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 ...

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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, ...

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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’. ...

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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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Research in the Hopkins Lab investigates impact of environmental conditions on wood duck behavior

From VT News:

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 5, 2015 – Once a baby wood duckling hatches, it follows its mother’s repetitive whistle-like call to jump out of the nest and join its siblings in a family group.

But whether a duckling successfully follows depends on the nest environment, said fish and wildlife conservation graduate student Sydney Hope of Howell, New Jersey.

Using Virginia Tech’s new Research Aviary, Hope investigates how the wood duck’s nesting environment affects its ability to perform certain ...

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Madeline Schreiber interviewed on Pulse of the Planet radio

Pulse of the PlanetIn 2014, after the third-largest coal ash spill in the U.S. occurred near Eden, North Carolina, coal ash and millions of gallons of contaminated water were discharged into the Dan River. NSF-funded Madeline Schreiber and her team at Virginia Tech went to work quickly to gauge the impact.

In the following 2-minute radio installments from Pulse of the Planet, Dr. Schreiber talks about her research:

 

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Bird feeders may contribute to the spread of disease in wild songbird populations

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 17, 2015 – Wild songbirds that prefer to eat at bird feeders have an increased risk of acquiring a common eye disease. In turn, these birds also spread the disease more quickly to their flock mates, according to an international research team led by Virginia Tech scientists.

The researchers found that this feeding preference, rather than its social position in the flock, as previously thought, was more likely to result in a ...

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Research in the Belden Lab could lead to protective probiotics for amphibians

Press Release from the American Society of Microbiology
Washington, DC – July 30, 2015

In research that could lead to protective probiotics to fight the “chytrid” fungus that has been decimating amphibian populations worldwide, Jenifer Walke, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, and her collaborators have grown bacterial species from the skin microbiome of four species of amphibians. The research appears July 10 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, ...

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