03 April 2013

Bradyrhizobium, Aphaenogaster, permits, and ethics

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Completing permit commitments

As field biologists, permits are a necessary, annoying and important part of life. A condition of nearly every permit is that we provide annual reports, a final report and copies of publications that result from the work. While I (and I’m guessing most others) start out with sincere intentions, it can be 5 and many more years from the date that the permit is issued until the work is published. This is plenty of time to forget or avoid these commitments, which are really vital for both maintaining good relationships between researchers and land managers, and for land managers to justify their work and funding.

I guess applying for a new round of permits, and having my final dissertation chapter published, made me feel a bit guilty so I dug out old files (yes, I kept them!) and sent of copies of all publications that resulted from my work to all the permitting agencies and field stations that I could still reach. This included:

  • Minnesota DNR
  • Minnesota State Parks
  • Missouri DNR
  • Illinois DNR
  • Conard Environmental Research Area (Grinnel College)
  • St. Croix Watershed Research Area
  • Tyson Research Station (Washington University)
  • Konza Prairie
  • Cedar Point Biological Station, Reller Natural History Area (UNL)


Skype meeting with Nate Sanders and Lacy Chick at U Tennesee to discuss Aphaenogaster sampling


Stuble, K. L., Rodriguez-Cabal, M. A., McCormick, G. L., Jurić, I., Dunn, R. R., & Sanders, N. J. (2013). Tradeoffs, competition, and coexistence in eastern deciduous forest ant communities. Oecologia, 171(4), 981–92. doi:10.1007/s00442-012-2459-9

  • ant paper. no evidence for a dominance-discovery tradeoff. suggest that ant coexistence mediated by temporal niche partitioning. Aphaenogaster rudis discovered baits within 1 mn! must be quite common and active…

Murray, E. A., Carmichael, A. E., & Heraty, J. M. (2013). Ancient host shifts followed by host conservatism in a group of ant parasitoids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1759), 20130495–20130495. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.0495

  • cool paper, but Aphaenogaster not mentioned as a host of Eucharitaid parasitoids

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