Nigel has been meeting up with colleagues at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Richmond, where he was invited to give a seminar titled: Assessing Invertebrate Responses to Global Warming: from individual through to biogeographic responses
As part of National Science Week, Jean Drayton has given a talk to students at the New England Girls School on “Dung Beetles and the Environment”. The year 7 students learnt about the different types of dung beetles, their importance and the various roles they play in different ecosystems. The students also got a chance to get up close and personal to live beetles and meet some of the local species in the New England area. It was a great morning!
Kirsti Abbott and the Insect Ecology Lab have been part of setting up a new exhibition and community outreach program at NERAM
SATURDAY 16 AUGUST 2PM
OPENING: “LITTLE THINGS THAT RUN THE WORLD”
The North Western Regional Science Hub presents a “Science Meets Art” event at NERAM to celebrate National Science Week (and beyond) – introducing children to the School of Ants Project through an interactive and creative experience exploring the life of ants.
From 16 August to 19 October, Little things that run the world offers the community an opportunity to imagine life as an ant.
Explore the giant sculptural ants’ nest in the foyer of NERAM. Imagine entering an ant’s nest, controlling workers, protecting queens and foraging for food. Make your own ants, larvae or other life stages and put them in tunnels and chambers to grow the colony.
Be a part of the AntBlitz at Black Gully on 21 September. Over a 24 hour period ants will be hunted, counted and identified. Anyone can sign up to join the blitz and learn about their local ants; use microscopes and Winkler bags, and help with research through the School of Ants at the University of New England. Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Create a giant ant in the courtyard at NERAM for ArtPlay Day on 19 October.
Take an ‘Ant Walk’ along Black Gully and explore the newly created Ant Hotels!
Senshan’s 12 month visit to the Insect Ecology Lab has come to an end. Senshan was working with aphids and developing optimum artificial diets for growth and reproduction. Its been great having him in the lab and he will be missed.
Eleanor Slade from the University of Oxford visited the Insect Ecology Lab to talk dung beetles, ecosystem funcitoning and greenhouse gas fluxes. She have a seminar titled: “Dung beetles as a model taxon for studying biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships”.
Nigel is at the Society of Experimental Biology meeting in Manchester. He is presenting the work he, Behnaz, and Berlize Groenewald from Stellenbosch Uni have been working on:
Thermolimit respirometry in dominant meat ants:Does microenvironment temperature influence responses?
This week our School of Ants national citizen science project has gone live.
You can access it at http://schoolofants.net.au/ and we encourage you to register if you feel so inclined.
The site will go through several phases to include an interactive map to allow contributors to see their data.
There have already been 12 schools from the coast to the top of the range that have participated in the project, and environmental education centres around NSW will take on the project for schools that visit their centres as it warms up.
Regular news and blog posts will appear on the site, and summaries and updates of data collected will be posted quarterly.
It represents a great ready made project for kids or families to get outside and learn about the little things that run the world.
So feel free to forward to anyone you think might like to participate.
PeerJ have run a research updates blog on our paper
Andrew, N.R., Hill, S.J., Binns, M., Bahar, M.H., Ridley, E.V., Jung, M.-P., Fyfe, C., Yates, M. & Khusro, M. (2013) Assessing insect responses to climate change: What are we testing for? Where should we be heading? PeerJ, 1, e11. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11
Jean Drayton has joined the Insect Ecology Lab this week – welcome Jean!
She is a postdoc working with dung beetles and greenhouse gas emissions.
Brown AM, Warton DI, Andrew NR, Binns M, Cassis G & Gibb H (2014) The fourth-corner solution – using predictive models to understand how species traits interact with the environment. Methods in Ecology and Evolution doi 10.1111/2041-210X.12163.