Herbaceous Layer Dynamics in Central Appalachian Hardwood Forests

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 Forests are stratified in sections such as the herbaceous layer, which includes tracheophytes (plants with vasculature) over 1 meter in height and can be extremely ecologically significant. Potential factors influencing forest dynamics in this context include top layer (overstory) characteristics and soil quality. A researcher at the University of West Florida, Frank S. Gilliam, recently conducted work at the Fernow Experimental Forest … Continue reading Herbaceous Layer Dynamics in Central Appalachian Hardwood Forests

Threatened mangrove forests can regenerate carbon stocks to defer climate change

Joyce Chen ’23 Shrimp is currently in high demand and is the most-consumed seafood in the United States. However, farming shrimp comes with a large sacrifice. Shrimp are found in shrimp ponds, which are converted from mangrove forests; these forests are known for sequestering, or storing, carbon, thereby delaying global warming. With the expansion of shrimp aquaculture, mangrove forests have depleted significantly, losing up to … Continue reading Threatened mangrove forests can regenerate carbon stocks to defer climate change

CRISPR Editing in Fruit Flies to Mimic Monarch Butterflies

Ellie Teng ‘21 Monarch butterflies can consume toxic milkweed plants due to mutations in their genome. Both the caterpillar and the butterfly store the consumed toxins to defend against predators. Eating a monarch would cause a predator to regurgitate. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have utilized the CRISPR-Cas9 tool to genetically modified harmless fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to have the ability to eat … Continue reading CRISPR Editing in Fruit Flies to Mimic Monarch Butterflies

Big-Hearted: Arrhythmia in the World’s Largest Living Animal

Mariam Malik ‘22 Bradycardia is a slower-than-normal heart rate, and can vary depending on age and physical condition. According to the American Heart Association, a heart rate lower than sixty beats per minute (BPM) qualifies as bradycardia. Tachycardia, on the other hand, is a heartbeat that is too fast, specifically one that beats over a hundred times per minute. Both conditions vary by age and … Continue reading Big-Hearted: Arrhythmia in the World’s Largest Living Animal

Interactions between a Tree Exudate and a Loquat-Seed Starch

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 As naturally derived ingredients become more sought after in manufacturing and other areas, the science behind biodegradable material continues to expand. Recently, in order to better understand the chemical dynamics of different ingredients in biomaterials and explore the possibility of developing an edible film, a pair of scientists located in South Korea investigated the interactions of a tree-based gum with loquat-seed derived … Continue reading Interactions between a Tree Exudate and a Loquat-Seed Starch

Environment Dependent Dietary Adjustment by Invasive Aquatic Species

Fatin Chowdhury ‘20 Recently, researchers at three Brazilian universities examined patterns of feeding behavior displayed by the Knodus moenkhausii fish invasive to Brazil. The researchers described a two-fold hypothesis. Firstly, the species is expected to be non-specialist and opportunistic, feeding on whatever food source is most readily accessible. Secondly, resource abundance affects the nature of the trophic niche it resides in. Accordingly, flexibility in diet … Continue reading Environment Dependent Dietary Adjustment by Invasive Aquatic Species

The Usage of Electromagnetic Waves as Water Sanitizers as Opposed to Traditional Methods of Water Sanitation

Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 One of the biggest challenges for animal breeding on farms is assuring the highest quality of the drinking water afforded to said animals. The goal is to prevent contamination from pathogens in order to ensure optimal animal health, and lower the risk disease. Currently, the system that most farms use is a physical method of filtration along with different chemical treatments. However, … Continue reading The Usage of Electromagnetic Waves as Water Sanitizers as Opposed to Traditional Methods of Water Sanitation

Consumption of Microplastics in the U.S.

Ellie Teng ‘21   Microplastics, formed from the degradation of larger plastics, are found in nearly all aspects of our lives. Microplastics are classified as being 5mm or less in size according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.While plastics can be widely used, they are not always properly and safely disposed of, and it is estimated that Americans inadvertently consume over 70,000 particles per … Continue reading Consumption of Microplastics in the U.S.

Formation of amino acids by abiotic means in the oceanic lithosphere

By Allan Mai ‘20 Experimental studies and thermodynamic calculations have shown that abiotic synthesis of amino acids and hydrocarbons – specifically during the hydrothermal alteration of mantle rocks – is theoretically possible. However, this phenomenon has only recently been demonstrated in a terrestrial setting. Benedicte Menez and his team at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris used high resolution imaging techniques to obtain … Continue reading Formation of amino acids by abiotic means in the oceanic lithosphere

Figure 1. Warming in places like Mount Kenya is steeper than current climate models predict.

High-Elevation Warming is Steeper than Previously Expected

By Megan Tan ’19 The Earth is warming at about two degrees annually at sea level. Though it is estimated that high-elevation warming occurs more steeply, it is difficult to measure due to environmental factors such as radiation and humidity which have made it challenging to accurately quantify past temperature changes. Shannon E. Loomis, a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary … Continue reading High-Elevation Warming is Steeper than Previously Expected