Male spiny leaf insect, Extatosoma tiaratum. James O’Hanlon, Author providedJames O'Hanlon, University of New England The key to a stick insect’s survival may be allowing their eggs to be eaten and excreted by birds, according to new Japanese research. Phasmatodea – more commonly known as stick insects – were so named because they genuinely look … Continue reading Insects that look like sticks, behave like fruit, and move like seeds
There comes a time in every sensory ecologists life when the sudden desire to measure spectral reflectance arises. In such fits of whimsy it oft becomes necessary to use a particular program to quench thine spectral thirsts; OceanView (Ocean Optics). After downloading said program, paying the not insignificant licence fee and downloading spectrophotometer drivers, finally … Continue reading Dr Jambone’s Guide to OceanView Bliss (feat. the Jaz)
It is a strange life, that of a scientist. Each individual must find their own niche to specialise in meaning that no two scientists’ daily work lives are the same. One day you can be standing in front of a lecture hall filled with 200 people, the next you could be setting up camp under … Continue reading Strange things for science
Secrets of the orchid mantis revealed – it doesn't mimic an orchid after all By James Gilbert, University of Sussex In his 1879 account of wanderings in the Orient, the travel writer James Hingston describes how, in West Java, he was treated to a bizarre experience: I am taken by my kind host around his … Continue reading Secrets of the orchid mantis revealed – By James Gilbert
Anyone who is anyone knows that portable spectrometers are the shizzle! The Ocean Optics Jaz is a must have for any colour scientist and works great as a desktop spectrometer or your friend in the field for measuring light wavelengths. The only problem is once you take this shiny little black box out of its packaging most people have … Continue reading Ram Jam’s Quick-Start Guide to Embracing the Jaz!
For some it’s the highlight of a conference, for others it’s a dull chore - the poster session. Unfortunately giving a poster presentation at a conference sometimes comes with the stigma of not making the cut for the oral presentation sessions. But conferences aren’t just about sharing your work; they are about making career forming … Continue reading Conference posters: Less is more!
I have an ongoing fear that I will forever be professionally typecast as ‘the orchid mantis guy’. Hence I am writing this completely unrelated post to demonstrate to others, and perhaps myself, that I am not a one trick pony. In fact I have several tricks, and am much taller than most ponies. This post … Continue reading 3D printing my second favourite dinosaur
There is a new science podcast doing the rounds specifically aimed at biologists with a sweet tooth for metal music. The appropriately named Brutal Biology features a prominent scientist/researcher/thinker each week and focuses on getting to know the person behind the ideas and the research. So what starts off as a scientific discussion often diverges into … Continue reading Brutal Biology Podcast
I just finished up a four month stint as a research fellow at the National University of Singapore. Whilst there I worked towards increasing the capacity to do orchid mantis research using model stimuli.Flying insects such as bees and butterflies are lured towards the flower like orchid mantis. Bees can be observed making back and … Continue reading 3D printing an orchid mantis
With an address and a mobile phone number scrawled onto a piece of paper I jumped into a taxi and headed towards the Singaporean suburbs. Away from the glossy façade of the CBD and the bizarre spectacle that is herds of businessmen, complete with neckties and suit jackets, galloping hurriedly around the humid tropics. Away … Continue reading Tales from the field – and other nonsense. Part 1.