Lisa Belden’s research on Bd reveals new information about amphibian disease resistance

From VT News

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 26, 2015 – A team of scientists including Virginia Tech researchers is one step closer to understanding how bacteria on a frog’s skin affects its likelihood of contracting disease.

A frog-killing fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, has already led to the decline of more than 200 amphibian species including the now extinct-in-the-wild Panamanian golden frog.

In a recent study, the research team attempted to apply beneficial bacteria found on the skin of ...

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IGC Science Communication Workshop is led by Susan Hassol and Michael Mann

A major part of the mission of the Interfaces of Global Change Ph.D. program (IGC) at Virginia Tech is to help graduate students identify the different positive roles that they can play in society. Effective communication of scientific information to audiences with diverse backgrounds will be central to their success, regardless of what role they pursue. By developing the skills to make accurate science accessible to broader audiences, the students can help citizens make informed decisions that affect their own health, the environment, ...

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Research by IGC Fellow Cordie Diggins featured on PBS blog

Cordie Diggins is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. She is co-author on a paper that was published in Endangered Species Research and featured this week in the Rundown, the news blog for the PBS Newshour.

Can a new mapping model save the endangered flying squirrel?

By Carey Reed, The RUNDOWN

Scientists hope a new mapping model published this week that pinpoints where the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel lives ...

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Laura Schoenle’s research featured on Virginia Water Radio

From Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 30, 2015.


“This week, we feature a mystery sound mix. Have a listen for about 15 seconds, and see if you can guess what water-related bird disease is the focus of research related to these sounds.

If you guessed avian malaria, you’re right! You heard Red-winged Blackbirds, a mosquito’s buzz, and the buzz of an electric-power station. All relate to aspects of research by Virginia Tech Biological Sciences graduate student ...

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Booming population, looming drought and the worsening effects of climate change

By Richard Parker

From the New York Times Opinion Page

WIMBERLEY, Tex. — “WE don’t want you here,” warned the county commissioner, pointing an accusatory finger at the drilling company executives as 600 local residents rose to their feet. “We want you to leave Hays County.”

Normally, my small town is a placid place nestled in the Texas Hill Country, far from controversy, a ...

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Facing my fears, headlamp-on in Panama

By Lindsay Key, Fralin Life Science Institute Communications Officer

This is Lindsay Key’s second blog report from Panama. She is traveling over spring break with Angie Estrada and Daniel Medina, who are conducting field research near Gamboa.

One thing is for sure: field research is messy. Not just in the sense that nature is full of mud and water and bugs, but in terms of logistics. You have to learn to expect the unexpected.

On Wednesday, we leave Gamboa bright and ...

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Special IGC/EEB Seminar featuring Dr. Robert Lackey: science in public policy

“Science in Public Policy: Maintaining Relevance, Ensuring Accuracy, and Avoiding Advocacy”

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP at Virginia Tech is pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Lackey for a special EEB Seminar on Thursday, March 5th, 2015.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. | Fralin Auditorium | Virginia Tech


Has science become irrelevant in informing policy debates?

Scientists in environmental science, natural resources, ecology, conservation biology, and similar disciplines are often not trusted by the public and decision-makers to present policy-neutral ...

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Postcards from the field: traveling with VT graduate student researchers in Soberania National Park

We’re going on a frog hunt!

by Lindsay Key, Fralin Life Science Institute Communications Officer

Hello from the extremely bumpy backseat of a white pick-up truck that is barreling down a washed-out pothole-ridden trail known as Pipeline Road (left, below) in Gamboa, Panama. This is a famous road— known for its wildlife viewing capabilities and accessed by thousands of scientists around the world who come to study and work at the nearby Smithsonian facility in the tiny research town of Gamboa.

It ...

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Four Global Change Center faculty receive New Investigator Award

Four Virginia Tech life science researchers have received Fralin’s New Investigator Award, which recognizes promising first-time tenure-track faculty who have joined Virginia Tech within the last two years. This year the recipients each received $10,000 to advance their research efforts as they see fit.

“We are delighted to provide some unrestricted funds to help several of our new investigators within the life sciences,” said Dr. Dennis Dean, the director of the Fralin Life Science Institute.

“These funds come from the Fralin endowment ...

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Global Change Science is Not Enough

By Bruce Hull

Global change science will not produce sustainable development.  Yes, of course, we need more global change science to better understand climate, biodiversity, pollution and the like. We also need better resource sciences (water, soil, oil), social sciences (economics, politics, sociology), and engineering sciences (agricultural, information, mechanical, and more recently biological).  But improved understanding will not be enough. The challenges that lie ahead also require leadership capacity.

A ...

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