Research

Environment takes big hit from water-intensive marijuana cultivation

Published today in the journal Bioscience, the report outlines how illegal marijuana production is hitting California where it hurts, such as in sensitive watersheds already stressed by the state’s ongoing drought. Networks of pipes and hoses siphon water directly from small streams to irrigate the crops, draining what little water there is for wildlife and plants.

Cockroach Robot Squeezes Though Cracks (Ugh!)

Dubbed “veloci-roach,” the crawling device uses sensors and locomotion like many other bio-inspired devices.

But this one flips on its side to shimmy through spaces that would normally prove too small, according to Chen Li, postdoctoral researcher in the UC Berkeley department of integrative biology, and electrical engineering and computer science.

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Nielson Helps Identify 8,500-year-old Kennewick Man as Native American

An ancient human skeleton called Kennewick Man, found on the banks of the Columbia River in 1996, has been at the center of a dispute between Native Americans and scientists on the disposition of the remains. A new analysis of DNA from the bones by a team that includes Professor Rasmus Nielsen concludes that the man probably was an ancestor of local Native American tribes. Read More

Forecasting Change, Welcome or Not

Berkeley, California - Two thousand California honey bees may have a story to tell.  So too, more than 10,000 deer mice, and 3,000 oaks. Specimens of these plants and animals populate massive collections in Berkeley’s renowned research museums, and are now being enlisted as guides to past episodes of habitat and climate change.

Plant ecologist David Ackerly has calculated that some animals and plants would need to migrate as much as four miles a year to track their preferred temperature in a rapidly warming climate.

Fossils Help Identify Marine Life That May be at High Risk of Extinction Today

Our goal was to diagnose which species are vulnerable in the modern world, using the past as a guide,” said lead author Seth Finnegan, an assistant professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley. “We believe the past can inform the way we plan our conservation efforts. However, there is a lot more work that needs to be done to understand the causes underlying these patterns and their policy implications.”

Student Has Fun Exploring Disco Clam’s Underwater World

Lindsey Dougherty’s love of the sea eventually led her to UC Berkeley, where she is now a graduate student focusing on one of the ocean’s more unusual critters: a clam that flashes in the deep.

This behavior earned it the nickname ‘disco clam,’ and Dougherty is working with UC Berkeley’s Roy Caldwell, professor of integrative biology, to explore how and why it flashes its mirrored lips.

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