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

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

SSE tells HHS to acknowledge sex and gender diversity

Posted 16 Nov 2018 / 0

Society for the Study of Evolution Letter RE: Scientific Understanding of Sex and Gender It is really exciting when one’s professional society stands up for an important issue, and this issue is near and dear to both my teaching interests and my heart. The idea that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — an agency Read More

A Minor Post, Professional Societies, Public Policy, Science (General), Sex and Reproduction, Social Norms, Society for the Study of Evolution

Can mathematics save us from partisan Gerrymandering?

Posted 25 Oct 2018 / 0

Scientific American “Geometry versus Gerrymandering” This is a really well-written article that explains why it hasn’t been easy for mathematicians to contribute to a definition of Gerrymandering… and how using an old mathematical approach to attack the problem could provide clear benchmarks for defining a Gerrymander. I love when math and science can be brought as Read More

A Minor Post, Computer Science, Ethics, Mathematics, Science (General), Social Science

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

Scientific American drops special issue on “Science of Being Human”

Posted 20 Sep 2018 / 0

Scientific American just released a great special issue on The Science of Being Human. It’s one of those nicely-integrated issues that Scientific American has become really good at creaating: from the graphics to the flow of the article topics, everything fits together into a nice three-part structure that explores a diversity of issues surround human evolution and our resulting Read More

A Minor Post, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Human Uniqueness, Periodicals

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

Are corals riding ocean currents to exert climate change dominance over macroalgae?

Posted 06 Sep 2018 / 0

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Ocean currents and herbivory drive macroalgae-to-coral community shift under climate warming” What’s really interesting in this study is the interaction it discovered: climate change may change competitive dynamics, but it does so in the presence of other factors which also must be modeled in order to predict future competive Read More

A Minor Post, Climate Change, Ecological Modeling, Marine Ecosystems, Modeling (General), Spatially Explicit Modeling

What might we discover in the ocean twilight zone?

Posted 30 Aug 2018 / 0

Science “What lives in the ocean’s twilight zone? New technologies might finally tell us” We tend to think that there’s nothing unexplored on the earth, that we know what kinds of organisms inhabit different ecosystems. So it’s pretty striking that there’s a whole area of the ocean that we know so little about. The scientific challenges Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Fluidity of Knowledge, Marine Ecosystems, Sustainability