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Tracing the Global Invasion of Brown Rats

Brown rats are found throughout the world, on its continents and islands, affecting human health and biodiversity, but where did they originally come from? Researchers this month sought to answer that question when they released a global phylogeography of brown rats from cities and islands around the world.

What’s in a Name? An Exploration of Identity in Serbia and Croatia

There I was: thousands of miles from home, with a total of zero English-speaking relatives, trying to connect with the place where my family originated from… only to find out that I wasn’t even in the right country!

Of course, to anyone familiar with the Balkans, and especially former-Yugoslavia, this story is a common one. Identifying as Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, or Montenegrin may actually have nothing to do with where you grew up. Or where your parents grew up. Or where your grandparents came from originally.

Cats and Rats Lead Extinction Sweepstakes

As we travelled around the globe humans transported our favourite mammals with us. Either inadvertently such as rats, or intentionally such as cats. These species introductions have gone on to have unrivalled impacts.

Using Swimming Robots to Warn Villages of Himalayan Tsunamis

Climate change is having a devastating impact on the Himalaya. On the Ngozumpa glacier, one of the largest and longest in the region, hundreds of supraglacial lakes dot the glacier surface. One lake in particular is known for its continuous volume purges on an annual basis. Near the start of the monsoon this summer, in less…

Human Connections Across Nations Charting the Future of Academia

Economists tend to agree that knowledge is the quintessential “non-rival good” – meaning it does not diminish by sharing, and in fact increases with greater connectivity. Among the greatest collective triumphs of globalization and the internet has been the speed and span of research collaboration. The value of such international exchanges cannot be underestimated for…

World of Dances #21

This post is the latest in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations, that Kike captures about during his travels.     Dancer: Julia Bengtsson Company: Connecticut Ballet Location: Griswold Inn, Essex (Connecticut) Selected reading: Art and Dance in the Drone Age So You Want to Fly…

Jakarta: A City on the Edge of a Social Media Revolution

JAKARTA – For those who can remember the sound of dial-up Internet, chances are that it reminds you of the slow, painful speed at which information used to travel — and the world getting a little smaller. But, could it also be the sound of the world getting a little smarter?  The history of online social interaction, or social…

Lions are Approaching! Early Lessons From Our Early- Warning System for Protecting Livestock and Lions

Post submitted by Andrew Stein.  It starts with an incoming text… “PrideInOurPrides- Lion 1 Inside Geofence 1. Follow the link for coordinates and mapped location.” It’s 10pm after a long day in the field and one of our collared lions has entered the marshy wetland between the safety of their tourist concession home and the…

Weaving a Tapestry of Hope for Ocean and Earth

Negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris are culminating as ministers from nearly 200 countries work tirelessly to finalize an agreement that will influence the future of life on Earth. These high-level meetings on strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and enable poor countries to adapt to the impacts of global…

Human Land Cover Affects Dispersing Wild Dogs

Post submitted by Andrew Jacobson.

Photos From Nepal: Drones and Image-Mapping for Next-Generation Disaster Response

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography. Arriving in Nepal for the third time makes me think about how unpredictable life can be. During my last expedition, I was documenting the…

Drawing Out a City: The Basics.

Whether documenting or depicting, we make certain assumptions, even if only temporarily. To draw a city–to construct a city over time–essential structural elements are often the starting point. Places for public gathering, resource and transportation hubs, and (most often) natural elements–rivers, lakes, oceans, and mountains– lay the framework for the city. These points, nodes, or primary…

Aerial Robotics in the Land of the Buddha

Buddhist Temples adorn Nepal’s blessed land. Their stupas, like Everest, stretch to the heavens, yearning to democratize the sky. I felt the same yearning after arriving in Kathmandu with our UAVs. While some prefer the word “drone” over “UAVs”, the reason our Nepali partners don’t like the word drone dates back some 3,000 years to the spiritual epic Mahabharata (Great…

Expedition: Granitic Seychelles

I have just landed on Mahé Island, the main island of the Seychelles, where I will be spending the next two and a half weeks working with the Island Biodiversity & Conservation centre of the University of Seychelles, the NGO Island Conservation Society, and exploring the grantic islands of the Inner Seychelles. The Seychelles and New Zealand share a history of similar island conservation trajectories.

‘Geno 2.0: Next Generation’ Reveals New Details of Your Ancient Ancestry

Geno 2.0: Next Generation (Geno NextGen) is the next phase of the Genographic Project, National Geographic’s pioneering effort to decode the story of individuals’ deep ancestry hidden within their DNA. Geno NextGen builds on the success of Geno 2.0 by growing the analytical capabilities of the test and enhancing the participant Geno 2.0 experience. Here…