2019

Rewan Abdelwahab

Rewan Abdelwahab Presented Spirit of Harvard College Award

April 16, 2019

Congratulations to Rewan Abdelwahab, IB concentrator in OEB, presented the Spirit of Harvard College Award by the Dean of Students Office. Rewan is one of three students to receive the award for showing a commitment to the ideals articulated in the Mission of Harvard College over the past academic year. The award recognizes significant campus leadership contributions to integrate the intellectual, social, and...

southern cassowary Luke Seitz

Convergent Regulatory Evolution and Loss of Flight in Paleognathous Birds

April 5, 2019

Species from widely divergent taxa can experience similar changes in traits. What underlying genetic drivers cause these parallel changes remains an open question. Tim Sackton (Director of Bioinformatics and former postdoc in Scott Edwards Lab), PhD student, Phil Grayson and Prof. Scott Edwards used a new method developed by collaborators in the Harvard Statistics Department to look across groups of birds that have repeatedly lost flight. The team showed there is convergence in the regulatory regions associated with genes related to flight, but not within the protein coding regions.
...

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Mansi Srivastava and Andrew Gehrke with specimens in the laboratory. Courtesy of Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

The Genetics of Regeneration

March 15, 2019

In a study in the March 15 issue of Science Magazine, Mansi Srivastava and lab members Andrew Gehrke, Emily Neverett, Yi-Jyun Luo, Lorenzo Ricci (Postdocs) and Ryan Hulett (PhD student) shed light on how some animals have the amazing ability to regenerate and uncovered a number of DNA switches that appear to control genes for whole-body regeneration.

The team used three-banded panther worms to test the process and discovered...

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Derek Bok Center

OEB Graduate Students Receive Fall 2018 Derek Bok Center Certificate of Distinction in Teaching

March 12, 2019

Congratulations to OEB graduate students awarded the Fall 2018 Derek Bok Center Certificates of Distinction in Teaching!

Nicole Bedford (OEB 145); Catherine Chamberlain (SCILIVSY 12); Samuel Church (OEB 155R); Jessica Gersony (OEB 120); Kadeem Gilbert (OEB 114); Benjamin Goulet (OEB 50); Eadaoin Harney (OEB 252); Alyssa Hernandez (OEB 10); Ryan Hulett...

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Skate Cartilage courtesy of Valentina Di Santo

Ocean Acidification and Warming Affect Skeletal Mineralization in a Marine Fish

February 22, 2019

Postdoc, Valentina Di Santo (Lauder Lab) examined the effect of ocean acidification and warming on mineralization of fish skeleton. Previous studies have focused on the effect of these climate-related stressors on calcification rates of the exoskeleton, or shell of marine invertebrates, as well as the ear stone of fishes. However, DiSanto's study, published in Proceedings of the...

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Bee Sensor courtesy of Jacob Peters

How Honey Bees Keep the Hive Cool on Hot Days

February 5, 2019

Postdoc, Jacob Peters (PhD '18) and Prof. L. Mahadevan have developed a framework that explains how bees use environmental signals to collectively cluster and continuously ventilate the hive. The study published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface looked at European honey bees (Apis mellifera), which live in large congested nest cavities with a single opening that limits...

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Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

Evolution in Real Time

February 1, 2019

Set in the Nebraska's Sand Hills, an on-going study led by Rowan Barrett (McGill University, former Postdoc, Hoekstra Lab) and Hopi Hoekstra shows evolution in real time. Hundreds of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were released into massive, custom-built outdoor enclosures to track how light- and dark-colored mice survived in light- and dark-colored habitats.

The results, published in Science, reveals real-time...

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Lungless Salamander by Dave Huth on Flickr

Lungless Salamanders’ Skin Expresses Protein Crucial for Lung Function

January 30, 2019

Scientists have long assumed that the hundreds of species of salamanders that lack lungs breathe instead through their skin and the lining of the mouth. However, a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B led by postdoc Zachary Lewis (Hanken Lab) and Prof. Jim Hanken provides the first concrete evidence for how the lungless salamanders do "breathe".

The authors, including former Harvard...

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Golden Jackal by Koshy Koshy on Flickr

Rise of the Golden Jackal

January 14, 2019

PhD student, Nathan Ranc (Moorcroft Lab) studies wildlife movement ecology. Nathan's work - supported by the Edmund Mach Foundation in Italy - follows the staggering expansion of the golden jackal. Ranc and Miha Krofel, a conservation biologist at the University of Ljubljana, lead 37 volunteers — scientists and naturalists — in monitoring the golden jackal throughout Europe. Ranc and Krofel's research was recently covered by the ...

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Ercaicunia micro CT model by Dayou Zhai

Cambrian Ancestor of Crustaceans and Insects in 3D

January 7, 2019

The pancrustaceans are the most diverse animal group to ever exist, and include familiar kinds of arthropods such as crustaceans (e.g. shrimp, crabs, lobsters) and six-legged insects. A new study by Prof. Javier Ortega-Hernández and Joanna Wolfe (Research Associate, Ortega-Hernández Lab), in collaboration with colleagues at Yunnan University in Kunming, illuminate details on the evolution of these successful invertebrates. The findings, published in the...

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