Energy Research Council

UK Energy Research Centre A portal for sustainable energy research in the UK.

Effective Learning in the Life Sciences

Rating: David J Adams. (ed). 2011. Effective Learning in the Life Sciences: how students can reach their full potential. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978 0 470 66157 4. The whole idea of re-vamping this site was to include areas that overlapped (intersected!) and that added a range of new ideas and discourses to ecology. Here we have one of the first in this new system, a product of collaboration within the UK Centre for Bioscience at the Higher Education Academy. The aim […]

Practical Field Ecology

Rating: C Philip Wheater, James R Bell and Penny A Cook. 2011. Practical Field Ecology: A project guide. Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 978 0 470 69429 9. Thinking back years (probably more than I should admit to!), I remember that despite all the interest ecology could engender in students in class, it was out in the field that the real work took place. Working in woodlands, ponds, streams and even on the sides of mountains in blinding snow it was there […]

The Great Energy Challenge

The Great Energy Challenge A great interactive site by National Geographic highlighting the issues we face in energy production, consumption and climate change.

Applied Urban Ecology

Rating: Matthias Richter and Ulrike Weiland. (eds). 2012. Applied Urban Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978 1 4443 3340 4. Given that urban areas frequently degrade ecosystem processes and that, as urban areas expand this problem will only get worse, it follows that we need to consider ways to improve existing conditions. The aim of this text is to show how it might be done. It is very clear that tackling urban ecological problems is not the same as doing the same […]

Urban Ecology

Rating: Kevin J Gaston. (ed). 20120. Urban Ecology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 0 521 74349 5. Since, as the author asserts, this is the ‘urban century’ it follows that urban ecology should be a flourishing sub-discipline. It might be that ‘real’ ecologists study ‘real’ i.e. wild places but the increasing impact of the human population and the general growth of urbanisation makes this problematic on two levels. Firstly, we cannot appreciate the impact of urban areas unless we can […]

Community Ecology

Rating: Peter J Morin. 2011. Community Ecology 2e. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978 1 4051 2411 9. Whereas much ecology teaching is focussed on single populations, community ecology (interactions of two or more species) is gaining ground especially as we need to look at more complex interactions. Although it sounds a legitimate area of study, community ecology is not universally accepted and although this is the second edition (the first being published in 1999) it should still be regarded as a relative […]

Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology

Rating: F Stuart Chapin III, Pamela A Matson and Peter M Vitousek. 2011. Principles of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology 2e. Springer. ISBN 978 1 4419 9502 5 “Humans have directly modified half of the ice-free terrestrial surface and use 40% of terrestrial production. We are causing the sixth major extinction event in the history of life on Earth…” If you’re going to justify any text, that is probably the most focussing! Taken from the back cover information, this quote very much […]

Wetland Ecology

Rating: Paul A Keddy. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation. 2e. Cambridge University Press. ISBN978 0 521 73967 2. Wetlands are rightly recognised as crucial, but often endangered, ecosystems. It follows that anything promoting them is welcomed. There’s also something about a second or subsequent addition that piques the interest. Clearly it was worth the publishing effort (suggesting a good book, in demand) but it also allows the author to update and gives the reader an insight into what has […]

Ecology of Industrial Pollution

Rating: Lesley C Batty and Kevin B Hallberg.(eds). 2010. Ecology of Industrial Pollution. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 0 521 73038 9. Some of my first forays into ecology were via the works of the late Tony Bradshaw, one of the pioneers of industrial ecology so it’s with a sense of both interest and nostalgia that I review this latest offering , one of the BESs ecological reviews. A good starting point is to consider what the “industrial” part of […]