Photograph via snooOG

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their biophysical environment.

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. This is the place to be when you want to discuss anything related to ecology!

If your submission is not related to ecological science or if it's not predominantly in English, expect it to be removed. In particular, environmental activism submissions belong in /r/environment or somewhere else.

Your post will probably be removed by the moderators if:

  • Is a /r/HomeworkHelp style question. If you are not a student then please state explicitly why you are asking the question

  • is a climate change post that is not focussed on one or more species. There are already numerous CC subreddits (that you can find in our sidebar), and also this sub would quickly get drowned out by this sort of content.

  • Your title does not adequately describe the content

  • Is a fundraising campaign/effort

  • Is a petition

  • Is a low effort image macro/meme post

What does ecology have to do with me?

Common Terms

Where Can I Go For More Information or Assistance?

Check out our Books about Ecology and Related Fields in the /r/ecology wiki books section

And view our Job Guides and Resources in the /r/ecology wiki jobs section

biscuitman76's guide to finding a job in ecology

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89,272 Subscribers


Something ate this black squirrel! What was it?

I am in Toronto. Squirrel lived in tree right above. Have seen foxes, bird of prey (falcon/hawk), and raccoons.

23:55 UTC


To do a masters or not

Hello! current undergrad here. I am especially interested in restoration ecology, and I am wondering if doing a master's will give me better job opportunities. Kind of stressed about the future, don't want to have to go from seasonal to seasonal job postings. Anyone have an experience like this?

23:48 UTC


What jobs should I look for, if I want to go to grad school in the future?

I recently graduated with a BA in ecology and evolutionary biology, and my dream is to research amphibians (esp. things like phenotypic variations, populations, behaviors, etc. etc.). I want to go to grad school in a year to a few years, and while I was an undergrad due to a myriad of circumstances (including never being able to be scheduled for an undergrad research course I had taken one semester) I was unable to do research (though I still made very strong connections with my professors).

From talking to various people in the field, including the professors I was close to and visiting speakers who are well-established professors and researchers, I've been told that I really need to obtain laboratory work and other forms of research work in order to get into grad school, but it seems like it's hard to find jobs in ecology related to that, as most people I spoke to recommended getting this experience through a professor at your school as an undergrad.

I'm on Ecolog and scoured various ecology-based websites, but most jobs require experience of a year at minimum.

Would a biology-related lab technician job be fine, in general? At least to get the lab experience I'm missing? Or alternatively a field technician position? Should I be looking more specifically?

Thank you in advance.

20:29 UTC



Hello! Any cool game recommendations centered around ecology? Can be online or physical, just looking for ways to make learning more interactive and fun :) I'm a biology undergrad with a chem minor so I'm open to anything!

01:10 UTC


Old 2000's browser ecology game, anyone know the name?

This is so random but I feel like other ecology nerds may have played this game too, I think it was an online browser game but maybe it was downloaded. I played it when I was like 10 so around 2010. You played as an animal in an ecosystem, there was mice, bunnies, songbirds, hawks, vultures, wolves, etc. I would beg my mom to buy me the subscription to let you be the top apex predators. It was point and click with only still images of your animal (and others animals), they moved like on an invisible grid so there were squares you moved on and whoever was on your square could attack and eat you. Id love to remember the name, or play it again if its even still around.

22:52 UTC


Anyone here know much about thrips and their predators?

Been fighting the bastards for years now in my garden (only knowingly so for the last year) and am a straw away from going nuclear on them with pesticides. Figured I would branch out from the plant subs and see if anybody here might know a more sustainable method of eradication, or at the very least ecological balance. I've tried nematodes, ladybugs, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs, both amblyseius species, and manual removal, all ultimately leading to a brief reduction in numbers, then complete repopulation. Even bought a few native plants to attract pollinators (successfully) but with otherwise no luck. Clearly there's some kind of balance in the wild or there wouldn't be any damn plants left. How can I achieve this balance in my patio garden?? Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated.

22:04 UTC


Pollinator prairie

Hi. Looking for high level considerations on converting this area to a native pollinator spot.

Im compiling my list of flowering plants, trying to cover most of the year, that ill run by here and the nativeplanting sub for guidance as well.

This is zone 9b , north of houston. It is hot and dry. Or very wet. But mostly very dry.

This is sandy loam, bluebonnets will not take. Blackberries can get thick. pH in the 6-6.5.

Lots of blazing star, black eyes susans, peelbark st john wort, wax myrtle, sparkleberry (on the forest edge).

This is a piece of a larger acreage that was recently converted from timber to wildlife. I am doing other wildlife activities in those areas (habitat structure mostly).

The purpose of this area is to add protein to the bottom of the food chain. And, ofc, look awesome. I want to stroll through flowers.

I plan on removing most of the timber pine from this area. Bunch of 7footers. But thinkin to leave a loblolly treelined buggy path loop. Theres also a few persimmons that i plan on keeping.

The circle in middle is two large dead/dying oaks (hypoxylon/draught) that will stay as snags and theres a couple ~20 yr oaks volunteers ill leave as replacements.

I also plan on adding a rain catch water station setup for med animals and a caged water for smaller ones.

What am i not considering? Missed opportunity?

1 Comment
21:08 UTC


SPF chapstick that’s not gross

I’m a field ecologist so I’m outside all the time. I’m really fair and have a pretty strong family history of skin cancer— I’m really good at using sunscreen and covering up with a large sun hat and a loose insect shield shirt. I’ve got a good sunscreen but my Aquaphor spf 30 chapstick is so gross and tastes tingly if that makes sense, even when I don’t lick my lips and wipe it off before I drink water. It’s like I’m absorbing the chemicals to the point of tasting it and it’s unavoidable. I’ve tried Sunbum in the past and had the same thing. Do any spf chapsticks even exist that aren’t tingly and nasty like this?

20:27 UTC


Latin American Ecology Job Boards

Hello everyone, I currently work on the East Coast of the US but I am interested in trying to do ecology work in Latin America. I primarily use ornithology exchange and Texas A&M while searching for ecology jobs but this has limited my ability to find international positions. I have completed a study abroad in Costa Rica and truly want to work in this area. Ideally I would be finding positions in Panama or Brazil but any help would be great thank you.

18:34 UTC


UK Ecologists / Career question

Hi, I have an MRes in biological sciences and my project was on molecular ecology. I've been looking for ecology work since September and cannot find anything at all, other than roles that are already at the senior or associate level and require CIEEM membership (can't afford). I cannot find anything at the assistant or graduate level and it's really off-putting, nothing at all whether EIA or monitoring or anything. Advice would be good. I also don't drive which is another barrier to the requirements I've seen.

13:22 UTC


Sick trees?

11:34 UTC


definition of a heatwave

hi there! for a project, I'm trying to code a variable that indicates whether the day in question is a day with a heatwave. for this, I found the following definition for the German weather service (DWD):

For each grid point, a threshold value for each day is calculated from the daily maximum temperatures of the reference period (1961-1990), corresponding to the 98th percentile. To increase the data basis of 30 values (1961-1990), the 15 days before and after the date are also used, which increases the data basis to 930 values and also leads to a smoothing effect. If the current grid values of the maximum temperature exceed this climate threshold value for 3 consecutive days or more and exceed 28°C, a heat wave is considered to be present for the marked area and period. (https://www.dwd.de/DE/service/lexikon/Functions/glossar.html?lv3=624852&lv2=101094)

I don't really understand the definition, and hence, I'm not sure how to define it in my code. I have the daily maximum temperatures per day in my dataset, but does that already mean they're the 98th percentile or do I have to get the 98th percentile of the maximum temperatures? Also, How does 1961-1990 correspond to 30 values, but 15 days before and after turn it into 930 values?

Also regarding the grid values, I assume they're referring to different places in Germany. My data is split into postcoes, how would you go about using this a location indicators then? Do I set a separate value for every post code?

I'm happy about any help! Thanks in advance.

10:34 UTC


Looking for source on Dry Matter yield in trees

Question: I need a scientific paper or database or something similar that gives an overview of different tree species and how much dry matter they hold/produce or how much energy they can supply to foraging herbivores.

Background: For my MSc thesis I am looking for a source, a paper or database for example, that shows how much dry matter different tree species produce on average. My research topic concerns deer foraging on juvenile trees in Europe, and I know the avg daily energy requirement/dry matter consumption of the deer, so now I just need to find out the energy supply of different (juvenile) trees in order to know how much 'tree' a deer consumes daily on average.

10:13 UTC


PNW Riparian Soil Ecology

I could use some advice on how to amend riparian soil. I work on reforestation projects along rivers and creeks in western Washington. Most of the land we work on is former farmland and full of weeds. It's usually difficult to keep native trees and shrubs that we plant alive and there are large dead zones.

The project manager wants to add more wood chip as to future projects. I suggested that we could use sawdust because it might be easier to source from the local mills.

He's concerned it could leech nitrogen out of the soil, but I always thought that the native soils were more acidic and had less nitrogen in general.

What do you think is the difference between using wood chips and sawdust? Would either of these help repair the damaged soil?

17:10 UTC


best/worst U.S. states to live in for conservation/ecology stuff?

looking for a place to live, i have a lot of interest in doing landscape or some kind of sustainable systems design. i want a place where i can be a part of a community of fellow nerds, and where i can find plenty of work. i also want to live somewhere where i can grow a variety of plants including food crops at home. any advice is welcome!! (except for "anywhere" or "nowhere")

14:21 UTC


A master in Ecology or Environmental Management?

Hey everyone!

I'm struggling with this for quite awhile now, I'm currently having a quite good career in the ecological sector. I currently work in permitting.

Now I have been feeling I want to get a master's degree but I can't decide which one is better for my career as both perfectly align with my interests in different ways.

I currently hold a bachelor's degree in biology with a specialisation in environmental biology and ecology.

I would ideally get in a position where I can think more freely and give advice instead of judging others work. Writing policy would be super cool too.

Does anyone happen to have any insight in what might be the better move? I would really appreciate it :)

09:15 UTC


Pesticide use

If a plant has not flowered yet, would using pesticides be fine? Since it would only be harming snails and other harmful pests?

00:43 UTC


Ecological gardendesign, contradictio in terminus?

For my half hectare garden I was looking for an ecological garden designer, preferably with some knowledge of the local species (North eastern part of Belgium). I've posted and contacted some already, but the more I spoke èwith the self called ecodesigners, the more i'm starting to feel lost. Half of the garden is already fully developed and widely grown, I simply want to majority of the remaining areas to be "bend" into the same direction, or at least be designed and planned in such a way that it enforces the natural processes, in other words, creating spaces and opportunity for nature to do its own things. I thought that would be pretty straightforward, but I'm wrong. Feedback so far ranges from planting instagrammeble scenes (I kid you not), to more stones, to planting all kinds of exotics or creating a fruitgarden. Best ideas so far came from a guy that don't want to call himself an ecologist, since he said he isn't educated for it (but he's the only one that stressed on moving as little soil as possible and making better use of waterfeatures. So my question and concern here is as follows, are the eco designers really "eco" aware, or did they adapt a new term to re-lable or market themselves? Maybe this "market" has not developed enough to handle serious projects? I'm not wanting to make it more difficult then it is, but somehow thought it would be possible to have a design that can bend towards nature, maybe even mimics natural progression, while plant and tree selection would mainly support local key species and features would provide shelter and hiding for others, just to name some thing I was at least expecting in the plans. But I haven't heard any of that yet. So I started wondering, is this even the right approach, or should I just let a regular gardendesigner make a plan with a pre-election of local species and create my own features and spaces?

23:33 UTC


What to use for a plot center marker?

I’m doing the initial inventories for some long term monitoring plots this summer. These plots will be revisited every so often for years to come so I want to make the plot center. I’ve done rebar in the past which is often easy(ish) to find but is heavy to lug around. I’ve also used small metal pins to be found with a metal detector, but I don’t currently have one of those and don’t foresee being able to get one. Plus, they’re not the most fun to walk in the woods with either. Does anyone have suggestions for other options to make plot centers with for long term plots? Or maybe even a smaller (pack size) relatively cheap-ish metal detector?

20:13 UTC


Free Zoom lecture on Thursday: Using Indigenous Knowledge to Inform Environmental Management

Tuleyome is hosting a free public Zoom lecture at 7pm Pacific Time on Thursday with Dr. Hekia Bodwich, who will be discussing "Using Indigenous Knowledge to Inform Environmental Management."

Thought it might be of interest to folks in r/ecology. Here's the link to RSVP if you're interested:


20:10 UTC


For someone trying to get into a PhD program in population ecology or zoology, is it okay to get a B in multivariable calculus?

I imagine math courses are important to study population dynamics, so it makes sense to take a bunch of math courses esp if it's been a few years since you graduated from undergrad.

Ideally, the student would get an A, but it's good to know the minimum grade so they can decide if they need to retake it.

Sorry if this is the wrong sub; please feel free to redirect me.

17:27 UTC


Fish rescue advice

I work as a conservation technician and project manager for a non-profit watershed group. We need to perform a fish rescue in our local pond prior to the pond being drawn down for the installation of a new fishway. I'm having some trouble figuring out how to go about this because of our specific circumstances and I'm hoping someone here might have some ideas.

Our pond is small (about 17,500m2) and heavily sedimented. We can't walk through it because it reaches depths of 3m in some spots and the sediment is like quicksand. The only electrofishing equipment we have access to is a backpack electrofisher which is not suitable for use from a boat. The only boat we have is a 12ft canoe.

My thinking is that since we can't walk through or electrofish, we would probably have to use a seine net method from a boat. With only one canoe this seems like a challenge, so I'd love to hear of any suggestions or similar experiences anyone might have.

UPDATE: Problem solved! I have confirmation that flow will be maintained. Water will be drawn down over the course of a week giving fish the opportunity to concentrate in the channel and/or move upstream. There will likely be a few isolated pools from which we will move fish into the main channel using a seine net, and following our site visit we expect most of the empty basin to be firm enough to walk over. Even holding needs will be minimal as any fish that need to be moved will only be moved <30m. Thanks to everyone who contributed their knowledge!

16:08 UTC


What do you pack for lunch when working in the field & it’s 100+ degrees out?

I have a hard time eating in the heat but need to force myself. What do y’all pack for lunch??

16:01 UTC


Phd, how mutch freedom i have ?

Hi, i'm a 25 italian student who applied a for phd this year. The probability that i will win this are really high.

Anyway i was wondering how much freedom i have in terms of time and topics ?

I explain better:

1)How much can i change the topics of my phd during the years without ripercussion?

  1. I would like also to do little other jobs to have more income at the end of the month, it's possible without getting burnout ?

  2. Any life-saver advice about administrate the time during this 3 years ?

Thanks and have a nice one.

ps. the phd will be "about" multitaxon-biodiversity in mediterranean forests ecosystem.

1 Comment
14:14 UTC


Can someone explain ecology to me in a poetic way using your own words

I wanna learn more about ecology but I always find myself struggling to pay attention. The way things are explained when it comes to sciences is so dry and boring. Where’s the humanness to it? We’re not robots! I struggle to find books that aren’t like this. I loved the book braiding sweet grass, so if anyone can give good book recs like that I’d appreciate that too lol.

11:50 UTC


Eutrophication. Which contributes most: agriculture or animal production?

I am living in Denmark. We have a very, very big production of pigs. Actually we have 2,2 pigs pr. citizen. All the water around Denmark is dead. There are no fishes. Like no one. Most of the professors says, that it is because of our pig production, 'cause it leads out nitrogen to our ocean and fiords.

I now have a discussion with a guy. He says that ex. abricot production or wine production would leads as much nitrogen to our oceans. So it really doesn't matter whether we mass produces abricots (or other plants/fruits) or pigs.

I cannot find research that compares those 2 things. Agriculture production and animal production. Does anyone know which of those things contributes most to eutrophication in our water? And do you have any studies, that researched that?

09:56 UTC


Understanding nocturnal & cyclic soil(/root?) CO2 emissions

I've come across some interesting data with a CO2 monitor I checked out from the library, and need help interpreting it.

I'm now focusing on CO2 levels when the device is placed on soil or at the base of plants. In particular, I've been observing significant CO2 emissions that turn on when it gets dark, and seem to rise and fall in sub-cycles through the night. This seems to be the case for rich soils (that is, with a fair amount of humus), but not for clay-type soils, and not when the device is positioned a foot high in the branches. I assume that it's the soil microbes, but would like a bit more detail. I'm surprised by just how high the CO2 levels get.

Can you suggest a paper or other resource that would explain why particularly rich soils, or possibly just active root systems, would release that much CO2 in these mountain-shaped cycles overnight?

At the base of a large tree this evening:

At the base of a large tree this evening.


Zoom in of the Weds June 5 night under a bush, showing how it seems to rise and fall in waves.

08:44 UTC

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