Author Archives: benflips

Genetic back burning to halt invasions

Rather than cut and paste, here’s a link to a quick article explaining the idea. Read it and then read on…   How on earth did we ever come up with this idea?  Well, it happened at a low moment.  Reid Tingley, … Continue reading

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Quolls v Toads

The northern quoll is a really cool marsupial predator.  They’re also in trouble.  Like many Australian predators, they’re quite partial to snacking on the odd frog, and, when toads arrive, they make the mistake of thinking toads might make a … Continue reading

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Evolution makes invasions unpredictable

Pop quiz: what have cancer and cane toads got in common? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. They’re both examples of a spreading population. In the case of toads its a population of… well, toads. In the case … Continue reading

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Evolution of immune systems during invasion

It goes without saying, perhaps, that your immune system is important to you. Without it, you’d rapidly be consumed by bacteria and fungus, and in the short while it took for these to kill you, viruses would be raging out … Continue reading

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The evolution of virulence during range shift

All these fascinating results showing that things on expanding range edges evolve in certain ways got me thinking.  When pathogens spread through novel host populations (think Ebola, currently spreading; or West Nile Virus, recently spreading) then they are in the same … Continue reading

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Stopping the toad invasion

Cane toads are really good invaders.  They move astonishing distances, and they breed like maniacs.  A female toad can lay thousands of eggs at a go, and while many of these won’t survive, it’s clear that this reproductive potential means … Continue reading

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Snakes and Toads

You may or may not have gathered by now, but I care about snakes.  In fact, it could be argued that I misspent my youth chasing them.  In these adolescent ophidiophilic quests, it soon became apparent that a) snakes are … Continue reading

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