Social learning strongly influences climate change

PLOS Computational Biology Published June 6, 2019 | 14:00 EDT (News release from PLOS) A new climate-modeling approach suggests social processes strongly affect global warming predictions and mitigation efforts should account for this influence. The model captures key features of social and climate systems, and incorporates how climate change and mitigation efforts impact human behaviour. Researchers used […]

Predator introduction disrupts lizard coexistence

Nature Published June 6, 2019 | 13:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) Introducing predatory lizards to a set of small Caribbean islands causes resident lizard populations to change their behaviour, altering the way lizards co-exist and leading to population extinctions. This effect could apply to predator-introduction scenarios on islands and lakes worldwide. Canadian co-authors: […]


Icy insights into
ancient Arctic
population histories

Nature Published June 6, 2019 | 13:00 EDT (News releases from Nature Research Press and Max Planck Institute) Analyses of the genomes of ancient and modern individuals from Siberia and North America, reveal insights about major migration events and the population history of these regions. Genomes of 48 ancient individuals from the Canadian, Siberian, and U.S. Arctic, as well as of […]

Biodiversity today may not lead to greater diversity over geological timescales

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published June 5, 2019 | 17:01 EDT (Brief from the Royal Society) Using the fossil record, researchers tested whether greater subsequent biodiversity would result from choosing random species in the past, a broad range of species in the past, or by choosing those species that were actively evolving […]

El Niño enhances CO2 uptake by North American vegetation

Science Advances Published June 5, 2019 | 14:00 EDT Long-term atmospheric CO2 observations over North America document persistent responses to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, ocean climate influences. Increased water availability, warmer springs and cooler summers enhances carbon uptake over North America near and during El Niño. The increased uptake from North America partially offsets El […]

Humans unknowingly consume a lot of microplastics

Environmental Science & Technology Published June 5, 2019 | 08:00 EDT (News release from American Chemical Society) Humans unknowingly consume tens of thousands of tiny plastic particles per year – with unknown potential health impacts. Researchers estimate that a person’s average microplastic consumption is between 70,000 and 121,000 particles per year, with rates rising to 100,000 […]

June 4, 2019 | SMCC Heads Up

Our plastic diet | Ancient northern histories | Predator intro | June 4, 2019 | SMCC Heads Up – Embargoed and recently published research with a Canadian focus, curated by SMCC for science journalists. Read more>


Hummingbirds learn songs and visual
displays from peers

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published May 29, 2019 | 17:01 EDT (Brief from the Royal Society) Hummingbird social groups share common signatures in both song parameters and visual display features. The signatures include sequence syntax, proportions of song and display elements, and fine-scale parameters of elements, and are not associated with genetic […]

Coral degradation masks predators’ smells, imperiling prey

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published May 29, 2019 | 17:01 EDT (Brief from the Royal Society) Coral reef degradation is progressing at an unprecedented rate. With the death of corals, substantive changes occur in the odour landscape for remaining reef fish. Researchers showed that changing the background odour of a habitat dramatically […]

Super-efficient blood oxygen enables epic salmon migrations

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published May 29, 2019 | 17:01 EDT (Brief from the Royal Society) By actively regulating the pH of red blood cells, bony fishes can control how oxygen binds to haemoglobin. They also use an enzyme to promote oxygen unloading in their tissues. This mechanism means the hearts of […]

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