Excavating Extinction Histories

Extinct organisms may seem like grim study subjects, but their bones can teach us a lot about their role in the environment and what led to their extinction. By knowing how these animals contributed to their environment, we can better understand how ecosystems have changed over time. Studying their bones can also give us insight into why the organisms went extinct so that we can help prevent similar extinctions of modern species.

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Indigenous Fire Practices Work

“Fire exclusion policies forced California Indian communities and forest managers to curtail their routine cultural and prescribed burning practices. Despite these policies, Karuk and Yurok basketweavers retained their knowledge, maintained their practices and, most importantly, developed several innovative techniques to replicate fire’s effects on hazelnut to produce essential basketry materials.” (Marks-Block 2019)

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Vaping is not so sweet

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are largely marketed as safer, cleaner alternatives to conventional smoked tobacco products. However, the use of these smokeless products, often referred to as “vaping”, presents its own set of concerns to human health and indoor air quality. How can just vapor cause so many problems? Read more to find out!

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Is 3D printing the future of conservation ecology?

3D printing is a new tool that is starting to be used in ecology. Researchers from the University of Delaware conducted an experiment to test whether 3D printed corals impact the behavior of a coral reef fish, the blue green chromis, in a laboratory setting. The results of experiments like these can pave the way for innovative techniques for habitat manipulation studies in the future.

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It matters where you eat: seabird foraging strategies alter their responses to climate change

Climate warming in the Arctic is happening faster than other regions of the globe and leading to earlier springs. The timing of spring is important for ecosystems because it often signals the arrival of food resources and favorable weather. In Arctic seabirds, springs arrival often begins the start of breeding season. A recent study looked at how the timing of spring has changed in the Arctic and what impact this may be having on Arctic seabirds based on where birds forage for food. The results suggest that birds that feed in the upper layers of the ocean have been strongly impacted by climate change and have significantly advanced their breeding.

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Double Threat: Toxic Arsenic and Climate Change Plummet Rice Production

Half of the world’s population depends on rice. We’ve studied how rice will respond to predicted changes in climate. But do we know how it will also interact with one of its most common pollutants? Researchers study how rice responds to the dual stressors of both climate change and arsenic, and ultimately find that arsenic may be the stressor we should be worried about.

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It’s Not Over Even When It’s Over: Ebola Outbreaks’ Lasting Impact on Food and Nutrition

Ebola has transcended science and medicine to become a modern day term of panic. Though its effects on the body are well known, its effects on personal, familial, and societal activities like food are less clear. Emerging research shows the long-term and even permanent effects of this deadly disease on food and nutrition in Sierra Leone, one of the worst-hit areas during the 2013-2016 Ebola oubreak.

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A lifetime of noise: what are the costs?

The visible cringe. The reflex to cover your ears. A constant piercing noise can be a horrific experience for a person. Research has shown that noise pollution can negatively impact the health of humans, animals and possibly entire ecosystems. What are the consequences of a lifetime surrounded by noise? Two scientists aim to characterize the costs of chronic noise pollution on the survival, growth and reproductive success of animals over their entire lifetime.

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