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Cassandra Extavour. Credit: Erica Derrickson 2020

Cassandra Extavour awarded HSFP Program Award 2022 Research Grant

September 5, 2022

Professor Cassandra Extavour has been awarded an Early Career Grant from the 2022 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). The award is presented to Extavour in collaboration with Dr. Pavel Tomancak, MPI-CBG Dresden, Dr. Carl-Philipp Heisenberg, Institute of Science and Technology Austria, and Dr. Andreas Hejnol, University of Bergen. The three-year project titled, Bridging biophysics and evolution: impact of...

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Enrico Strocchi- Lisbon Oceanarium on Flickr

Comparing shark skin surface and biomimetic models

August 25, 2022

Many marine organisms have been an inspiration for the design of bioinspired robots and other structures. Shark skin is one such organism due to its role in reducing drag and enhancing thrust. Researchers believe these properties are due to the textured surface composed of ridges on the surface of individual tooth-like scales, called denticles. Understanding the desing of shark skin can assist in developing bioinspired materials to the hulls of both surface and underwater vehicles to reduce the energetic cost of moving through water.

Attempts to replicate the...

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Hopi Hoekstra-Courtesy of Anna Olivella and Harvard Brain Science Initiative

Hopi Hoekstra recipient of the Lowell Thomas Award

August 24, 2022

Congratulations to Professor Hopi Hoekstra, one of six recipients of the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club. The Lowell Thomas Award is presented to those who have pushed the limits of discovery, knowledge and human endurance, and have excelled in communicating the importance of exploration and the field sciences to the general public. The 2022 Lowell Thomas awardees exhibited excellence in...

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Artistic reconstruction of the reptile adaptive radiation in a terrestrial ecosystem during the warmest period in Earth's history by Henry Sharpe

Global warming spawned the age of reptiles

August 19, 2022

Studying climate change-induced mass extinctions in the deep geological past allows researchers to explore the impact of environmental crises on organismal evolution. One principal example is the Permian-Triassic climatic crises, a series of climatic shifts driven by global warming that occurred between the Middle Permian (265 million years ago) and Middle Triassic (230 million years ago). These climatic shifts caused two of the largest mass extinctions in the history of life at the end of the Permian, the first at...

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Hemidactylium scutatum larvae, lungless salamander native to eastern North America, by Zachary R. Lewis

Lungless salamanders develop lungs as embryos despite lung loss in adults for millions of years

August 17, 2022

Lungs are essential to many vertebrates including humans. However, four living amphibian clades have independently eliminated pulmonary respiration and lack lungs, breathing primarily through their wet skin. Little is known of the developmental basis of lung loss in these clades.

In a new study in Science Advances researchers in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology...

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