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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Opinion: Naomi Oreskes on Climate Concealment

From the New York Times

October 8, 2015-  MILLIONS of Americans once wanted to smoke. Then they came to understand how deadly tobacco products were. Tragically, that understanding was long delayed because the tobacco industry worked for decades to hide the truth, promoting a message of scientific uncertainty instead.

The same thing has happened with climate change, as Inside Climate News, a nonprofit news organization, has been reporting in a series of ...

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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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Postcards: IGC students participate in the Blue Ridge Parkway BioBlitz

In mid-September, Ben Vernasco, Leah Novak, and I participated in the National Park Service’s Blue Ridge Parkway BioBlitz near Rocky Knob in southwestern Virginia. The goal of the BioBlitz is to inventory as many species as possible in a 24 hour period, including plants, invertebrates, and wildlife. The Park Service uses these surveys of biodiversity to serve their mission of preserving natural resources – they need to know what is there in order to ...

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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 behaviors important ...

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IGC Fellows sponsor social media campaign and booth at the Virginia Science Festival in Blacksburg

vascifestThe Virginia Science Festival features a full month dedicated to STEM events happening around Virginia. The goal is to “provide families with hands-on experiences, live performances, interactive demonstrations and techno entertainment that will inspire a wonder in science for all ages.” On Saturday, September 26th, the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP at Virginia Tech sponsored a booth at the Blacksburg Science Festival called “Why I Care For Nature.”

According to IGC Fellow, Tamara ...

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Fall 2015 Lecture: Climate Change-Engineering Reality into the Debate

The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) presents:

The Fall 2015 installment of the High and Ethel Kelly Lecture Series 

Dr. Wayne Clough, Secretary Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution and President Emeritus of Georgia Tech
Lecture Title: Climate Change: Engineering Reality into the Debate.

Date: Friday, October 2, 2015
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Location: Squires Haymarket Theatre, 129 Squires Student Center

Wayne Clough served as the 10th President of the Georgia Institute of Technology from ...

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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 bird contracting ...

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New in Nature: how to solve the world’s biggest problems

“Interdisciplinarity has become all the rage as scientists tackle climate change and other intractable issues. But there is still strong resistance to crossing borders.”

See the latest issue of Nature, which features a variety of articles on this topic:

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IGEPs discuss Merchants of Doubt documentary

merchantsThree Virginia Tech interdisciplinary graduate education programs (IGEPs) recently met in Torgerson Hall to discuss the documentary film, “Merchants of Doubt”. ...

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Laura Schoenle receives travel scholarship from the Graduate School

In April 2015, Laura Schoenle received a $2,000 travel scholarship from the Graduate School at Virginia Tech. The funds were used to travel to and lodge at the Queen’s University Biological Station in southeastern Ontario from April-July 2015.

Laura had this to say about the experience:

“I had a very successful field season! I conducted two experiments using the incredible outdoor aviary facilities at the biological station as well as a study on a population of free-living birds at nearby sites. I was able to ...

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Join us for the upcoming EEB Seminar featuring Dr. John Jelesko

EEB Seminar Title: “Itching to Understand the Zen of the Toxicodendron”
Speaker: Dr. John Jelesko, Associate Professor in the Dept of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science at Virginia Tech
Date and Location: Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm in Derring 4069

The EEB speaker for 9/17 is Virginia Tech’s very own Dr. John Jelesko, Associate Professor in the Dept of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science. His talk is entitled “Itching to Understand the Zen of the Toxicodendron” and is hosted ...

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The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP welcomes eight new Ph.D. fellows

The Interfaces of Global Change Program will begin its third year with a banner recruitment class of eight new Ph.D. students! A private reception to welcome the incoming class of 2015-16 was held on August 26, 2015 in the Fralin Hall Atrium.

Meet our new fellows:

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