Pathogens and the Anthropocene: Germs, Genes, Geography, Part 2

[This is the continuation of the post from last week.]

To speak of an “Anthropocene for pathogens” is to imagine the ways that human transformation of the environment has shaped the ecology and evolution of infectious microbes. In other words, it is to imagine Continue reading

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Pathogens and the Anthropocene: Germs, Genes, Geography, Part 1

The smallpox virus

We welcome our colleague Kyle Harper to the blog; his bio is on the OU contributors page. His book, The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire, is now available from Princeton University Press. Continue reading

Urban Ecology

The male showed up with breakfast.

A post shared by Dacey (@officebuddha) on

As we get started with our series on the urban Anthropocene, I’d like to approach the topic as a biologist, and think of cities as places filled with various kinds of life.
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“Climate, Environment and Early Human Innovation: Stable Isotope and Faunal Proxy Evidence from Archaeological Sites (98-59ka) in the Southern Cape, South Africa”

CITATION:

Roberts, P., C. S. Henshilwood, K. L. van Niekerk, P. Keene, A. Gledhill, J. Reynard, S. Badenhorst and J. Lee-Thorp. 2016 PLoS One 11(7):e0157408.

ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:

The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa, and in particular its Still Bay and Howiesons Poort lithic traditions, represents a period of dramatic subsistence, cultural, and technological innovation by Continue reading

“How humans drive speciation as well as extinction”

CITATION:
Bull, J.W. and Maron, M. 2016. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283: 20160600.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
A central topic for conservation science is evaluating how human activities influence global species diversity. Humanity exacerbates extinction rates. But by what mechanisms does humanity drive the emergence of new species? Continue reading

Video of Ellis Talk and Panel Discussion

THIS POST CONCLUDES OUR ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT–A SERIES ON ERLE ELLIS’ ‘ECOLOGY IN AN ANTHROPOGENIC BIOSPHERE‘ (ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 85/3 (2015))

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“Fifteen forms of biodiversity trend in the Anthropocene”

CITATION:
Brian J. McGill, et al. 2015. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 104-113.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Humans are transforming the biosphere in unprecedented ways, raising the important question of how these impacts are changing biodiversity. Here we argue that our understanding of biodiversity trends in the Anthropocene, and our ability to protect the natural world, is impeded by Continue reading

Memes as a dimension of the human niche

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
 

Though human beings can be understood biologically, as one species among others, we have one particularly prominent, even defining, feature: Continue reading

“Concluding Remarks” on Animal Ecology and Demography

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Hutchinson, G.E. 1957. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 22 (2): 415–427.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
This paper reflects on a symposium that covered a wide range of topics; in it “a rather detailed analysis of one particular problem is given, partly because the question, namely, the nature of the ecological niche and the validity of the principle of niche specificity has raised and continues to raise difficulties, Continue reading

“The Anthropocene concept in ecology and conservation”

CITATION:
Corlett, R.T. 2015. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30, pp. 36 – 41.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
The term ‘Anthropocene’ was first used in the year 2000 to refer to the current time period in which human impacts are at least as important as natural processes. It is currently being considered as a potential geological epoch, following on from the Holocene. While most environmental scientists accept Continue reading

“What is ecological engineering?”

CITATION:
Mitsch, W.J. 2012. Ecological Engineering, Vol. 45, pp. 5-12.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Ecological engineering, defined as the design of sustainable ecosystems that integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both, has developed over the last 30 years, and rapidly over the last 10 years. Its goals include Continue reading

Are we the walrus?

This post was supposed to be about the People’s Climate March.  As I sat down to draft it, however, a headline about a different climate-related gathering caught my eye: tens of thousands of Pacific walruses have again Continue reading

Biology in a changing world

Our world is undergoing a massive change, induced by humans. There is no debate about this among scientists. There is debate, however, about the consequences of this change.

Like many other organisms we actively alter our environment and become ecosystem engineers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem_engineer). A classical example for this process is Continue reading