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Sleeping on fire: A trip to Africa’s most dangerous volcano, in an active conflict zone

The Spirit of Nyiragongo Mount Nyiragongo is Africa’s most active volcano. Located in the war-torn country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has the largest of only a small handful of permanent lava lakes in the world. Up until 2014, this region was virtually closed off due to being under control of the…

Baboons Behaving Badly

Lock your doors. And your windows. Don’t make eye contact. Keep your bread roll close to your chest, or it may get snatched…by a baboon. The situation in Gorongosa National Park is not this extreme. The baboons are generally a friendly nuisance, and for many, a tourist attraction. However, in other national parks the situation…

Understanding how Gorongosa’s miombo woodlands adapts to fire

Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by nature, trying to understand how animals breathe. I started to study this and discovered that plants provide oxygen to breathe. But what I did not know was what was inside plants that enabled them to produce the vital element to maintain life.

‘It Wasn’t a Very Happy Childhood’: Rediscovering the Spanish Children of Morelia

Two years ago, we moved my grandmother. In the span of her lifetime, it was one migration among many. As a child, she had been moved from Spain to Mexico, to flee the Spanish Civil War. In 1937, she was put on a boat, called the Mexique, along with 456 other children: the Niños de Morelia. In 1937,…

When spirits walk among us: Celebrating the dead in the Peruvian highlands

The sun is setting, and the temperature in the air begins to drop, hovering just above freezing. As the sky darkens, the winds start to get to get stronger, threatening a surprise rain or hail storm over the land. The locals, familiar with these signs, stay inside and wait for the dawn to begin. But this night is different, it is October 31. Tomorrow is November 1, the day that the dead return to the land of the living.

A Krill’s-Eye Video of New Zealand Seabirds

Music video or science documentary? This is both! We took a GoPro-rigged buoy out into New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, where multitudes of hungry seabirds were tracking swarms of fish and krill just below the surface of the sea. Featuring Darlingside‘s “The Ancestor” from the album Birds Say. Underwater footage courtesy of the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust.…

The Short Yet Dramatic Lifecycle of The Patagonian Flightless Crane Fly

Flightless (Patagonia’s Untold Stories) It has finally pushed itself through the entangled root mats. Months of development feeding on wet detritus have come to an end. It will now emerge as a full-fledged adult. The upper portion of its body hangs perpendicular to the rock wall, exposed to the elements. It begins to break free…

Exploring Identity in Kyrgyzstan

To be 26 years old – an age between young adulthood and actual adulthood and a time when many begin to ask themselves questions like “who am I?” “what defines me?” “where am I going?” more frequently. As a 26-year-old, I ask myself these questions everyday, usually 20 times a day before noon, as does…

Diving In… to the World of Food Waste

The phone call came as a surprise. I didn’t expect anyone to have my phone number, let alone call me. It was my eighth day in Taiwan, sixth day with a SIM card, and second time at a Louisa Coffee. I didn’t even have my cell memorized – something with a 0935… 74? The order…

Bikepacking The Abandoned

My bicycle is knee deep in mud. The snowline on the nearby mountains is closer than the previous day. The abandoned track has been softened by the stomping of cattle. After an hour of pushing my loaded bike half a mile through the mud, I begin the task of setting up camp. The only suitable…

The largest fossil forest in Africa is in Mozambique

Gorongosa, Mozambique — The world 251 million years ago was very different from today. Was it, really? Well, maybe not so much. It was around a quarter of a billion years ago that the largest mass extinction on earth exterminated 95 percent of life on Earth, the Permo-Triassic extinction. The anthropogenic pressures our planet suffers today rival those that happened in the past.

How scientists and developers can work together to prevent the mass extinction of life on Earth

The 6th mass extinction in the history of the Earth is underway — and it has been triggered by mankind! (eowilsonfoundation.org). Despite this horrific reality, all hope is not lost and there are still things we can do to stop it. Here is what a bird of prey researcher in Kenya believes is a vital part of halting this catastrophe.

Asylum Seekers Face Uncertainty in Croatia

Croatia has one of the lowest acceptance rates for asylum seekers in the EU, leading many refugees to fear the system that is meant to protect them.

Studying the air-breathing lungfish, a descendant of the first terrestrial animal

Gorongosa National Park is an amazing place for research because of the diversity of habitats, and especially because of what I study:  the little-known but fascinating lungfish and its environment. The lungfish (Protopterus annectens) is an air-breathing fish found in the coastal rivers of Mozambique and other parts of southern Africa. Researchers have described its ability to “walk” on its fins on the river or pond floor.

How to Seabird in the Dark

I’m on a clifftop in the dark, on a remote island in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. An inky sea lies below, unfamiliar constellations glitter above, and a bird has just flown straight into my hand. Other pale squeaking shapes are brushing by me and bumping into me. A few minutes ago one smacked me in…