Earth's Organisms

When, and how, terror birds invade

Blog When the Earth changes, it can bring unexpected visitors. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

8 Reasons Plants Are Amazing

Blog From chemotherapies to smelling like carrion, plants have an amazingly diverse skillset. Here are 8 reasons to get excited about the plant kingdom. Read More ›

How It Works – Bioluminescence truly looks like it is nothing short of sorcery, and although this naturally occurring phenomenon is well studied and explained, that does not take away from its beauty.

Fireflies of the Ocean: Lighting up the Dark with Science

Blog If you’re perfectly happy thinking of bioluminescence as the result of sheer magic, do not read this post. If you’d like to understand the biological mechanism behind it, however, this post is for you. Spoiler alert: it’s not magic (and the tooth fairy isn’t real either…) Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Too Clean for Comfort

How our obsession with cleanliness might be hurting our health

Blog The old adage “a little dirt never hurt” might actually be good health advice after all! Find out how our obsession with being “clean” might be doing more harm than good for our health. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – The magic of in-between places along the Appalachian Trail

Walking through Transitions

Blog #Walking isn’t just good exercise, but a great way to be in many places at once! #ecotone #AppalachianTrail Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Stop, evaluate, and listen - serotonin surges when a female is present

Blog A brain region involved in hearing surges with serotonin in male mice when a female is present but drops if the mouse is romantically rejected. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

How are forest insect outbreaks like wildfires?

Blog Wildfire and insect outbreak both affect our forest in complex and interconnected ways. Learn more in this post. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

No Teeth, Long Tongue, No Problem - Adaptations for Ant-eating

Blog A strict ant diet plus convergent evolution leads to cool adaptations. Read More ›

How It Works – Part II - Cases of altruism in the animal kingdom

Charity cases in nature - when are animals more likely to be altruistic?

Blog With the understanding that true altruism never benefits an individual, let’s explore some of these interesting cases of altruism in nature. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Sharing the ecosystem with wildlife - why getting outside is more important than ever

Blog Backyard bears and flying fish - Human’s sometimes misguided approach to wildlife control Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Predators, Parasitoids, and Parasites

Blog What Simba didn’t know about the circle of life - parasitoids, predators and parasites Read More ›

How It Works – Part I - Why true altruism is a rare behavior in the animal kingdom

Being selfish means staying alive

Blog When I say altruism, you probably think of giving to others. As humans, we admire when someone acts altruistic and consider altruism to be a good personality trait. Why then, is true altruism in the animal kingdom rare? Read More ›

How It Works

Penguins and other strange things we study from space

Blog How scientists use satellites to answer questions about life here on planet Earth. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – How Mercury in Fish Could End Up in Your Dish

The Mercurial Path of Mercury to Aquatic Ecosystems

Blog The trophic transfer of mercury has bearing on my life. I eat fish regularly, but select small species. Let me explain why. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – How our microbiome affects our health and vice versa

If you don't care for your microbiome, you might want to start

Blog Microbes are estimated to have a nearly 1:1 association with the human body. That’s 1 microbe for every 1 human cell. Do we ever get sick because of these microbes? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Nicotine Dreams - Baby Birds Protected by Cigarettes

Blog Birds know how to fumigate for unwanted pests! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Finding new ways to grow bacteria to progress science

Culturing the Least Cultured Members of Society

Blog Bacteria are everywhere, and we are very effective at growing billions of them in our guts, on our shower curtains, and on our food. But those bacteria we think about every day cover just a tiny fraction of the diversity of bacteria that exist in the world. How do we learn about all these other bacteria? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Hit the Road Jack

Blog Picture swimming in a pool of honey. Not the easiest of tasks right? This is how microbes feel moving through water! Read More ›

How It Works

Pseudoreplication and the Art of Biological Statistics

Blog Ever wondered how biologists learn about the world? They use statistics. Learn more about the use (and misuse) of stats in biology! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

What Happened to Your Nose?

Blog Fancy schnozzes have surprising functions across the mammal family tree. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – A reflection about the value of water and the forest

Drinking from the rivers and eating from the forests

Blog Environmental disasters are happening around the world and most of us are not even aware. Read More ›

How It Works – What is wrong with my tomatoes?...And other plant disease questions

Why did orange prices increase?

Blog Citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing or Dragon Yellows, is causing devastating losses to citrus trees in Africa, Asia, Brazil, and the southern United States. Plant pathologists are working hard to combat this disease and keep oranges on our tables (and at a reasonable price)! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Good intentions sometimes lead to unfortunate outcomes

4 ways humans harm the environment (when they are trying to help)

Blog There’s no question that human activities impact the natural environment. Some human activities have devastating consequences on the environment, while others have the sole purpose of improving or restoring the environment. Unfortunately, the latter occasionally has negative results, despite having positive intentions. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Building better plants - Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

Blog There are a lot of hungry mouths to feed in the world. How did modern agriculture come to support such a large population? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Love Songs for Nobody - Birdsong in Winter

Blog We typically understand singing in birds to function in mate attraction and territory defense, two behaviors closely tied to breeding. But sometimes birds sing far from their breeding grounds and outside of their mating season, when singing doesn’t seem to make biological sense. So what the heck is going on? A recent study sheds light on this long-debated topic! Read More ›

How It Works – How fecal microbiota transplants can improve lives and possibly save them

The Wonders of Fecal Transplants

Blog Fecal microbiota transplantation is the new ‘it’ treatment. Here’s why you should give a s**t. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Catch-and-release anglers catalyze conservation for the prized golden dorado fish

Fishing Towards Conservation

Blog Anglers are vital advocates for their beloved waters; some decide to leave fish in the rivers and off the dinner table. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Marvel at Larval - An Appreciation for Young and Developing Fish

Blog Below the surface, fish live fascinating and complex lives! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – We know we get infections from time to time. Why does this happen?

The Evolution of Virulence

Blog Have you ever wondered why pathogens, or microorganisms that cause disease, exist? Why do these microbes choose to attack our bodies? What is fascinating is that pathogenic microbes are typically not—at least initially—looking for their next target. Instead, these microbes are generally just really good survivors. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – How cheese rinds may be a valuable tool for microbial discovery

The Unseen World – On Cheese?

Blog Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Find Me Where the Wild Things Are

Blog Take a minute and think - what do you consider “wild things”? Would bacteria count in your book? Click to explore the tiny world of microbes and learn about some fundamental microbial ecology! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – A commentary on how to make science more ‘clickable’

You won’t believe this simple trick to tell if your coral is healthy or not

Blog The internet is a big place. Amidst intense competition for readership online, could scientists make their research feel more ‘clickable’? Should they? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – Why I care about ecology and you should, too!

Why I chose to be a field ecologist

Blog Think everyone who works outside likes dirt? Think again! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Some species hide in plain sight, but scientists have ways to suss them out

Cryptic Species Hide in Plain Sight

Blog The advent of affordable DNA sequencing has put molecular techniques at the forefront of species discovery. For the sake of biodiversity, ecological conservation, public health, and pest management, let’s hope that “new age of [species] discovery” has only just begun. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Minuscule Hitchhikers Pinch a Ride

Creature Feature - Pseudoscorpions

Blog These small arachnids are all around us, and may even live in your house! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Some Australians consider kangaroos to be pests. Surprised? So was I.

Blog Kangaroos, posterchildren for the Australian outback, are considered by some to be pests in their homeland. In fact, most tourists have experienced the availability of kangaroo meat and leather in parts of Australia. How did this come to be? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – re: thoughts about something you’re going to write anyway…

Five Sentence Emails

Blog Brevity is the soul of email. Here’s the buzz about writing emails that are concise, elegant, and logical Read More ›

How It Works – The scientific facts behind the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines

Calling the Shots - Discussing Vaccines

Blog You’ve probably encountered memes, celebrities, and blogs vilifying childhood vaccines - let’s dive into some facts that will hopefully help clarify just how safe and effective the science community agrees vaccines to be. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

World Fish Migration Day 2016!

Blog Each year, in rivers all around the world, several fish species make an all-or-nothing trek from sea to freshwater (or vice versa) in order to reproduce. Join us in celebrating the second ever World Fish Migration Day on May 21st! On World Fish Migration Day, we celebrate the ecological, economical, and cultural importance of these fish through education and outreach in order to promote a better future for all of the organisms that rely on migratory fish (including ourselves). Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

A World without Birdsong

Blog What would the world be like if it weren’t for natural sounds? Are we facing an imminent extinction of the natural soundscape experience? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – Juggling teaching, research, and outreach

Life in the balance

Blog I’m a up-and-coming molecular biologist, and I study genetics, evolution, and development. But what do I actually do all day? Read More ›

How It Works

3D Printing for Fun and Science

Blog Almost any conceivable object can now be 3D printed into reality. The process is fun and futuristic, but it’s also opening new doors for biological research. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Walking With Giant Anteaters

Blog Do you know anteaters? Read More ›

How It Works – What is wrong with my tomatoes?...And other plant disease questions

What is Phytopathology?

Blog Plants, including tomatoes, are constantly under attack by microscopic organisms, like bacteria and viruses, and larger organisms, like insects and deer. Phytopathology is the study of plant diseases with the aim of keeping our plants from becoming sick. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Welcome To That's Life [Science]

Blog All we knew is that we wanted to make an outreach blog. We weren’t sure how or who would be willing to help with such an endeavor. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Why we should care about sea turtles

When A Sea Turtle Balanced Earth

Blog What about sea turtles instills a power of captivation over so many people -- to the point even, that conservationists would sacrifice their life to save them? Why should we be alarmed that this ancient species is disappearing from the globe? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – What happens when a researcher steps outside the lab and into the public sphere?

Unexpected Encounters of the Human Kind

Blog Research in a lab setting allows for control over many environmental variables and conditions, but can be limiting due to the unnatural context. Research in a field setting can be more natural and realistic, however that tight control over the environment is lost. One unpredictable source of a challenging field environment? People. Read More ›

How It Works

Medical Mysteries Still Surrounding Zika Virus

Blog The challenges of understanding, diagnosing, and treating Zika virus: there are more questions than answers. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – A closer look at species diversity in the tropics

It's Standing Room Only At The Equator

Blog Ever wonder why the tropics have more plants and animals than places closer to the poles? You aren't alone. Read More ›