Wisconsin Ecology News

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Plants under attack can turn hungry caterpillars into cannibals

Jul 10, 2017

When does a (typically) vegetarian caterpillar become a cannibalistic caterpillar, even when there is still plenty of plant left to eat? When the tomato plant it's feeding on makes cannibalism the best option.

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Cultural value of natural world doesn't depend only on species diversity

May 24, 2017

The natural world might most often be counted and measured through the resources we extract from it, or the intrinsic worth of biodiversity itself. But UW-Madison zoology Ph.D. student Rose Graves has focused her research on uncovering a hidden value - people's cultural ties to the land.

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Forests and fires: Lessons from Yellowstone

May 6, 2017

Most people visit Yellowstone National Park to enjoy its beautiful scenery and natural wonders - but my students and I are not vacationing when we head to there. Instead, we venture into the wilderness to understand how Yellowstone's forests work and how natural disturbances affect the landscape.

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New book continues rich legacy of UW-Madison soil research

Mar 10, 2017

At a March 16 event, Alfred Hartemink, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and chair of soil science, and Jim Bockheim, a UW-Madison professor emeritus of soil science, will present Chancellor Rebecca Blank with the first copy of their new book, The Soils of Wisconsin.

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Citizen observations help inform Arboretum's annual account of spring

Mar 7, 2017

Madison residents are taking advantage of record-setting high temperatures to bike, run, and lounge outside, well before the anticipated end of the long Wisconsin winter. It's clear that we humans are changing our behavior with the warm winter, but is the Wisconsin natural world also anticipating an early spring?

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UW-Madison's Stephen Carpenter makes Madison, state lakes his laboratory

Mar 2, 2017

As an antidote to a proliferation of "fake facts," Stephen Carpenter offers repeatable, observable, measurable science that is fact-filled. Carpenter, a zoology professor, has led UW-Madison's Center for Limnology for the past eight years. He has studied lake science, with a focus on Madison-area lakes and another lake group up north, for three decades.

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Oldest fossils? Maybe, or maybe not, but the oldest known are at UW-Madison.

Mar 2, 2017

A recent study in Nature described fossils found in the Nuvvuagittuq belt in northeastern Canada that may just be the oldest known fossils in the world. However, as a story in the Washington Post on March 1, 2017 put it: 'Findings like these are subject to intense scrutiny because they have potentially far-reaching implications for the study of early organisms on Earth and other planets.'

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The Disease Detective: UW researcher Tony Goldberg is on the hunt for deadly viruses

Mar 1, 2017

If you are Tony Goldberg, the unknown agents of disease are right under your nose. Sometimes they are even in your nose. For Goldberg, the ever-lurking emissaries of infectious disease are the epidemiological...

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From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

Feb 22, 2017

Plumbing a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado, a team of scientists from the UW-Madison and Northwestern University has found evidence confirming a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the sun.

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