Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

ECOmotion Studios on Simberloff & Wilson’s island biogeography experiments

Posted 06 Oct 2015 / 0

Here’s another classic ecological experiment depicted by the ECOmotion Studios crew, again for the Ecological Society of America‘s centennial. This one uses some of the same narrative approaches as the other shorts in this series, although this one is set to more of a “song” than the others. Narrating an experiment and its rationale is Read More

A Minor Post, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Ecological Society of America, Ecology, Ecology Education, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Science in Art & Design

ECOmotion Studios on Hairston Smith Slobodkin and why the earth is green

Posted 06 Oct 2015 / 0

Here’s another fun and informative video from ECOmotion Studios. I thought that it was interesting how this short discussed the connection between decomposers and the eventual supply of oil, although I wonder if many viewers will gain enough information from this short video to fully understand this idea. The basic ideas behind Hairston-Smith-Slobodkin (HSS) are Read More

A Minor Post, Carrying Capacity, Community Ecology, Ecological Society of America, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Predation, Science in Art & Design, Terrestrial

EcoMotion studios celebrates Robert Paine’s Pisaster experiments

Posted 06 Oct 2015 / 0

Back at the Evolution 2014 meeting I encountered the great “Drift” animated short, which I still use in my evolution course. Well the producers of that short have formed ECOmotion Studios, and they have made a bunch more videos in honor of the Ecological Society of America‘s centennial. This one is a fun “spoken word” jam Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Competition, Ecological Society of America, Ecology Education, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Intertidal Zones, Keystone Species, Methods, Predation, Science in Art & Design

Carrying capacity — but not growth rate — varies with habitat quality (at least for moose)

Posted 17 Aug 2015 / 0

Ecosphere “Characterizing demographic parameters across environmental gradients: a case study with Ontario moose (Alces alces)” What I find interesting about this study — besides its unprecedented investigation of something that would seem pretty critical to basic conservation efforts — is what was and was not intuitive in its findings. Moose have higher carrying capacities where Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Carrying Capacity, Community Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecological Modeling, Habitat Destruction, Intrinsic Growth Rate, Parasitism, Population Growth, Sustainable Harvesting

My new favorite concept mapping activity: depicting whole-system ecological flows

Posted 17 Jul 2015 / 0

Concept mapping is increasingly becoming an important part of my overall approach to teaching. I started out using it in my own research, and quickly realized how valuable it can be as a teaching tool. Because the only real goal of making a concept map is to explore and express understanding of a topic, concept Read More

A Major Post, Community Ecology, Competition, Concept Mapping, Ecology, Ecology Education, Ecosystem Ecology, Information Design, Interactions, Learning Management Systems, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Mutualism, Predation, Teaching Tools

Evolution beyond adaptation: a critical step for evolutionary theory

Posted 04 Jul 2015 / 0

The July 2015 issue of Trends in Ecology & Evolution features a really important review article entitled “Selection on stability across ecological scales“. The paper embraces the idea that the stability properties of ecological systems dictate the configuration of extant social groups, interacting species pairs, and overall ecological communities. Lev Ginzburg, my Ph.D. advisor, has Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Articles, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Ecosystem Ecology, Evolution, Evolutionary Modeling, Macroevolution, Multilevel Selection, Predation, System Stability

New article in Science provides a comprehensive overview and update on Yellowstone National Park

Posted 24 Apr 2015 / 0

Since I began teaching Ecology at Pratt, I have used the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone as the cornerstone case study of my community ecology lessons. Using material originally developed by my colleague Damon Chaky for the Ecology for Architects course, I ask my students to use ecological theory to explain some of the changes that Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Community Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Interactions, Keystone Species, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Predation, Public Policy

Our review paper on Late Pleistocene Extinction Modeling published in QRB!

Posted 21 May 2014 / 0

I am proud to announce that a paper on which I am co-author, “A review and synthesis of late Pleistocene extinction modeling: Progress delayed by mismatches between ecological realism, interpretation, and methodological transparency“, has been published in the June 2014 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology. The paper looks at the history of modeling aimed Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Extinction, Modeling (General), My publications, Predation

If sloths endure costs to maintain closed-loop agricultural systems, why can’t we?

Posted 05 Feb 2014 / 0

The New York Times “The Sloth’s Busy Inner Life” This is a great story about how paradoxical behaviors can be understood through appreciating mutualisms. If you don’t understand the benefits of algae to sloths and sloths to algae,  you can’t understand this behavior. But you also need to understand how sloths directly benefit moths and how Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Closed Loop Systems, Coevolution, Community Ecology, Composting, Mutualism, Predation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Tropical Forest

What happens when a landscape ecologist takes on urban ecology

Posted 29 Jan 2014 / 0

What’s so cool about the work that Eric Sanderson is describing is that it really amounts to doing historical research using an ecological forensics approach. The idea of mapping out “probable areas” of different populations — including humans — using mapped data is pretty smart. It is amazing how humans have transformed Manhattan. Thanks to Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Architecture, Community Ecology, Ecological Modeling, Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Geography, Geology, Habitat Destruction, History, Hydrology, Ponds & Lakes, Rivers & Streams, Sustainable Urban Design, Talks & Seminars, Temperate Forest, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Urban Ecology