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Ecology

Duplicate and Conquer: Multiple Homologs of PHOSPHORUS-STARVATION TOLERANCE1 Enhance Phosphorus Acquisition and Sorghum Performance on Low-Phosphorus Soils

Hufnagel B., de Sousa S.M, Assis L., Guimaraes C.T, Leiser W., Azevedo G.C, Negri B., Larson B.G, Shaff J.E, Pastina M.M et al..  2014.  Duplicate and Conquer: Multiple Homologs of PHOSPHORUS-STARVATION TOLERANCE1 Enhance Phosphorus Acquisition and Sorghum Performance on Low-Phosphorus Soils. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY. 166(2):659-677.

Unique adaptations of a grazing, high-altitude primate

Life at high altitude is associated with many physiological challenges, including exposure to conspicuous stressors such as hypoxia and extreme cold. Consequently, most animals living at high altitude have been under strong selection to develop adaptations to these challenges. Unveiling adaptations in other high-altitude-living animals, including nonhuman primates, could therefore help illuminate the mechanisms underlying adaptive evolution of myriad traits. Here, we investigated the genetic adaptations to high altitude in a novel nonhuman primate model, the gelada monkey.

A model for how students develop principle-based reasoning in physiology

To gain expertise in a field is to understand and use underlying disciplinary principles. Too often students rely on rote memorization to solve problems rather than apply appropriate principles of physics that governs biological phenomena, that is, use principle-based reasoning. Students who rely on memorization can list the steps of generating an action potential or stomatal opening but cannot reason to a correct prediction when changes are introduced in the system, e.g. when a toxin is applied.

The interplay of plasticity and evolution in seasonal, changing environments

Organisms respond to climate change via tracking through space or time, phenotypic plasticity, or evolution.  A key question is whether plasticity facilitates evolution by enabling persistence or hinders evolution by buffering selection. I will present a phenotype-based forecasting framework for montane butterflies, which finds that plasticity facilitates evolution by reducing fluctuations in selection, particularly in more seasonal environments.  Repeating historic lab and field studies and examining museum specimens reveals both the viability of evolutionary responses and t

The ecology and sensory biology of the world’s most dangerous animal

Organismal sensory systems mediate a variety of critical ecological processes, including reproduction, foraging, and disease development. Behavior ultimately controls many of these interactions, but rarely do ecological studies consider the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying those interactions. Conversely, evolution has sculpted sensory systems based on their ecological environment, but many neurobiological studies often lack a natural history framework. Here, in this talk, I will focus our recent work on the Aedes aegypti mosquito, an important disease vector.

Ecology of Conus on Seychelles reefs at mid-twentieth century: comparative habitat use and trophic roles of co-occurring congeners

Kohn AJ.  2015.  Ecology of Conus on Seychelles reefs at mid-twentieth century: comparative habitat use and trophic roles of co-occurring congeners. Marine Biology. 162:2391-2407.

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