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Showing posts from May, 2013

Grad Publication: Marie Clifford

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Hello all, a paper written by Marie Clifford is out in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Here's Marie:
      I recently published a review paper with my advisor Jeff Riffell about how insects process smells, or chemical signals, that they encounter in the environment. When I told this to one of my friends, they asked, rather pointedly actually, “Why should we care what insects think?!”

      Well, chemical signals mediate a heap of insect behaviors that are directly relevant to agriculture, medicine, and more. Smells help bees choose which flowers to visit, guide crop pests to their mates, and enable mosquitoes to find the source of their next blood meal, among many other things. Understanding how insects process olfactory information can help us understand how to encourage insects in beneficial behaviors (like pollinating our crops), as well as how to thwart them in their less appreciated efforts (like spreading malaria or making enough hungry baby insects that we l…

Grad Publications: David DeMar, Jonathan Calede, Daril Vilhena, Elisha Harris, Max Maliska, & Adam Huttenlocker -- An eruption of UW paleobiology!

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Let this week be known as the week of UW paleobiology in the literature! It should be noted that these papers were either single author publications or the grad was the primary author.

      David DeMar described a new genus and species of salamander from the end of the Mesozoic in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Dave: Paranecturus garbanii is a new genus and species of fossil salamander from the latest Cretaceous of Montana and is closely related to the modern day mudpuppy of the family Proteidae. P. garbanii is the oldest and only species of proteid salamander known to live prior to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (~66 million years ago) thus implying that proteid salamanders survived the end Cretaceous mass extinction event.
Here is Dave's paper.


      Jonathan Calede's paper in the Journal of Mammalian Evolution looks at ontogenetic changes in a burrowing beaver and is based on his term paper for Greg Wilson's mammal evolution class.

      Jonathan: This…

Grad Publication: Daril Vilhena, Adam Huttenlocker, Brandon Peecook

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What happens when one group of scientists accumulate a bunch of data, but don't quite know the best way to ask their questions, work in the same integrative department as a pioneering mathematical biologist with new methods, but no dataset?

C.O.L.L.A.B.O.R.A.T.I.O.N.

      Over the last few years the Sidor lab has been criss-crossing southern continents (formerly a part of Gondwana 250,000,000 years ago) collecting vertebrate fossils from areas that had not been very well studied. These fossils, including several exciting new species, are from rocks on either side of the largest mass extinction event of all time, the end-Permian extinction event (~252.3 million years ago). Differences between the pre- and post extinction worlds were qualitatively obvious to us paleontologists and included a turnover of species, the rise of new clades, and changes in the biogeographic characteristics of assemblages.
      Last year Daril Vilhena, of the Bergstrom lab, and Chris Sidor began di…