Stress affects songbirds’ ability to understand changes in songs

Songbirds living near oil and gas fields in Canada’s prairies adapt to noise by changing the pitch and volume of notes in their calls, but stress affects how well other birds in the species understand them. In this first study to look at the interaction between stress and behaviour in birds at oil wells, researchers […]

This schematic shows the settlement history of Newfoundland encompassing occupations by at least three distinct cultural groups: MA, Dorset Palaeoeskimo, and Beothuk.
(Produced by Deirdre Elliott with QGIS 2.18.44, and data from Stephen Hull and Natural Earth.)

Ancient DNA sheds light on the history of Newfoundland’s Indigenous settlements

A recent analysis of ancient DNA provides evidence in support of a theory that Newfoundland was populated several times by distinct cultural groups, specifically the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk. Researchers performed genetic analysis of 74 ancient remains, including ones from North America’s oldest burial mound. Their findings showed that the two Indigenous groups didn’t share […]


SMCC Webinar: Sea Level Rise and Climate Change | Links, background reading & resources

SMCC Webinar – Sea Level Rise and Climate Change 12:00 PM ET, Thursday, June 1, 2017 In partnership with the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the Canadian Climate Forum, and the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network Links, background reading and resources from our panelists:    Dr. Adam Fenech – Director of the Climate Lab […]

STIs promote monogamy, but only in certain instances

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may have helped foster monogamy in some human societies, according to a new study. Researchers found that when a society is large the prevalence of STIs becomes endemic, reducing fertility rates and favouring the emergence of monogamists in society. However in smaller groups, with a maximum of 30 people, STI outbreaks […]

Coho Salmon are native to Canada. They are fished from the wild as well as farmed in aquaculture. (Image credit: Oregon Department of Forestry)

Salmon like the dark side

Salmon living in tanks with darker backgrounds are typically less aggressive than those living in a lighter coloured environment, according to new research. The researchers divided 100 Coho Salmon into 10 different tanks, each with different colour patterns, and monitored their behaviour. They found that the salmon prefered the darker areas, and were less aggressive […]

The effect of urbanization on warming

Urbanization in China has considerably exacerbated the warming experienced by a large majority of the population, according to the authors of a new study. The authors conclude urbanization accounts for about one third of China’s observed warming. Researchers quantified the separate contributions of urbanization and other external forces to the observed warming in China. Using […]

Knowing your risk won’t change your behaviour

Increasingly genetic tests are being offered that suggest if you know your risk for something, you’ll be more likely to change your behaviour; but new research is suggesting this isn’t the case. In a review study authors found having information genetic risk had little or no effect on people’s diet, or smoking or exercise habits. […]

Cheetahs’ genome give glimpse into their history, adaptation and survival

Genetic analysis has uncovered new details about the history, adaptation and survival of the world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah. The cheetah is descended from a relative of the American puma, and 100,000 years ago could be found across the Americas before moving into Asia and Europe. The results of the genomic analysis have pinpointed […]

How to teach students to think critically

Allowing students to make, and act on, quantitative comparisons between sets of data, helps them evaluate models more effectively, new research indicates. In an introductory physics laboratory course students were instructed to make and act on comparisons between datasets, and between data and models – an approach common in many areas of science. By the end of […]

Wild male Coho salmon (picture above) reproduce better than males released from hatcheries. (Image credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington)

Wild salmon reproduce better than hatchery ones

Hatchery salmons are often introduced into rivers to support wild populations, which are in a state of decline. Yet hatchery males have lower reproductive success than wild ones, according to a study of 196 Coho salmons (Oncorhynchus kisutch). When occupying the same position in the spawning hierarchy, hatchery males have only 55 to 84 per […]

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