Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

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

Zoonosis, Ebola, and the Elusive Reservoir Host

Posted 24 Jun 2015 / 0

There’s a really interesting article in the upcoming (July 2015) issue of National Geographic entitled “Stalking a Killer“. Using the most recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as a case study, the article looks at the nature of a variety of unusual and rare diseases caused by filoviruses. Ebola is not a virus that Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Belief, Cultural Evolution, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Parasitism, Predation

Our paper on a super-rational solution to the tragedy of the commons published in Scientific Reports

Posted 14 Jan 2015 / 0

I am very pleased to announce that a paper that I worked on with collaborators Jun-Zhou He, Rui-Wu Wang, and Yao-Tang Li has been published in the open-access journal Scientific Reports. The paper, entitled “Asymmetric interaction paired with a super-rational strategy might resolve the tragedy of the commons without requiring recognition or negotiation“, considers how Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Coevolution, Cooperation, Game Theory, Multilevel Selection, My publications, Phenotypic Plasticity

Evolution 2014: Day 1

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

My first session of the day was spent entirely in a Symbiosis session. I am fascinated by symbiosis, particularly mutualistic symbiosis, so I am always looking for cool new stories to help illustrate the concept for my students. This session featured a lot of talks on microbial symbionts, which are also of interest to me. The Read More

A Major Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Film & Video, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Mating systems, Microbial Ecology, Mutualism, Parasitism, Phylogenetics, Predation, Science in Art & Design, Sexual Selection, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Could the right symbionts provide protection from chytrid infection to amphibians?

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

Patrick McLaughlin showed work on Bioko Island suggesting that frogs there may be protected from the ill effects of chytrid infection by the presence of bacterial symbionts. These symbionts produce metabolites that lower rates of parasitic infection, suggesting that symbionts might be used to protect amphibian populations worldwide. It also suggests a mechanism by which Read More

A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Invasive Species, Mutualism, Parasitism, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Are island mutualist communities more likely to be nested because they are inherently more unstable?

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

The interactions in ecological communities can be structured in a variety of ways, and recently there has been a push to categorize these networks along the spectrum between modular (smaller clusters of more specialized interactions) and nested (unclustered networks with more generalist species). Theoretically it is understood that the nested communities are more stable, so Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Mutualism, Mutualistic Networks, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Lemurs display huge diet diversity, and their gut microbes track this diversity

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

Erin McKenney of Duke University talked about three lemur species with different diets: a frugivore (fruit-eater), a generalist, and a folivore (leaf-eater). Not surprisingly their gut morphologies and passing times vary with their diet, but McKenney showed that they also have unique trajectories as infants are colonized by symbiotic bacteria of different types.

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Mutualism, Primates, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Aphids protect themselves from parasitoids by harboring a bacteria whose viral parasite is toxic

Posted 21 Jun 2014 / 0

Andrew Smith of Drexel University spoke about a four-species interaction that could best be described as “my symbiont’s enemy is my parasitoid’s toxic enemy” scenario. Aphids can avoid being parasitized by a parasitoid wasp if they harbor particular bacterial strains. What’s interesting is that the bacteria don’t directly confer resistance to the parasitoid: instead, it is the Read More

A Minor Post, Coevolution, Conferences, Host-Pathogen Evolution, Mutualism, Parasitism, Predation, Society for the Study of Evolution

Evolution 2014: Day 0

Posted 20 Jun 2014 / 0

I started off this year’s Evolution meeting early. The conference is — at its core —  a four-day affair. But the days leading into the “official” start on Friday evening feature larger workshops aimed at building skills. I chose to attend the Experiencing Evolution workshop. Here’s what this session promised: Evolution is a key biological concept, Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Assessment Methods, Behavior, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Evolution, Evolution Education, Evolutionary Modeling, Genetics, Grants & Funding, Higher Education, Individual-based Models, Lesson Ideas, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Phylogenetics, Population Genetics, Population Growth, Predation, Reproductive Fitness, Science in Art & Design, Sex and Reproduction, Society for the Study of Evolution, Talks & Seminars, Teaching, Teaching Tools