2018

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B v374(1763)

Biological Collections for Understanding Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

November 19, 2018

Postdoctoral researcher, Emily Meineke (Davis Lab), former postdoctoral researcher, Barnabas Daru (Davis Lab) and Prof. Charles Davis teamed with Prof. Jonathan Davies, University of British Columbia to serve as co-editors of a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B, (v374:1763). 

The special issue is dedicated to looking at the creative...

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Echidna by Mark Gillow Flickr

Researchers Look to Echidnas to Shed Light on Forelimb Evolution in Mammals

November 14, 2018

Mammals use their forelimbs for many activities including swimming, jumping, flying, climbing and digging. But how they evolved to do so is a mystery for scientists. Postdoc, Sophie Regnault (S. Pierce Lab) and Prof. Stephanie Pierce studied a highly-detailed musculoskeletal model of an echidna forelimb to shed light on how extinct mammals might have used their forelimbs. Echidnas are egg-laying mammals with many anatomical features in common with earlier mammal ancestors and can help bridge the gap between extinct and other...

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James Crall QR Code Tagged Bees for Science Magazine

Pesticide Exposure Disrupts Bumblebee Nest Behavior

November 9, 2018

Postdoc, James Crall joined former PhD student, Callin Switzer ('17, Hopkins Lab) and OEB professors, Benjamin de Bivort and Naomi Pierce to investigate the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on the bumblebee's nest behavior. Previous studies showed the pesticides reduced colony size, but how the reduction occurred was not known. In their study published in Science...

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Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards and Colleagues Awarded NSF's Dimensions of Biodiversity Funding

October 25, 2018
Congratulations to Scott Edwards and colleagues awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Dimensions of Biodiversity program fund for their project, "US-BIOTA-Sao Paulo: Traits as predictors of adaptive diversification along the Brazilian Dry Diagonal." Edward's project is one of 10 new projects NSF is investing over $18 million to... Read more about Scott Edwards and Colleagues Awarded NSF's Dimensions of Biodiversity Funding
Peter Girguis

Peter Girguis Awarded Star Family Challenge

April 21, 2018
Congratulations to Peter Girguis who, in partnership with Aspen Reese, Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, was awarded the 2018 Star Family Challenge for their project, “Collecting and Protecting Microbiomes: Leveraging Natural History Collections to Study Microbial Communities.”
Everyone loves spring! by Percita on Flickr

How Clumps of Honeybees Survive Wind

September 17, 2018

L. Mahadevan and PhD students, Jacob Peters ('18) and Mary Salcedo (Mahadevan Lab) teamed with Prof. Orit Peleg, Colorado University-Boulder, to research the collective mechanical adaptation in honeybee swarms. The study, published in Nature Physics, shows the swarm of bees act as a superorganism that responds to physical stress by changing shape. Using both physical experiments and computer modeling, the team showed that the inverted cone...

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Derek Bok Center

Spring 2018 Derek Bok Certificate of Distinction in Teaching

September 19, 2018

Congratulations to OEB graduate students, postdocs and associates awarded the spring 2018 Derek Bok Certificate of Distinction in Teaching!

Graduate Students: Izzy Baker (MCB 64), Meghan Blumstein (OEB 50), Liming Cai (OEB 103), Blake Dickson (OEB 217R), Nathan Edelman (OEB 230), Morgan Furze (OEB 52), Phillip Grayson (OEB 50), Nicholas Herrmann (OEB 57), Miriam Johnston (OEB 157), Vanessa Knutson (OEB 51), Mara Laslo (OEB 167), Avantika Mainieri (OEB 57), Anju Manandhar (ESPP 90Y), Ya Min (OEB 52), Sofia Prado-Irwin (OEB 167), Jonathan Schmitt (OEB 190...

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Illustration showing an early mammal relative, Thrinaxodon, which was part of the first group to have an extra fourth section of their backbones. Credit: April Neander  Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-mammal-spine-scientists.html#jCp

What Makes a Mammal a Mammal? Our Spine!

September 21, 2018

A new study led by postdoctoral researcher, Katrina Jones (S. Pierce Lab) and Stephanie Pierce suggests the makeup of a spine is one more characteristic that defines a mammal. The research, published in the September 21 issue of Science, shows mammal backbones are different than the vertebra of most four-legged animals in that it is made up of different sections - neck, thorax, and lower back - that take on different shapes and...

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Mansi Srivastava

Mansi Srivastava Awarded NIH MIRA for Early Stage Investigators

September 5, 2018

Congratulations to Mansi Srivastava, recipient of the National Institutes of Health, Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) for Early Stage Investigators for her proposal, "Using a new regenerative model system to elucidate mechanisms for stem cell regulation." 

The MIRA award is a unique funding opportunity that supports research that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Andrew Knoll Awarded The International Prize for Biology

Andrew Knoll Awarded The International Prize for Biology

August 30, 2018

Congratulations to Andrew Knoll, awarded the International Prize for Biology of Japan Society. Created in 1985 to honor the 60-year reign of Emperor Shōwa of Japan and his support of biology, the annual award is considered one of the most prestigious honors a natural scientist can receive. 

The Committee on the International Prize for Biology (chaired by Dr. Hiroo Imura, Acting Vice...

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Leonora Bittleston traveled to Borneo to collect pitcher plant liquid for her studies, like those from the Veitch’s pitcher-plant here. PHOTO COURTESY OF LEONORA BITTLESTON

An Ocean Apart, Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Create Similar Communities

August 28, 2018

As a graduate student in Naomi Pierce's lab, Leonora Bittleston (PhD '17) traveled to Nepenthes Camp in the Maliau Basin, an elevated conservation area in Malaysian Borneo with a rich, isolated rainforest ecosystem, to collect pitcher plants. The carnivorous pitcher plants trap, drown and digest their animal prey to supplement nutrient-poor soils. Bittleston collected samples of the liquid inside the pitchers to compare to pitcher plants in Massachusetts and along the Gulf Coast. Though unrelated, both plant families had similar adaptations for trapping prey and are a perfect...

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