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?

Human-Made Materials Outweigh All Living Beings on Earth

Have you ever considered how the total weight of all the structures, vehicles, and infrastructure built by humans compares to all life on Earth? In their recent Nature paper Ron Milo and colleagues estimate that human made objects now weigh more than all living beings, and warn of an unsustainable trend with potential catastrophic consequences. Continue reading Human-Made Materials Outweigh All Living Beings on Earth

What Does an Evolutionary Biologist Do?

How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? My name is Mia Miyagi, and I’m an evolutionary biologist, which means that I study how the process of evolution works and how that process has generated the incredible biodiversity that we have today. More specifically, I’m a theoretical population geneticist. Population genetics is how we think about evolution and variation across entire populations. In other words, how individuals … Continue reading What Does an Evolutionary Biologist Do?

I Can’t Sleep… Can you turn off the lights?

by Samantha Tracyfigures by Wei Wu Walking down your neighborhood street you might notice the cars driving past, people waving hello, and the buildings lit up by the daytime sun. At night this view changes: we see fewer cars, and people have mostly returned to the comforts of their homes. But even as we shift from day to night, there is still a bright glow … Continue reading I Can’t Sleep… Can you turn off the lights?