News

  • Prof. Horacio de la Iglesia collaborated with colleagues in Seattle Children's Research Institute to discover an area of the brain that motivates its owner to exercise! De la Iglesia helped genetically engineer mice with blocked signals to this portion of the brain and it led to lethargy and lack of running. Read more about the study here.

     

    Mice without a functioning dorsal medial habenula didn't feel like running in their wheels.
    Kaytee Rlek Flickr
    Fri, Aug 29 at 9 AM
  • The Parichy lab recently received a $1.24M grant from the National Institutes of Health to study thyroid hormone signaling mechanisms in pigment cell development and melanoma biology. Their research could lead to major biomedical breakthroughs. Read more about the Parichy lab here.

     

    Congratulations to Dave and his team!

    Tue, Aug 26 at 1 PM
  • The Riffell laboratory has recently been awarded more than $1.5M by NSF to study the insect sense of smell. Two projects were funded by NSF: the first project will examine the neural basis of learning and olfactory behavior in the Manduca sexta moth. And the second project, in collaboration with Eli Shlizerman in Applied Mathematics, will seek to create a computational model of the insect olfactory system, with a goal towards elucidating how neural networks operate to mediate behavior.

    In addition, a BBC series entitled "Superhuman Animals" will feature the Riffell lab on an episode focused on the sense of smell. Tune in Tuesday, September 9th at 6PM PST, on BBC America. 

     

    Congratulations Jeff and his team!

    Thu, Aug 21 at 12 PM
  • Many of the world's 18 species of penguins have experienced substantial declines during the past two decades. In a recent article co-authored by UW professor of biology Dee Boersma, scientists are calling for marine protected areas and partially protected areas to help penguins cope with the interference of human activity. Read the article here.

     

    A Magellanic penguin and two chicks

    A Magellanic penguin and two chicks. Photo credit: U of Washington

    Wed, Aug 13 at 10 AM
  • It was announced today that Asst. Prof. Lauren Buckley and her team have received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund computational and visualization tools for translating climate change into ecological impacts.

    From the abstract: “This proposal aims to develop an interactive web application, Mapping Environmental Stress on Organisms (MESO) and disseminate it to researchers, educators, and the public. MESO will enable visualizing the predicted body temperatures of ectotherms and regions in which the ectotherms will experience thermal stress; the incidence of extreme thermal stress events; indicators of development rate; and population growth rate for focal insects.” 

     

    Congratulations Lauren!

    Wed, Aug 6 at 3 PM
  • The seafaring dog Tucker and the Conservation Canine team lead by Prof. Wasser was recently featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal! The dogs are rescued and trained as invaluable scientists, using their acute sense of smell and delirious work ethic to track animal scat. This article highlights his work in the PNW, tracking orcas. Read more about Tucker and the team here.

     

    Deborah Giles, left, prepares to board a research vessel with colleague Elizabeth Seely, center, and whale scat detection dog Tucker on San Juan Island, Washington. David Ryder for The Wall Street Journal

    Fri, Aug 1 at 1 PM
  • Prof. Josh Tewksbury was recently published in a Science editorial on the importance of animals and their role in socioecological systems. Growing human populations means increasing our terrestrial footprint and pressure on animal diversity. Read more about how Prof. Tewksbury believes the community can work toward an animal rich future here

    “A vision that includes a vital future for animals requires thinking beyond ‘restoration’ and even beyond ‘rewilding.’” 

    PHOTO: PAUL ROLLISON/FLICKR

    Fri, Jul 25 at 1 PM
  • A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article celebrated the incredible impact that Bob has had on his “junior colleagues” and how his influence has changed the shape of ecology. It features testimonials from past mentees that are now successful scientists. Check out the article here

     

    Bob Paine with starfish on Tatoosh island, Washington, in 2011 (left); Jane Lubchenco and Bruce Menge with students Eric Sanford and Tess Freidenburg, 1997.

    Wed, Jul 23 at 11 AM
  • UW Affiliate Prof. Rusty Rodriguez, who is the founder and CEO of Symbiogenics, was recently featured in a Public Radio International article regarding the role of microbes in the future of agriculture. Rodriguez and Swiss geneticist, Ian Sanders, study various fungi in hopes of developing a more sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Click here to read more.

    Corn and other crops grow with the aid of introduced fungi in the Seattle greenhouse of the microbiologist Rusty Rodriguez's company. Rodriguez hopes the microbes will help crops survive growing climate stresses like droughts, floods and extreme heat and cold. Credit: Cynthia Graber

    Tue, Jul 15 at 1 PM
  • Asst. Prof. Jeff Riffell and co-authors found that background scents in the environment, such as vehicle exhaust and other plants, occlude the scent of flowers that moths seek. Riffell said that further research "could provide insight into whether urban emissions affect pollinators in farms neighboring urban centers."

    Read more here.

    Coauthors of the study, from right to left: Jeff Riffell, Elischa Sanders, and Eli Shlizerman. Credit: Kiley Riffell

    Thu, Jun 26 at 11 AM
  • The clingfish, which can support 300 times its weight, has a sucker made up of highly modified pectoral and pelvic fins. The creature is so well studied thanks in part to Prof. Adam Summers. Check out the article here.

    Photo: Petra Ditsche, University of Washington

    Wed, Jun 18 at 2 PM
  • Science is becoming more open, with researchers more likely than in the past to share data sets, preprints, and scientific code. Click here to read more about this cultural shift in lowering the bar to sharing.

    Wed, Jun 18 at 12 PM
  • Kelsey Byers, Ph.D., Prof. Toby Bradshaw and Asst. Prof. Jeff Riffell are featured in a NSF highlight that describes their finding that two closely related species of wildflowers use varying degrees of scent to attract different organisms. Read more here.

    Tue, Jun 17 at 11 AM
  • UW Medicine Acting Asst. Prof. Greg Crowther is taking an innovative approach to teaching biological concepts... by singing to students! Check out the video here.

    Thu, Jun 5 at 12 PM
  • Heather Goldsby, a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow working with Prof. Ben Kerr, found that "multicellular organisms set aside germ cells to protect their genetic material, letting other cells – the soma – do the dirty work that damages DNA, their genetic building blocks."

    The findings were recently published in PLOS ONE and Goldsby conducted the research as a graduate student at Michigan State University. Read more here.

    Thu, Jun 5 at 12 PM
  • DNA-based methods pioneered by Prof. Sam Wasser's lab helped in the prosecution of the largest ivory dealer in West Africa. Read the story here.

    Three men stand next to a haul of ivory tusks seized by security forces at the port of Lomé in Togo. The ivory was ready to be shipped to Vietnam.

    Wed, Jun 4 at 1 PM
  • Last year as part of Scott Freeman, Mary Pat Wenderoth, and Alison Crowe's Biology Education Research Group, former postdoc Sara Brownell involved over 240 biologists nationwide in revising and validating a framework of core learning objectives for biology majors.

    Sara is now an assistant professor at Arizona State University. Read more here.

     

    ASU assistant professor Sara Brownell, along with colleagues from University of Washington, has developed a new, detailed, core concept template called BioCore Guide. The guide, which includes input from more than 240 biologists nationwide, is an updated blueprint for educators to help them clarify the learning outcomes for undergraduate students majoring in general biology. (Left to right) Alison Crowe (UW), Mary Pat Wenderoth (UW), Sara Brownell (ASU) and Scott Freeman (UW).

    Tue, Jun 3 at 10 AM