William Clemens, expert on fossil mammals, dies at 88

Bill Clemens, who died peacefully of metastatic cancer at his home in Berkeley on Nov. 17 at the age of 88, became one of the most persuasive voices against the impact hypothesis. He represented many biologists and paleontologists who, seeing continual turnover of life in the fossil record, challenged the catastrophism of physicists like Luis Alvarez, geologists like his son, Walter, and, increasingly, the public, which found the impact hypothesis very compelling.

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Congratulations to Britt Koskella on your Promotion to Associate Professor

Professor Koskella is an evolutionary biologist seeking to understand how interactions among species generate and maintain much of the diversity you see on earth. She is interested in how species interactions influence genetic diversity within populations, diversity between populations, and species diversity at the community level. By combining evolutionary theory on coevolution, population dynamics, and infection genetics, she directly tests the underlying assumptions and predicted outcomes of host-pathogen and microbial interactions through the

Berkeley Changemaker Technology Innovation Grant awardees announced

The Department of Integrative Biology is one of the winners of the first-ever Berkeley Changemaker Technology Innovation Grants. Launched by the office of UC Berkeley Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Bill Allison in the office of Chief Information Officer Larry Conrad, the winning projects, announced today (Thursday, June 25), will share $400,000 in general funds that were earmarked by Conrad in the 2019-2020 school year for information technology (IT

To climb like a gecko, robots need toes!

Biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics observed geckos running horizontally along walls to learn how they use their five toes to compensate for different types of surfaces without slowing down.

The research helped answer a fundamental question: Why have many toes?” said Robert Full, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology.

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.