Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Predicting Future Evolution (Spring 2019)

Posted 10 May 2019 / 0

One of the activities that I regularly have my students complete in my Evolution course is called “Future Evolution“. The activity sends students on what most evolutionary biologists consider a fool’s errand: to try to predict the future evolution of some particular trait in some particular species. Making such predictions is really difficult for these basic reasons: Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Anthropogenic Change, Coevolution, Evolution, Evolution Education, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Lesson Ideas, MSWI-260C, Evolution, Prediction

Eco-Performance Lab during Pratt’s 2019 Green Week the first step of “To the Core of Me”

Posted 17 Mar 2019 / 0

As I have posted before, I am lucky to be involved in a new STEAMplant project entitled “To the Core of Me: A Hike-Play“. I have begun my collaboration with Sirovich Family Resident Jeremy Pickard (@jeremy_pickard) and my Pratt colleague, anthropologist Jennifer Telesca, and we are excited to announce the first outward-facing step of the Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Climate Change, Ecology, Pratt Institute, STEAMplant, Sustainable Pratt

My newest STEAMplant collaboration is “To the Core of Me: A Hike Play”

Posted 17 Feb 2019 / 0

I have been very fortunate to be a collaborator on a number of Pratt STEAMplant (@prattsteamplant) projects. The latest is called “To the Core of Me: A Hike Play” and supports Sirovich Family Resident Jeremy Pickard (@jeremy_pickard). My Pratt colleague, anthropologist Jennifer Telesca, is also a collaborator on the project. Core of Me will be Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Climate Change, Cultural Anthropology, Ecology, Ecology Education, Environmental Justice, STEAMplant

My interview with Ardis DeFreece has been published in SciArt Magazine

Posted 15 Feb 2019 / 0

Ardis DeFreece creating the “Curiosity” installation at the Hatfield Marine Science Center I am very excited that my interview with painter and draftswoman Ardis DeFreece has been published in SciArtMagazine. You can read the interview, “Ardis DeFreece: Curiosity at the Intersection Between Art and Science“, for free. I met Ardis at the 2017 Ecological Society of Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Art & Design, Ecology, Ethics, Public Art, Science (General), Science in Art & Design, STEAMplant

YES, microplastics end up in our guts. Now the question is from where? And to what effect?

Posted 22 Oct 2018 / 0

The New York Times “Microplastics Find Their Way Into Your Gut, a Pilot Study Finds” For those of us who have been aware of the quickly-emerging fields studying microplastic pollution, these results are far from surprising. I am in fact more surprised that this rather limited pilot study was the first of its kind. While Read More

A Minor Post, Environmental Justice, Health & Medicine, Pollution

How renewable power sources grow more trees

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Science “Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation” These kinds of positive feedback loops are exciting. Generally, we are really good at creating deleterious positive feedback loops: changes that further exacerbate our environmental dilemmas. But as this modeling article demonstrates, careful re-engineering of our environment can create Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Ecological Restoration, Ecology, Modeling (General), Sustainable Energy

Australia’s a hot spot for climate change politics, climate change science, and climate change suffering

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Nature News “Global warming tops the agenda as climate brings down a third Australian prime minister” As this article makes clear, Australia is an interesting country. It’s not “ground-zero” for climate change per se, but compared to other developed countries it is suffering from climate change in rather profound ways. Some of this suffering relates to Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Political Science, Public Policy

Humans arrive, other mammals shrink

Posted 27 Sep 2018 / 0

Scientific American “Mammals Shrink When Humans Migrate In” Another really cool infographic from Scientific American. What I really find interesting here is the difference between the recent arrival of humans (Australia, the Americas) and places where humans just innovated culturally (Africa, Eurasia). Those large mammals species that coevolved with our emergence as a highly-cultural species seem Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Conservation Biology, Evolution, Extinction, Human Evolution, Mammals, Natural Selection

Don’t blame people for being obese (blame their neighborhood)

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Science News “Artificial intelligence spots obesity from space” Wow, if you are the kind of person who tends to put a lot of stock in “personal responsibility”, maybe you don’t want to read the brief article above. Because it is an amazing piece of evidence that individual human behaviors are highly influenced by the environments that Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Environmental Justice, Gene by Environment Interactions, Health & Medicine, Urban Ecology, Urban Planning

Mom leaves, offspring get buff and work together

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Science News “When this beetle mom disappears, her children become stronger and nicer” There are so many cool aspects to this study! First, it is amazing that lab evolution can produce this dramatic a change in both anatomy and behavior. These results are kind of like what we observe in artificial selection scenarios: there’s a lot Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Competition, Cooperation, Kin Selection, Parenting