Dr. Kendra Sewall awarded grant from the Jeffress Memorial Trust

Kendra Sewall, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Global Change Center Faculty Affiliate, received a grant from the Jeffress Memorial Trust, which provides $100,000 awards to conduct innovative interdisciplinary pilot studies in fields such as biosciences, chemistry, engineering, and environmental sciences.  She joins a select group of VT researchers to win this award in recent years, which has been limited to four submissions per institution per year.

The project is entitled, “”Using Social Network Models and Manipulations of Glucocorticoids to Understand How The ...

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Texas: a history of flooding is compounded by development and warming impacts

From the New York Times

The holiday and the type of hazard have changed, but once again fast-growing Texas is seeing outsize (and tragic) impacts from extreme weather events. On Labor Day weekend in 2011, the disaster was heat- and drought-fueled fires that whipped through the exurbs east of Austin, most of which didn’t exist just a few decades earlier. Now, Houston is flooded and Hays County, west of Austin, is still in search and rescue mode after Memorial Day weekend ...

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Dr. Cayelan Carey partners with the United Nations to confront global water crisis

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 19, 2015 – A Virginia Tech ecologist provided potential solutions to the world’s water problems in an article published recently in the United Nations’ Chronicle.

The report will assist the United Nations in finalizing its post-2015 sustainable development goals, which include ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The goals were proposed by world leaders at the Rio+20 conference held in Brazil in 2012 and were meant to ...

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Engineers and scientists to examine antibiotic resistance in food chain

Virginia Tech College of Engineering

Growing evidence suggests that agricultural practices, especially widespread antibiotic use, could be contributing to the increasing antibiotic resistance problem in humans. In order to learn how to effectively control this spread of antibiotic resistance from livestock manure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $2.25 million grant to a Virginia Tech team of engineers and scientists to examine the food chain from farm to fork.

One of the team’s immediate concerns is to determine ...

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Amy Pruden receives best paper award from Environmental Science and Technology

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 11, 2015 – Amy Pruden, associate dean for interdisciplinary graduate education in the Graduate School and professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, received a best paper award for 2014 from the journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T).

Her paper, “Balancing Water Sustainability and Public Health Goals in the Face of Growing Concerns about Antibiotic Resistance” was named the top paper in the feature section.

Pruden’s paper discussed ...

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IGC Fellows Estrada and Medina work on issues that address declining species worldwide

Video: In the rainforests of Central America, a research team studies a skin disease that may be the tipping point for amphibian life on the planet.

From VT News

As the clock ticks, populations of endangered species decline and threaten the functioning of healthy ecosystems.

Pollution, hunting, habitat degradation, climate change, and invasive species have dealt blows to global biodiversity. Climate change alone is putting one in six species on Earth at risk of extinction, according to a meta-analysis of 131 ...

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Ben Vernasco studies the social dynamics and physiology of dancing birds

From Fralin Spotlight

by Cassandra Hockman

Ben Vernasco knew he wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in conservation biology while studying tropical birds in Peru. After his trip, he got in touch with his mentor, Brandt Ryder, a research ecologist at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

Ryder and his Virginia Tech colleague Ignacio Moore, an associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science, had just received a National ...

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IGC Fellows engage students at elementary school science fair

The Interfaces of Global Change Graduate Student Organization participated in a recent science fair at Gilbert Linkous Elementary School in Blacksburg. Some of the IGC Fellows served as judges and evaluated the nearly 70 Gilbert Linkous poster presentations. Other fellows operated a photo booth called “Kids Curiosity”. Equipped with plenty of lab and field gear, our graduate students encouraged kids to dress up as scientists and check out some of the cool tools that were on hand.

See the photo gallery below–looks like everyone was having ...

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State of the Amazon: WWF report by Dr. Leandro Castello

​From WWF Global

Amazon reportIn 2014, the World Wildlife Fund Living Amazon Initiative launched the series, “State of the Amazon”, presenting the first report, “State of the Amazon: Ecological Representation, Protected Areas and Indigenous Territories”.

In April 2015, the second report was released: “State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health”. Prominent researchers Marcia Macedo and Leandro Castello wrote the core scientific assessment which provides a comprehensive ...

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