August 2011
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Archive: BioBlog August 2011

Run! Well, amble! The giant carnivorous snails are coming!

Alison Campbell Mar 15, 2016

There’s a lovely, life-size bronze sculpture of a Powelliphanta land snail sitting on my china cabinet. I love it because a friend made it for us – and because snails in this genus are rather special, for they are all carnivorous. Now, I ‘knew’ this fact, but I’d never actually seen one feeding. Snails being normally rather slow, sedate creatures, it … Read More

Attack of the zombie snails

Alison Campbell Mar 10, 2016

The semester’s begun, teaching has started, admin isn’t letting up any time soon, & there are days when I feel like a zombie by home-time. So it seems entirely appropriate to revivify a post I wrote 3 years ago, on that very subject. Honestly, sometimes I think the zombie apocalypse is already here. Certainly zombies seem to be flavour of … Read More

Tunicates – apparent simplicity belies a complex past

Alison Campbell Feb 29, 2016

Tunicates are more commonly known as ‘sea squirts’ – little blobby marine creatures that squirt water when you touch them (hence the name). We don’t hear about them often, except perhaps when they make the news for all the wrong reasons. But from an evolutionary perspective, they are fascinating little creatures – and it’s largely due to … Read More

Every major’s terrible (sorry, G&S)

Alison Campbell Feb 29, 2016

This is an amended re-post of something I first wrote back in 2012. We’re in the lead-up to the start of the A semester & lately I’ve spent a lot of time lately advising students on their programs of study. (Consequently I’m a bit short of the time needed to give attention to serious posts on Serious Subjects.) One of … Read More

A Friday butterfly

Alison Campbell Feb 19, 2016

Occasionally it’s nice to just post a pretty picture. This is one that I took back in July 2015, while we were in France. We’d gone to visit the ruins of of an old Cathar castle called Peyrepertuse and there, on one of the scraggly plants growing on a patch of gravel by the side of the track, was this … Read More

The Budwig protocol – help, help, it’s being repressed

Alison Campbell Feb 17, 2016

A friend recently pointed me (via donotlink – well done, Nicky!) at a post on healthnutnews (which reads a bit like an offshoot of mercola.com – this, it turns out, is hardly surprising). It’s a while since I’ve read anything so full of total nonsense – well, a few days, anyway!  The post, by one Erin Elizabeth, is … Read More

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Profs, publications, & social media

Alison Campbell Feb 14, 2016

A while back, my Twitter feed brought up a post with the intriguing title “Prof, no-one is reading you“. The article kicks off with the following provocative statement:  Many of the world’s most talented thinkers may be university professors, but sadly most of them are not shaping today’s public debates or influencing policies. Now, them’s fighting words, but the … Read More

Is it a drone? Is it a giant mozzie?

Alison Campbell Feb 12, 2016

No, it’s one of New Zealand’s big dragonflies, most probably the bush dragonfly Uropetala carovei, and colloquially known as the “Devil’s darning needle” (presumably because of their colour & size). And indeed, they are large creatures, as you’ll see from the photos. The adult dragonfly is the biggest dragonfly in NZ at nearly 90mm long, and with wings spanning … Read More

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