Navigating the Future of Insects in an Illuminated World

Humans bring light to even the darkest of places, but how does this affect the creatures we share the night with? In our quest to illuminate our world, we are altering the fate of insects for generations to come by contributing to their decline and pressuring them to adapt to an environment that has artificial light at night.

Read more

Dumpster diving diet: city rats have higher protein diet distinct from other rural mammals

Rats have shared our cities for a long time. Because of this they can be used a model to learn more about how animals colonized cities and what features of cities can be advantageous for some species. A new study focuses their attention on whether 19th century city mice had an advantage over their rural neighbors. Read on to find out more!

Read more

Backyard Biodiversity: Urban Schoolyards Can Play an Important Role in Conservation

Biodiversity matters. Not just in the Amazon, but in your backyard, too. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) took the world by storm; the biodiversity crisis is here, and plants and animals across the globe are facing extinction, ultimately transforming ecosystems as we know it. Since the report, there has been a public outcry about what we can do to slow the impending biodiversity crisis, covered everywhere from scientific journals to media outlets worldwide.

While there are many pathways to address the crisis, a paper from a team of African researchers published in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening points to the importance of addressing a big problem on a small scale, suggesting urban schoolyards can positively impact local biodiversity for both native and exotic species.

Read more

Mentally “exhausted” honey bees—petroleum exhaust makes bees learn slower and forget faster

Scent pollution from exhaust fumes could disrupt the relationship between honey bees and the flowers they feed from and pollinate. The smell of flowers invites pollinators to come and feast on their nectar. But exhaust masks those smells, making it harder for bees to learn and remember the floral scents that cue them in to flowers.

Read more

Poison Ivy’s Pervasiveness

Are you part of the 80% of the population that is allergic to poison ivy? What do we really know about poison ivy beyond its potential to cause an itchy rash on our skin? Poison ivy can actually adapt to its environment and exploit a variety of habitats, which helps explain its ubiquitous distribution. A future climate with greater carbon dioxide concentrations is expected to expand its distribution and increase its toxicity – bad news.

Read more

The Future of Seafood: Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture

Aquaculture has long been revered as a benefit to the seafood industry by increasing food availability for developing nations and taking pressure off of overexploited wild fish stocks. However, aquaculture has also been cited for its negative environmental impacts. Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is a solution that combines species of different trophic levels to be grown together in the same aquaculture setting, reducing environmental impacts and increasing overall production.

Read more

Islands and Alleles: How genetics can help protect endangered species

When talking about diversity in the natural world, we often think of the bright colors and bold patterns of fish gliding among a reef, or the variety of flying, creeping, and crawling critters found in the layers of a rainforest canopy. However, diversity even within a single species is an important indicator of a population’s health and stability. This type of diversity can be invisible to us when contained in the form of genes that control which traits organisms possess. In this study, scientists helped us to see the invisible diversity of an endangered skink and learn how to more effectively conserve this diversity.

Read more