Setting aside protected areas is a key strategy for tackling biodiversity loss. Reserve effectiveness depends on the extent to which protected areas capture both known occurrences and areas likely to support the species. We assessed the effectiveness of the existing reserve network for Leadbeater’s Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) and other forest-dependent species, and compared the existing reserve system to a set of plausible reserve expansion options based on area targets implied in a recent Population Viability Analysis (PVA).

Worldwide rise of obesity may be partly related to the relaxation of natural selection in the last few generations. Accumulation of mutations affecting metabolism towards excessive fat deposition is suggested to be a result of less purging selection. Using the WHO and UN data for 159 countries there is a significant correlation (r = 0.60, p<0.01) between an index of the relaxed opportunity for selection (Biological State Index) and prevalence of obesity (percentage of individuals with BMI >30kg/m2).

While basic access to clean water is critical, another important issue is the affordability of water access for people around the globe. Prior international work has highlighted that a large proportion of consumers could not afford water if priced at full cost recovery levels.

Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, the causal agent of potato late blight, was responsible for the Irish potato famine of the 1840s. Initial disease outbreaks occurred in the US in 1843, two years prior to European outbreaks. We examined the evolutionary relationships and source of the 19th-century outbreaks using herbarium specimens of P. infestans from historic (1846–1970) and more recent isolates (1992–2014) of the pathogen. The same unique SSR multilocus genotype, named here as FAM-1, caused widespread outbreaks in both US and Europe.

Reconstructions of the vegetation of Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) are an enigma. Pollen-based analyses have suggested that Europe was largely covered by steppe and tundra, and forests persisted only in small refugia. Climate-vegetation model simulations on the other hand have consistently suggested that broad areas of Europe would have been suitable for forest, even in the depths of the last glaciation.

An influenza pandemic remains a major public health concern. A key strategy to prevent a pandemic is to stockpile and pre-position stable influenza vaccine to allow rapid deployment in response to an outbreak. However, most influenza vaccines today are formulated as liquids that are stable only within a temperature range of 2°C to 8°C and require use of a cold chain, making vaccine transportation, distribution, and storage complicated and expensive, particularly for developing countries.

Remote polar and deepwater fish faunas are under pressure from ongoing climate change and increasing fishing effort. However, these fish communities are difficult to monitor for logistic and financial reasons. Currently, monitoring of marine fishes largely relies on invasive techniques such as bottom trawling, and on official reporting of global catches, which can be unreliable. Thus, there is need for alternative and non-invasive techniques for qualitative and quantitative oceanic fish surveys.

Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere put shallow, warm-water coral reef ecosystems, and the people who depend upon them at risk from two key global environmental stresses: 1) elevated sea surface temperature (that can cause coral bleaching and related mortality), and 2) ocean acidification. These global stressors: cannot be avoided by local management, compound local stressors, and hasten the loss of ecosystem services.

Postprandial hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease mortality. Postprandial hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia also occur in metabolically healthy subjects consuming high-carbohydrate diets particularly after evening meals and when carbohydrate loads follow acute exercise.

Although widely accepted as being one of the most important public health advances of the past hundred years, the contribution that improving sanitation coverage can make to child health is still unclear, especially since the publication of two large studies of sanitation in India which found no effect on child morbidity. We hypothesis that the value of sanitation does not come directly from use of improved sanitation but from improving community coverage.