Signal to Noise Special Edition: United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Articles in this Special Edition The importance of being biodiverse Wenfei Tong Alien invasion! Ecological and societal impacts of invasive species Katie Boronow Biodiversity and human health Rachel Becker Metagenomics: Exploring the depths of the microbial world Jon Russell Managing biodiversity: Indigenous knowledge, elephants, and the repercussions of intervention Alexandra Brown A conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Barron Marc Presler Words from the Editors Biodiversity,  a … Continue reading Signal to Noise Special Edition: United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Managing biodiversity: Indigenous knowledge, elephants, and the repercussions of intervention

When we think of biodiversity management, or maintaining the species diversity in an area, it’s easy to draw parallels to conservation. However, conservation usually focuses on one or few species at a time. This means that it often doesn’t mesh well with biodiversity maintenance, which requires considering the balance of all species in a given habitat. By managing a system based on the needs of … Continue reading Managing biodiversity: Indigenous knowledge, elephants, and the repercussions of intervention

Biodiversity and human health

Over 250 million years ago, cataclysmic volcanic activity wiped out nearly all life on earth. 65 million years ago, a meteor impact in the Yucatán drove the dinosaurs to extinction. In the past 540 million years of earth’s history, paleontologists have identified five mass extinction events in which over 75% of Earth’s species have died during a relatively short period of time [1]. Unfortunately, it … Continue reading Biodiversity and human health

Adventure, Botany, & Conservation: The ABCs of Ynés Mexia

by Manasvi Verma In all my travels I’ve never been attacked by a wild animal, lost my way or caught a disease… I don’t think there’s any place in the world where a woman can’t venture. – Ynés Mexía As the climate disaster becomes more imminent, environmental conservation is a pressing need. Recently at the forefront of public discourse, this movement has been simmering behind-the-scenes … Continue reading Adventure, Botany, & Conservation: The ABCs of Ynés Mexia

Understanding Life on the Prairie through Ecological Networks

by Jaclyn Long figures by Wei Wu Grasslands are a type of ecosystem that make up over a quarter of the earth’s land. These habitats are often found in between deserts and forests, and are characterized by low levels of rainfall and regular fires. In North America, grasslands are usually called prairies. The rich soil held in place by grass roots makes them particularly useful for … Continue reading Understanding Life on the Prairie through Ecological Networks

Lights. Camera. Action! How the Hawaiian bobtail squid brings a creative vision to its maritime world of small big screens

by Edward Chenfigures by Jovana Andrejevic On a sunny, nondescript Hawaiian day, a Vibrio fischeri bacterium arises the same as on most other nondescript days: homeless. It hurries along on a ride to work. No, not by car. Not onboard a trolley either. Yes! The great, dynamic Pacific Ocean current. Currency-free and open to all, it’s the road to opportunity and fortune for aquatic hard … Continue reading Lights. Camera. Action! How the Hawaiian bobtail squid brings a creative vision to its maritime world of small big screens

“Nature itself is the best physician”

by Jessica Schifffigures by Rebecca Senft For millennia, people have held to the notion that spending time in nature is healing and restorative. Hippocrates stated that “Nature itself is the best physician”. At some point in our lives, many of us have gone on an adventure into nature and left feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. However, it wasn’t until the past few decades that scientists really … Continue reading “Nature itself is the best physician”

Are Pandemics the Cost of Human Recklessness Towards Nature?

by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb In an area devastated by deforestation, an 18-month-old toddler from the nearest settlement, Meliandou in Guinea, was seen playing around a fallen tree swarming with bats. The child then contracted a mysterious illness, which spread to many who came in contact. After it had already killed 30 people, the illness was identified as Ebola. Comprehensive studies have since connected … Continue reading Are Pandemics the Cost of Human Recklessness Towards Nature?