Scholarship

We aim to accelerate scholarship that addresses knowledge gaps and has broad impact with the power to inform policymakers and the public.

All, Scholarship

Understanding changes in reducing pesticide use by farmers: Contribution of the behavioural sciences

Agricultural land is a socio-ecological system in which environmental, economic, agronomic and social components are closely linked and interact in a non-linear and complex way. As such, it has become evident that pesticide reduction can only be achieved by jointly considering these different elements of the socio-ecosystem. In this article, we first discuss the behavioural factors involved in changing agricultural practices with a focus on pesticide practices. We then attempt to assess the respective influence of these factors on farming practices. Finally, we analyze how these behavioural factors could be used to induce concrete changes towards the adoption of environmentally friendly practices and question their consideration in future research.

January 23, 2024

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Environmental and geographical factors influence the occurrence and abundance of the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, in Hawai‘i

Hawaiian honeycreepers, a group of endemic Hawaiian forest birds, are being threatened by avian malaria, a non-native disease that is driving honeycreepers populations to extinction. Avian malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium relictum, which is transmitted by the invasive mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Environmental and geographical factors play an important role in shaping mosquito-borne disease transmission dynamics through their influence on the distribution and abundance of mosquitoes. We assessed the effects of environmental (temperature, precipitation), geographic (site, elevation, distance to anthropogenic features), and trap type (CDC light trap, CDC gravid trap) factors on mosquito occurrence and abundance.

January 23, 2024

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Animal evolution at the ocean’s water-air interface

Innovation is a key to evolutionary success and entrance into novel ecosystems.1 Species that float freely at the ocean’s surface, termed obligate neuston (also called pleuston, here referred to simply as neuston), include highly specialized taxa from distinct evolutionary lineages that evolved floating morphologies.2 In 1958, Soviet scientist, A.I. Savilov,3 stated that floating animal species are derived from benthic ancestors, rather than species from the adjacent pelagic zone, and that floating morphologies are homologous to benthic attachment structures. To test Savilov’s hypothesis, we constructed molecular phylogenies and ancestral states for all major floating groups for which molecular data were available.

January 23, 2024