Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hossein Akhani from Iran visits Primack Lab

Posted by Richard Primack

In early July, Prof. Hossein Akhani from the University of Tehran visited the Primack lab to discuss our current project to produce an Iranian edition of A Primer of Conservation Biology. Prof. Akhani presented an engaging seminar to the BU Biology Department on “The ecology and conservation of saline ecosystems in Iran with a focus on Lake Urmia, the largest lake in the Middle East”. The environmental damage being done to Lake Urmia through diversion of water is reminiscent of the better known example of the disappearance of the Aral Sea.  

Two highlights of his visit were a trip to the Arnold Arboretum with BU undergrads Luca Russo and Lucas Stegman to monitor fruit maturation, and an excursion to Plum Island to observe coastal vegetation.  

Prof. Akhani’s visit coincided with the final round of international negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and allowed us to get a better idea of the Iranian perspective of these complex issues.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Primack Lab visits Manomet for spring migration

Posted by Amanda Gallinat

Last month, the Primack Lab visited Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Plymouth, MA to see the landbird banding program in action. This year is Manomet's 48th year of banding, and their long-term records of landbird passage dates have allowed us to explore how the timing of bird migration is changing over time and in response to climate change, in both spring and autumn

This American Redstart was captured during our visit to Manomet's banding lab

Our group included Richard Primack, myself, and two undergraduate assistants in the lab, Luca Russo and Lucas Stegman. Luca and Lucas have both assisted with sorting and identifying seeds from songbird fecal samples collected at Manomet last autumn. During our visit, they got a chance to see the banding process first-hand, walk the net lanes at Manomet, and observe many of the species that provided the fecal samples we've been sorting.

Lucas observes a House Wren before it is released by the banders

Luca and bander Mattie Vandenboom with a Gray Catbird that has just been processed

We are grateful to banding director Trevor Lloyd-Evans and the spring 2015 banders for their wonderful hospitality, and we look forward to returning for more banding in the fall!