By Justin Nobel
As Hurricane Irma slammed into south Florida in September, Dan Clark, manager of a complex of four national wildlife refuges in the Florida Keys, had evacuated and was at his mother’s house near Tampa. His eye was on the weather and his mind was on the multitude of plants and animals that inhabit the unique refuge system he oversees, which includes the well-known Key Deer National Wildlife ...
Local farmers and gardeners who want to attract native pollinators to their plants may be interested in the summer research project of Laura Stange, a rising senior majoring in horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Funded by the Fralin Life Science Institute’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Stange observes and analyzes the behavior patterns of pollinators around plots of native wildflowers at Kentland Farm in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her goal is to determine which pollinator species prefer which ...Read More →
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 Institute. The 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 ...Read More →
A Virginia Tech graduate student is living in one of the hottest and driest countries in the world this semester so that he can study how climate change, land management, and other human-caused phenomena impact a community of animals known as the cavity guild.
Composed of birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and invertebrates, the cavity guild, biologically speaking, is a group of animals that depend on holes and crevices in trees for their ...
John D. Willson recently published a paper in the Journal of Applied Ecology titled, “Indirect effects of invasive Burmese pythons on ecosystems in southern Florida”.
Willson’s research paper was highlighted in the online magazine, Anthropocene, published by Future Earth:
By Brandon Keim | February 8, 2017
The Florida Everglades are one of Earth’s biological marvels, a vast slow-moving river in whose marshes live—even at this late date, with water diverted, pollution injected and human ...Read More →
The soil beneath our feet is not as biologically diverse as scientists previously thought, according to a research team that includes a Virginia Tech soil microbial ecologist.
Leftover DNA from dead organisms — known as “relic DNA” — has historically thrown a wrench into estimates, causing scientists to overestimate microbial diversity by as much as 55 percent. Understanding microbial diversity in soil is crucial for understanding how environmental processes like atmospheric nitrogen fixation and climate change occur.
But a ...Read More →
The extinction crisis is far worse than you think. In all of Earth’s history, there have been five mass extinction events. You can see them charted here. Now, we’re on the verge of the sixth extinction. And three-quarters of all species could vanish. Imagine three out of four species that were common are gone. This is the first time humans have caused anything like this.Read More →
On the 33-acre Prairie Drifter Farm in central Minnesota, farmers Joan and Nick Olson are cultivating more than just organic vegetables. Alongside their seven acres of crops – including tomatoes, cucumbers and onions – they’ve also planted flowering plants, dogwood and elderberry hedgerows to accommodate species of bees and butterflies essential for the health of the crops.
The Olsons are not beekeepers, but they are part of a movement to reconnect sustainable farming to a healthy environment. As ...Read More →
“I’m currently writing this at 2:30 am, Madagascar time, as I wait for the local taxi brousse (or bush taxi) to take me from the small town of Daraina to the coastal cities of Vohemar and Sambava where I can finalize my research permits. Let’s just say that things here don’t always go according to a western schedule, as my ride is already half an hour late ...