In Memoriam: Roberta Park

Last week, the campus community lost an esteemed colleague as IB Professor Emerita Roberta “Robbie” Park passed away peacefully at the age of 87. Roberta had been an invaluable member of the Physical Education program for more than sixty years, from her time as an undergraduate to her service as a faculty member and department chair of the Department of Physical Education (later Human Dynamics, which merged with Integrative Biology in 1997).

As climate and land-use change accelerate, so must efforts to preserve state’s plants

“We just have a decade or two given the rapid pace of climate and land-use change,” said Brent Mishler, a UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology and director of the University and Jepson Herbaria. “Our opportunities, even 10 years down the line, are way more limited compared to what they are now. What we are going to save, we are going to save quickly. We don’t have forever to leisurely conserve California.”

Fertilizer destroys plant microbiome’s ability to protect against disease

New research coming out of Assistant Professor Britt Koskella's lab found that spraying tomatoes with microbes from healthy tomatoes protected them from disease-causing bacteria, but that fertilizing the tomatoes beforehand negated the protection, leading to an increase in the population of pathogenic microbes on the plants’ leaves. Read more...

How Stress Changes Your Brain: An Interview With Professor Daniela Kaufer

What is stress? According to IB's Professor Daniela Kaufer, stress can be a healthy response to a perceived threat. But there is a fine line between feeling a small amount of stress, which can make your brain stronger, and going through traumatic events, a kind of stress that brings on conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The difference between the two has profoundly different long-term effects on the brain. Read more...

Podcast: A biology prof on growing up gay in rural Minnesota

Noah Whiteman, an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, has always known how to survive. He moved to Sax-Zim, a rural area in Minnesota, when he was 11 and spent the next seven years learning to fish and hunt with his naturalist dad and hiding that he was gay. When a boy he’d been friends with started to bully him at every chance he got, Noah knew it was time to get out.

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