Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fish Thinkers online: 2017 in review

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Fish Thinkers six most popular Instagram posts of 2017

At the end of each year I like to put up some customary navel gazing i.e. a review of the Fish Thinkers year. It is a summary mainly as a record for myself as I find it useful to look at our blog and social media stats and see what people are particularly interested in.  Although there is also the odd chance someone else is vaguely interested—since people have brought up parts of the review before, I guess a few people are anyway. Here is the 2017 review: Continue reading

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Pregnant Sharks and Rays Abort Offspring When Fished

Pregnant Sharks and Rays Abort Offspring When Fished – Guest post by Kye Adams

Have you ever seen a viral video of a shark or ray giving birth (e.g. River Monsters)? Unfortunately, it turns out these videos have a pretty dark explanation: There’s a fairly high chance the female is actually aborting her pups due to the stress of being caught. Continue reading

Species on the move

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A prediction of the preferred environmental habitat for the range-shifting yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) for March 2008, based on a combination of preferences for sea surface temperature, current speed and sea surface height.

Curtis Champion is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies – University of Tasmania. He stopped by the Fish Thinkers blog to give us a run down on some of the research he is working on.

Species on the move and a quick explainer about how range-shifts are commonly identified

Climate. Change. No doubt you’ve heard of the phenomenon. And while a small number of our political reps sporadically break into the headlines for criticising its reality, the global scientific community has been busy forging novel territory to understand its ecological consequences. This emergent field is most-commonly referred to as “species redistribution science” because plants and animals shifting where they live (generally towards the poles or up mountains) in response to changes in temperature is perhaps the most perceptible ecological effect of climate change. Continue reading

5 free ways around the great paywall of academia. #Updated December 2017#

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Picture: Severin. Stalder CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikimedia commons

If you do not have subscription access to academic journals through an institution then to access a large proportion of academic journals you will be charged a fee for each paper; fees of $30 or more per article are common. And if you need to access a lot of papers then the cost quickly adds up. Needless to  say many people don’t have the means to pay. Of course you could stick to open access journals i.e. free to read and download (Head to the directory of Open Access Journals for easy access to a whole range of open access journals), but by doing so you will miss a lot of what’s happening in the academic world*.

If you can’t afford to pay then you have a few options to get around the paywalls.

Here are  5 ways around the great paywall of academia; Continue reading

Top shelf bottom feeders

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If you are in Jervis Bay and see someone knee deep surrounded by rays or alternatively sitting staring at rays for hours on end then chances are you are looking at the “mother of rays”  otherwise known as  Joni  – the driving force behind the Stingray Diaries. She’s studying smooth stingrays throughout the Jervis Bay Marine park, in conjunction with Fisheries NSW and gives us a rundown on her research in her guest blog below…

Top shelf bottom feeders

Learning to swim by getting thrown off the end of a busy public wharf on the Hawkesbury River in nothing but a pair of hot pink floaties… Living in a swimsuit and covered in sand every single day of the year… Chucking tantrums when told to come inside after playing on the beach all day because it was dark… At the age of 4, saying with great certainty, “Mum, when I grow up I’m going to be a Marine Biologist.” Continue reading

Backyard Habitat Ponds 101

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Damien Vella is Senior Horticulturist at the Botanic Gardens and does a great job of sharing natural history moments he encounters throughout his life on his instagram account. He has a particular skill for taking events from the backyard and telling a story that weaves in the underlying ecology in a fascinating way. He also shares one of my deep interests-that is creating habitat in backyards (Even better that it is the aquatic type).

Below is his guest blog discussing backyard habitat ponds… Continue reading

Thinking about sand and the fish (and researchers) that call it home

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Why would you study pretty fish on coral reefs if you could be trying to find grumpy weirdos like this Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus)

Maarten De Brauwer is a marine biologist, dive instructor, biology teacher, PhD-candidate at Curtin University in Perth (Western Australia) and studies fish on soft sediments is lucky enough to work on sandy habitats  ;). He also does a really nice job on the science communication front over at Critter Research!  Below is his guest blog with some recent musings…

Thinking about sand and the fish (and researchers) that call it home

When I was asked to write a guest blog I first considered writing about fluorescent frogfish or about how weird fish that live on the sand can send children to school in developing countries. While I might do that another time, instead I decided to start a guest blog for Fish Thinkers by thinking about fish. Maybe because thinking about fish is what I am currently paid to do, though the fact that I’ve gone through 3 gin tonics and a fair amount of wine on a long-haul flight might play a role too. Continue reading