Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

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

Is sexualization of women driven by the structure of our economy?

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

PNAS “Income inequality not gender inequality positively covaries with female sexualization on social media” This study kind of blew up my head (well, at least blew up the preconceptions in my head). It would seem so logical to predict that gender inequality would be the main cause of the sexualization of women on social media. Read More

A Minor Post, Competition, Economics, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Sexual Competition, Uncategorized

Interdisciplinary artist Ellie Irons to speak at Pratt Institute on November 9th

Posted 20 Oct 2017 / 0

I am very excited to announce that artist Ellie Irons will speak at Pratt Institute on November 9th, 2017 at 6 pm in ARC Building Room E-02. Her talk is entitled Public Fieldwork & Weedy Resistance: Practicing Social-Ecological Art in the (so-called) Anthropocene and will provide a tour of her diverse individual and collaborative works of Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Adaptation, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Commensalism, Community Ecology, Competition, Department of Mathematics & Science, Ecological Restoration, Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Grasslands, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Fragmentation, Invasive Species, Mutualism, Pollination, Pollution, Pratt Academic Senate, Public Art, Public Outreach, Resilience, Science in Art & Design, Sustainability, Sustainable Urban Design, Temperate Forest, Urban Ecology, Urban Planning

Clever study shows how cooperative bacteria sanction — and therefore exclude — cheaters

Posted 08 Jan 2016 / 0

ScienceDaily “Cooperating bacteria isolate cheaters” This kind of study is where the field exploring how cooperation evolves should be headed: model predictions are verified by actual microbial microcosms, but the interactions of those microcosms are manipulated by genetically-engineering variation in behavior (what this article calls “synthetic ecology”). This approach helps overcome a common problem faced Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Competition, Cooperation, Methods, Microbial Ecology, Partner Choice, Reciprocity, Web

Can understanding cooperation lead to higher-yield crops?

Posted 07 Jan 2016 / 0

The Scientist “The Evolution of Cooperation” Starting with the title, this short article is not bringing anything all that new to the existing literature on how cooperation evolves. But once I realized that this piece was really about the direction of Denison’s research on rhizobia, the rest of the basic background made a lot more Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Competition, Cooperation, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Mutualism, Parasitism, Punishment, Reciprocity, Web

Jonathan Haidt on the business advantage of being ethical

Posted 10 Nov 2015 / 0

This is a fascinating talk by Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist situated within one of the most prestigious business schools in the world whose research focuses on morality and emotion. I can’t help but be impressed when someone addressing business concerns leads with biology, and Haidt does a good job of summarizing the “disruptive cooperation” (read: competitively-superior Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Competition, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Economics, Film, Television, & Video, Human Nature, Human Uniqueness, Multilevel Selection, Parasitism, Religion, Social Norms

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

Rule number one of cooperative bacterial warfare? Be in the majority.

Posted 25 Aug 2015 / 0

Current Biology “Positively Frequency-Dependent Interference Competition Maintains Diversity and Pervades a Natural Population of Cooperative Microbes” This is another great example of how theory that does not consider space is a poor representation of nature. Here, the diversity of a soil bacterium (Myxococcus xanthus) is shown to be potentially explained by positive frequency-dependent selection, the Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Competition, Cooperation, Ecological Modeling, Evolutionary Modeling, Kin Selection, Microbial Ecology, Soil Ecology

WmD Episode #00002 has been released

Posted 07 Aug 2015 / 0

It took me a lot longer than I would have wished, but I have released the second episode of WmD’s video blog: You can see this episode in its ‘native habitat’ here. The first season of WmD is dedicated to the “big questions in ecology and evolution“. This episode, “Keep on keeping on… until you Read More

A Major Post, Belief, Competition, My publications, Population Growth, Predation, Religion, Senescence, Survival, The WmD Project, Urban Ecology

Urban tree power

Posted 17 Jul 2015 / 0

I am not much of an arborist (well, really, I am not an arborist at all!), but I do appreciate trees. Urban trees are especially interesting to me because of their ability to deal with the many insults of the urban environment. I thought that this image — taken where the curb had been peeled Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Competition, Urban Ecology