Truffles are one of the world’s most expensive ingredients, and also one of the most mysterious. Now, with the help of a 170-year-old ‘living laboratory’, and a dog called Lucy, researchers hope to unearth new understanding of the secret life of these underground delicacies.
A new study of TV-watching great tits reveals how they learn through observation. Social interactions within a predator species can have “evolutionary consequences” for potential prey – such as the conspicuous warning colours of insects like ladybirds.
Researchers have compiled the largest known library of bat calls to identify and conserve rare species in Mexico – a country which is home to many of the world’s bats and has one of the highest rates of species extinction and habitat loss.
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, M is for Midge as we talk to eminent ecologist Dr Henry Disney about his lifelong interest in Diptera.
Declining calcium levels in some North American lakes are causing major depletions of dominant plankton species, enabling the rapid rise of their ecological competitor: a small jelly-clad invertebrate. Scientists say increasing ‘jellification’ will damage fish stocks and filtration systems that allow lakes to supply drinking water, and that lakes may have been pushed into “an entirely new ecological state”.
Assigning an economic value to the benefits which nature provides might not always promote the conservation of biodiversity, and in some cases may lead to species loss and conflict, argues a University of Cambridge researcher.
The development of a new Conservation Research Institute will be the latest addition to a flourishing conservation community in Cambridge.