News Archive

Did Asteroid Impact or Volcanic Eruption Kill the Dinosaurs? Probably Both, Says New Study

October 02, 2015
Layered lava flows of the Deccan Traps east of Mumbai, India. Photo by Mark Richards

Was it an asteroid impact on Earth 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs? Or the eruption of volcanoes in India for hundreds of thousands of years? For decades, paleontologists and geologists have debated the...

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Putting the Brook Trout Back in Brooktrout Lake

September 22, 2015
Putting the Brook Trout Back in Brooktrout Lake

Once teeming with enough fish to earn its name, Brooktrout Lake – when surveyed in the 1980s – was found to be fishless....

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As Demand for African Timber Soars, Birds Pay the Ultimate Price

September 14, 2015
Illegal and legal logging in Ghana

Tropical forests are home to more of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity than any other habitat but are increasingly threatened by the impact of human activities. Illegal logging, in particular, poses a severe and incre...

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Quick Take: A Paleontologist’s View of the New Horizons Pluto Flyby

July 13, 2015

Drexel University Professor of Paleontology and Geology Kenneth Lacovara shared this view with Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, as relayed in Stern’s editorial (with Science editor Ma...

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Do Insect Societies Share Brain Power?

June 17, 2015
Mischocyttarus mexicanum

The society you live in can shape the complexity of your brain—and it does so differently for social insects than for humans and other vertebrate animals....

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Underground Ants Can't Take the Heat

June 15, 2015
Army Ants

Army ants, the nomadic swarming predators underfoot in the jungle, can take down a colony of prey animals without breaking a sweat. But certain army ant species can't take the heat....

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Drexel Joins Philadelphia Science Festival's Weeklong Celebration of Science and Technology

May 06, 2015
Philadelphia Science Festival

Students, faculty and staff from Drexel University will help make the fifth anniversary of the Philadelphia Science Festival one of the biggest citywide celebrations to date. More than 200 regional partner organizations ...

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Asteroid Crash Kicked Off Mega-Volcano in the Process that Killed Dinosaurs, According to New Study

May 06, 2015
The entire mountainous region shown here is part of the Deccan Traps, showing the characteristic stair-like ridges of lava flows. This photo is from near the town of Mahabaleshwar. Credit: Loÿc Vanderkluysen

When an enormous asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago, a planet-wide quake shook the magma plumbing of a massive, active volcano—radically changing the style of volcanic eruption in one of the planet’s rarest, larg...

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Twenty-Five Faces of CoAS Part 2

April 28, 2015
Eli Gilman

As we continue to celebrate the College of Arts and Sciences' 25th anniversary, we're bringing you more stories from our "25 Faces of CoAS" series. From Beijing, to D.C., to the Appalachian Trail, our Dragons are leaving...

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Call for STEM Presenters at Start Talking Science 2015

April 23, 2015
Start Talking Science

Drexel faculty in the STEM fields are invited to submit their research for consideration at Start Talking Science 2015, a free public event where researchers present non-technical posters to local students and the commun...

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Drexel Snapshot: Geology Class Digs into Earth Science on Instagram

April 23, 2015
GEO 103 class characterizing the nature of the sediments of the Cohansey Formation in the NJ Pinelands. #geo103rocks #drexelcoas #acadnatsci #talkinboutrocks

On a beautiful spring day, it’s not unusual for college students to ask to hold class outside. But this spring term, Ted Daeschler’s GEO 103 class, “Intro to Field Methods in Earth Science,” is all outdoors, all the time...

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Famous Fish Fossil Goes on Display

April 10, 2015
Famous Fish Fossil

A group of remarkably well-preserved fossils that demonstrate the evolutionary transition from finned to limbed animals—and that made world headlines—is heading back to Canada, but not before the fossils get a proper sen...

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Study of African Birds Reveals Hotbed of Malaria Parasite Diversity

April 09, 2015
African Pygmy Kingfisher

When you think of tropical biodiversity, you may picture flocks of colorful birds flitting through lush foliage—but what you are less likely to imagine is the plethora of parasites and pathogens pulsing through the b...

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Freshwater Mussels, their Role in Local Waterways on Display in Lecture and Exhibit at the Wagner Free Institute of Science

February 10, 2015
Freshwater Mussels from the Unionidae Collection at the Wagner Free Institute of Science

On February 26, 2015 at 6:00 PM the Wagner Free Institute of Science will host Aquatic Underdogs: How Freshwater Mussels Can Help Save our Great Waters, an illustrated presentation by Danielle Kreeger, PhD, BEES Research...

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Dreadnoughtus Schrani Highlighted in the President’s Report [VIDEO]

February 06, 2015
Ken Lacovara, PhD, with Dreadnoughtus Schrani

The discovery and naming of Dreadnoughtus schrani, a 65-ton, supermassive sauropod dinosaur that lived 77 million years ago, was highlighted in the 2014 Drexel University President's Report. Associate Professor ...

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A Year of Finding New Life on This Planet

January 06, 2015
Heterangaeus mongolica photo by Jason Weintraub

In most year-in-review posts, the Drexel News Blog takes the opportunity to reflect on experiences and stories, both local and global, that they took note of over the past 12 months. But this one is about new finds that ...

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Spanning the Globe: Drexel Research Reaches Around the World in 2014

November 19, 2014
Spanning the Globe: Drexel Research

The coast of Antarctica. The Canadian Arctic. Delhi, India. The Congo. There's little that these places, oceans apart, seem to have in common, except for this: At some point in 2014, researchers from Drexel were or will ...

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Understanding Volcanos and Risk: Drexel Expert Comments on the Eruption and Rescue in Japan

September 30, 2014
Loÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD monitoring the active Sinabung volcano in Indonesia

Loÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD, who recently joined Drexel as an assistant professor in Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, returned Friday from fieldwork in Ind...

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Digging Deeper into Dreadnoughtus: Dinosaur Interview with Ken Lacovara

September 11, 2014
2007 Dreadnoughtus Excavation Team

Check out Drexel News Blog's two-part interview with Kenneth Lacovara, PhD, in regards to his recent Dinosaur discovery. Part 1 features more insight into the dinosaur's anatomy and lifestyle. In Part 2 Lacovara looks ba...

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Drexel Team Unveils Dreadnoughtus: A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Sauropod Dinosaur

September 04, 2014
Ken Lacovara, PhD, with the vertebrae of the Dreadnoughtus

Scientists have discovered and described a new supermassive dinosaur species with the most complete skeleton ever found of its type. At 85 feet (26 m) long and weighing about 65 tons (59,300 kg) in life, Dreadnought...

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Roadside Research from the Pinelands and Coast to Coast

August 14, 2014
prescribed burn

Roads are essentially the primary feature of human civilization at this point,” according to Dane Ward, a doctoral student in environmental science at Drexel University who is presenting research at the Ecological ...

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Drexel Faculty, Students Among Nominees For 2014 Philadelphia Geek Awards

July 08, 2014
Ted Daeschler with Tiktaalik fossils

The annual Philadelphia Geek Awards have once again recognized the work of Drexel University’s faculty and students as some of the best examples of the city’s vibrant geek community over the past year....

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New Courses for Fall

June 24, 2014

What do time, Abraham Lincoln and LGBT history have in common? They’re all topics you can learn about in these new fall courses!...

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You Catch (and Kill) More Flies with This Sweetener…

June 05, 2014
Flies that have been killed by sweetener

In a study that began as a sixth-grade science fair project, researchers at Drexel University have found that a popular non-nutritive sweetener, erythritol, may be an effective and human-safe insecticide....

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A Tiny, Toothy Catfish with Bulldog Snout Defies Classification

May 13, 2014
Toothy Catfish

Kryptoglanis shajii is a strange fish - and the closer scientists look, the stranger it gets. This small subterranean catfish sees the light of day and human observers only rarely, when it turns up in springs, wells and ...

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Ruth Patrick Memorial Symposium: Environmental Thinking from Roots to Revolution

April 21, 2014
Ruth Patrick, PhD

Join fellow scientists and environmental advocates for a free symposium on Tuesday, April 22. We will explore how Ruth Patrick, PhD, launched the field of Environmental Science, as well as her many contributions. Finally...

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“Born to Explore” Episode Featuring Prof Ken Lacovara Wins Bronze Telly Award

April 10, 2014
Ken Lacovara in Grand Central Station looking at Fossils

In a November episode of ABC’s “Born to Explore,” Drexel paleontologist Ken Lacovara, PhD, joined TV host Richard Wiese on a quest for New York City’s fossil collections—but not where you&rs...

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Meet Entomologist and Professor Jon Gelhaus

April 03, 2014
Jon Gelhaus, PhD

Insect enthusiast Jon Gelhaus, PhD, talks about the travel perks of being a “bug guy,” his seasoned idols, and the one thing he thinks all students should know more about....

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Paleontologists Assemble Giant Turtle Bone from Fossil Discoveries Made Centuries Apart

March 25, 2014
The two partial limb fossils from the ancient sea turtle Atlantochelys mortoni

As soon as those two halves came together, like puzzle pieces, you knew it,” said Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate curator of vertebrate zoology and vice president for collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexe...

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Fish Hips Grew Strong Before Life’s First Steps

January 13, 2014
Tiktaalik Pelvis

The discovery of new fossil materials from the ancient fish species Tiktaalik roseae has revealed a key link in the evolution of hind limbs. The newly described, well-preserved pelves and partial pelvic fin from...

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GPS Traffic Maps for Leatherback Turtles Show Hotspots to Prevent Accidental Fishing Deaths

January 09, 2014
relative interactions between leatherback turtles and industrial longline fisheries

The leatherback turtle in the Pacific Ocean is one of the most endangered animals in the world. Its population has declined by more than 90 percent since 1980. One of the greatest sources of mortality is industrial longl...

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Worker Wasps Grow Visual Brains, Queens Stay in the Dark

January 09, 2014
Wasp Leipolmeles - brain scan

A queen in a paperwasp colony largely stays in the dark. The worker wasps, who fly outside to seek food and building materials, see much more of the world around them. A new study indicates that the brain regions involve...

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Drexel grad student has one of the 'worst jobs in science’

December 03, 2013
Jake Owens

Jake Owens wasn't surprised that his stint collecting data from an African bush-meat market was named one of the 'worst jobs in science' in the November issue of Popular Science magazine....

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Fossils in the Big Apple and Other Urban Paleontology Adventures

November 21, 2013
Ken Lacovara, PhD, hunts for fossils in New York City

There are fossils in New York’s Grand Central Station. It’s not a traveling museum exhibit. It’s not an exhibit at all. Hundreds of millions of years in the past, the limestone used to construct the sta...

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Drexel Study Shows Longline Fishery in Costa Rica Kills Thousands of Sea Turtles and Sharks

October 02, 2013
Researchers observed large numbers of sea turtles, including green turtles like this one, captured in Costa Rica's longline fishery.

The second-most-common catch on Costa Rica’s longline fisheries in the last decade was not a commercial fish species. It was olive ridley sea turtles. These lines also caught more green turtles than most species of...

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Pioneering Ecologist Dr. Ruth Patrick Dies

September 24, 2013
Dr. Ruth Patrick, in her signature pith helmet, collecting organisms from a stream; circa 1970

Dr. Ruth Patrick, a freshwater ecologist whose pioneering research on water pollution set the stage for the modern environmental movement, died Monday, Sept. 23. She was 105 years old....

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Double Lives: Ken Lacovara Raises Tiny Dinosaurs in his Backyard

August 29, 2013
Chickens in a coop

For Ken Lacovara, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Science’s Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) department, a typical day of studying prehistoric fossils might begin when he eats ...

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Why Can't Snakes Cross the Road?

August 02, 2013
Northern Pine Snakes

Why can’t the pine snakes cross the road? Hint: New Jersey traffic might have something to do with it. Drexel students will bring to light these and other findings about the plight, perils and peculiarities of the North...

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A Day in the Life: Prof’s Adventures in Costa Rica

August 01, 2013
Abby Mudd, Kaitlin Baudier, Tessa Erickson, Siobhan O’Donnell �in the cloud forest

The drive up the mountain to my field site in Monteverde, Costa Rica never fails to amaze. The way is long and jarring, unpaved and rocky, but magical to a tropical ecologist—a succession of forest types (dry, mont...

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Drexel’s Moth Goes Full Circle

July 23, 2013
Datana Drexelii Moth

It was a surprise to Jon Gelhaus, curator of entomology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, when he came across the photo of a modest-looking moth in a book a few months ago. It was an ordinary-looking brown moth, not un...

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Sandy Provides New Answers to Old Questions for BEES Professor

July 18, 2013
Tracy Quirk taking measurements in New Jersey

Tracy Quirk, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science at Drexel University, had been performing wetland research for several years at monitoring sites in Barnegat and Dela...

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How do you pack for a summer trip to the end of the Earth (for science)?

June 27, 2013
Students dig for fossils at Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic

“Ice. Rock. Water. That’s what’s there,” Ted Daeschler said, discussing his upcoming field research expedition to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic.And that’s about all that’s th...

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Co-op Leads Drexel Student to Valleys and Mountains of Mongolia

May 22, 2013
Anna Gourlay on Co-op in Mongolia

Environmental science pre-junior Anna Gourlay wasn’t looking to go international for her first co-op experience, but somehow she ended up camping in Mongolia. Gourlay worked as an assistant staff scientist at the A...

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Academy of Natural Sciences to Provide Scientific Guidance in Coordinated Region-Wide Watershed Protection

May 21, 2013
Scientists conducting stream reseach in the Delaware River Watershed

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has received a major grant from the William Penn Foundation to support watershed protection and restoration in the Delaware watershed that is intended to coordinate an...

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Dr. Tracy Quirk Named SCH Kleckner Scientist in Residence

May 15, 2013
Dr. Tracy Quirk

Dr. Tracy Quirk, assistant professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, was named the Kleckner Scientist in Residence at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH), a college preparatory scho...

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Drexel Engages Science and Technology Communities at Philadelphia Science Festival and Philly Tech Week

April 17, 2013
Philadelphia Science Festival

As part of city’s vibrant scientific and technological community, Drexel University will play a big role in the 2013 Philadelphia Science Festival and Philly Tech Week on April 18-28. From a 29-story video game, to...

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2013 CoAS Research Day Winners

April 11, 2013
Research Day logo

Student scholars in the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences presented their research at the annual College of Arts and Sciences Research Day on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in Behrakis Grand Hall. Over 1...

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Dusting for Prints from a Fossil Fish to Understand Evolutionary Change

March 27, 2013

In 370 million-year-old red sandstone deposits in a highway roadcut, scientists have discovered a new species of armored fish in north central Pennsylvania. Fossils of armored fishes like this one, a phyllolepid placoder...

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New Fossil Species Fill in the Picture of a Fish-Eat-Fish World Driving the Evolution of Limbed Animals

March 27, 2013
Holoptychius Jaw Teeth

We call it a ‘fish-eat-fish world,’ an ecosystem where you really needed to escape predation,” said describing life in the Devonian...

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Academy Scientists Receive Top Honors for Long-Term Research and Training Initiatives in Mongolia

March 22, 2013
Dr. John Gelhaus collecting aquatic insects with students in Mongolia

In Mongolia, a sparsely populated, resource-endowed country sandwiched between China and Siberia, the climate is changing more rapidly than in many other places on Earth. Rising temperatures have caused rivers and stream...

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Exclusive Screening: The Drill Project

March 11, 2013
Drill Monkey

Thousands of miles away on Bioko Island of Equatorial Guinea, Drexel researchers have been working to save the endangered primate species Mandrillus leucophaeus, or the drill monkey. These rare animals are threatened wit...

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The Real Evidential Stuff: Students Explore Academy Collections in New Environmental Science Course

January 15, 2013
Warbler specimen at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Drexel’s revamped environmental science courses this past fall led students to the muddy marshes of New Jersey, a unique experiential learning opportunity resulting from the University’s affiliation with the Academy of N...

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First BEES Class: A Success from Day One

January 04, 2013
First BEES Class: A Success on Day One

This September, environmental science students hit the ground running in Drexel’s new Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES). Located in the College of Arts and Sciences, the new departm...

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Discover Magazine Selects Drexel’s Digital Fossil Research for Top 100 Science Stories of 2012

December 18, 2012
Scanning Paralititan

For 150 years, the tools of paleontology were shovels and pickaxes, burlap and plaster. Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, an associate professor in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, is working on innovative techniques...

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In The Field, Early and Often

November 29, 2012
Students in the Field

Drexel's new Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science Department offers students a more comprehensive environmental science experience, with heavy emphasis on work in the field. In that way, it's a perfect fit for D...

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Selling Their Future

November 27, 2012
Bioko Monkey

The secretive, little-understood drill monkey has thrived for centuries on the African island of Bioko. But with hunting pressures now pushing the species to the brink, Drexel researchers are fighting back; and working t...

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Q&A With Dr. Ted Daeschler

November 01, 2012
Dr. Ted Daeschler

The College of Arts and Sciences welcomes Academy scientist Dr. Ted Daeschler to the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science. Learn more about the paleontologist who unearthed the transitional fossil...

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BEES Scientist to Lead International Society for Diatom Research

October 22, 2012
Dr. Marina Potapova Collects Diatoms from Cole Run

Dr. Marina Potapova has been elected vice president of the International Society for Diatom Research (ISDR), an organization whose goal is to educate the public about diatoms and promote the importance of diatom studies....

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Hundreds Come Out for Fossil Dig Day

October 19, 2012
Mantua Fossil Dig Day

Paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara continues to unearth enthusiasm for the Cretaceous Period—a time when much of our coastal lands were under water. Tri-state area residents came out in droves last Saturday for Fo...

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Hundreds Come Out for Fossil Dig Day

October 19, 2012
Mantua Fossil Dig Day

Paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara continues to unearth enthusiasm for the Cretaceous Period—a time when much of our coastal lands were under water. Tri-state area residents came out in droves last Saturday for Fo...

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Crickets, Worms on Menu at Halloween Cocktail Party Hosted by Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

October 15, 2012
Cuisine from the Collections logo

The nation's oldest natural history museum is throwing a cocktail party featuring a menu of exotic and everyday foods inspired by its famous plant and animal collections. Farm-raised python, anyone?...

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Studying the Life Aquatic

October 02, 2012
Karen Sullam

Ecology Ph.D. student Karen Sullam’s got a thing for the underdog—particularly when it comes to the ichthyologic sort. “It’s kind of funny because I started out studying sea turtles—they’re very big and charismatic—but I...

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Drexel Receives First LEED Certification for Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

September 21, 2012
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building Exterior

Drexel University was awarded LEED® Gold certification for the University’s Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, which includes the first biowall at an academic institution in the country....

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Drexel’s Living Wall Wins Plantscaper “Best in Show”

September 21, 2012
Biowall and staircase in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

The College of Arts and Sciences’ five-story biowall, housed in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, continues to garner praise and attention, this time at the 2012 Plantscape Industry Expo in Las Vegas. On August...

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Giant Panda Conservation Researchers from China to Speak at Drexel

August 21, 2012
giant pandas

Three leading scientists involved in the conservation of giant pandas at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu, China will present a mini-symposium, “Biology and Conservation of the Giant Panda,” ...

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Private Landowners Can Help Protect Biodiversity "Arks" in the Tropics

July 27, 2012
Sean O'Donnell and Emily Johnson

Many of the world’s tropical protected areas are struggling to sustain their biodiversity, according to a study just published in Nature by more than 200 scientists from around the world....

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Scientists at the Seashore

July 24, 2012
A Scientist in Barnegat Bay

While thousands of beach lovers are flocking to the Jersey Shore this summer for sun and fun, Academy researchers are heading to Seaside Heights, Beach Haven, and Mantoloking for a different reason. Scientists with the P...

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Rising Heat at the Beach Threatens Largest Sea Turtles, Climate Change Models Show

July 03, 2012
Leatherback Sea Turtle

For eastern Pacific populations of leatherback turtles, the 21st century could be the last. New research suggests that climate change could exacerbate existing threats and nearly wipe out the population. Deaths of turtle...

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BEES Prof on NatGeo Wild June 3rd

May 30, 2012
The Mighty Army Ant

Tune in to NatGeo Wild next Sunday at 10PM to watch ant aficionado Sean O’Donnell scour the Ecuadorian rainforest in search of the mighty army ant! O’Donnell will be featured on an episode of “Animal Superpowers: Extreme...

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Drexel Students Study Environment on Gunnery Range

May 30, 2012
Drexel Students Study Environment on Gunnery Range

A military combat training base may seem like an unlikely venue for environmental research, but that’s precisely where Drexel biologist Dr. Walter Bien has set up shop. Beyond the runways, control towers and air-to-grou...

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African Monkey's DNA Points to Climate Change, Drexel Researchers Find

May 29, 2012
Dr. Gail Hearn - Drexel Biologist

Drexel biologists Dr. Gail Hearn and Dr. Shaya Honarvar, along with a team of nine other researchers, have been studying a rare and endangered monkey whose DNA could provide insight into the effects of climate change on ...

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El Niño Weather and Climate Change Threaten Survival of Baby Leatherback Sea Turtles

May 24, 2012
Baby Leatherback Turtles

When leatherback turtle hatchlings dig out of their nests buried in the sandy Playa Grande beach in northwest Costa Rica, they enter a world filled with dangers. This critically endangered species faces threats that incl...

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Drexel-Academy Partnership Ushers in the Future of Environmental Science Education

May 14, 2012
Environmental Science Education

This fall, Drexel Environmental Science students will have a breadth of new research and academic opportunities locally and across the globe as a result of the University’s unique academic affiliation with the Aca...

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Dr. Gary Rosenberg Receives $500,000 NSF Grant

May 02, 2012
Malacology Specimens

Dr. Gary Rosenberg, Pilsbry Chair of Malacology at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences and faculty member in Drexel’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Sciences, was awarded a grant o...

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Dr. James Spotila Receives International Sea Turtle Society Lifetime Achievement Award

April 17, 2012
Dr. James Spotila

Dr. James Spotila, Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science and director of Drexel’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, was awarded the International Sea Turtle Society’s (ISTS) Lifetime Achievement Aw...

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Biology Major is Drexel's First Udall Scholar

April 12, 2012
Biology major, Elliot Chiu awarded Udall Scholarship

Elliott Chiu (BS/MS in Biology/Environmental Science, ’13) received the Udall Scholarship a prestigious and highly-competitive award for students committed to careers related to the environment. Chiu is the first ...

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2012 CoAS Research Day Winners

April 10, 2012
Research Day 2012

Student scholars in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences presented their research at the annual College of Arts and Sciences Research Day on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in Behrakis Grand Hall. Over 130 ...

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Robotic Dinosaurs On the Way for Next-Gen Paleontology at Drexel

February 22, 2012
3D Printed Robotic Dinosaurs

Researchers at Drexel University are bringing the latest technological advancements in 3-D printing to the study of ancient life. Using scale models of real fossils, for the first time, they will be able to test h...

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Bringing the Outdoors In: Doors Officially Open to Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

October 03, 2011
President Fry speaks at dedication

As you’ve surely heard—or seen—the College of Arts and Sciences’ new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building has officially opened at the corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets. Home to North America’s largest living ...

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