1. Campbell-Palmer, R. (2012) ‘Interface: beavers are back! Restoring a lost native species’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (4), pp.6-9.
Beavers became extinct in Britain around 400 years ago. In the last decade, small populations have appeared at several sites across the country, both officially and unofficially, as conservationists seek to see them return. Zoologist Roisin Campbell-Palmer investigates whether we can live with beavers again.
2. Ravenscroft, Z. (2021) ‘Restoring estuarine and coastal habitats in the UK’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (3), pp.7-11.
The climate crisis brings with it rising sea levels and storm intensification. Senior marine officer Zahra Ravenscroft discusses how estuarine and coastal habitats are on the front line. Look out for the exam-style questions in this article.
3. Rowland, M. (2021) ‘Upgrade: understanding epistasis’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (3), ppp.12-15.
Most students cope well with questions involving dihybrid inheritance, but questions involving epistasis seem to catch out many. Former senior examiner Martin Rowland examines this topic using two worked examples. Look out for the practice question in this article.
4. Alford, L. (2020) ‘The power of flowers in agricultural landscapes’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.35-38.
Landscape simplification is undermining the valuable role that natural ecosystems can play. Insect physiologist Lucy Alford explains how we can use biodiversity to restore their attributes.
5. Brasier, M. (2020) ‘Searching for ocean giants: Antarctic blue whales and their food’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.15-19.
Antarctic blue whales are the world’s largest living animals. They obtain their energy from shrimp-like crustaceans called krill. Marine biologist Madeleine Brasier joined a group of scientists, led by the Australian Antarctic Program, to investigate where the whales go to feed and the importance of their faeces to marine food webs.
6. Donald, C. (2020) ‘Why climate change is bad for our health’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (2), pp.2-5.
The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Human activities have intensified these changes to our global environment. A particular concern is how climate conditions influence our interactions with disease-transmitting insects. Virologist Claire Donald looks at why climate change may increase the risk of mosquito-transmitted disease.
7. Miller, J. (2020) ‘Habitat fragmentation and gene flow’, Biological Sciences Review, 33 (1), pp.6-10.
Habitat destruction is increasing worldwide as the human population expands and consumes more natural resources. Conservation biologist Jonny Miller explains why species that live in fragmented habitats struggle, and what can be done to help them.
8. O’Dell, K. (2020) ‘Kakapo conservation: protecting New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (3), pp.7-11.
New Zealand’s unique wildlife has been devastated by the arrival of humans, together with their cats, dogs, rats and other non-native species. Many indigenous species have become extinct, and other, including the large flightless parrot, the kakapo, are critically endangered. Geneticist Kevin O’Dell investigates how the New Zealand government is trying to save the iconic kakapo from extinction.
9. O’Dell, K. (2020) ‘Where are all the red squirrels?’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (4), pp.11-14.
As recently as 150 years ago, only red squirrels lived in the UK. So, where did grey squirrels come from, what has happened to the reds, and should we be doing anything about this? Geneticist Kevin O’Dell investigates.
10. Panciroli, E. (2020) ‘First mammals: being small, the secret to success’, Biological Sciences Review, 32 (4), pp.30-33.
Being small was one of the key advantages for the ancestors of mammals. Palaeontologist Elsa Panciroli explains how being small contributes to larger brain proportion, keen senses and the ongoing evolutionary success of small mammals.