This was 2017 (1)

It’s list-season again! Oh yes, the end of the year approaches and everybody bombards you with their best-offs and unforgettables of 2017. Please forgive me that I want to join in on that fun. No better way to summarise what happened on this blog the last twelve months than with a list of the ten most visited posts. Here is part 1 of ‘2017 in stories’.

1) Blinded by a snowball


January kicked off with an intense cold spell. Our hands were freezing off enough to make us remember that US senator who brought a snowball to the parliament. A snowball, yes, to show it isn’t all as bad as it looks with climate change. Let me shortly summarise the story: his argument doesn’t hold.

2) The feel of the south

Montpellier - 26

Little egret in the evening sun

From a memorably cold winter in Belgium to the heavenly warmth of spring in southern France. April brought me a visit to Montpellier, for a conference on Functional Ecology. Besides some eye-opening insights on how organisms interact with their environment, the stay also resulted in a nice picture gallery.

3) Plants do fly

Montpellier - 15

Euphorbia in a sea of poplar fluff

These musings about flying plants are a good example of what came out of that conference. In several presentations at the conference, I heard the statement that plants cannot fly, a fact providing them with huge limitations compared to other organisms. Allow me to explain in this post why I care to disagree.

4) Species on the move


Some more on moving species (for a reason the main topic of my research), after the publication of a critical paper in Science. The authors discuss the impact of species movement – as driven by climate change – on our everyday lives. A true eye-opener, and hopefully in time for some much-needed action all over the world.

5) Hidden treasures on the campus

Rare plant walk - 17

We end the highlights of the first half of 2017 a bit closer to home. In June, our Global Change Ecology center organised a quest for rare plant species… on the campus grounds. From beautiful orchids to an obscure plant in the car park called hairy ruptureworth, these little treasures on the campus proof that biodiversity can hide anywhere.


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