Ecuadorian essential oils: Ancestral knowledge meets scientific research

a photo of the plant Piper barbatum Kunth

Ecuador has one of the highest biodiversity indices, but also one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation. New reforms and scientific research are needed to safeguard its biodiversity, which not only provides climate-balancing carbon capture but a world of natural medicines. Professors Paco Noriega and José Luis Ballesteros of the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, in Quito-Ecuador, are leading research to […]

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The Orangutan Project: How a successful not-for-profit organisation is working to protect Critically Endangered orangutans from extinction

An orangutan looks out from a wooden box

The Orangutan Project was founded in 1998 by orangutan expert and conservationist Leif Cocks. Today, it takes a multifaceted approach to conservation, targeting the key threats facing the Critically Endangered orangutan population. Leif Cocks told us about the vital work of the Project, and about his own ethics which underpin the conservation work. Orangutans are facing an existential threat. As vast tracts […]

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How to change the world: COMPASS on science and effective communication

COMPASS connects and supports diverse science leaders for the well-being of people and nature.

Scientists have information that can help us solve complex problems that threaten us all, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. COMPASS is a non-profit organisation which believes that strategic communication is critical for a future in which both people and nature survive and thrive. Executive Director Amanda Stanley told Research Outreach how they are building a cross-discipline community of […]

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Reconciling forest and tree conservation with food security

Forests and trees are a critical resource for human communities.

Forests and trees are a critical resource for human communities. However, conservation efforts to prevent biodiversity loss increasingly conflict with the rights and access of communities using forests for their livelihoods and crucially to meet their nutritional needs. Prof Terry Sunderland of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, has long pointed to the importance of forests in contributing to food […]

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How natural disturbances sustain diversity

Natural disturbances like wildfires have a positive effect on species composition.

While natural disturbances like fires and floods can pose a risk to human life, in some places these events can help to support a diverse ecosystem. Forest fires, for example, allow species like oak to thrive and support a rich insect population, which in turn feeds many different birds. Dr Mike Eichholz of Southern Illinois University Carbondale studies the influence […]

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The great grunion run: Monitoring grunion runs to inform conservation

Grunion runs describe the unusual breeding behaviour of the California grunion, which come ashore on sandy beaches to spawn. Fertilised eggs then incubate in the sand and only hatch when scouring waves from the next spring tide reveal them. These life history traits leave both adult fish and eggs vulnerable to negative human impacts. Professor Karen L. M. Martin from […]

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