Speak of comfort zones! In this article, Abhijeet Bayani, a field biologist and an educator at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, disentangles the meanings and purposes of three terms commonly used in ecological studies to discuss the space in which an organism thrives – habitats, microhabitats and niches.
What’s the measure of species diversity of a habitat? Is it the number of inhabitants? Is it the number of species? Or is it the presence of a rare species? In this article, field biologist Abhijeet Bayani throws light on how he approaches this question of species ‘diversity’ in his classroom (a.k.a nature), while ensuring that his undergraduate students do not confuse it with a very related concept of species ‘richness’.
Andrea D. Phillott, Professor in Environmental Studies, teaches Conservation Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Studies at FLAME University, Pune. In this article, she writes about an innovative approach she has followed to develop disciplinary literacy in her students viz., assigning them readings from popular literature, both fiction and non-fiction, pertaining to conservation science.
We interviewed a behavioural ecologist passionate about teaching. Manjari Jain shares her experience of getting undergraduates interested in biology. From her struggles of establishing a lab come forth suggestions on balancing the myriad responsibilities of a young faculty.
An ecologist and her game designer friend put their heads together to create a game where players build their own mixed species bird flocks using ecological principles. It has the potential of finding its way among a growing list of games that are anchored in science.