1. Models of Speciation

    Models of speciation explain how species are created and how lineages radiate/diverge. In general, there are two steps required for speciation: Isolation – subset of an interbreeding population becomes isolated in space, time, OR in terms of selective pressures. Genetic divergence – independent evolutionary change in each subset results in populations no longer producing fertile… read more

  2. What is a Species?

    Biologists have stated that a species is a unit of evolution and takes an important role in conservation when determining which particular group requires our attention (and funding). In Latin, species stands for “kind” and according to the Oxford Dictionary, a species (abbr.: sp., spp.) is a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals… read more

  3. What is Biodiversity?

    Though a relatively new term, Biodiversity echoes the timeless pursuit of naming and classifying organisms. In the Genesis, Adam names everything. In his “History of Animals,” Aristotle invents the first taxonomic hierarchy. During the 1700s, Carl Linneaus publishes his “Systema Naturae,” inventing a new system for classifying plants. And of course, a century later, we… read more

  4. Climbing a Tree-killer

    After a couple of hours hiking uphill and going through a couple of mudslides along the way on a trail near the biological station in Monteverde, we finally came across a “Matapalo,” otherwise known as the tree-killer. You wouldn’t have guessed it, but this name refers to a plant species of the genus Ficus, our… read more