Coral Reefs in Trouble

Louis Claxton Coral reef ecosystems are some of the most ecologically diverse, rich and productive marine areas in the world[1]. They cover a mere 0.015% of the sea floor, yet account for 25% of the ocean’s biodiversity[2]. What’s more, coral reefs provide a source of wealth, food and recreational enjoyment to human populations across the... Continue Reading →

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Which bit is the trunk?

Toby Jackson It seems like a simple question, right? We have all climbed a tree and know perfectly well that the branches are the bits that stick out, and the trunk is the bit in the middle. However, when it comes to giving a robust definition that holds for all types of trees, I am... Continue Reading →

What are these bees doing in my tumble drier?

Frey Fyfe The arrival of spring brings many flowering plants, birds, and other creatures back into activity, but for a handful of households each year, spring marks the start of several months of wondering why the vent pipes of their tumble driers are hosting a collection of bumblebees. Why would bees want to get into... Continue Reading →

One Eyed Brutus and the Whistling Kites

Brooke Jonson We sat on cheap plastic deck chairs, hazy clouds thankfully obscuring the worst of the tropical Australian sun.It was still warm though, as even the breeze from the nearby river was moist and clammy and smelled of damp vegetation. Behind us stretched hundreds of square kilometres of reedy marsh and grass land, ahead... Continue Reading →

The Carbon Conundrum

Ben Fernando All life on Earth is ‘organic’, in that it has a biochemistry based on the element carbon. Carbon forms the molecular backbone of every biologically important complex molecule, from the DNA nucleotides which encode our genetic information, to the ATP which transports energy within our cells. Carbon’s ubiquity in all of life’s wonderfully... Continue Reading →

Antarctic Dreaming

Fiona Jones There’s a reason I work in Antarctica, rather than the jungle. First and foremost is probably my passion for the polar environment, and the wildlife to be found there, but I’m also pretty hopeless in the heat. We’ve now had a week of blazing sunshine in Oxford, and while I’m not complaining (summer... Continue Reading →

Is that tree about to snap?

Toby Jackson Sounds like a simple enough question, right? However, it turns out we can’t give a very good answer. For a big old tree in a city or a park, it is important for safety reasons to know how likely it is to snap in the wind. Therefore, qualified arborists tend these trees and... Continue Reading →

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