Faculty News

Green Anole Lizard by Martin de Lusenet_Flikr

How Climate Change is Impacting Natural Selection

August 3, 2017

A new study in Science, led by Shane Campbell-Stanton (Ph.D. '15), with Jonathan Losos and Scott Edwards, offers a rare view of natural selection in the anole lizard due to extreme weather events. As a graduate student, Campbell-Stanton collected DNA in 2013 from lizards in Texas and Oklahoma. Following an unusually harsh winter in 2014, he returned to the field sites to collect new DNA samples. With the before and after

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Wild Turkey-Flikr

Researchers Study on Avian Neck Flexibility Lays Foundation for Future Evolution Work

July 24, 2017

Birds have highly mobile necks, but the details and evolution of the complex musculoskeletal system is not well-understood. A new study in Frontiers in Zoology led by postdoc, Robert Kambic (S. Pierce Lab), and professors Stephanie Pierce and Andrew Biewener, uses biplanar X-rays on wild turkeys to evaluate the

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Stephanie Pierce Lab at Blue Beach (image courtesy Heather Desveaux)

Stephanie Pierce Lab Goes Fossil Hunting at Blue Beach

June 28, 2017

Stephanie Pierce and lab members are at Blue Beach Fossil Museum in Hantsport Nova Scotia searching for fossils from the lower carboniferous rock period. Carboniferous rocks help fill in "Romer's Gap", the period of time that explains the evolution of tetrapods from fish 360 million years ago. Outside of Nova Scotia, carboniferous fossils haven't been located anywhere else except Scotland.  

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File photograph by Ruby Arguilla/Harvard News Office

New Study Suggest Parents of Newborn Daughters Take Fewer Risks

June 21, 2017
David Haig teamed with professors at the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick to examine the effect of learning a child’s gender on parents’ attitudes towards risky behaviors upon learning a child’s gender. The authors gathered prenatal and post-birth data from the pediatric wards of hospitals in both the United Kingdom and Ukraine, allowing for longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses of those attitudes; a first for a study of this kind. The study was presented at the Read more about New Study Suggest Parents of Newborn Daughters Take Fewer Risks
Amazon Rainforest Tree

Variability in Plant Hydraulic Traits Explain Differences in Drought Tolerance Among Amazon Rainforests

May 29, 2017

A study led by Thomas Powell (Moorcroft Lab), former OEB PhD student, James Wheeler (Holbrook Lab) and Paul Moorcroft examined the unknown effects of drought tolerance among mature Amazon rainforest trees. The study found the differences in xylem and leaf hydraulic traits not only explained the differences in drought tolerance among mature Amazon rainforest trees, but are

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The team studied the spread of the Zika virus (left; courtesy NIAID) among affected regions in South and Central America and the Caribbean (right, in red). Broad Institute

Pardis Sabeti and Team of Scientists Show Zika Virus Spread Before Anyone Knew

May 25, 2017

Pardis Sabeti is part of three international teams of researchers that sequenced and studied the genomes of the Zika virus to trace its origin and spread across the Americas. Using a genetic clock and looking at DNA from samples from people and mosquitoes, the teams determined the virus was spreading long before the first cases were reported. Sabeti's team authored one of three studies published in

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