In Earth’s largest extinction, land die-offs began long before ocean turnover

Fossilized pollen grain

“Most people thought that the terrestrial collapse started at the same time as the marine collapse, and that it happened at the same time in the Southern Hemisphere and in the Northern Hemisphere,” said paleobotanist Cindy Looy, University of California, Berkeley, associate professor of integrative biology. “The fact that the big changes were not synchronous in the Northern and Southern hemispheres has a big effect on hypotheses for what caused the extinction.

David Wake takes part in The University of California Berkeley Emeriti Association's (UCBEA) Legacy Project

The University of California Berkeley Emeriti Association (UCBEA) has developed a project that involves video recording of emeriti faculty for the purpose of preserving the history and accomplishments of its distinguished faculty.  More specifically, the project – referred to as the Legacy Project – has the purpose of producing video interviews with faculty who are entering the Emeritus/Emerita phase of their career.

How do you cultivate a healthy plant microbiome?

A new study by University of California, Berkeley, microbial ecologists used experimental evolution to help identify the core microbiome of commercial tomatoes. They selected for those microbial taxa that best survived on the plants and then showed that these “domesticated” microbial communities are able to effectively fend off random microbes that land on the plants. In other words, these selected communities look like a stable, healthy plant microbiome, akin to what a robust tomato plant might pass to its offspring.

These Butterflies Evolved to Eat Poison. How Could That Have Happened?

Monarch butterflies eat only milkweed, a poisonous plant that should kill them. The butterflies thrive on it, even storing milkweed toxins in their bodies as a defense against hungry birds. For decades, scientists have marveled at this adaptation. On Thursday, a team of researchers announced they had pinpointed the key evolutionary steps that led to it...

IB graduate students traverse the globe for summer research projects

20190826_Mattina.pngFor the graduate students of Integrative Biology, the summer months bring a wealth of opportunities to embark on critical research projects and present their findings all over the world. Forty-four graduate students were able to carry out their field and laboratory research, thanks in part to three competitive awards sponsored by the Integrative Biology department: Dissertation Completion Award, Summer Grant, and Research Award. A broad range of projects are funded by these awards, from understanding UV radiation tolerance in desert mosses to studying how the shapes of turtle beaks relate to their diet and habitat over evolutionary time.

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Women don beards to highlight gender bias in science

For many people, including women, the answer is yes, which spurred dozens of paleontologists around the world – all of them women – to glue on beards for photos now being exhibited at the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at the University of California, Berkeley. The ironic message of the Bearded Lady Project is that, contrary to the persisting stereotype, you don’t have to be a man to love fieldwork and contribute to science; in fact: many field scientists are not.