Paid summer college internship on climate change and plant phenology & physiology

The Global Change & Conservation Lab at the Missouri Botanical Garden is searching for a paid, summer intern to do independent research on climate change and plants as part of the Garden’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Anthropogenic climate change has profound consequences for the timing of biological processes (phenology) and the manner in …
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Using imprecisely located presences in SDMs

We’ve developed a new, simple, common-sensical method for using imprecisely georeferenced occurrence data in species distribution modeling and other biogeographic analyses! Collectively, imprecise records reflect thousands of years of person-work in collection, curation, and digitization, and yet they are routinely discarded by biogeographers before analysis because of the fear that their error will propagate through …
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enmSdmX on CRAN

I’m pleased as punch to announce that enmSdmX, a set of tools in R for implementing species distribution models (SDMs) and ecological niche models (ENMs), is now available on CRAN! The package includes functions found (nearly?) nowhere else for bias correction, spatial cross-validation, model evaluation, raster interpolation, biotic “velocity” (speed and direction of movement of …
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Postdoc in urban pollination

The Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University in Saint Louis sponsors a cohort of prestigious postdoc positions each year on ecology and conservation. This year, the program is inviting potential mentors to propose projects. Thus, we’re eager to hear for you if you’d like to apply for a postdoc position in urban pollination! Simply stated, …
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Goodbye (for now) to our summer REUs!

We have been honored to serve as the summer home for three wonderful undergraduates in the Garden’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program! Marina, Catherine, and Evelyn explored illegal trade in vulnerable plants, the role of phenology in invasions, and how bees respond to urban environments, respectively. Thank you to all of you an engaging experience, …
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Climate change alters plant mating systems

Matthew Austin‘s new open access paper in the American Journal of Botany on how climate has affected plant mating systems is making waves! Using herbarium specimens, Matt found that over the last 100 years, the rate of cleistogamy (asexual flowering) has decreased among Viola sororia, the common blue violet. This change was predicted by increases …
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In search of refuge

From outlaw bandit Jesse James to microclimate–please enjoy a mini-documentary on our microrefugia project! Update: This mini-documentary won a Regional Emmy from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, plus a Bronze in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Circle of Excellence competition!

Battle or synergy of the changes? Land use/land cover change versus climate change

UPDATE: Our article received Honorable Mention for Landscape Ecology‘s Best Article of 2021! Historically, climate change vulnerability assessments have been just that–assessments of how species are expected to be affected by climate change. Nonetheless, even if anthropogenic climate were not occurring, Earth would still be in the throes of a human-generated mass extinction, mostly due …
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What can community ecologists learn from species distribution models?

Stephen Murphy and Adam Smith are happy to see their article on how community ecologists can employ species distribution models to crack hard questions in community ecology! What can community ecology learn from species distribution models? [open access]Murphy, S.J. and Smith, A.B. 2021. Ecosphere 12:e03864. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.3864

Introduction to retroactive georeferencing of herbarium and museum specimens

Watch a video tutorial on the point-radius method, a standardized set of protocols for interpreting a verbal description of a location, plus calculating the uncertainty inherent in the description and the manner in which it is interpreted! This video introduces the point-radius method and a set of tools for implementing it. The method was originally …
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Welcome to Lauren and Ethan!

We are very happy to be the new academic homes of Lauren Jenkins and Ethan Abercrombie! Lauren will be working on an NSF-sponsored project comparing methods for reconstructing species’ biogeographic histories. Ethan is a grad student at Washington University in Saint Louis doing a lab rotation focusing on community thermophilizaton. Welcome, Lauren and Ethan!

An odd disjunction

Range disjunctions are common in the natural world and, in eastern North America, are thought to arise from barriers formed by the Mississippi River embayment, vicariance due to glacial flooding during the Pleistocene, colonization from separate glacial refugia, or long-distance dispersal in recent times. Led by Rebekah Mohn and Christy Edwards, our new paper in …
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