2019

Image from 2019 Science Advances Article by Stephanie Pierce

Fin-to-Limb Evolution

May 8, 2019
Stephanie E. Pierce collaborated with London's Royal Veterinary College to help explain how tetrapods (animals with limbs - hands and feet and fingers and toes) arose from animals that were fish with fins and lived in water.  The team examined fossil evidence using the innovative technique, anatomical network analysis (AnNA) and found a pattern not before seen. The study published in May 8 issue of Science Advances helps to explain how sea-dwelling creatures' fins became specialized... Read more about Fin-to-Limb Evolution
IB Student Camille DeSisto_Photo by Kris Snibbe, Harvard Staff Photographer

Camille DeSisto Searches for Answers in What Lemurs Leave Behind

May 18, 2019
Undergraduate IB Concentrator, Camille DeSisto (Davis Lab) spent two summers in Madagascar’s tropical forests studying invasive plant dispersal, by exploring lemur poop. The island’s lemurs eat the plant’s fruit and poop out the seeds, widely spreading the invasive strawberry guava along Madagascar’s tropical east coast threatening native plants that are unlike plants found anywhere else. Camille's research was featured in the... Read more about Camille DeSisto Searches for Answers in What Lemurs Leave Behind
Illustrations for McCoy Proceedings of Royal Society B Paper

Structurally Assisted Super Black in Colourful Peacock Spiders

May 15, 2019

Peacock spiders, known for their elaborate mating dances, use incredibly dark, “super black” patches on their body to enhance nearby colors. This makes colors look impossibly bright, or even glowing, an optical illusion also used by birds-of-paradise.The spider evolved microlenses on its body surface, which manipulate light in the same way human-made materials do.

PhD Student, Dakota McCoy (David Haig Lab) documents a remarkable convergence of form, between nature and engineering, and function, between two groups of highly ornate, sexually selected animals,...

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Bacillus subtilis swarm by Adrian Daerr

L. Mahadevan and Team Describe How Bacteria Spread in Different Forms

April 30, 2019

Prof. L. Mahadevan and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences researchers have developed a new model to describe how bacteria spread in different forms. The study, published in the open-access journal, eLife, combines mechanics, hydrodynamics and transport to describe the dynamics of growth and formation of thin bacterial swarms and biofilms; revealing the spread in both forms of microbial community are limited by the constraints of water and...

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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. Scott Edwards, Tim Sackton (Director of Bioinformatics and former Postdoc) and PhD student Phil Grayson 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.

In the...

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Derek Bok Center

Fall 2018 Derek Bok Certificates of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching

March 12, 2019

Congratulations to OEB graduate students, postdocs and associates awarded the Fall 2018 Derek Bok Certificates of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching!

Certificates of Distinction for TFs, TAs and CAs: Alyssa Hernandez (OEB 10), Sang Il Kim (OEB 10), Inbar Maayan (OEB 10), Kira Treibergs (OEB 10), Benjamin Goulet (OEB 50), Benjamin Rice (OEB 50), Brock Wooldridge (OEB...

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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, Di Santo's study, published in Proceedings of the...

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