OEB News

2014

  • OEB Professor Hopi Hoekstra is named one of five Harvard College Professors honored for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Full story
  • The Journal Nature Communications has published a finding by Dr. Mary C. Stoddard, OEB Post-doc in Dr. Scott Edwards' lab, and colleagues from the University of Cambridge. "The ability of Common Cuckoos to mimic the appearance of many of their hosts' eggs has been known for centuries. The astonishing finding here is that hosts can fight back against cuckoo mimicry by evolving highly recognizable patterns on their own eggs, just like a bank might insert watermarks on its currency to deter counterfeiters," said Dr. Stoddard. Full story
  • OEB Professor Peter Girguis opened his lab to three high school interns as part of a new collaboration between Harvard Cambridge Rindge and Latin. "We've been able to give students exposure to a research lab and allow them to experience the joy of discovery, innovation, and the challenges associated with it,” said Girguis. Full story
  • The University of Chicago plans to bestow on OEB Professor Andrew H. Knoll an honorary degree for his distinguished scholarship in Paleontology. Full story
  • Congratulations to graduating senior Tanner Strickland who won the Hoopes Prize for his thesis, "Lizards bridging the gap: Phylogeography of the Puerto Rican Crested Anole (Anolis cristatellus) across the Puerto Rican Bank.

2013

  • Congratulations to Losos Lab graduate student Martha Munoz, the winner of this year's Raymond B. Huey Award for the Best Student Presentation in the Division of Ecology and Evolution at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meetings in Austin.
  • L Mahadevan is co-creator of a mathematical model that has shed some light on how swarming bees stay warm in the cold and avoid getting too hot. The findings were published in the Journal of the Royal Society on December 11, 2013.
  • Hrdy Visiting Fellow in Conservation Biology Michael Russello has found that tortoise populations on a Galapagos island frequented by class=mariners contain hybrids representing two species now extinct on their home islands.
  • The Princeton Guide to Evolution, published in December 2013, is edited by a distinguished team of evolutionary biologists including Hopi Hoekstra and editor-in-chief Jonathan Losos. This new reference work covers the major subjects and key concepts in evolutionary biology, from genes to mass extinctions and contains over 100 articles.
  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has released a new short film, The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree, featuring Jonathan Losos. Shot on location in the Caribbean, Losos demonstrates the traits that enable dozens of anole species to adapt to different vertical niches in the forest. The film is part of the Biointeractive series of resources for science teachers and students.
  • Andrew Knoll has been elected as a foreign fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India.
  • Charles Davis and Elena Kramer were among authors of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which they solved the nearly 200-year-old mystery of how Rafflesia, the largest flowering plants in the world, develop. The Rafflesia (left) and Sapria closely resemble one another yet are actually built in a fundamentally different way. Harvard Gazette article, November 4, 2013.
  • Cassie Stoddard, Junior Fellow in the Edwards Lab, was honored with a 2013 L’Oreal USA Fellowship for Women in Science. The program is a national initiative that annually recognizes and rewards five outstanding U.S.-based post-doctoral women researchers. October 25, 2013
  • L. Mahadevan co-authored a research paper and video detailing the bizarre grisly mechanism that ticks use to attach to their victims and hold on while that gorge themselves with blood. The work was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and featured in The New York Times on October 29, 2013.
  • Cassandra Extavour led a ten-week program at the Kavli Institute last winter for scientists debating theories about what physical mechanisms originally drove single cells to unite for mutual benefit. Coverage of her talk and the conference discussion was featured in Scientific American on September 30, 2013.
  • Bence Ölveczky has found that the brain uses two largely independent neural circuits to learn the temporal and spatial aspects of a motor skill. The study is described in Neuron and described in an article in the Harvard Gazette on September 27, 2013.
  • The NSF announced this September that a new, multi-institutional science and technology center called the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines will be based at MIT with L. Mahadevan as an associate director.
  • L. Mahadevan helped develop a computational model which provides a mechanistic understanding of the formation of villi, the folded elaborations of the lining of the gut, essential for providing sufficient surface area for nutrient absorption. The paper describing this work was published in Science on August 29, 2013.
  • Michael Desai's research sheds light on the dynamics of adaptation in determining which mutations fix in a population, and hence how reproducible evolution will be. He co-authored a paper which was published in Nature on July 21, 2013.
  • Pardis Sabeti's study of genetic data from hundreds of people from Bangaldesh was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and showed genetic differences between people who had contracted cholera and those who had been exposed, but did not become ill.
  • Donald H. Pfister named interim dean of Harvard College. Read more.
  • E. O. Wilson received the 2013 Hubbard Medal from the National Geographic Society. The medal, which honors "outstanding explorations or discoveries" is the Society's oldest and most prestigious award. Read more.
  • Emily Jacobs-Palmer of the Hoekstra lab won the Hamilton Prize for best student presentation at the 2013 Evolution Meetings held recently in Snowbird, UT for her work on the genetics of sperm morphology in deer mice. June 27, 2013
  • Pam Diggle's intensive two-week course in plant morphology at the Arnold Arboretum offered graduate students greater understanding of the genesis of a plant's entire shape and stucture. This annual offering complements botanical invetigators' current focus on DNA and genetics as determinants of growth and appearance. The Harvard Gazette, June 21, 2013.
  • Hopi Hoekstra has been selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. Through its flagship Investigator Program, HHMI helps to advance biomedical research and science education in the United States. This prestigeous honor provides the flexible support necessary to move an investigator's research in creative new directions over time and encourages risk taking. This appointment is a testament to the strength of Hoekstra's research and her lab's commitment to collaborative, innovative science. Read press release and story.
  • Arkhat Abzhanov has been named the 2013-2014 Grass Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. His research project is entitled "Evolution of the Animal Face: From Principles to Mechanisms." Radcliffe Institute fellows are accomplished individuals in an array of fields who pursue independent projects within a rich, multidisciplinary environment.
  • Work from the Extavour Lab shows that mechanisms used to make embryonic germ cells in mammals and insects are more similar than previously thought. Read the original article in Current Biology.
  • A paper by Charles Davis and others on record breaking early spring flowering in the eastern United States was published in January 2013 and has been featured in The New York Times and on National Public Radio.
  • A study by Chris Marx published in Genetics has shown that beneficial mutations must be timed within a limited window of opportunity to become successful. Read more in The Harvard Gazette, Mar. 19, 2013.
  • New research from the Hoekstra Lab shows how one gene with many mutations can affect mouse survival in the wild. Findings were published in the journal Science. Read more in The Harvard Gazette, Mar. 14, 2013.
  • James Mallet and colleagues solve the longstanding questions about the evolution and genetics of mimicry in butterflies. Read about it in The New York Times, Mar. 12, 2013.
  • Research in the Zhang Lab demonstrates how the signaling pathway of insulin and insulinlike peptides plays a critical role in helping to regulate learning and memory. Read more in The Harvard Gazette, Feb. 26, 2013.
  • Hopi Hoekstra is featured in The New York Times "Profiles in Science." Read about her research and watch an interview with Hoekstra as she describes her life in science and the latest research in her lab. Jan. 28, 2013
  • Teaching modules for Ned Friedman's freshman seminar called "Getting to Know Darwin" are shared online at the Darwin Correspondence Project. In a video, Friedman reflects on integrating Darwin’s correspondence with exercises in experimental science and study of his published work. The project is featured online in National Geographic, Jan. 28, 2013.

2012

2011

  • The National Academy of Sciences presents awards annually that honor outstanding achievement in science. Two OEB faculty members are among the honorees for 2012. Andrew Knoll is the recipient of the Mary Clark Thompson Medal. Jonathan Losos is the recipient of the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal. Read more about OEB's NAS award recipients. Also read article about 2012 awards in Harvard Gazette, Dec. 1, 2011.
  • Ned Friedman's freshman seminar students re-created 10 of Darwin's experiments over the semester, including one that showed that worms do not hear music or anything else. Article in Harvard Gazette, Dec. 1, 2011.
  • Andrew Biewener and colleagues at the Concord Field Station published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that the common city pigeon, Columba livia, uses a technique similar to a helicopter's to negotiate low-speed tight aerial turns. Nov. 28. 2011
  • A.W. (Fuzz) Crompton, OEB Professor Emeritus, was awarded the 2011 Romer-Simpson Medal of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The society's highest award honors sustained and outstanding scholarly excellence in the discipline of vertebrate paleontology.
  • Research by Elena Kramer finds that columbine flowers adapt their shape to match pollinators' tongues, causing dramatic diversity. Article in Harvard Gazette, Nov. 17, 2011.
  • Andrew Richardson spoke about his research into forests and climate change as part of a Harvard Museum of Natural History lecture series on New England forests. Article in Harvard Gazette, Nov. 10, 2011.
  • Research in the Giribet Lab mapping the genetic tree of mollusks is described in the Nov. 2 issue of the journal Nature. Article in Harvard Gazette, Nov. 1, 2011.
  • The description of three new tropical families of arachnids and a phylogeny of the suborder Laniatores by graduate student Prashant Sharma of the Giribet Lab is featured on the cover of Invertebrate Systematics.
  • Peter Girguis spoke at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on deep-sea life and the effects of the BP spill. Article in Harvard Gazette, Oct. 14, 2011.
  • NSF-funded dragonfly research by Stacey Combes at the Concord Field Station focuses on aerial feats such as hunting and mating in mid-air. Read more on the NSF website, Oct 3, 2011.
  • Research on the common ancestry of birds and dinosaurs by graduate student Bhart-Anjan Bhullar of the Abzhanov Lab was recently featured in the New Scientist magazine. Read a preview in the Oct 2011 issue.
  • Farish A. Jenkins, Jr. was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 1, 2011. The Academy is an international learned society dating back to the American Revoultion. It elects to membership men and women of exceptional achievement, drawn from science, scholarship, business, public affairs, and the arts.
  • Natalie Jacewicz '13 of the Losos Lab was featured in an article in The Harvard Crimson on Sept. 30, 2011. Her study of lizards includes field work observing lizards in the Caribbean.
  • Hopi Hoekstra is a recipient of the 2011 Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching. A faculty committee comprised of members from across the sciences at Harvard recommends recipients based on their ability to inspire students, instill in them a passion for science, and effectively communicate complex ideas. Article in Harvard Gazette, Sept. 29, 2011.
  • Current work by Rowan Barrett, a postdoc in the Hoekstra Lab, is featured in a recent New York Times article. Read the article from August 9, 2011
  • L. Mahadevan and colleagues used developmental experiments, physical models, mathematical theory and computational models to determine what drives the characteristic looping form of the chick gut. Abstract in the journal Nature, August 4, 2011
  • L. Mahadevan studied the abstract artwork of Jackson Pollock and found that Pollock's paintings are not accidental patterns but show deliberateness as the artist explored the coiling aspects of fluid dynamics. Harvard Gazette story
  • Second International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology
    Hosted by MCZ, OEB, and HMNH from June 20-23, 2011. This conference connects researchers interested in the morphology and evolution of invertebrate animals.
  • With deep sorrow we learned of the death of our colleague and friend, Navjot Sodhi. He was the 2008-09 Hrdy Fellow in Conservation Biology in OEB. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Tributes to Navjot Sodhi.
  • Harvard University botany professor Asa Gray (1810-1888) is featured on a 2011 Scientist Stamp of the USPS. More about Asa Gray.
  • Chris Marx has found that rather than increase over time, the value of beneficial mutations in a cell decreases. His research results are published in the June 3 issue of the journal Science. Harvard Gazette story, 6/2/2011
  • Dino Martins, recent PhD graduate from the Pierce Lab, received a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award. Martins has been recognized for investigating the crucial role that insects play in pollinating plants. Read more about his research and the award here.
  • Research conducted by Scott Edwards's former student, Anh-Thu Elaine Vo '08, has traced the rise of mercury pollution in endangered seabirds and highlighted the importance of museum collections as a time capsule concerning conditions on Earth over the past century. Harvard Gazette story, 5/12/2011
  • Farish Jenkins has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Harvard Gazette story 4/19/2011
  • Anne Pringle has been selected as one of four recipients of this year's Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award. The Excellence in Mentoring Award was established by the Graduate Student Council in 1998-99 to honor those Harvard faculty members who truly go out of their way to mentor GSAS students. Harvard Gazette story, 4/15/2011
  • Losos Lab graduate student Luke Mahler has been awarded the 2011 R.A. Fisher Prize by the Society for the Study of Evolution. The prize is awarded for an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation paper published in the journal Evolution.
  • L. Mahadevan uses quantitative approaches to study the graceful geometry of the Asiatic lily's blooming process . Harvard Gazette story, 3/21/2011,
  • Peter Girguis presented a history of undersea exploration and an overview of his deep-sea work in a talk at the HMNH. Harvard Gazette story, 3/11/2011
  • Cori Bargmann to give Prather Lectures March 29, 30, 31. Bargmann is a pioneer in the field of learning and memory behavioral genetics who has focused much of her work on the genetics and neurobiology of the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans.Details on the MCB website.
  • Michael Desai has been named a 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. The two-year fellowship is awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
  • Research from the Hoekstra Lab lead by postdoc Marie Manceau probes the question of how animal color patterns form and evolve. Harvard Gazette story
  • Ned Friedman envisions a vital center for plant science at the Arnold Arboretum's Weld Hill facility. Harvard Gazette interview, 2/14/2011.

2010

  • EO Wilson has received the BBVA Foundation's 2010 Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the area of Ecology and Conservation Biology. BBVA announcement.
  • The Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, has honored Dan Hartl by naming him an Honorary Academy Fellow.
  • Don Pfister's annual holiday lecture linking hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria and Santa's flying reindeer was featured on NPR's Morning Edition.
  • Research by Arkhat Abzhanov probes key HOX genes among crocodiles for clues to the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. Harvard Gazette story, 11/4/2010
  • Ned Friedman, who will be joining the OEB faculty in January 2011, talked about some of his plans for the Arnold Arboretum in his role as its new director. Boston Globe interview, 10/28/2010
  • Research by Peter Girguis adds to understanding of deep sea microbes' ability to degrade the byproducts of the Deepwater Horizon spill. HarvardScience story, 10/21/2010
  • David Haig has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Harvard Gazette story, 10/21/2010
  • Pardis Sabeti is featured in a Smithonian History Explorer video called "Biotechnology at the Cutting Edge."
  • The NSF awarded a grant to study the dimensions of earth's biodiversity to PI Stuart Davies, Director of the Center for Tropical Forest Science of the Arnonld Arboretum, Asia program. Press release, 10/5/2010.
  • William "Ned" Friedman has been named the new director of the Arnold Arboretum. He also will be a professor in OEB.
  • Population geneticist and OEB alumnus Carlos Bustamante has been awarded a 2010 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." Read more.
  • Anne Pringle is a lead author of a study showing that fungal spores travel farther by surfing their own wind. Findings could have implications for methods of controlling the spread of fungal pathogens. Harvard Gazette story, 9/27/2010.
  • Cassandra Extavour is PI of an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network called EDEN (Evo-Devo-Eco Network). Applications are being accepted now through Oct 31, 2010 for Research Exchange Grants to fund active interchange of tools and techniques among labs working on emerging model systems. How to apply for funding.
  • Hopi Hoekstra talks about the MCZ’s collection of horns and antlers on display in the Harvard Museum of Natural History. “Headgear: The Natural History of Horns and Antlers” is on exhibit until January 2. Harvard Gazette story, 9/2/2010.
  • Naomi Pierce co-authored a new paper suggesting that the mutually beneficial relationships that species create are maintained because of simple self-interest.
  • E.O. Wilson and PED director, Martin Nowak, presented a new theory on the evolution of eusociality, the rare but spectacularly successful social structure in which individuals of the world’s most dominant species cooperate to raise offspring. Read abstract in the Journal Nature, Harvard Gazette story 8/25/2010.
  • E.O. Wilson explains “Why I Do Science,” for KQED Public Broadcasting for Northern California. Watch the video here. Airdate August 24, 2010.
  • Cassandra Extavour is awarded a New Scholar Award in Aging from the Ellison Medical Foundation for proposed work on the effects of aging on the renewal and regeneration of the germline. New Scholars are investigators who are nominated for their outstanding promise in aging research. Extavour Lab, August 2010
  • Dr. Kanchi N. Gandhi, HUH Bibliographer and Nomenclature Specialist, receives the 2010 ASPT Distinguished Service Award Read more, August13, 2010.
  • L. Mahadevan's work is inspired by curiosity about everyday things. On Sept. 27, he will join Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi in conversation about the Architecture of Natural Patterns. View YouTube interview with L. Mahadevan.
  • In the August issue of the journal Paleobiology, Brian D. Farrell and colleagues present a scientific study of insect diversity suggesting that it’s seasonality, not heat or light, that drives biodiversity. Harvard Gazette article, July 20, 2010.
  • Prashant Sharma, a grad student in the Giribet Lab, received the 2nd place award for best student oral presentation at the July 2010 meeting of the International Society for Arachnology.
  • Rare titan arum plant blooms in OEB greenhouse. Slideshow and more, July 18, 2010.
  • David Haig co-authored a study, published in the journal Science, showing that maternal genes dominate in developing mice brains, while paternal ones lead in adulthood. Harvard Gazette article, July 8, 2010
  • MCZ Associate Catherine L. Craig co-authored a new popular science book called Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating. June 10, 2010
  • Prashant Sharma, a grad student in the Giribet Lab, received the Willi Hennig Award for the best oral presentation by a student at the May 2010 meeting of the Willi Hennig Society. The international organization promotes the field of phylogenetic systematics. May 25, 2010
  • Edward O. Wilson delivered the 2010 John M. Prather Lectures in Biology.
  • Pictured here with his students, OEB graduate student Bhart-Anjan Bhullar received a 2010 Derek C. Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates. A member of the Abzhanov Lab, Anjan is the first teaching fellow from the biological sciences to receive this prestigious university-wide award. Read more.
  • Andrew Biewener was a guest editor of a special feature entitled "Control and dynamics of animal movement" in the June 2010 issue of Biology Letters. Andy Biewener and co-editor Tom Daniel discussed the feature in an interview with Biology Letters' Wendy Barnaby. View the video podcast.
  • A video about the Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) Initiative, featured in the HMNH’s exhibit EVOLUTION, is available to view online. The film includes interviews with E.O. Wilson, Jim Hanken, Gonzalo Giribet, and Brian Farrell. Watch video.
  • Alexandra Mushegian's senior thesis examined bacterial communities living within lichens. She worked under the direction of Anne Pringle. Harvard Gazette story, 4/13/2010.
  • OEB undergrad Jeremy Hsu blogs about his spring break field trip to Costa Rica with OEB 167: Herpetology, taught by Jim Hanken and Jonathan Losos. Posted April 06, 2010
  • Farish Jenkins received the GSAS 2010 Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award. The award honors faculty for efforts in supporting, encouraging and promoting their graduate students' research, education, professional and personal development, and career plans. April, 2010, read more about the award.
  • Anne Pringle and grad student Ben Wolfe combine field work and genetic analysis to research the deadly deathcap mushroom, amanita phalloides. Harvard Gazette story, 4/1/2010.
  • The 2010-2011 Hrdy Visiting Fellowship has been awarded to Per Jakob Palsbøll of Stockholm University. He will be working on meshing theory and empirical data concerning the conservation genetics of North Atlantic humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, specifically focusing on methods to estimate ancestral population sizes. This work will be conducted in association with John Wakeley. Fellowship Details March 24, 2010.
  • Edward O. Wilson to give Prather Lectures April 5, 6, 7, 2010. Details
  • Colleen Cavanaugh discussed her undersea symbiosis research on PRI's Living on Earth. Listen online. Air Date: February 12, 2010
  • Davis and Losos labs identify link between climate change and invasive species in Thoreau's woods. Read stories in Boston Globe, WBUR (public radio), Harvard Gazette, Harvard Magazine.
  • Prof. Edward O. Wilson's story, Trailhead, taken from his upcoming novel, Anthill, is published in The New Yorker, 01/25/2010. Read story, read interview.
  • Postdoc Heidi Fisher and Hopi Hoekstra report that sperm can recognize and preferentially cooperate with its closest relatives.  Nature, 01/20/2010, NPR story, 01/21/2010
  • Pardis Sabeti's lab helped develop a statistical method called a "Composite of Multiple Signals" to target areas of beneficial variation in the human genome. Science, 1/7/2010

2009

  • Research projects by Arkhat Abzhanov and James Hanken were featured in the PBS NOVA program, What Darwin Never Knew. View program that aired 12/29/2009 and read more about EvoDevo on NOVA's website.
  • Prof. Edward O. Wilson received an award from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in October for his work and contributions protecting the world’s biodiversity, including his efforts to develop the Encyclopedia of Life. The award honors a commitment to conserve and preserve the world’s natural environment and resources by supporting sustainable and ethical projects.
  • The infamous Jackalopus karelliemi, a.k.a. ”Liem’s Jackalope,” made an unexpected appearance at the opening of the newly renovated Great Mammal Hall in the Harvard Museum of Natural History on October 16, 2009. The perpetrator remains unidentified and at large. The prank honors the memory of Bigelow Professor of Ichthyology Karel Liem, who was a master practical joker.
  • NPR's Science Friday has featured a video that Cassandra Extavour made about multicellularity. Watch video, 11/6/2009
  • Yael Aminetzach, a postdoctoral researcher in the Hoekstra lab, shows that venomous shrews and lizards evolved toxic proteins in the same way. Harvard Gazette story, 10/29/2009 and CBC interview, 11/21/2009
  • L. Mahadevan receives a MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant for his work on the science behind familiar objects and everyday events. HarvardScience, 9/22/2009
  • Farish A. Jenkins, Jr. is awarded the prestigious Romer-Simpson Medal at the September meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Bristol, UK. The society's highest award honors sustained and outstanding scholarly excellence in the discipline of vertebrate paleontology.
  • Pardis Sabeti is awarded an NIH Director's 2009 New Innovator Award for research in host and pathogen evolution in Lassa fever. The award addresses two important goals: stimulating highly innovative research and supporting promising new investigators. NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, 9/24/2009
  • Gonzalo Giribet is part of an international research team using scalable phylogenomic methods to place the Acoelomorph flatworms as a sister clade to other bilaterally symmetric animals. The results appear in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Proc. R. Soc. B Abstract, 9/16/2009
  • Kirsten Bomblies examines plant immune responses for clues to divergence. Harvard Gazette, 9/21/2009 (Read her profile in recently launched Harvard FD&D site.)
  • Chris Organ and Dan Janes show that transition from egg laying to live birth in a species depends on the prior evolution of genetic sex determination. Harvard Gazette, 9/21/2009
  • Professor Karel F. Liem, Henry Bryant Bigelow Professor of Ichthyology, Curator of Ichthyology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and Honorary Associate and Former Master of Dunster House, died on September 3, 2009.
  • Congratulations to the 2009 Rhino Cup volleyball tournament winners as team Los Mostachos triumphs. 9/2/2009
  • James McCarthy shared his research on climate change with school teachers from around the Northeast during a weeklong Harvard workshop “Oil and the Contemporary Globe.” Harvard Gazette, 9/1/2009
  • OEB faculty participated in the 2009 Harvard Life Sciences/Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsored summer outreach programs for high school biology teachers and students. Read more about the MCB-hosted program. Visit the program website. Follow links to videos of evolution lectures by OEB faculty.
  • Hopi Hoekstra, Catherine Linnen and Evan Kingsley's article, published in the journal Science, shows mice living in Sand Hills quickly evolved lighter coloration. Harvard Science, 8/27/2009
  • Stacey Combes and L. Mahadevan are part of research team receiving a $10M NSF grant to develop small-scale mobile robotic devices. Press release, 8/12/2009
  • David Haig's analysis of rare genetic disorders shows maternal, paternal genes' tug-of-war may last well into childhood. Harvard Science, 7/28/2ß009
  • The Joint Genome Institute of the Department of Energy will sequence the genome of Amanita theirsii, a cellulose degrading fungus in an ectomycorrhizal genus. The sequencing effort will be coordinated by the Pringle Laboratory.
  • H. Bradley Shaffer begins term as Hrdy Visiting Fellow in Conservation Biology for the 2009-10 academic year. 7/1/2009
  • Jonathan Losos receives the 2009 E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award from The American Society of Naturalists. Press Release, 6/9/2009
  • Jesse Weber, a graduate student in Hopi Hoekstra's lab, was awarded the Hamilton Prize for the best student paper at the Evolution 2009 Meeting.
  • Christopher Marx to receive prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program award from the National Science Foundation.
  • Work by Yael Salzman, a postdoctoral researcher in Hopi Hoekstra's lab, on the molecular evolution of toxic proteins in shrews was featured in The Washington Post, 6/8/2009.
  • Research by Stacey Combes shows that bees in flight trade energy for safety to stay stable in the wind. Abstract, PNAS, 6/2009
  • Graduate student Matt Hegreness systematically maps synergistic and antagonistic interactions between drugs and the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 6/2009
  • Graduate student Dino Martins receives a 2009 Whitley Award for his work related to the conservation of insects and sustainable agriculture in Kenya. Watch an online video of Dino’s project.
  • Chris Organ's phylogenetic analysis of proteins in 80-million-year-old duck-billed hadrosaur fossil bolsters earlier T. rex findings about the bird-dinosaur clade. Science, 5/1/2009
  • Scott Edwards is elected to the 2009 class of Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Harvard Gazette, 4/20/2009
  • James McCarthy is honored by the Harvard Foundation as its 2009 Scientist of the Year. Harvard Gazette, 3/12/2009
  • Pardis Sabeti gave a talk entitled "Evolution in the Post-Genomic Age" at the HMNH as part of Harvard's celebration of Darwin's 200th birthday. Sound Lantern Audio file, 2/26/2009
  • Scott Edwards collaborated with recent OEB PhD graduate Leon Claessens to create a 3-D digital model of a rare dodo skeleton in the MCZ's collections. HarvardScience, 2/19/2009
  • Hopi Hoekstra's work on cryptic coloration in mice was featured in Smithsonian Magazine, 2/10/2009.
  • Peter Girguis and Scott Wankel probe the deep subsurface biosphere of the Saragasso Sea and find it teeming with never-before-seen exotic, microscopic life. Harvard Gazette 2/12/2009
  • Arkhat Abzhanov and Hopi Hoekstra are praised among the 'modern Darwins' whose scientific work carries on the legacy Darwin's theory inspired. They are featured in National Geographic. 2/2009

2008

  • Papers by Jonathan Losos, Farish Jenkins and Arkhat Abzhanov are cited among the past decade's 'gems' of evolutionary evidence as Nature marks Darwin's 200th birthday. Nature. 12/31/2008
  • Grad student Dave Blackburn's study of the "Wolverine frog" from Africa—frogs with erectile claws—was one of the Top 10 Stories of 2008 reported by the journal Science. 12/24/2008
  • Anne Pringle researches why explosively launched ascomycete fungal spores have drag-minimizing shapes. PNAS Abstract, 12/22/2008
  • Launch of the Encyclopedia of Life was one of Nature magazine’s 10 “biggest science stories of the year.” Nature, 12/18/2008
  • Gonzalo Giribet's paper on metazoan phylogenomics, published in the journal Nature, was included in Discover magazine’s "top 100 Science Stories of 2008." Discover, 12/4/2008
  • Paul Moorcroft is modeling the forest to provide a detailed view of responses to climate variation. Harvard Gazette, 12/18/2008
  • Prashant Sharma, a graduate student in the Giribet Lab, received the Don Rosen award of the Willi Hennig Society for his talk at the Hennig XXVII International Meeting in Tucuman, Argentina. 10/2008.
  • Walden Pond research by grad students Brad Ruhfel and Charles Willis, working with Charles Davis, is featured in the New York Times, 10/28/2008.
  • Opening of HMNH's exhibit "The Language of Color" featured Hopi Hoekstra describing how animals and plants communicate with color. Harvard Magazine, 10/24/2008
  • Takeshi Ise, a 2008 OEB PhD graduate in Paul Moorcroft's lab, has shown that rising temperatures may dry up peat bogs, causing carbon release. New York Times, 10/14/2008
  • Gonzalo Giribet explained the role of mite harvestmen in National Geographic Channel's Naked Science: "Supercontinent" episode airing on Oct 9, 2008.
  • Kirsten Bomblies is among Harvard's three MacArthur Foundation 2008 "genius" grant recipients in the sciences. She will begin her OEB appointment in July, 2009.
  • Audubon: The Early Drawings -- A discussion at HMNH with Scott Edwards and Leslie Morris on Sept 18, 2008.
  • Missy Holbrook will moderate a discussion with Edward O. Wilson and Eric Chivian entitled "Sustaining Life: A Conversation" at Boston's Museum of Science on October 3, 2008.
  • OEB postdoc Terry J. Ord, working with Jonathan Losos, has described how Jamaican lizards mark their territory with shows of strength at dusk and dawn. Harvard Science, 8/27/2008
  • Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity -- HMNH will host a lecture & booksigning by Dr. Eric Chivian and Dr. E. O. Wilson on Oct 16, 2008
  • "Taking a cue from ants on evolution of humans," the work of Edward O. Wilson is featured in the NewYork Times, 7/15/2008.
  • Brian Langerhans, Liang Liu, Charlie Willis and Santiago Ramirez receive recognition at Evolution 2008 meetings. OEB Department has strong showing. Science, 7/4/2008
  • Yun Zhang awarded prestigious Merck Award for her research aimed at understanding learning and the pathologyof neurological defects LiveScience, 5/27/2008
  • Analysis of Martian rock by Andy Knoll and Nicholas Tosca suggests Mars' water has been too salty to support life. ScienceDaily, 5/30/2008
  • A new species of Sri Lankan frog described by Madhava Meegaskumbara is on 2008 List of Top 10 New Species of the International Institute for Species Exploration.
  • Peter Girguis's microbial fuel cell powers Harvard student team's winning project in World Bank's Lighting Africa competition. Harvard Gazette, 5/22/2008
  • Chris Organ's molecular analysis of T. rex protein, published in the journal Science, shows shared avian ancestry. Harvard Gazette, 5/1/2008
  • Gonzalo Giribet's phylogenomic sampling research improves resolution of the animal tree of life and is the journal Nature's cover story. 4/10/2008
  • Martin A. Nowak's study, published in the journal Nature, shows that cooperation game winners choose not to escalate conflicts. Harvard Gazette, 3/20/2008
  • Jim McCarthy has been awarded the 2008 Walker Prize from the Boston Museum of Science. BMOS, 4/7/2008
  • The Hrdy Visiting Fellowship in Conservation Biology for the 2008-09 academic year has been awarded to Professor Navjot Sodhi of the National University of Singapore.

2007

  • Charles Davis's Rafflesia research is among Discover Magazine's top 100 discoveries of 2007. Discover Magazine, 1/15/2008
  • James McCarthy, co-chair of a United Nations IPCC working group, among delegation honored at laureate Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony Harvard Gazette, 12/13/2007
  • Anne Pringle used high speed video to reveal the mechanism of mushroom spore discharge. Small Things Considered, 12/10/2007
  • Donald Pfister chosen as new dean of Harvard Summer School Harvard Gazette, 12/06/2007
  • Peter Girguis awarded a Lindbergh Grant for developing microbial fuel cells from soil for lighting and power in rural areas Harvard Gazette, 12/06/2007
  • Andy Biewener and CFS researcher Timothy Higham study complexity of bird muscles in motion. HarvardScience, 11/14/2007
  • Santiago Ramírez, Charles Marshall and Naomi Pierce have identified the ancient fossilized remains of a pollen-bearing bee as the first hint of orchids in the fossil record. Harvard Gazette, 8/29/2007
  • Gonzalo Giribet hunts tiny daddy longlegs to explain continental shifts. New York Times, 8/28/2007
  • Andy Knoll awarded the Geological Society of London's highest honor, the Wollaston Medal
  • Cassandra Extavour's theory of the evolution of germline development featured in special Germ Cell Issue of Science, 4/20/2007
  • Anne Pringle on the trail of the deadly death cap mushroom NPR's All Things Considered, 2/8/2007
  • Charles Davis unravels the mystery of Rafflesia Harvard Gazette, 2/1/2007
  • Peter Shaw Ashton awarded the Japan Prize Harvard Gazette, 1/11/2007

2006

  • Arkhat Abzhanov, Hopi Hoekstra and Farish Jenkins among the "Top 10" recognized by the journal Science for 2006 breakthroughs. Science, 12/22/2006