Wild Nature Institute is the nonprofit creation of wildlife biologist Monica Bond and quantitative ecologist Derek Lee. They live and work for much of the year in Africa, where they study and inventory iconic and threatened wildlife populations such as the Masai Giraffe, which is rapidly declining due to lost habitat, disease and illegal hunting.
Ken Layne: Hello, Derek Lee! Because you are traveling between Nairobi and Zanzibar and I'm on the other side of the planet, maybe we'll do this in email format? So what is it that you and Monica do in Africa? This past week sounds like it held a lot of safari travel and [...]
I am an oblivious person. I don't notice things that bother me.
That doesn't mean I live a happy, contented life, or that I'm never bothered. I am bothered, I just don't realize it. If my kitchen is messy, for example, which is often, I do not prepare food in it. That may sound like perfectly logical behavior, but logic plays no part in what is actually a series of competing impulses. The way I experience not-cooking as a function of kitchen messiness is as a Thing That Happens Over and Over Until I Start To Wonder If There's a Correlation. It's not a decision I've made; rather, it's [...]
It is very easy to write a bad science story. It is tantalizingly easy.Â¹ Often that is because writing a nuanced story requires a level of scientific explanation that will far exceed a reader's patience and a newspaper's wordcount. It's also easy because reporters let those folks who are stuck churning out releases for journals and universities do the hard work. There are whole sites devoted to these releases and they are superb. There are unintentionally hilarious headlines ("Double-teaming a whole-genome hunt") and more quantum-physics-related superlatives than you can shake a stick at. They are also full of puns ("Engineering could give reconstructive surgery a facelift"), so there's that [...]