31 December 2016

2016 was the best year ever for Marmorkrebs research

And it was the best by a long, long ways.

There are not only more papers, but they are coming from more places, too. In the early 2000s, papers were almost exclusively from western Europe and particularly Germany. Now, eastern Europe and Japan are regularly publishing Marmorkrebs papers in addition to the more established western European and American research programs. And the mix of papers is broad, too, with research on Marmorkrebs as invasive species, cellular biology, and behaviour.

Since I started this blog, it’s been a tradition for me to have a graph showing how many papers on Marmorkrebs were published compared to previous years. But making this year’s graph was trickier than before, because there are more kinds of research products out there than before.

In the past, I’ve included journal articles and book chapters. But by this year, I’ve been blogging pre-prints, master’s theses, and conference abstracts in addition to regular old articles and chapters. I’ve thought about whether to include these research products, and decided to include journal articles and book chapters only. In theory, pre-prints and master’s theses should be published later, so excluding them avoids the problem of inflating the publication rates.

As I noted last year, I also had the confusion of a book published in 2015 that had a 2016 cover date (Freshwater Crayfish, which I was involved with). Those book chapters are included in 2016, which bumps up the total for the year considerably. But 2016 would still be the best year ever for Marmorkrebs research even if if you removed the seven Freshwater Crayfish chapters from the total.

The book publication does mean that it will be hard for 2017 to top 2016 in the number of crayfish papers. The overall trend, however, shows no signs of flattening.

Related posts

2008 was the best year ever for Marmorkrebs research
2009 was tied for the best year ever in Marmorkrebs research
2010 was the best year ever for Marmorkrebs research
2011 was not the best year ever for Marmorkrebs research
2012 was an average year for Marmorkrebs research
2013 was the second best year ever for Marmorkrebs research
2014 was a good year for Marmorkrebs research
2015 was the best year ever for Marmorkrebs research

14 December 2016

By “invasive species,” do you mean crayfish or Daleks?

When you’re a scientist, sometimes you forget that other people see the world through different lenses than you do. And sometimes you have that point hammered home in no uncertain terms.

Last week, the American White House released an executive order from outgoing President Barack Obama about invasive species.

As someone who has written about invasive species, I thought, “Ho hum, routine sorts of stuff.”

But because I had shown interest in invasive species, Google suggested this page to me:

NO JOKE! Obama signs executive order to ‘Safeguarding the nation from an INVASIVE SPECIES’

Wait, what? Why is this page showing the American president and a SF style alien? My emphasis:

Obama has pushed through an act called “Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species.” The interesting thing about this presidential order (see full text below) is the legal wording of the document leaves a lot up for suspicion. The article was left purposely vague, it seems.

There are a few reasons for this. The first could be simply so the article can be interpreted for years to come. The second is a little more malicious and slightly terrifying. An invasive species in the document is vaguely defined as an organism that disrupts an ecosystem. Because of this, some are speculating that this last order of 2016 is meant to protect from alien invasions, and purposely set some guidelines for the next presidency.

It has been shown in the news that the government is getting closer to telling its people what is actually out in space. If the planet needs protection for these beings, it will make sense that they would be motivated to tell the people, and also motivated to write an article to set up pretenses to protect the Earth. This is only my opinion, but I hope that some of my readers will do some investigation. Something strange is happening within the government.

Now I wonder: when I have said, “invasive species,” how often have non-scientists heard, “alien invaders”? It kind of makes sense to me now. Anyone who watches science fiction will probably heave heard aliens described as “difference species.” Indeed, there’s a horror movie franchise whose name plays around with that ambiguity:

But despite that, it never occurred to me that someone might think “species” is synonymous with “extraterrestrial” rather than meaning “type of organism.”

Now, when I write about potential negative impacts of crayfish introductions, I have to think of other phrases to use so that when I say “invasive species,” people don’t automatically leap to this:

Related posts


External links

Executive Order -- Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species
NO JOKE! Obama Signs Executive Order To 'Safeguarding The Nation From An INVASIVE SPECIES'

09 December 2016

Listing a species as “injurious”

The Center for Invasive Species Prevention was about to ask the US Fish and Wildlife Service to add Louisiana red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) to a list of “injurious” species.

In the petition, the CISP says the red swamp crawfish does not provide any essential economic or other benefits that outweigh their current and potential harm to the United States. ...

If the proposed changes are adopted then it could limit or prohibit the sale and export of crawfish across state lines.

But the day after I read the news article announcing that, the Center backed off. Judging from the news story and memo, it looked like the petition caused a bit of a freak out among people who sell the beast for food.

I think it’s a very interesting window into regulation. Biologically, there is no question that P. clarkii is a problematic invasive. It’s caused problems worldwide, from being farmed for aquaculture and is one of the most widely distributed crayfish in the pet trade (one of the “big six” worldwide). I think you would be hard pressed to find any biologist specializing in crayfish or invasive species that wouldn’t consider P. clarkii an extremely successful and problematic invasive species.

But there is so much established trade already within the U.S. that it is completely unsurprising that there would be pressure to not change anything.

The food industry is large and powerful. So is the pet industry, the other main mover of crayfish today. And the trade is largely unregulated, particularly for invertebrates. Although crayfish are not particularly popular in the US as pets right now, the European experience in the 1990s shows that there could easily be a “boom” in interest.

External links

Are crawfish an invasive species? Warning: contains annoying auto-play video
Statement of the Center for Invasive Species prevention on withdrawing its proposal to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the red swamp crayfish to the Lacey act for further analysis

Picture by Michael Bok on Flickr.

08 December 2016

Call for crustacean papers: The Journal of Crustacean Biology

Journal of Crustacean Biology is well established, peer-reviewed journal published by The Crustacean Society. But there are changes afoot!

The journal is moving over to Oxford University Press at the start of the new year (Volume 37, Number 1). The journal will be getting a new format (presumably in line with other Oxford University Press journals like Integrative and Comparative Biology), colour covers, and will have an open access option – I think for the first time for the journal.

Society members pay no page charges, will get reduced open access fees, and free access to the Journal’s digital archive. Plus, society members will a 25% discount on Oxford University Press books. Given the cost of academic books, it will only take a few book purchases to make membership in the Society pay for itself!

Current editor-in-chief Peter Castro encourages the submission of review articles, short research notes, and articles on techniques and methods. You can email him for the new author’s instructions.

The journal has published several Marmorkrebs papers already (Kawai et al. 2009; Martin & Scholz 2012; Shinji et al. 2016), so hopefully it will publish more Marmorkrebs papers there under the auspices of the new publisher!

External links

Journal of Crustacean Biology
The Crustacean Society website

06 December 2016

Call for crustacean papers: Nauplius

Nauplius is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by Sociedade Brasileira de Carcinologia, also known as the Brazilian Crustacean Society. Its mandate is to cover all aspects of crustacean biology. It has clocked up a more than 20 year track record, but, like so many fine regional journals, was new to me (embarrassingly 😔).

Because it is sponsored by the Society, there are no article processing fees for publishing in the journal. Remember this journal for the next time someone says, “But I can’t afford to publish open access.” Really? You can’t afford free?

The new feature of this journal is that they have moved to a continuous publication model, Papers are available online shortly after acceptance, rather than being held back for the delivery of a bundled issue.

It might be a good venue to submit research on Marmorkrebs!

External links

Nauplius website
Nauplius on Facebook