Ecology

Robert Snow / Ocearch

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about artificial intelligence, great white sharks, illegal pollution, snail genes, and new rules for leaders at the National Institutes of Health. That's right, it's the May Science News Roundup. 

University of Utah

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about scientific puzzles. For instance, why is it that hundreds of tree species can exist within a single acre of rainforest, but the same species is almost never found next to itself?

Or, here's another one: Why is it that individual animals from the same species — dogs, for instance — can exhibit such tremendously different traits when it comes to aggressiveness?

Emanuele Biggi via Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about some pretty scary things. 

via Thrillist

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about big animals like wolves, bears and lions — and really tiny life forms, like yeast. 

By happenstance, we're joined by two researchers whose recent work comes out of the same university, but who are meeting for the first time on a public radio program recorded hundreds of miles from either one of them. 

Genetic Literacy Project

This week on UnDisciplined, we're joined by a scientist who helped create a transgenic mouse that can help us understand the human relationship with a vital molecule. We'll also chat with a researcher who just announced the discovery of nearly 50 new species right here in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 

Shannon Tushingham / Washington State University

This week on UnDisciplined, we talked to a researcher whose discoveries have changed the way we understand the history of tobacco in North America. Then we chatted with a scientist who is trying to change the way we think about cryptocurrencies. 

Alan Levine / Flickr

Each week on UnDisciplined, we bring two researchers together to talk about their recent work. 

This week, we're joined first by Karen Lloyd, whose research suggests microbial dark matter may be all around us. Then, we talked to Jacob Freeman, who uses trash to study the synchronous rise and fall of societies. 

Utah State University

Paul Rogers is racing to save a one-tree forest. Lisa Berreau is trying to prove that carbon monoxide can be good for us. Like we do every week, we'll try to draw connections between these two very different areas of work. 

Institute of Zoology

This week on UnDiscipined, we're talking about extending life — how nature does it and how humans might do it. Grace DiRenzo investigates the way animals evolve to beat deadly natural chemicals. Laura Niedernhofer studies natural chemicals that might help us prevent aging and put off death. Together, we'll talk about Fisetin, frogs, fungus, zombies and immortality. 

Kevork Djansezian / Getty

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about the way people and animals move from place to place. Rick Geddes studies economic solutions for reducing traffic. Lori Spears is an entomologist who helps develop ways to keep non-native insects out of North America. 

Mark Larese-Casanova

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about how genes impact plant growth, but from two very different perspectives. 

Joseph S Wilson / Utah State University

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about measuring wildlife — but at two very different scales.

Emily Sadler uses microscopes to measure insect stingers.

David Stoner uses satellites to measure populations of mountain lions, plants and mule deer.

How will they measure up to one another? We'll find out. 

University of Utah

Clement Chow studies how—and why—two people can get the same disease and have very different outcomes. Josh Tewksbury's research team has developed a model indicating how human-caused climate change stands to make insects much hungrier. Together, we'll try and build some bridges between those two very different areas of research.

Trolls (2016)

Amanda Subalusky studies how ecosystems are impacted by migrating wildebeests in Africa. Candi Carter Olson's research focuses on how communities of interest use the media to get their messages heard. Together, we talk about gnus and the news.

Karen Beard's most recent study showed a fascinating association between non-native species in Hawaii. Veronica Pozo's recent work demonstrates a frightening connection between social media and police violence. In this episode we discuss how to avoid looking for simple answers to complex problems.

Example of a NEON site tower constructed for data collection
Jennifer Perez / The Jornada Rangeland Research Programs


A group of researchers at Utah State University are leading a project called ARGON or Augmenting Research Grounded On NEON. The program has already collected over 18 million data points related to species and community traits.

Utah's Native Bees Are Diverse In Traits And Species

Jan 11, 2018
Perdita spp. and Xylocopa spp.
Joseph S Wilson / Utah State University

In a recent survey at Utah State University, 99 percent of people described bees as either critical or important. The pollination services provided by bees are crucial for the survival of entire ecosystems. 

Thorsten Becker / Wikimedia

In the Namib Desert of southern Africa, strange circles dot the landscape as regularly as polka-dots on a dress. The bare spots are ringed by lush grass. These structures are known as fairy circles.  The fairy circles repeat for miles – and how they came to be is hotly debated. Scientists are divided regarding their origin:  animal or vegetable?

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

State biologists have come up with a unique way to help local sage grouse populations.

Robbie Edgel works with the Watershed Restoration Initiative, which is part of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

His newest project? Constructing what he calls beaver dam analogs.  

Oceans Spared From Man-Made Extinction, For Now

Apr 3, 2017
https://oceansciencenow.wordpress.com/media-general-photos-in-support-of-oceansciencenow-stories/

There is not a lot of feel-good news to be found in the ecological sciences. Scientists did just discover a new population of canids in New Guinea thought to be extinct, but too often the stories sound more like this statement from Douglas McCauley, an assistant professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

usbr.gov

Straddling the Continental Divide at over ten thousand feet, the Colorado River begins as a trickle.  It gains tremendous power as it moves along its course, carving out formations like the Grand Canyon on its trek to the sea.  This river is among the largest in the southwest, and has become an emblem of wildness.

www.nps.org / National Park Service

Utah State University ecologists recently partnered with NASA to study how the timing of mule deer fawning tracks vegetation growth in parts of the Intermountain West.

 


art.state.gov

  The Ecology Center at Utah State University hosts Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore this Wednesday and Thursday as part of its 2015-2016 Seminar Series. Schulte-Moore, an associate professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University, studies the ecology of sustainable land management through the lens of coupled human and natural systems.


nps.gov

For his first movie about a mouse, Walt Disney showcased Mickey navigating the river waters by steamboat. But for Dr. Laurie Dizney, the filming of mice happened in the dry Utah desert. Her work shows how using mice and cameras could help protect people from hantavirus and other deadly diseases.