The Edwards Lab got involved with some Science Outreach last week! We took part in the annual Discovery Night event (10th March) at The University of Sheffield as part of the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/discoverynight). We organised a tropical forest exhibit that included activities for the whole family to learn about the unique features of the tropical rainforest, the extraordinary creatures that live there and the current threats to these beautiful forests. The Nadeau lab joined us and brought live tropical butterflies to the exhibit too! We got to share our current research on tropical forests and provide tips on what the public can do at home to help save these important habitats. The event was packed full of families interested in what scientists have been up to and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Our first outreach event as a lab was a success and all round a great experience!
All set and ready to go!
Cindy and Beth with their forest layer game.
Tamora ready to talk about the microclimate of a forest.
Joli and Patrick teaching about tropical food webs.
Ileana and Katie doing origami of tropical animals!
Manoela with her recreation of the size of an Amazonian tree base.
Felix with his activity about the palm oil issue.
Emma from the Nadeau Lab with their tropical butterflies!
Lots of good feedback about Discovery Night!
PhD student Felix Lim has published his work on perverse market consequences of conservation actions in Conservation Letters.
The unintended consequences brought about by market feedback effects are often overlooked, yet perverse market outcomes could result in reduced or even reversed net impacts of conservation efforts. Felix and coauthors develop an economic framework to describe how the intended impacts of conservation interventions could be compromised due to unanticipated reactions to regulations in the market: policies aimed at restricting supply could potentially result in leakage effects through external or unregulated markets. Felix reviews how various intervention methods could result in negative feedback impacts on biodiversity, including legal restrictions like protected areas, market-based approaches, and agricultural intensification, and offers suggestions of how to design conservation actions to ensure the risks of perverse market outcomes are detected, if not overcome.
Click HERE for the full article
Three PhD students and an MRes student have joined the lab. Huge welcome to Cindy, Emma, Simone, and Carlos.
Emma gave a great short presentation yesterday at the Annual ACCE Conference
Former masters student Ed Bashman (email) has published his research in Animal Conservation, congratulations! Here is a short summary written by Pam (co-author):
“Amphibian abundance, species richness and threatened species were assessed in cattle pasture, secondary forests (recovering forests) and primary forests in the Tropical Andes. Cattle pasture had the lowest values across all habitats. As secondary forests matured, they recovered to values typically found in primary forests. Also, a positive relationship between carbon stocks and amphibian species richness and abundance suggests that carbon-based funding initiatives can support the regrowth of forests and is likely to conserve threatened biodiversity in the Tropical Andes.” Photo credit: Ed Bashman
Click HERE for FULL ONLINE ARTICLE
Four new PhD students have joined the lab, Manoela, Matt, Felix and
Some of us (PhD and Masters students) went to the Tropical Butterfly House near Sheffield to demonstrate for undergraduates in the Tropical Ecology module that David coordinates. The lemurs provided a lot of entertainment!
How to best protect avian phylogenetic diversity when converting natural habitats to farmland? By integrating wildlife friendly habitats within farmlands or by intensifying farming in some areas to allow the offset of natural reserves?
Edwards et al. (2015) study the effects of these two strategies (land-sharing vs land-sparing) and conclude that small-scale integration of wildlife friendly patches may not be enough for many bird species to persist without the protection of larger natural areas. Thus, a land-sparing strategy is more likely to retain evolutionary distinct bird species while establishing highly productive farmland areas.
For a nice summary of the study check GrrlScientist’s article in The Guardian and some great bird pictures here.
Access the Current Biology publication HERE
Photograph by James Gilroy. Female masked trogon, Trogon personatus, an agriculture loser (land-sparing is best)
“Increasing human dominance of tropical forests” co-authored by Dr Edwards has just been published in Science. Four chronological phases of human influences on tropical forests are discussed: phase I, hunting and megafauna extinctions; phase II, low-intensity shifting cultivation; and phase III, global integration in which economics drives land-use and climate change.
Finally, the very dreaded phase IV may take place in the near future, so-called “global simplification” by which intensive logging and rapid climatic changes would cause worldwide loss of species. The future lies in the hands of humankind…
Click HERE for the full article
Ileana is now set in Rondonia at the Jamari Concession starting our project in collaboration with the sustainable logging company AMATA Brasil. AMATA has “bar-coded” over 100.000 trees with information on their biomass, species and exact location. This enables them to plan selective logging in detail and provides us with a lot of valuable data to carry out research.
Ileana and Dave have set up sampling plots which we will use for different purposes. Ileana is working on carbon retention and I (Gabriela) will soon be looking at butterfly communities in the area.
Among other creatures, this remarkably large tarantula (goliath birdeater, we think) was photographed by Dr Edwards. Happy days!
New research suggests that soaring demand for natural rubber threatens large expanses of tropical forests in Southeast Asia. Natural rubber — used primarily in car tyres — is replacing forest with big costs for biodiversity. We urgently need an industry sustainability initiative to prevent the loss of forests and uptake from the largest tyre manufacturers.
Read more on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32350985
Or the real article here
Welcome to our new shiny website. After a few months of playing around with WordPress, I managed to put together everyone’s research profiles. Please navigate to the “People” tab for information and CVs of current lab members. The “News” section will soon be filled with success stories of us travelling the world and publishing in high profile journals. Enjoy!