Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

The most fundamental way in which culture pushes against biology

Posted 26 Aug 2015 / 0

National Public Radio “For Prospective Moms, Biology and Culture Clash” Seven years later, I need to check and see how these American demographic trends have developed. Are even more women having babies later in life? Interesting thing here is how big a tension there is between our cultural choices and our biological realities. If fertility peaks Read More

A Minor Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Memetic Fitness, Radio & Podcasts, Reproductive Fitness, Senescence, Sex and Reproduction, Social Norms

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 #00003 has been released

Posted 20 Aug 2015 / 0

The WmD Project is picking up steam!  This week I have released the third 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, “Difference is as difference does”, is meant to cover these questions: Why do Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Marine Ecosystems, Niche Partitioning, Temperate Forest, The WmD Project, Urban Ecology

Should altruism have an effect on your final exam score?

Posted 17 Aug 2015 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “This ‘Extra Credit’ Question Does No Credit to Fairness” This seems like kind of a dumb stunt on the part of the psychology professor who posed it. I never really respected my professors who did not take very seriously the idea that students are pretty amped up by the experience Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Assessment Methods, Ethics, Game Theory, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation

Explaining the evolutionary explanation for handedness

Posted 13 Aug 2015 / 0

This is a wonderful little video that is absolutely packed with great ideas about how evolution works, how human evolution works, and how two different evolutionary pressures pushing in opposite directions reach equilibrium. It also makes wonderful use of infographic techniques, using color and quantity throughout the video to clearly convey numerical and conceptual ideas Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Educational Software and Apps, Evolutionary Modeling, Film, Television, & Video, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Social Norms

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

So much for the big-brained city bird theory?

Posted 05 Aug 2015 / 0

BMC Ecology “Commonness and ecology, but not bigger brains, predict urban living in birds” What makes this study smart is that it compares the birds that live successfully in urban areas with the birds that actually have the potential to colonize cities. This makes for a much more meaningful comparison than simply comparing urban species Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Birds, Brain size, Coevolution, Cognitive Ability, Commensalism, Conservation Biology, Habitat Destruction, Resilience, Urban Ecology

The Urban Wildlife Podcast on big animals in big cities

Posted 27 Jul 2015 / 0

The Urban Wildlife Podcast “Bangkok Pythons and Gotham Whales” This is a really interesting podcast that focuses on the wildlife of cities. This episode is about huge animals that manage to live in close proximity to cities, specifically in their waterways. The section on reticulated pythons — which can grow up to 23-25 feet long Read More

A Minor Post, Cetaceans, Coevolution, Commensalism, Conservation Biology, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reptiles, Urban Ecology