Dr. White joined the UCMP in July 2012 as Director of Education and Outreach. She comes to the UCMP after a 22-year history at San Francisco State University where she held positions of Professor of Geosciences and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering.
Professor Williams research combines field-based natural history and experiments with laboratory-based biochemistry and physiology. She studies how insects and other ectotherms respond to variable environments, using the information to predict how insect populations will change as a result of climate change. Much of her research has focused on winter climate change, and at present she is working on how changing snow cover will impact the physiology, ecology, and evolution of montane beetles.
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.
Edith Smith bred a bluer and shinier Common Buckeye at her butterfly farm in Florida, but it took University of California, Berkeley, graduate student Rachel Thayer to explain the physical and genetic changes underlying the butterfly’s newly acquired iridescence.
In the process, Thayer discovered how relatively easy it is for butterflies to change their wing colors over just a few generations and found the first gene proven to influence the so-called “structural color” that underlies the iridescent purple, blue, green and golden hues of many butterflies.
“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.
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.
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.
In a publication appearing today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and Ben-Gurion University scientists report that senile mice given one such drug had fewer signs of brain inflammation and were better able to learn new tasks, becoming almost as adept as mice half their age.