Update from VT Ecuador Study Abroad

Greetings from the cloud forest!!  We completed the first leg of our adventure in the lowland Amazon rainforest.  Toucans, tarantulas, hoatzins, scarlet macaws, and caiman…just to name a handful of the species we observed in one of the most biodiverse places on earth. The Shiripuno Lodge made us feel at home in the most remote place most folks in our group will ever experience.  The rainfall was epic, even by Amazon standards.  A lifetime of experiences and stories, and considerable personal growth for students ...

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Climate change in the United States presented in 123 red, white and blue stripes

From the Washington Post

Temperatures over both the Lower 48 United States and the planet have steadily warmed in recent decades. Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading in Britain, sought to illustrate this warming in the most straightforward way possible.

So he created visualizations of the course of temperature over time using strictly a series of color-coded stripes. You might mistake them for modern art, carpet patterns ...

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William Hopkins receives Mitchell A. Byrd Award for outstanding achievement in ornithology

From VT News

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Scientists find link between increases in local temperature and antibiotic resistance

From Vector, the Boston Children’s clinical and research innovation blog

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Owner’s connection to the land plays a major role in conservation efforts

From VT News

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The earth has had warmer-than-average temperatures for 400 straight months now

From CNN

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Neonicotinoids, or neonics, will be banned for outdoor use in Europe thanks to environmental concerns

From National Geographic

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Congratulations, Dr. Jonathan Doubek!

Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Doubek in the Department of Biological Sciences, for passing his Ph.D. defense on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in Derring Hall. His dissertation seminar was titled “The effects of hypoxia on zooplankton communities in lakes and reservoirs”.

Jon joined the IGC program and the Carey Lab in Fall 2013, as a Ph.D. candidate studying freshwater biology. His primary research focus is quantifying how multiple stressors (e.g. land use changes, climate change, invasive species and nutrient loading) ...

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Biological Sciences’ Fred Benfield honored with emeritus status by the Board of Visitors

From VT News

April 23, 2018  |   Fred Benfield, professor of ecology and alumnus in the College of Science’s Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board ...

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IGC Fellows showcase their work during the 3rd annual IGC Graduate Research Symposium

The Third annual Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Research Symposium was held on April 19, 2018 in Fralin Hall. The gathering provides a forum for students and faculty to interact and explore connections between labs across campus. Record numbers were set for participation this year, and the day included 13 oral presentations and a poster session by 27 students.

The symposium highlighted the latest research from the program’s graduate student fellows, whose collective work addresses critical global changes impacting ...

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Geosciences’ Michelle Stocker seeks evolutionary story behind snake-like animals that use heads to burrow

From VT News

April 12, 2018  |  Virginia Tech College of Science Assistant Professor Michelle Stocker is using a National Science Foundation grant to map the repeated evolution of similar head shapes among animals that use their head to dig into the ground.

During the multi-university study, Stocker and her team will examine what developmental and biomechanical properties led to a repeated evolution of body ...

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Statistics’ Leah Johnson seeks to improve quantitative models for fighting diseases in humans, trees

From VT News

April 10, 2018  |   Leah R. Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, is using a $700,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant to improve mathematical and statistical models to help fight deadly diseases.

The vector-borne diseases that Johnson is targeting include dengue in humans and huanglongbing, commonly known as citrus greening, in fruit trees. The dengue virus, according to ...

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Personal outreach to landowners is vital to conservation program success

From VT News

April 5, 2018  |   Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE shows that private landowners trust conservation agencies more and have better views of program outcomes when they accompany conservation biologists who are monitoring habitat management on their land.

Engaging private landowners in conservation and sustaining that interest is critically important, particularly in the eastern United States, where more than 80 percent of land is privately owned. Outreach from ...

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GCC Fellow Fadoua El Moustaid is recognized for her service as a Citizen Scholar

From VT News

April 4, 2018  |   Each year, the Graduate School offers a challenge to graduate students: Create and implement a project that connects your research with a community.

Students who accept the challenge and develop such projects are recognized as Citizen Scholars. The Graduate School offers a Citizen Scholar course each year to help students fulfill this goal, but students can be nominated for recognition by their programs.

“I consider the ...

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Leading the green charge: PhD student introduces new lab sustainability program to campus

From VT News

March 28, 2018  |  Ph.D. student Ellen Garcia shuts the sash on a chemical fume hood. When left open, chemical fume hoods consume as much energy as three-and-a-half households per day. Shutting the sash when not in use is one way laboratories can be more sustainable.

Much of that waste — from plastic foam to packaging — could easily be recycled, reducing the waste stream from a lab and ultimately saving energy and money for research ...

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Human-centered design is key to forming partnerships for large-scale conservation success

From VT News

March 22, 2018  |  To recruit more fishers to help with marine conservation, cast a wider net.

This is the conclusion of a new study by Virginia Tech researchers who examined participation in a payment for ecosystem services program.  The study modeled preferences of fishers in Chile in creating and monitoring marine protected areas inside their fishing management zones.

Lead author Michael Sorice, an associate professor of conservation social science ...

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