Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Science & Sustainability at the Green Meadow Waldorf School

Posted 22 Mar 2016 / 1

On Monday, March 21st I had the pleasure of visiting the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, New York to discuss the role that science plays in helping people to achieve the goal of a sustainable society. In a talk entitled “Pulling Humanity Back Inside the Boundaries: How Science Serves Sustainability“, I gave students some Read More

A Major Post, Belief, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Closed Loop Systems, Community Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecology Education, Economic sustainability, Economics, Ecosystem Services, Eutrophication, Food, Habitat Destruction, Hypothesis Testing, Methods, Philosophy, Pollution, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Quantitative Analysis, Resource Consumption, Science (General), Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Harvesting, System Stability, Teaching, Water Supply, Wild Foods

Injury intuition confirmation bias? Farce article goes really viral

Posted 12 Jan 2016 / 0

Hurt Apple image by Nina Matthews courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Although of course I would never sanction such behavior, it appears that a farcical medical research article has gone virally awry. The article, Maternal kisses are not effective in alleviating minor childhood injuries (boo-boos): a randomized, controlled and blinded study, was published in late December. Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Belief, Ethics, Methods, Scientific Fraud

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

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

Urban Wildlife Podcast on Cats and Coyotes

Posted 20 Sep 2015 / 0

Urban Wildlife Podcast “Episode 4: Cats and Coyotes” What I really enjoyed about this particular episode of the Urban Wildlife Podcast was the interaction between topics covered. The effects of both cats and coyotes are still largely unknown, even as both animals are fairly common in urban areas. Domesticated cats are pretty easy to track Read More

A Minor Post, Animal Domestication, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Birds, Canids, Coevolution, Conservation Biology, Data Limitation, Felids, Habitat Fragmentation, Methods, Predation, Radio & Podcasts, Temperate Forest, Tracking, Urban Ecology

Can we resolve the ‘group selection debate’ by focusing on human cooperation?

Posted 12 Jun 2015 / 13

ASEBL Journal “Morality and Selection – How?” This is an interesting article that tries to frame the debate over multilevel selection. Lots of other people have tried to similarly frame this debate, and I am pretty sure that no single prescription is going to resolve the debate. There is a debate about whether we need Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Group Selection, Methods, Multilevel Selection, Social Norms, Web

When Facebook performs a manipulative experiment on its users, the results are interesting, the methods disturbing

Posted 03 Aug 2014 / 0

Did you know that Facebook performs scientific research? If I told you that Facebook is constantly analyzing the activity of its users, that would probably not surprise you. But does Facebook go the next step by performing manipulative experiments on its users? A recent publication in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA Read More

A Major Post, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Consciousness, Emotion, Empathy, Ethics, Experiments (General), Happiness, Law, Methods, Psychological Adaptation, Sociology, Web

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

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

How understanding social evolution might help treat cancer

Posted 29 Jan 2014 / 0

The information sharing issue is really interesting here: in some sense, the medical field has the most detailed organismal knowledge available for any species, and evolutionary biologists are generally not that aware of the depth of what is known about the functions of the human body. Although I think that evolutionists have a lot to Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Health & Medicine, Individual-based Models, Talks & Seminars