First-of-its-kind global catalog of bird shapes yields ecological ‘gold mine’ | Science

In 2012, evolutionary biologist Catherine Sheard started an ambitious Ph.D. project: measuring the shape of every kind of passerine, or perching bird, in the world. “I thought, ‘This is about 6000 species, that almost seems doable,’” Sheard says. It was, and her project catalyzed an international effort to measure all the world’s birds. Now, a … Read more

The Staggering Ecological Impacts of Computation and the Cloud

Screens brighten with the flow of words. Perhaps they are emails, hastily scrawled on smart devices, or emoji-laden messages exchanged between friends or families. On this same river of the digital, millions flock to binge their favorite television programming, to stream pornography, or enter the sprawling worlds of massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, or simply … Read more

Biologist E. O. Wilson Dies at 92. His Legacy Is More Critical Now Than Ever

E. O. Wilson was an extraordinary scholar in every sense of the word. Back in the 1980s, Milton Stetson, the chair of the biology department at the University of Delaware, told me that a scientist who makes a single seminal contribution to his or her field has been a success.   By the time I … Read more