• UW News featured a new paper out by Jim Murray (Oceanography) and many other UW students, staff and faculty, including Biology Prof. Emily Carrington and first year grad Molly (Emily) Roberts. Our inland waters at FHL are naturally high in CO2, with current levels as high as those projected for the open ocean 100 years from now. Read more about it here.


    Measurements were collected from the dock at Friday Harbor Labs, which also is used for experiments that simulate future ocean acidification levels. Water was also collected from the pumphouse, the small brown building in the background on the left.J. Meyer 

    Tue, Mar 17 at 9 AM
  • Chair, Toby Bradshaw presented the pre-design for the new Life Sciences Complex at the first Organizational Excellence Showcase. In addition to LSC, Principal Lecturers Mary Pat Wenderoth and Alison Crowe presented well-attended posters on active learning and the “Bio-Core” principles taught across the Biology undergrad curriculum.

    Way-to-go Biology! Read the article here

    Toby Bradshaw shows the designs for the new Life Sciences Building, set to begin construction in 2016.Quinn Brown/University of Washington

    Wed, Mar 11 at 8 AM
  • The Leopold Pollen and Seed Laboratory, headed by Prof. Emeritus Estella Leopold, took the top spot as the "greenest lab" in the 2014 - 2015 UW College of Arts & Sciences Green Laboratory Competition!

    Check out their feature here. Congratulations, we're so proud to have such amazing people in our Department!

    Tue, Mar 3 at 10 AM
  • In a series of interviews with profiles of prominent biologists featured in Current Biology, University of Maine Prof. Bob Steneck names Biology's Prof. Emeritus Bob Paine as his "Scientific Hero"!

    "Bob Paine tops my list. He taught me how to ‘read’ natural ecological systems. He has made a career out of finding generally important phenomena from small-scale observations. His work, his students and those (like me) who were influenced by his approach, have changed how we see natural communities and ecosystems."

    We're so proud to have such amazing faculty!  Check out the full interview here.

    Mon, Mar 2 at 9 AM
  • Greenhouse Collections Assistant and Museology graduate student, Kate Nowell, has received the American Public Gardens Association's Emerging Professionals Travel Award to attend the 2015 Longwood Graduate Symposium at Longwood Gardents, Kennett Square, PA.

    What a timely topic to explore as we transition to a new Building and Greenhouse!

    Congratulations Kate!


    To Preserve or Change: Redefining Heritage to Guide the Future

    New institutions have a responsibility to craft a meaningful story to pass on to future generations. Established institutions have a responsibility to maintain their time-honored traditions for the benefit and enrichment of the public. Or do they?

    The 2015 Longwood Graduate Program Symposium, To Preserve or Change: Redefining Heritage to Guide the Future, will explore revisiting a public garden or related institution’s heritage and planning for the future. Is it appropriate to maintain values set forth by previous generations, or reinterpret them to remain relevant?






    Wed, Feb 11 at 1 PM
  • Assistant Prof. Bingni Brunton has published in Nature, contributing both data collection and modeling work to a paper on decision making. The research involved recording the firing rates of neurons in rats performing decision-making tasks and suggests that contrary to current views, the premotor activity in the frontal cortex does not have a role in the accumulation process, but instead has a more categorical function. 

    Read the article here


    Figure 2Computing tuning curves that describe the relationship between neural activity and accumulated evidence

    Fri, Jan 23 at 1 PM
  • Caroline Stromberg and former doctoral student, Regan Dunn, have been published in Science for their research on plant fossils, using them to determine the tree cover and density of trees, shrubs and bushes in locations over time. The information that can be gathered from their methods is key for understanding the terrestrial ecosystem. 

    Read more about their work here

    This hemispherical photograph shows the tree canopy cover at a site in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. The corresponding forest profile (modified from Holdridge et al., 1971) gives a side profile of the forest’s density.Regan Dunn, U of Wash.

    Fri, Jan 16 at 4 PM
  • Matt McElroy, a grad student in the Leache lab, recently received the Raymond B. Huey Award for the best presentation in a symposium sponsored by the Division of Ecology and Evolution at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. The competition is open to graduate students who are presenting independent research in ecology and evolution. This year's competition was held in Palm Springs at the SICB conference. 

    Congratulations Matt!


    More on Matt's Research: Matt won the 3rd Annual Huey Award for presenting a portion of his dissertation on thermal adaptation in Puerto Rican Anolis lizards. Matt tested predictions from the Bogert Effect, a classic hypothesis described by Ray Huey, Paul Hertz, and Barry Sinervo (Huey et al., 2003). The Bogert Effect describes how thermoregulatory behaviors may buffer natural selection acting on thermal physiology. Thermoregulating species are able to maintain specific body temperatures despite inhabiting different thermal environments. The Bogert Effect predicts that gene flow should be high  - and divergent natural selection weak - for populations of thermoregulating species that span a thermal gradient. Matt tested these predictions in Anolis cristatellus, a thermoregulating species that inhabitats a range of thermal environments on Puerto Rico, including a xeric and hot scrub forest in the Southwest. Matt collected genetic data both island-wide, and along elevational gradients, and found support for a genetically distinct population in the SW that correlates with the xeric scrub forest. Matt also found that genes flow out of the SW xeric forest, and from low to high elevations, but not the other way around. These results are surprising, because the Bogert Effect predicts that there should be bi-directional gene flow between xeric and mesic populations of lizard. These results indicate that there may be strong selection against cool-adapted individuals in warm habitats, but only weak selection against warm-adapted individuals in cool habitats. Therefore, selection on physiological traits may play an important role in generating and maintaining diversity in tropical ectotherms. Furthermore, these results have important implications for conservation, as locally adapted populations in the xeric SW may become a source for adaptive alleles during global climate change. 

    Fri, Jan 9 at 9 AM