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Latest Stefano Allesina Stories

Classic Model For Ecological Stability Revised
2012-02-20 04:32:08

Predator-prey relationships stabilize diverse ecosystems, according to calculation A famous mathematical formula which shook the world of ecology 40 years ago has been revisited and refined by two University of Chicago researchers in the current issue of Nature. In 1972, physicist Robert May rankled ecologists by publishing a simple model describing the relationship between diversity and stability in a theoretical ecosystem. Though ecologists had long believed that richer, more diverse...

2011-08-04 13:12:25

Frequency of last names in disciplines, institutions suggests rampant nepotism Unusually high clustering of last names within Italian academic institutions and disciplines indicates widespread nepotism in the country's schools, according to a new computational analysis. By comparing the frequency of last names among more than 61,000 professors in medicine, engineering, law, and other fields, University of Chicago researcher Stefano Allesina found the pattern to be incompatible with unbiased,...

2011-03-14 17:00:13

Mathematical model of species competition finds that biodiversity is unlimited According to classical ecology, when two species compete for the same resource, eventually the more successful species will win out while the other will go extinct. But that rule cannot explain systems such as the Amazon, where thousands of tree species occupy similar ecological niches. The childhood game of rock-paper-scissors provides one solution to this puzzle, report researchers at the University of Chicago...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'