A bird’s-eye view of global health
By Christian Fogerty
As a science communications fellow at Tyson Research Center, Christian Fogerty embedded with the tick and wildlife ecology team to document their summer fieldwork. Here, he reflects on his experience and explains how it impacted his perspective on global health.
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Restoration
Ecology at the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development (CCSD) at the Missouri Botanical Garden seeks to hire two full-time postdoctoral scholars. The candidates will 1) develop and implement collaborative research project(s) that advance restoration science in woodlands, grasslands, and glades at MBG’s Shaw Nature Reserve and the broader region; 2) train and mentor undergraduate and graduate students; 3) assist MBG scientists with coordinating grant-funded activities including recruitment and mentoring of students, organizing and participating in outreach events and workshops, and presenting lectures to professional organizations and the general public; 4) prepare and submit manuscripts for publication; 5) build relationships with SNR staff and collaborative partners; and 6) actively participate in events with the St. Louis Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation community.
MBG’s Shaw Nature Reserve contains over 2,000 acres of fire-maintained woodlands, grasslands, and glades. Three decades of ecological restoration (i.e., selective tree thinning, removal of invasive species, prescribed fire, seeding of native species) has resulted in a chronosequence of restored natural areas at SNR. As part of this grant-funded project, new sites will be restored over the next three years. The successful candidates will be expected to develop new research projects related to their subject of interest, but focusing on past and/or future restorations at SNR. Research projects may also include other field sites and natural areas in the region. We anticipate hiring one postdoctoral fellow whose research focuses on the population genetics of restored populations (in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Christy Edwards) and another whose research focuses on any of the following (in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Matthew Albrecht Lab): plant community ecology, seed-based restoration, plant-soil interactions, and/or biological invasions. Floristic knowledge of Midwestern plant communities is desirable, but not required. The successful candidates will have opportunities to collaborate with MBG scientists active in conservation genetics, reintroduction biology, restoration ecology, global change biology, and community ecology.
Candidates with a completed Ph.D. or that will soon graduate with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Botany, Restoration Science, Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, or a related field are encouraged to apply. Ideal start time is before summer 2020, but this is negotiable. The term for this grant-funded position will be up to 3 years, with renewal each year contingent on satisfactory performance. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and this position includes a comprehensive benefits package.
The position will be based in St. Louis, where a vibrant community of ecologists, conservation practitioners, and evolutionary biologists that interact through partnerships among MBG, Washington University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, plus other area institutions. The position will be seated in the CCSD, which explores and implements new, science-based approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity. CCSD’s strategies for conservation are based on a sound, scientific understanding of the occurrence and distribution of plants. CCSD applies the knowledge of plant diversity accumulated by Missouri Botanical Garden researchers over many years, making that knowledge usable for conservation planning and decision-making. Operating under the auspices of the Garden and as part of its division of Science and Conservation, CCSD builds upon the Garden’s institutional expertise, scientific programs, influence and resources.
For more information and to apply: https://usr57.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/MBG/Posting/View/471
Thursday, February 6 4:00-7:00PM
Join us for a free reception at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of Too Hot to Sing.
Too Hot to Sing is the result of Kasey Fowler-Finn’s research of how global warming directly affects the abilities of insects to find suitable mates. Her study focused on the treehopper. For this exhibition she collaborated with sound artist Stephen Vitiello whose recordings show how vibrational signals sound at different temperatures, and with Impact Media Lab, a creative agency for scientists.
Fowler Finn’s study shows how climate change can impact mating success and, ultimately, survival of species that communicate through vibrations. It is important to note that more than 90% of insects use vibrations to communicate within and between species.
Vitiello and Fowler-Finn used a specialized laser recording device to record the sounds of insects as they moved on the stems and leaves of plants. Vitiello then manipulated the sound recordings to make them audible to humans.
This exhibition, a collaboration between a scientist and an artist brings climate change into sharp focus as one of the existential challenges humanity faces.
Saint Louis University Museum of Art
3663 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
Parking will be available at the lot located at the intersection of Lindell and Spring Avenue.
The museum is free and open to the public.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday
Researchers say goodbye to Georgette — A Very Tough Turtle
St. Louis Wildlife Project captures the day-to-day of region’s wild animals
Bat poop may give Missouri researchers clues about historical changes to climate, vegetation
A cluster of hibernating gray bats (Myotis grisescens) (Ann Froschauer/USFWA/via Flickr)
Four ways to curb light pollution, save bugs
Insects have experienced global declines. Flipping the switch can help.
Artificial light at night negatively impacts thousands of species: beetles, moths, wasps and other insects that have evolved to use light levels as cues for courtship, foraging and navigation.
Writing in the scientific journal Biological Conservation, Brett Seymoure, the Grossman Family Postdoctoral Fellow of the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University in St. Louis, and his collaborators reviewed 229 studies to document the myriad ways that light alters the living environment such that insects are unable to carry out crucial biological functions.
“Artificial light at night is human-caused lighting — ranging from streetlights to gas flares from oil extraction,” Seymoure said. “It can affect insects in pretty much every imaginable part of their lives.”
The air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat all rely on biodiversity, but right now it is in crisis – because of us. What does this mean for our future and can we stop it?
by Damian Carrington Environment editor, The briefing
New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that invasive mosquitos at the northern limit of their current range are successfully using time-capsule-like eggs to survive conditions that are colder than those in its native territory. (Photo: Shutterstock)
The ptarmigan is a small-brained bird that thrives in colder, high latitude regions. A global study in the journal Nature Communications compares more than 2,000 birds and finds that, in highly variable environments, birds tend to have either larger or smaller brains relative to their body size. (Image: Shutterstock)