and Food Chain Length in Rivers
J.L. Sabo, J.C. Findlay, T. Kennedy, D.M. Post
Science 330, pp.965-967 (12 Nov 2010 - online 14 October 2010)

The following is a sample of the media coverage of this study:
Conservation Magazine: Breaking the Chain
Postmedia News (Canada): Human meddling threatens rivers, human food chain: U.S. study
Thaindian News (Thailand): Nature and humans destroying aquatic food webs
Zee News (India): Nature and humans destroying aquatic food webs

More information about the affiliated research project

October 1, 2010

The Kepler Project has announced the availability of Kepler 2.1 as well as four add module suites. Kepler 2.1 includes a number of new features and bug fixes, and the Reporting, Workflow Run Manager, Provenance, and Tagging add-on suites significantly expand the capabilities of the Kepler system.

July 12, 2010

Paper demonstrates and quantifies the effect of atmospheric stability on annual latent and sensible heat fluxes in a (sub)tropical lake in Africa.

More information about the related research project and other publications

June 30, 2010

The Kepler Project announced the availability of Kepler 2.0, a major update to the Kepler scientific workflow system. Representing the combined efforts of numerous individuals and projects, Kepler is a user-friendly, open-source application for analyzing, modeling, and sharing scientific data and analytical processes.

June 30, 2010

Study uses modelling to identify the main factors in the decline of four fish species in the San Francisco Estuary in California, USA: delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass and threadfin shad.

Analysis of pelagic species decline in the upper San Francisco Estuary using multivariate autoregressive modeling (MAR)
R. Mac Nally, J.R. Thomson, W.J. Kimmerer, F. Feyrer, K.B. Newman, A. Sih, W.A. Bennett, L. Brown, E. Fleishman,       S.D. Culberson, G. Castillo
Ecological Applications 20(5), pp.1417-1430 (2010)
June 29, 2010

Global fishery development patterns are driven by profit but not trophic level
Suresh A. Sethi, Trevor A. Branch, Reg Watson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online 21 June 2010

A sample of the media coverage of this study:
Conservation Magazine: The little things that count
Seattle Post Globe: Industry fishing for profits, not predators, UW reports (Jun 24, 2010)
Pacific Fishing: Study: Fishermen fish for top profits (August 2010)
Science Daily: Industry fishing for profits, not predators (Jun 24, 2010)
PhysOrg: Industry fishing for profits, not predators (Jun 24, 2010)
Article in National Fisherman (Sept 2010)
Article in Over Seas (Vol. 12 No. 3, July, 2010)

More information about the Distributed Graduate Seminar that produced this study

More information about the research participants and other publications

June 16, 2010

Mass Animal Extinctions, Not Climate Change, Caused Major Shifts in Plant Communities

Read the full article from NSF

May 21, 2010

NCEAS Working Group members suggest that security organizations could be more effective if officials learn from nature, in the May 20 issue of the journal Nature.

Decentralize, adapt and cooperate
> R.D. Sagarin, C.S. Alcorta, S. Atran, D.T. Blumstein, G.P. Dietl, M.E. Hochberg, D.D.P. Johnson, S. Levin, E.M.P. Madin, J.S. Madin, E.M. Prescott, R. Sosis, T. Taylor, J. Tooby, G.J. Vermeij
Nature 465 pp. 292–293 (20 May 2010)

Press Release

May 12, 2010

NCEAS Postdoctoral Associate Josephine Rodriguez has been selected for the Leadership Institute at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

Rodriguez is among 30 candidates chosen for this premier training program developed in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

April 23, 2010

Announcing the availability of the new Primate Life History Database, an online initiative jointly funded by NCEAS and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent).

University of Wisconsin press release about the new database.
April 21, 2010

Ecosystem models clarify the trophic role of whales off Northwest Africa
Lyne Morissette, Kristin Kaschner, Leah R. Gerber
Marine Ecology Progress Series 404: 289-302


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