Tree Diversity and Climate Change

By Raymond Cheung ‘22 Since trees can absorb greenhouse gases through photosynthesis, reforestation efforts are becoming a more crucial way to combat climate change. However, new research suggests that the number of tree species planted is as essential as the quantity. A recent study conducted by Yuanyuan Huang and more than sixty scientists from China,…

Invasive Hogweed Spreads Throughout North East

Rachel Kogan ‘19 Many plant species that are accidentally transported from one continent to the other by humans become invasive species. The Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum,is one such species. The plant, originally found in the Caucasus Mountains in central Asia, has recently spread throughout Canada and the United States’ Northeastern region. Recently, scientists discovered the…

Investigating Genetic Variation and Selection in Starfish Species Piaster ochraceus

Stephanie Budhan ’21 Extreme environmental disturbances, such as a natural disaster or epidemics, dramatically impact animal population survival. These events have the potential to eliminate entire species, and affect the gene pool or the frequency of certain genes within the population. However, scientists observing these natural disasters and their subsequent effects can be difficult due…

Electric Fields Can Recover Fresh Water from Fog

By Caleb Sooknanan ‘20 Over 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide, and for many coastal regions with little or no rain and expensive water transportation measures, water only appears in dense fog layers. Fog collection or fog harvesting techniques have become useful for extracting water from these regions, with some systems…

Habitat Creation and Woodland Bird Populations

By Fatin Chowdhury ‘19 Many are aware of the need for conservation in ecologically vulnerable locations, but scientists continue to seek to clarify the details surrounding conservation logistics. A study led by Dr. Robin Whytock at the University of Sterling examined differences in local and landscape habitat creation for bird communities within the woodland forests…

Figure 1. Researchers found that it is possible for speciation to occur in finches in the Galapagos Islands within a couple of generations.

New Species of Finch Developed After Three Generations

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ‘19 Darwin’s finches from the Galapagos Islands are one of the hallmarks of the scientific field of evolution studies. Species classification between two organisms is determined by the ability to successfully reproduce a nonsterile progeny. Several factors such as physical, behavioral, and biological differences can cause reproductive isolation, or prevention of two…

Figure 1. Biologists find visual impairments in a kiwi population that lead them to believe that vision is unrelated to kiwi survival.

Free-Living Blind Bird Population Observed for the First Time

Gene Yang ‘19 Researchers of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with New Zealand ornithologists, have observed multiple blind, healthy birds existing in a free-living avian population. These organisms from the genus Apteryx, commonly known as kiwis, are flightless birds native to New Zealand. Although kiwis are predominantly nocturnal, unlike most nocturnal bird…