On Nov. 8, 2014, biologist Jeremy Rich cruised in the submersible Alvin through a “dream-like aquarium” of exotic life and lava formations on the Pacific sea floor. Rich and 54 colleagues are aboard a research vessel west of Costa Rica, studying the ecosystems of hydrothermal vents.
In a new comment in Nature, co-signed by environmental scientist Heather Leslie at Brown, conservation scientists lament “vitriolic” battles over philosophy within their field as well as a lack of perspectives in their troubled discourse, particularly from women.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Scientists including Brown University’s Heather Leslie sounded an alarm in the journal Nature Nov. 6 about problems with the conversation in the world of conservation.
Algae, plants and humans: three groups of organisms that used chemistry to change the planet.
What does it take to change the world? Change it, that is, on a geologic scale that can withstand the rest of deep time? Meteoric impacts have succeeded: one blasted the Moon out of the Earth. Others have caused mass extinctions. Volcanic eruptions have certainly left their mark, too, burying areas the size of California under lava flows a mile deep. In contrast, the creatures that crowd the surface of our living planet rarely have a detectable impact on the global environment. Even the dinosaurs that ruled the Earth for a hundred million years left a legacy of little more than mineralized bones and footprints in rock.
Ebola has a lot of company. In a novel database now made publicly available, Brown University researchers found that since 1980 the world has seen an increasing number of infectious disease outbreaks from an increasing number of sources. The good news, however, is that they are affecting a shrinking proportion of the world population.