Research stories: the power of participatory research

Lead author Rachel Aronoff recalls her discovery of Hackuarium, a community laboratory, whose study on lake water quality demonstrates how meaningful environmental monitoring can be achieved with participatory research. It was late in 2015 when I first encountered Hackuarium and its ‘biohacker’ members while organising a biosensor course in collaboration with several of its members – I had never seen anything like it. Who were … Continue reading Research stories: the power of participatory research

Challenges and opportunities for evidence-based development mitigation

With increasing demand in housing and investment in infrastructure, are the guidance to protect and mitigate for biodiversity effectively implemented in practice? Hunter and colleagues evaluate the evidence supporting current development practices in their latest research. Originally posted and adapted from Conservation Evidence blog. What is ecological mitigation? In the UK, the legal protection of species means that, if an infrastructure development is set to … Continue reading Challenges and opportunities for evidence-based development mitigation

Streetlights disrupt both flying and crawling invertebrates—but not in the same ways

A new study by Lockett and colleagues explores how the proximity, intensity and colour of streetlighting impacts arthropods occupying different spatial niches, by simultaneously sampling flying and ground-dwelling invertebrates. It is well known that artificial light at night (ALAN) can attract and kill insects and other invertebrates, but do creepy-crawlies and flying invertebrates respond the same way? Does the colour and intensity of lighting matter? … Continue reading Streetlights disrupt both flying and crawling invertebrates—but not in the same ways

Cameron Hodges: Using radio-telemetry to better understand how a highly venomous snake lives among people

In this Q&A, we ask author Cameron Hodges about his team’s research monitoring the behaviour of a Malayan krait near a university dormitory in Thailand, and find out a little bit more about the author himself. Go to: The research | The bigger picture | About the Author The research What’s your article about? Our article provides a detailed description of the observed movements, habitat … Continue reading Cameron Hodges: Using radio-telemetry to better understand how a highly venomous snake lives among people

Tanja Petersen: Uncovering biases in Citizen Science data

Photo © Andreas Frisch In this Q&A, we ask author Tanja Petersen about her team’s research on the GBIF database, and find out a little bit more about the author herself. This article is part of the BES cross-journal special feature on Citizen Science. The research What’s your article about? The article is about skews and biases in GBIF data. Specifically, how the origin of … Continue reading Tanja Petersen: Uncovering biases in Citizen Science data

Least‐cost path analysis for urban greenways planning: A test with moths and birds across two habitats and two cities

Urbanization is a major threat to biodiversity. In a new paper, Balbi and colleagues test the efficiency and ecological validity of least-cost path modelling in predicting effective corridors in urban environments. Urban biodiversity contributes to global biodiversity conservation and provides multiple ecosystem services. The growth of human populations living in urban environments and the associated expansion of urbanized land therefore means that conserving urban biodiversity … Continue reading Least‐cost path analysis for urban greenways planning: A test with moths and birds across two habitats and two cities

Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape

In their recently published article, Alistair Auffret and Evelina Lindgren show how historical maps can be a useful tool to identify which road verges can best support grassland habitats. Here the authors provide a summary of their work Road verges are by now quite well known to provide valuable habitat for grassland species if they are managed appropriately (Phillips et al., 2019; Vanneste et al., … Continue reading Age is a better indicator of biodiversity for road verges than surrounding landscape

Urban wetland conservation may unintentionally benefit mosquitoes

As urban wetlands become more prevalent, Jayne Hanford and colleagues look into how other species, not just those of conservation focus, might benefit from our management efforts. What happens when those additional species could be problematic for nearby human populations? Wetlands are one of the world’s most valuable but also most threatened ecosystems. The services they provide include biodiversity conservation, flood mitigation, water purification, and … Continue reading Urban wetland conservation may unintentionally benefit mosquitoes

Green infrastructure: greenwashing or a tangible contribution to urban biodiversity?

What impact does green infrastructure really have on biodiversity in our cities? Associate Editor, Margaret Stanley looks at the recent synthesis and meta-analysis on this topic from Alessandro Filazzola and colleagues. Given the impact of urbanisation on biodiversity, there’s been growing momentum around the world for putting green infrastructure into cities. It’s often designed to support ecosystem services, such as stormwater regulation, but with implied … Continue reading Green infrastructure: greenwashing or a tangible contribution to urban biodiversity?

Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community

Harnessing the power of global citizen science data sets to improve local understanding, Corey T. Callaghan (Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW Sydney) introduces the Urban Greenspace Integrity Index as a means to track restoration efforts in urban areas. Restoring urban biodiversity has many benefits (for examples, see here, here, or here), but what should we actually be focusing on in our restoration efforts? If we … Continue reading Measuring the ‘urbanness’ of a bird community