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Coastal Waters, Alison Deng '20, Winny Liu '20 2018 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Coastal Waters, Alison Deng '20, Winny Liu '20

UN Sustainable Development Goals Infographics

Coastal water, specifically coastal erosion, has been a growing problem due to human impact.


Waste Management, Rachel Moreno '20, Alana Depaz '20 2018 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Waste Management, Rachel Moreno '20, Alana Depaz '20

UN Sustainable Development Goals Infographics

"Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage."

~Mason Cooley


Urbanization In India: An Obituary, Meghana Karan '20, Shruti Shakthivel '20 2018 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Urbanization In India: An Obituary, Meghana Karan '20, Shruti Shakthivel '20

UN Sustainable Development Goals Infographics

India is urbanizing very rapidly due to the movement of people from rural areas to urban cities for better opportunities. India does not have the resources or money to back this rapid urbanization of the population in general. This urbanization has created many environmental problems with air and water pollution.


Effects Of Agriculture, Riley Brutto '20, Maddy Chow '20 2018 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Effects Of Agriculture, Riley Brutto '20, Maddy Chow '20

UN Sustainable Development Goals Infographics

Due to a lack of education among their population, many Brazilians turn to agriculture as a way to provide for themselves and their families. Additionally, low labor costs draw in large commercial companies that establish business in these developing worlds. However, to obtain farmland in the first place, deforestation has become a common practice, where thousands of miles of lush jungles are cleared away for agricultural practices. According to NASA imaging, 224,000 square miles of rainforest have been cleared in the Amazon. If left unchecked, the drastic consequences could harm not only the countries practicing deforestation, but the entire ...


New Classification Of The Dictyostelids, Sanea Sheikh, Mats Thulin, James C. Cavender, Ricardo Escalante, Shin-ichi Kawakami, Carlos Lado, John C. Landolt, Vidyanand Nanjundiah, David C. Queller, Joan E. Strassmann, Frederick W. Spiegel, Steven L. Stephenson, Eduardo M. Vadell, Sandra L. Baldauf 2018 Washington University in St Louis

New Classification Of The Dictyostelids, Sanea Sheikh, Mats Thulin, James C. Cavender, Ricardo Escalante, Shin-Ichi Kawakami, Carlos Lado, John C. Landolt, Vidyanand Nanjundiah, David C. Queller, Joan E. Strassmann, Frederick W. Spiegel, Steven L. Stephenson, Eduardo M. Vadell, Sandra L. Baldauf

Biology Faculty Publications & Presentations

Traditional morphology-based taxonomy of dictyostelids is rejected by molecular phylogeny. A new classification is presented based on monophyletic entities with consistent and strong molecular phylogenetic support and that are, as far as possible, morphologically recognizable. All newly named clades are diagnosed with small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) sequence signatures plus morphological synapomorphies where possible. The two major molecular clades are given the rank of order, as Acytosteliales ord. nov. and Dictyosteliales. The two major clades within each of these orders are recognized and given the rank of family as, respectively, Acytosteliaceae and Cavenderiaceae fam. nov. in Acytosteliales, and Dictyosteliaceae ...


Mute Swans, David R. Marks 2018 USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services

Mute Swans, David R. Marks

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

Mute swans (Cygnus olor) are an invasive species originally brought to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for ornamental ponds and lakes, zoos and aviculture collections. Original populations were located in northeastern states along the Hudson Valley but have since expanded to several Midwestern states and portions of the western U.S. and Canada. Mute swan damage includes competing with native waterfowl, destroying native plants, spreading disease, and colliding with aircraft. They are also considered a nuisance in some areas due to their abundant fecal droppings and aggressiveness towards people.

Mute swans can impact ecosystems ...


The Effects Of Tree Plantations And Land Use On Natural Regeneration Of Woody Plants In The Tropics: Diversity, Species Composition, Successional Dynamics, And Functional Traits, John Benjamin Longworth 2018 Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

The Effects Of Tree Plantations And Land Use On Natural Regeneration Of Woody Plants In The Tropics: Diversity, Species Composition, Successional Dynamics, And Functional Traits, John Benjamin Longworth

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

As anthropogenic forests become more common in the tropics, there is a greater need to understand the factors that impact forest succession. I used censuses of woody plants in successional forests to study the effects of prior land use and tree plantations on species composition and richness. First, I tested the hypothesis that communities originating from different land uses were converging in species composition over time. I compared species composition using the Chao-Jaccard similarity index. I observed shifts in the dominant species during the first 30 years of succession, but not convergence of species composition in sites with different land-use ...


Jeweled Spider Flies (Eulonchus Tristis) Are Important Pollinators Of Iris Bracteata, A Rare Siskiyou Mountain Endemic, Jean-Paul E. Ponte 2018 Humboldt State University

Jeweled Spider Flies (Eulonchus Tristis) Are Important Pollinators Of Iris Bracteata, A Rare Siskiyou Mountain Endemic, Jean-Paul E. Ponte

Theses and projects

Little is known about the pollination biology of the Pacific Coast Irises (Iris: series Californicae, hereafter PCI), especially who visits and pollinates their flowers. In general, Iris flowers are considered bee-pollinated, however, flies in the genus Eulonchus (Acroceridae) are known to visit some PCI members. Therefore, I assessed the relative importance of Eulonchus and other insect visitors to the pollination of a rare PCI species native to the Siskiyou Mountains, I. bracteata.

Methods. I quantified pollinator importance for all flower visitors at sites in northern California and southern Oregon as the product of average visit rate and the probability of ...


Small Mammal Microhabitat Use And Species Composition At A Wildlife Crossing Structure Compared With Nearby Forest, Lindsay Millward, Kristina Ernest 2018 Central Washington University

Small Mammal Microhabitat Use And Species Composition At A Wildlife Crossing Structure Compared With Nearby Forest, Lindsay Millward, Kristina Ernest

All Master's Theses

Expanding transportation corridors have fragmented ecosystems throughout the world, restricting the movement of organisms or acting as complete connectivity barriers. Wildlife crossing structures (WCS) can increase the permeability of roads, allowing animals to move safely between habitats. Small mammals are especially vulnerable to the effects of reduced connectivity because of their limited mobility; however, few studies have evaluated their use of WCS. This study was conducted at a WCS under I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. Our objective was to evaluate the small mammal species composition at the wildlife undercrossing in comparison to adjacent restoration sites and to the nearby forest ...


Social Contact Patterns Can Buffer Costs Of Forgetting In The Evolution Of Cooperation, Jeffrey R. Stevens, Jan K. Woike, Lael J. Schooler, Stefan Lindner, Thorsten Pachur 2018 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Social Contact Patterns Can Buffer Costs Of Forgetting In The Evolution Of Cooperation, Jeffrey R. Stevens, Jan K. Woike, Lael J. Schooler, Stefan Lindner, Thorsten Pachur

Jeffrey Stevens Papers & Publications

Analyses of the evolution of cooperation often rely on two simplifying assumptions: (i) individuals interact equally frequently with all social network members and (ii) they accurately remember each partner's past cooperation or defection. Here, we examine how more realistic, skewed patterns of contact—in which individuals interact primarily with only a subset of their network's members—influence cooperation. In addition, we test whether skewed contact patterns can counteract the decrease in cooperation caused by memory errors (i.e. forgetting). Finally, we compare two types of memory error that vary in whether forgotten interactions are replaced with random actions ...


Mesotocin Influences Pinyon Jay Prosociality, Juan Duque, Whitney Leichner, Holly Ahmann, Jeffrey R. Stevens 2018 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Mesotocin Influences Pinyon Jay Prosociality, Juan Duque, Whitney Leichner, Holly Ahmann, Jeffrey R. Stevens

Jeffrey Stevens Papers & Publications

Many species exhibit prosocial behavior, in which one individual’s actions benefit another individual, often without an immediate benefit to itself. The neuropeptide oxytocin is an important hormonal mechanism influencing prosociality in mammals, but it is unclear whether the avian homologue mesotocin plays a similar functional role in birds. Here, we experimentally tested prosociality in pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus), a highly social corvid species that spontaneously shares food with others. First, we measured prosocial preferences in a prosocial choice task with two different payoff distributions: Prosocial trials delivered food to both the subject and either an empty cage or a ...


The Effects Of Forest Degradation On Dna Methylation In Central African Songbirds, Andrew K. Wiegardt 2018 Humboldt State University

The Effects Of Forest Degradation On Dna Methylation In Central African Songbirds, Andrew K. Wiegardt

Theses and projects

Environmentally-induced stress can initiate a molecular response through DNA methylation, which can alter gene expression, thereby serving as a mechanism allowing individuals to acclimate to a changing environment within their lifetime. In addition to DNA methylation, the production and release of corticosterone is a physiological mechanism by which birds can cope with acute environmental stressors. To assess how environmental stress impacted DNA methylation and corticosterone, I collected blood and feather samples from three understory avian species (Alethe castanea, Bleda notatus and Pseudalethe poliocephala), along a disturbance gradient in the lowland Guinean rainforest adjacent to the village of Oyala, Equatorial Guinea ...


An Exploration Of Alternative Anesthesia In The Difficult-To-Anesthetize New Zealand Freshwater Snail Potamopyrgus Antipodarum, Richard Magnuson 2018 University of Iowa

An Exploration Of Alternative Anesthesia In The Difficult-To-Anesthetize New Zealand Freshwater Snail Potamopyrgus Antipodarum, Richard Magnuson

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

An effective method for anesthesia is important in terms of minimizing pain and discomfort for research organisms and negative emotions associated with the perception of inflicting pain for the researchers who perform necessary but invasive procedures as part of live-animal studies. Here, I focus on developing a more effective anesthesia method for Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a New Zealand freshwater snail that is an important model system in ecology and evolution. The best available anesthesia method for P. antipodarum, exposure to menthol crystals,only results in successful anesthesia for ~50% of exposed snails. My first objective was to investigate alternative anesthesia approaches ...


Natural And Anthropogenic Drivers Of Tree Evolutionary Dynamics, Brandon M. Lind 2018 Virginia Commonwealth University

Natural And Anthropogenic Drivers Of Tree Evolutionary Dynamics, Brandon M. Lind

Theses and Dissertations

Species of trees inhabit diverse and heterogeneous environments, and often play important ecological roles in such communities. As a result of their vast ecological breadth, trees have become adapted to various environmental pressures. In this dissertation I examine various environmental factors that drive evolutionary dynamics in threePinusspecies in California and Nevada, USA. In chapter two, I assess the role of management influence of thinning, fire, and their interaction on fine-scale gene flow within fire-suppressed populations of Pinus lambertiana, a historically dominant and ecologically important member of mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. Here, I find evidence that ...


What Drives Species Richness In Colorado's Alpine Tundra, Michael Kintgen 2018 Regis University

What Drives Species Richness In Colorado's Alpine Tundra, Michael Kintgen

All Regis University Theses

Despite years of research, drivers of vascular plant species richness in Colorado’s alpine tundra habitats are largely unknown. Factors such as slope aspect, Pleistocene glaciation, nutrient levels, latitude and longitude, snow depth, and disturbance have been studied. Despite this research, few patterns have emerged. Research in Colorado has been conducted on a few well studied mountains. Aridity is one factor that has not been well studied but shows promise in explaining species richness. In Patagonia and the Swiss Alps, increasing aridity correlates with higher species richness. Here, a full species assessment was conducted on nine mountains previously under researched ...


Muskrats, James E. Miller 2018 Mississippi State University

Muskrats, James E. Miller

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is a common, semi-aquatic rodent native to the United States (Figure 1). It spends its life in aquatic habitats and is well adapted for swimming.

Although muskrats are an important part of native ecosystems, their burrowing and foraging activities can damage agricultural crops, native marshes and water control systems, such as aquaculture and farm ponds and levees. Such damage can significantly impact agricultural crops like rice that rely on consistent water levels for growth.

Muskrats also cause damage by eating agricultural crops, other vegetation, and crayfish, mussels and other aquaculture products. Loss of vegetation from muskrat ...


Wild Turkeys, James E. Miller 2018 Mississippi State University

Wild Turkeys, James E. Miller

Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series

Like other bird and mammal species whose populations have been restored through conservation efforts, wild turkeys (Figure 1) are treasured by many recreationists and outdoor enthusiasts. Wild turkeys have responded positively to wildlife habitat and population management. In some areas, however, their increased populations have led to increased damage to property and agricultural crops, and threats to human health and safety. Turkeys frequent agricultural fields, pastures, vineyards and orchards, as well as some urban and suburban neighborhoods. Because of this, they may cause damage or mistakenly be blamed for damage. Research has found that despite increases in turkey numbers and ...


Photosynthetic Activity Under Low Light, Danijela Lonco 2018 The University of Akron

Photosynthetic Activity Under Low Light, Danijela Lonco

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

Are bacteria capable of undergoing oxygenic photosynthesis under low-light conditions inside of caves? Inside of an Australian cave, Chlorophyll f was recently discovered. This chlorophyll pigment was found to demonstrate the capability for photosynthesis, suggesting that Chlorophyll f extends the spectrum of usable light needed for oxygenic photosynthesis (Lars, 2015). Due to the findings in this study, a team went to Carlsbad Caverns to see if there were any bacteria capable of undergoing oxygenic photosynthesis under low light.


Successional Processes In The Benthic Invertebrate Communities At Gray’S Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Alexis A. Bivens 2018 Georgia Southern University

Successional Processes In The Benthic Invertebrate Communities At Gray’S Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Alexis A. Bivens

University Honors Program Theses

While the process of community development has been studied in terrestrial habitats since the turn of the 20th century, similar information is not as readily available in marine systems. Understanding patterns of community development is essential to predicting recovery potential and to designing effective marine protected areas. In the South Atlantic Bight, invertebrate communities on hard substrata can differ significantly from one rocky outcrop to another, but the factors driving these differences are not well understood. I documented the initial development of the benthic invertebrate community at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) to address the prediction that this ...


Generating Species Assemblages For Restoration And Experimentation: A New Method That Can Simultaneously Converge On Average Trait Values And Maximize Functional Diversity, David C. Laughlin, Loïc Chalmandrier, Chaitanya Joshi, Michael Renton, John M. Dwyer, Jennifer L. Funk 2018 University of Wyoming

Generating Species Assemblages For Restoration And Experimentation: A New Method That Can Simultaneously Converge On Average Trait Values And Maximize Functional Diversity, David C. Laughlin, Loïc Chalmandrier, Chaitanya Joshi, Michael Renton, John M. Dwyer, Jennifer L. Funk

Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles and Research

1.Restoring resilient ecosystems in an era of rapid environmental change requires a flexible framework for selecting assemblages of species based on functional traits. However, current trait‐based models have been limited to algorithms that select species assemblages that only converge on specified average trait values, and could not accommodate the common desire among restoration ecologists to generate functionally diverse assemblages.

2.We have solved this problem by applying a nonlinear optimization algorithm to solve for the species relative abundances that maximize Rao's quadratic entropy (Q) subject to other linear constraints. Rao's Q is a closed‐form algebraic ...


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