How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

27 January 2017

How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

There are a growing number of impact classification schemes for invasive species. Here we use invasive amphibians to compare how scores match. See the paper in NeoBiota here.

How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

Classification of alien species’ impacts can aid policy making through evidence based listing and management recommendations. We highlight differences and a number of potential difficulties with two scoring tools, the Environmental Impact Classification of Alien Taxa (EICAT) and the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS) using amphibians as a case study. Generally, GISS and EICAT assessments lead to very similar impact levels, but scores from the schemes are not equivalent. Small differences are attributable to discrepancies in the verbal descriptions for scores. Differences were found in several impact categories. While the issue of disease appears to be related to uncertainties in both schemes, hybridisation might be inflated in EICAT. We conclude that GISS scores cannot directly be translated into EICAT classifications, but they give very similar outcomes and the same literature base can be used for both schemes.

  Frogs  Lab  Xenopus

MeaseyLab Retreat - 2017

23 January 2017
Anonymous

Getting the year off to a stylish start with the MeaseyLab retreat at Bonamanzi & Mtenzini

We had an amazing time focussed around finding tree agamas (Acanthocercus atricollis) for Nick's project. The first week at Bonamanzi was a total failure with only 3 agamas seen after rain finally came (during the HAA conference). 

However, once we moved to Mtenzini there were lots of agamas to be had, and we developed a cruising style around the neighbourhood which netted us >20 animals in a couple of days. 

Note the presence of special guest star Dennis Rödder. Dennis joined us for the whole trip and we had a lotta fun. Also seen here are the HAA twins (Alex & Gio), Nyala braai (thanks to interrupting poachers at Bonamanzi) and Ma'Rake - of the golf course, Mtenzini.

  Lab  News

Can functional responses unify invasion biology?

18 January 2017

You can't unify invasion ecology with functional responses

Do you remember the workshop back in November 2015? This meeting has now produced a series of publications in Biological Invasions:

Functional responses can unify invasion ecology

Functional responses can’t unify invasion ecology

Fictional responses from Vonesh et al.

Rather than unifying invasion biology, Dick et al.’s approach rests on subjective foundations

It's a great academic back and forth that we really hope you enjoy reading...


Becoming Dr Gio

18 January 2017

There's a multi-step process to becoming a Dr in South Africa. Gio submitted his thesis in mid-November 2016 and it was read by three examiners. Their reports were sent to the dean, but before the paperwork was complete Gio had to defend his thesis before a panel of luminaries. Of course, they were all very impressed. His thesis "Exploring the invasion of the guttural toad Sclerophrys gutturalis in Cape Town through a multidisciplinary approach" was co-supervised by Sarah Davies.

There wasn't much time to celebrate as we all flew off the next day to KZN. However, Gio managed to find time to stop by at the local supermarket to buy ingredients for a traditional dish.

It's been great having you in the MeaseyLab. We've enjoyed all your enthusiasm, ideas and tutilage in pasta cooking!

  Lab  News

DEAD workshop

16 January 2017

DEAD workshop - Monkey Valley

Thanks greatly to Ian Durbach who hosted the Workshop on Estimating Animal Abundance and Density using Acoustic Data at Monkey Valley with Res Altwegg, Greg Distiller, Tess Gridley, David Borchers, Stuart Burrell, John Measey, Marike Louw, Ian Durbach & Theoni Photopoulou. 

DEAD workshop

The aim of the workshop was to explore open questions on the use of acoustic data to estimate animal density and abundance. The venue was inspiring, and we hope that there'll be plenty of products that have there bases in this meeting.

  aSCR  Lab  meetings