Here are summaries I've written of scientific articles I found cool. I try to write in as accessible and understandable a manner as I can, but let me know if I should clarify or explain something in more detail.
Behind the scenes in academia
- Couzin et al. 2011:
Original article: Rands et al. 2003 - "Spontaneous emergence of leaders and followers in foraging pairs"
Summary: If there is any benefit to foraging together, animals will synchronize their resting and foraging. One animal will attain low energetic reserves and will become the 'pace-maker' for deciding when the pair should forage.
Original article: Krause et al. 2013 - "Reality mining of animal social systems"
Summary: New technology allows for unprecedented amounts of data on animal association patterns in the wild
Original article: Laskowski & Bell 2013 - "Competition avoidance drives individual differences in response to a changing food resource in sticklebacks"
Summary: If competition avoidance is possible, animals in a group will consistently differ in how responsive they are to changes in the environment.
*Author Dr. Kate Laskowski comments
Original article: Conradt & Roper 2005 - "Consensus decision making in animals"
Summary: Social animals in a wide range of taxa make consensus decisions, or choices that all group members must follow and that affects the fitness of the whole group.
Original article: Pika & Bugnyar 2011 - "The
use of referential gestures in ravens (Corvus
corax) in the wild"
Summary: Hands are unnecessary for gesturing, and neither is a primate brain:
corvids the first non-primate to exhibit gesturing to communicate.
Original article: Ott et al. 2012 - "Critical role for protein kinase A in the acquisition of gregarious behavior in the desert locust"
Summary: Protein Kinase A causes a dramatic behavioral and morphological shift in desert locusts, turning them into agricultural pests.