Jeb Barrett’s research shows that extreme melt restructured the invertebrate ecosystem in Antarctica

From VT News

An extreme weather event can drastically change the structure of an ecosystem for many years to come, according to a team of ecologists working in Antarctica that includes a researcher with Virginia Tech’s Global Change Center.

In the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a warm summer in January 2002 contributed to record melt and re-arranged the composition of invertebrate communities, such as nematodes and tardigrades, or “water bears” that live there, establishing dominance among ...

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Examining the connection between human health and environment in Central Appalachia

Research team (from left): Emily Satterwhite, Susan West Marmagas, Leigh-Anne Krometis, Linsey Marr, Korine Kolivras, and Julia Gohlke.

From VT News

AUG 2 2017 | Spend enough time driving through Central Appalachia, and you’ll see lush green mountain ranges brimming with diverse plant and animal species. Within those mountains, though, you can also find some of the most dramatic human health disparities in the nation.

Past studies going back to the 1970s indicate heightened incidences of ...

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Notes from the field: Finding fossils in the Triassic rocks of Wyoming

From @VT Research

JULY 31, 2017 | Over the past week, the VT Paleobiology group, led by Drs. Michelle Stocker and Sterling Nesbitt, headed out to Wyoming to find fossil bones from the Triassic (~199 to 252 million years ago) as a part of a month-long expedition to do field work across the Midwest. The area around Lander Wyoming is home to several exposures of Triassic sedimentary rocks, exactly the kind of place you want to look to ...

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Postcards from the field: Gifty is collecting data on Nile tilapia from the Pra River in Ghana

By Gifty Anane-Taabeah

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

“I am currently lodging in Half-Assini, a border town between Ghana and our western neighboring country, Ivory Coast. I spent most of my day at Elubo, another border town about 45 minutes-drive from Half-Assini, in search of O. niloticus samples. Wednesdays are market days in Elubo and an opportune time to scout for wild-caught O. niloticus. This is especially important because Ghana shares the Tano River with Ivory Coast and the data generated will be useful for conserving ...

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Reintroduction of Critically Endangered Frogs in Panama: first release marks important milestone

Smithsonian Scientists Release Frogs Wearing Mini Radio Transmitters Into Panamanian Wilderness

Lisa Belden, Angie Estrada, and Daniel Medina are Global Change Center affiliates in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. Their amphibian research was recently featured in the following video and online article at The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology InstituteThe article originally appeared as a blog post on the website of the Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Project.

“Ninety Limosa harlequin frogs (Atelopus limosus) bred in human care are braving the elements of ...

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David Haak awarded grant from the Jeffress Memorial Trust

David Haak, Assistant Professor of Plant Genomics in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science (PPWS), and a Global Change Center Affiliate, recently received a grant from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, which provides $100,000 awards to conduct innovative interdisciplinary pilot studies in fields such as biosciences, chemistry, engineering, and environmental sciences. The Co-Principal Investigator on the grant is Dr. Xiaofeng Wang, PPWS.

The project is entitled, “Do RNA Viruses Hijack Alternative Splicing Machinery for Infections? A Bioinformatician’s View”. ...

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PhD defense: Laura Schoenle- The role of glucocorticoid hormones in coping with chronic infection

We are excited to announce:

IGC Fellow, Laura Schoenle, gave her Ph.D. defense seminar on Friday, May 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in 4069 Derring Hall. Laura, who was advised by Dr. Ignacio Moore and Dr. Fran Bonier, is now Dr. Laura Schoenle! She will be starting a Post-doctoral position in New York in August.

Coping with chronic infection: The role of glucocorticoid hormones in mediating resistance and tolerance to parasites

ABSTRACT:
Parasite infections are ubiquitous, but the consequences to hosts can ...
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Sterling Nesbit finds early dinosaur cousin had a surprising croc-like look

From VT News

For decades, scientists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like. Most assumed that they would look like miniature dinosaurs, be about the size of a chicken, and walk on two legs.

A Virginia Tech paleobiologist’s latest discovery of Teleocrater rhadinus, however, has overturned popular predictions. This carnivorous creature, unearthed in southern Tanzania, was approximately seven to 10 feet long, with a long neck and tail, and instead of walking on two legs, it walked on four ...

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John Jelesko is Super Poison Ivy Man

From VT News

John Jelesko’s resume runs long with all the hallmarks of a serious scientist:

  • Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Primary author of studious journal publications
  • Winner of prestigious National Science Foundation fellowships
  • Post-doctoral work at University of California, Berkeley

Now the Virginia Tech associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science can add one more notch to his storied CV: character in a comic.

While his character doesn’t wear a cape or have super-human powers, Jelesko is being ...

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Sterling Nesbitt sizes-up early dinosaurs

From VT News

Look out your window, and you may see people of all ages and sizes roaming the street: a 6-foot-5-inch man walking beside a 4-foot-6-inch boy, for example, or a sprouting teenager who is much taller than a full-grown adult.

Virginia Tech geoscientists Christopher Griffin and Sterling Nesbitt discovered that this sort of variation in growth patterns in people despite their ages also occurred among early dinosaurs, and ...

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Watershed flood-control strategies aided by new mapping approach

From VT News

It should come as no surprise that urban areas, with impenetrable rooftops and parking lots, contribute to flooding. But natural and manmade structures within the watersheds that serve urban and rural areas can influence the path and speed of water, for better or worse.

Landscape features, such as vegetative cover, soil type, and the steepness of hillsides, affect the magnitude and duration of only small floods, according to research by Beatriz “Tiz” Mogollón of Bogota, Colombia, who ...

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Jacob Barney receives grant to study invasive Johnsongrass

From VT News

A Virginia Tech researcher will spend five years ‘deep in the weeds’ of Johnsongrass research with the help of a $5 million grant from the USDA.

Johnsongrass, native to the Mediterranean region, has snuffed out important native plants in the United States since it was first introduced in the 1800s, costing the agriculture industry millions of dollars each year.

In collaboration with lead researchers at the University of Georgia, Jacob Barney, an assistant professor of plant pathology, physiology, ...

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Research team including Jacob Barney receives $5 million USDA grant to combat invasive plant

Jacob BarneyAssistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science at Virginia Tech, is part of a research team that recently received a USDA grant to study the invasive weed, Johnsongrass.

From UGA Today

“A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia have received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find new ways of combating Johnsongrass, one of the most widespread and troublesome agricultural weeds in the world.

Native to the ...

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Global Change Center seed grants awarded for 2015-16

Each year, the Global Change Center (GCC) at Virginia Tech accepts proposals from GCC faculty to support interdisciplinary research that will lead to collaborative proposals submitted to extramural funding sources. We seek projects that link multiple faculty programs and take advantage of unique combinations of expertise at VT, have societal implications and/or a policy component, deal with emerging global change issues that have regional significance, and have high potential to eventually leverage external resources.

This year’s faculty grants were award in December. Click ...

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Quinn Thomas leads a $2.6 million USDA project to mitigate climate change

From VT News

Quinn Thomas is launching a new project to enable scientists to look many decades ahead and predict the effectiveness of land management practices in agriculture and forestry to mitigate climate change.

“The project is focused on predicting how forest and agriculture management can be used to meet demands for food and fiber while having positive benefits on climate,” said Thomas, assistant professor of forest dynamics and ecosystem modeling in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental ...

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Bad weather provides insight into a bird’s life

From BioMed Central’s blognetwork

BMC Evolutionary Biology recently published work on the adaptation of tree swallows to challenging environmental conditions. When Mother Nature turned the focus of their experiment to this, they were surprised by what they found. Read more from the co-authors in this guest blog (October 19, 2015).


 

By Jenny Ouyang & Adam Lendvai, former post-docs from Ignacio Moore’s lab at Virginia Tech.

“Field work is hard. It’s hard because you have to get up early, work long ...

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Peter Vikesland: Disease free water is a global health challenge

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 19, 2015 – Antibiotic resistance is a growing global public health threat causing an estimated 23,000 deaths in America each year.

One historically overlooked avenue by which antibiotic resistance can spread is through contact or consumption of contaminated water. For example, recent news articles have raised questions about human sewage tainted water at some of the venues for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the potential spread of resistant ‘super-bugs’. Unfortunately, the ...

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Cathy Jachowski and VDGIF capture rare footage of hellbender nests and eggs

Hellbenders! The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) tagged along with Cathy Jachowski and Bill Hopkins to learn more about how these unusual animals live and how they guard their eggs. This VDGIF video features some rare footage of hellbender egg collection and underwater use of artificial nest boxes!

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