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Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science News

  • 2021

    • Blue Drexel dragon logo

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      July 07, 2021

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Amazon River Turtles that survived the L. coecus raid being prepared for release in a nearby oxbow lake.

      Trouble from Below: Subterranean Army Ants Raid Nests of Endangered Amazon River Turtles

      June 28, 2021

      Learn more about the predation on nests of three species of Amazon River turtles (Podocnemis) by underground-foraging army ants (Labidus coecus) being studied right now by Professor Sean O'Donnell.

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    • On a cutting board, vegetables, grains and spices are arranged to spell out Green Verses

      New Publication Celebrates the Intersection of the Arts and Sciences

      June 10, 2021

      Inspired by their backgrounds attending liberal arts institutions for undergraduate education, Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science (BEES) PhD candidates Karmi Oxman and Virginia Caponera launched Green Verses, a new arts zine that features creative work from BEES students.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      Congratulations to Our 2021 Gilman Scholars

      June 09, 2021

      We are pleased to announce that four CoAS students have received Gilman Scholarships to support study or co-op abroad in 2021. Congratulations to Manmeen Kaur, Elana Sargent, Jade Umstead and Brenda Vong!

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      June 03, 2021

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Headshots of Tim Hanlon and Angel Hogan

      #ForeverDragons: Save the Date for the CoAS Commencement 2021

      May 04, 2021

      On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the College of Arts and Sciences will celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2021 with a virtual commencement. The ceremony will be live-streamed from Mandell Theater, where a small party of dignitaries and speakers will gather.

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    • aphid

      Defense Mechanisms in Aphids Can Become a Double-edged Sword, Sharpened by the Seasons

      April 20, 2021

      Evolution is unfolding in real time within many natural animal populations and researchers are now observing how this influences biodiversity in the field. In a newly published study in Molecular Ecology a team of Drexel University scientists examined the biological variations in pea aphids, insects that reproduce frequently enough to evolve before our eyes, by tracing the prevalence of their protective endosymbiont, Hamiltonella defensa, which the insects use to ward off parasitoid wasps.

       

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    • a grid of photos showing environmental justice protesters, a forest fire, industrial pollution, and solar panels and wind turbines

      New Climate Change Minor Prepares Students for Solving One of the World’s Most Pressing Problems

      March 29, 2021

      Climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing humankind today, and in the coming decades it will impact every aspect of people’s lives and careers. Even though actions are being taken to reduce global emissions, today’s students will live through a period of rapid climate change that is without precedent in human history. To help prepare students to face these problems, the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) will offer a new minor in Climate Change beginning in Fall 2021.

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  • 2020

    • student working at chalkboard

      Winter Courses

      October 28, 2020

      Dive into money laundering cases, the rich biodiversity of Ecuador, or the philosophy of desire in these new and noteworthy winter courses!

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    • Logo - Drexel Office of the Provost

      College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards

      October 28, 2020

      The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University could not be accomplished without the dedication and support of our faculty members. It is their pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship that reinforces our position as a modern liberal arts college and enhances our University’s reputation as a world-class research institution.

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    • Kathryn Longwill and Lexi Wysocki add juvenile mussels

      BEES Students Show Off Their Research Mussels

      October 14, 2020

      Freshwater mussels are the most imperiled group of organisms in North America. Check out how Drexel BEES students have contributed with their “research mussels!”

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    • Giant Panda

      Free-Roaming Dogs Prevent Giant Pandas from Thriving in the Wild

      August 17, 2020

      Before China declared giant pandas a protected species in 1962 – hunters in pursuit of the black and white bear used dogs to track them. Since then measures have been put in place to protect the vulnerable pandas, but more than half a century later, dogs are still jeopardizing their safety, according to a group of researchers that included Drexel’s James Spotila, PhD.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      July 27, 2020

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel University's 8th Annual Celebration of Faculty Authors -- June 2, 2020

      CoAS Shines at Annual Celebration of Drexel Authors

      July 22, 2020

      In June, Drexel University gathered virtually to recognize over 100 accomplished authors and editors in its eighth-annual Celebrating Drexel Authors event. Members of the College of Arts and Sciences featured prominently in the event, including professors, graduate students and alumni from across several departments.

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    • multi-ethnic hands - Our world can't wait.

      CoAS Creates New Role: Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

      July 22, 2020

      The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that it will appoint an internal candidate to the new role of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, with an expected start date of September 1, 2020. This new position will report directly to the Dean and become a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team, a group comprising Department Heads, Associate Deans and Directors.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      June 10, 2020

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      College of Arts and Sciences Tenure and Promotion

      June 05, 2020

      We are pleased to announce faculty promotions and tenure appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Please join us in congratulating the following faculty members!

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    • Drexel University College of Arts & Sciences Global Studies & Modern Languages 2020 Fellowship Awardees

      Five Global Studies Majors Win Fellowships and Awards

      May 22, 2020

      Drexel University’s Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages has much to celebrate, as four of its students and alumni have received or were alternates for major awards. Global Studies majors won two Fulbright Awards, presented by the U.S. Department of State. Two Global Studies majors are alternates for the Fulbright, and third is an alternate for the Boren Scholarship.

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    • Alexis making biochar with other Drexel students.

      Supporting Sustainability and Resilience in Las Marias, Puerto Rico

      May 07, 2020

      The “Disaster and Resilience in Puerto Rico” Community-Based Learning (CBL) course created by Steve Dolph, PhD, took students from across Drexel to Plenitud PR, a nonprofit educational farm and community dedicated to service in sustainability and the arts, located in Las Marias, Puerto Rico over winter break.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      May 06, 2020

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      April 03, 2020

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • The Drexel delegation hiked to the Bioko program's research site on a beach monitoring marine turtles’ nesting grounds. Photo credit: Scott Cooper.

      In Equatorial Guinea, Drexel Leaders Deepen Longstanding Research Partnership

      March 02, 2020

      A delegation led by President John Fry traveled to the African nation to further the University’s commitment to its Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program.

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    • This series aims to highlight the ideas and initiatives of the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University’s Small Actions Spark Big Changes campaign in actionable ways for Drexel University students.

      Earth Day, Every Day: Talking Climate Change With Your Peers

      February 12, 2020

      Healthy debate and discourse are at the center of most undergraduate students’ lifestyles, but it may be hard to have a conversation with peers about climate change. Two activist students weigh in on how to ease the burden.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      February 03, 2020

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      January 08, 2020

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel Students Receive Fulbright Scholarship

      10 Years Ago at Drexel CoAS

      January 06, 2020

      As we kick off a new decade of scholarship and innovation, join us for a fun look back at life in the College of Arts and Sciences 10 years ago!

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  • 2019

    • Drexel Students Become Scientists in Marine Field Methods Course

      Students Become Scientists in Marine Field Methods Course

      November 15, 2019

      It takes most of the morning for students in the Marine Field Methods course to walk from bay to beach of Island State Park, New Jersey. On bayside, the students rub sand between their fingers and note the shoreline drop-off caused by erosion. Assistant teaching professor Dane Ward, PhD, peels algae off the side of the dock, its presence indicative of a low-energy environment caused by the shelter of the barrier island they are standing on.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      October 21, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Book and notebook open on a table in a library

      Winter Courses

      October 18, 2019

      Explore creativity in research, the history of the Earth, globalization and more in these new and noteworthy winter courses!

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      September 25, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Radiatus Scales

      A Fish By Another Name

      August 27, 2019

      The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University's ongoing effort to collect Late Devonian vertebrate fossils (370 to 360 million years old) in Pennsylvania has resulted in lots of new discoveries from highway road cuts exposing the rocks of the Catskill Formation.

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    • Cows Graze by the Delaware Watershed

      Are We Really Protecting Rivers and Streams From Pollution? It’s Hard to Say, And That’s a Problem. 

      August 20, 2019

      More public and private resources than ever are being directed to protecting and preserving aquatic ecosystems and watersheds. Whether mandated for land development, farming or in response to the growing severity and number of natural disasters – scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University found evidence that decades of watershed restoration and mitigation projects have taken place, but their impact is mostly perceived; data is relatively undocumented — or simply missing.


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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      August 13, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • BEES students seining for fish in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Photo credit: Richard J. Horwitz.

      New Exhibit Explores the Best of the BEES

      August 12, 2019

      The Drexel Collection’s new show is centered around the educational and professional opportunities made available by the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science.

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    • Scientists walking across a glacier

      Ted Daeschler Addresses Challenges of Communicating Geoscience Research

      August 09, 2019

      On June 10, the Drexel Libraries welcomed Ted Daeschler, PhD, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences and Professor in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, to discuss the importance of communicating geosciences research to inspire citizen engagement during the final ScholarSip event of the 2018/2019 academic year.

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    • Joey Habitat Assessment Delaware River watershed

      Keeping Tabs on the Environment

      August 02, 2019

      Summertime means the height of field work season for many Academy scientists. They can be found up and down the Delaware River watershed measuring fish, collecting algae samples, measuring sea level rise due to climate change, testing water for the presence of harmful chemicals and more.

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    • New Species of Shipworm Has an Appetite for Stone

      This New Species of Shipworm Has an Appetite for Stone

      June 28, 2019

      As alluded to by its name, most shipworms bore into and digest wood – making them a natural nemesis to docks, pier infrastructure, wooden vessels and sailors alike. The mollusks digest the wood with the help of symbiotic bacteria that live in their gills. The enzymes and other molecules from the bacteria may help in the development of new antibiotics and bio-fuels.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      June 25, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      College of Arts and Sciences Student Fellowships

      June 25, 2019

      Students in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences are scientific innovators, global explorers and leaders in education, communication and advocacy. Reflecting their accomplishments is the impressive number of national and international fellowships they received this year to support graduate education, professional experiences and research abroad.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      May 23, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

      Read More

    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards

      May 21, 2019

      The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University could not be accomplished without the dedication and support of our faculty members. It is their pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship that reinforces our position as a modern liberal arts college, and enhances our University’s reputation as a world-class research institution.

      Read More

    • bioko frog

      Protecting Bioko’s Biodiversity, Part 2

      May 01, 2019

      In her second post, Professor Stefanie Kroll, Phd recounts her travels from the capital of Equatorial Guinea, Malabo, to the small town of Moka (population around 200) on Bioko Island. This unassuming place has been the home base for the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program for over 20 years and where she and other Drexel faculty and students do research year round.

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    • Young women studying at an outdoors table

      Summer Courses

      April 29, 2019

      Board a 25-foot research vessel, explore intercultural experiences or trace a gendered history of film in these featured summer courses!

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      April 29, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Dean Schultheis with Drexel study abroad students

      With Newly Adopted Research Center, the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program Welcomes CoAS Faculty and Students

      April 03, 2019

      This spring, faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences traveled to Equatorial Guinea to celebrate the official government adoption of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program’s scientific research center. The events not only highlighted the accomplishments of the program, but also shed light on opportunities for further collaboration with Drexel University researchers and students.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      April 01, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Tamilokus

      New Species Announced at the Academy: 445 Days in Rewind

      March 22, 2019

      The continued discovery and documentation of new species shows life on Earth can still surprise us – and it’s clear that conservation and proper cohabitation of this world is increasingly important. Scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University helped discover and recently published a few new slimy, shelled and fossilized species within the past 445 days, and each instance serves as a reminder of just how important biodiversity is.

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    • Stefanie Kroll

      Protecting Bioko's Biodiversity

      March 21, 2019

      My first few days are spent in the capital, Malabo, at the Study Abroad house with the Drexel University students, Mary Katherine “Katy” Gonder, PhD, director of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, David Montgomery, BBPP national manager, and their truly dedicated staff. About two-thirds into the academic quarter, everyone seems just as busy and lively as I imagine they were in week one, which speaks to the value and importance of their conservation and education work on this tropical island.

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    • Puerh Panda 2

      From Passion to Profit: Drexel Student Starts Tea Business Through Entrepreneurial Co-op

      March 18, 2019

      Drexel University student Billy McCullough turned hobby into business in founding Puerh Panda — an online storefront for small-batch teas and accessories — through an entrepreneurial co-op with the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.

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    • A lagoon in Baja California, Mexico

      Research Update: CoAS Professors with Fulbright Awards

      March 05, 2019

      We caught up with professors in the College of Arts and Sciences who recently won awards through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program. From Mexico to Montpellier, these four profs are taking their research and teaching abroad.

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    • Kolkata, India - Drexel CoAS Majors Share Favorite Travel Destination

      Oh, the Places You’ll Go: 10 CoAS Majors Share Favorite Travel Destinations

      March 05, 2019

      Sure, you could complete your whole degree in Philadelphia, but why not take advantage of Drexel opportunities around the globe? With gorgeous photos, insider tips and stories from international locales, 10 College of Arts and Sciences students share the best place their major has taken them.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      March 05, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Layered lava flows from the Bushe and Poladpur Formations near the village of Tail Baila. Image credit, Courtney Sprain.

      Did an Asteroid Cancel Dinosaurs? The Truth is in the Lava

      February 26, 2019

      About sixty-six million years ago a planet-wide catastrophe brought the non-avian dinosaurs to their demise, and the end of the Cretaceous period was marked by a mass extinction of its fauna and flora. New data, published in the journal Science, says it’s possible that intense volcanic eruptions in India coincided with the worldwide extinction – ultimately cementing the fate of the massive reptiles.  


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    • Ocean, beach and sky by Rosie Oakes

      How Fast Are the Oceans Warming?

      February 15, 2019

      The greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere make our planet habitable, taking it from an average global temperature of -18 degrees C (zero degrees F) to a balmy 15 degrees C (60 degrees F). Current human activities, such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation, are increasing the concentration of these greenhouse gases, increasing the amount of the sun’s energy that is getting trapped.

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    • Drexel College of Arts and Sciences Graduation

      Why Consider Graduate School?

      February 05, 2019

      When it comes to life after graduation, there are many exciting decisions to consider, from choosing where to put down roots, to applying for jobs and determining if graduate or professional school is right for you.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      February 04, 2019

      We are proud to recognize the recent presentations, publications, awards and honors of members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Sumita Gangwani, Environmental Studies, Drexel University

      Rising Leaders: Sumita Gangwani

      January 25, 2019

      Sumita Gangwani has taken her passion for sustainability into diverse roles — studying green energy in Iceland, researching the politics of energy development in Philadelphia, and influencing sustainable retail policies on co-op in Washington, D.C. As an on-campus leader, she has advocated for Drexel to remain committed to its environmental initiatives and has helped empower new Dragons as a student ambassador and mentor.

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    • Nicholas Barber

      Follow My Lead: Nicholas Barber

      January 24, 2019

      For recent alumnus Nicholas Barber, science doesn’t end with discovery. A good scientist, he believes, uses research to inform policy, improve communities and mitigate harm to our planet. After five years at Drexel University — a journey brimming with awards, mentorship experiences and research — Barber is now studying earth science on a full scholarship at the University of Cambridge as the second Gates Cambridge scholar in Drexel history.

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    • Scientists walking across a glacier

      Antarctic Paleontological Expedition: Week 7

      January 22, 2019

      Windy days at our Deception Glacier camp made for challenging working conditions, but nonetheless we got some good work done to wrap up our field season.

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    • Ted Daeschler Mountain 220

      Striking It With Fossil Trove: Week Six

      January 14, 2019

      Weather this week has been clear but cold and windy. We’ve explored about 10 miles from camp around Alligator Peak, with some good finds of dense bone beds of Devonian fish remains.

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    • Snowmobile Training 220

      Finding Fossil Fish in Antarctica: Week 5

      January 07, 2019

      Week 5 in Antarctica started with clear skies but strong winds creating dangerous wind chills. Winds dropped to more normal levels after a couple of days, and we’ve gotten several good workdays on the rock outcrops.

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    • Book and notebook open on a table in a library

      Spring Courses

      January 04, 2019

      Explore celebrity philanthropy and activism, identify birds in local parks and reserves, and examine the media’s portrayal of environmental issues in these new and noteworthy spring courses.

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      January 03, 2019

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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  • 2018

    • Shake Down Tent Ross Ice Shelf

      Finding Fossils in Antarctica: Week 4

      December 31, 2018

      Ted Daeschler, PhD, professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science, reports on his fourth week in Antarctica...

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    • Antarctica White Out

      Whiteout in Antarctica: Week 3

      December 23, 2018

      From BEES Prof Ted Daeschler from Antartica Week Three: We got our team into our field site at Deception Glacier on December 19 and 20. Weather was clear for the move days, and we set up camp in a ravine bounded by Devonian outcrop on one side and a tongue of glacial ice on the other.  We are well protected from prevailing winds from off the ice cap.

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    • Sumita Gangwani, Environmental Studies, Drexel University

      Environmental Studies Major Promotes Sustainability in Retail

      December 21, 2018

      If IKEA sounds like an unlikely co-op employer for an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major, it’s not news to Sumita Gangwani. The sophomore received questioning looks when she told friends that she would complete her first co-op in corporate communications at the Swedish retail giant’s North American headquarters.

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    • Cargo Yard McMurdo Station

      Reporting From Antarctica, Week Two

      December 17, 2018

      Week Two at McMurdo Station in Antarctica has been spent with more training, including a “shake-down” of equipment during a night-out in the field. We’ve been getting food, supplies and equipment organized and entered into the cargo system used for air support.

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    • Antartica Mountain Ranges by Ted Daeschler, PhD

      Reporting From Antarctica, Week One

      December 12, 2018

      Week One in Antarctica has been a whirlwind of training workshops and organizational work at McMurdo Station to get ready for the four weeks we plan to spend at our field sites in the interior of this frozen continent.

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    • Philadelphia at Night

      What Will Philadelphia Look Like in 2100? 15 of Drexel's Environmental Experts Weigh In

      December 11, 2018

      The Drexel University Center for Public Policy debuted the latest edition of Drexel Policy Notes titled Climate Change and the Future of the North American City at the Philadelphia Citizen's Ideas We Should Steal conference on November 30, 2018. The Issue brings together 15 of Drexel's environmental experts to weigh in on what Philadelphia may look like in 2100.

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    • Ted Daeschler in Antartica

      Camping (For Fossils) in Antarctica

      November 28, 2018

      Loads of dark chocolate. Reams of toilet paper. Dozens of hand warmers. Six snowmobiles and a leaf blower. Academy Curator of Paleontology Ted Daeschler, PhD is all packed for his next big camping adventure. He leaves November 29th for a month in Antarctica.

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    • Eastern Box Turtle - Jakub Zegar

      5 Animal Facts and Photos from an Environmental Science Major

      November 20, 2018

      Environmental science major Jakub Zegar ’20 has focused his research in conservation biology, herpetology and amphibian thermoregulation while pursuing a STEM education minor at Drexel. He combines his passions in his Instagram account @jakub.zegar, where he shares facts and photos about the animals he encounters out in the field.

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    • Pakims Pond

      Research Finds NJ Numerical Nutrient Criterion Used to Protect Streams is Too High 

      October 22, 2018

      A new way of measuring the relative habitability of freshwater environments for fish and aquatic insects suggests that New Jersey’s water monitoring and treatment standards could use a boost.


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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

      October 19, 2018

      We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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    • Drexel University Main Building Exterior

      Winter Courses

      October 15, 2018

      Explore how natural disasters shape our world, changing perceptions of mental illness, and the effects of social movements on theories of democracy in these new and noteworthy winter courses.

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    • Drexel University Main Building Exterior

      Welcoming New Faculty to the College of Arts and Sciences

      September 25, 2018

      We are thrilled to introduce the following new faculty members and welcome them to the College of Arts and Sciences community.

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    • Rosemary Oakes

      Women Making Science History

      September 20, 2018

      On Museum Day, Saturday, Sept. 22, the Academy is honoring women making science history. General admission to the museum will be free, and visitors will be able to talk with some of our female scientists making a difference. We profile some of them here so you can get to know them before you come. Have your questions ready!

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    • cicada killer wasp220

      Entomologist’s View on “Ant-Man”

      August 01, 2018

      “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” sequel to Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 2015 “Ant-Man,” is in movie theaters this summer. Wondering how the superheroes compare to real insects, we checked in with the Academy’s Entomology Department, which houses 3.5 million insect specimens – a treasure for researchers around the world.

      There we found Robert Conrow, an affable Drexel PhD student and teaching assistant who studies crane flies with Entomology Curator Jon Gelhaus, PhD, a world expert. Gelhaus  also is a professor in Drexel’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science. Conrow says crane flies would make terrible superheroes “because their long legs easily fall off in the slightest breeze.”

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    • Illustrating a Devonian Predator

      Illustrating a Devonian Predator

      July 16, 2018

      Jason Poole was charged with depicting Hyneria lindae, the largest creature living in an ancient stream ecosystem in Devonian-age Pennsylvania, about 365 million years ago. This lobe-finned fish, belonging to a group of back-boned animals called sarcopterygians, was at least twice the size of the largest of the other animals with which it shared the waters.

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    • An X-ray view of the heads of a worker and a soldier ant and the brains inside their head. The worker is much smaller with the brain filling more of its head.

      You Have One Job: Compared to Multi-Tasking Workers, Soldier Ant Brains Small

      July 16, 2018

      A Drexel University study found that ant colonies evolved to spend less energy on developing the brains of soldier ants, who have relatively simple jobs, compared to multi-tasking workers.

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    • Jacob Owens standing and holding Qian Qian

      'Pandas' IMAX Movie Follows the First Artificially Bred Panda into the Wild - And Features Plenty of Drexel Connections

      May 31, 2018

      From the professor who dreamed up the panda release program to the alums who run it, Dragons play a huge role in "Pandas."

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    • Drexel Dragon Logo Blue

      College of Arts and Sciences Tenure, Promotion and Awards

      May 22, 2018

      The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University could not be accomplished without the dedication and support of our faculty members. It is their pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship that reinforces our position as a modern liberal arts college, and enhances our University’s reputation as a world-class research institution.

      Read More

    • Roger Thomas and Danielle Kreeger, PhD transplanting mussels

      Partnering for Mussel Restoration

      May 17, 2018

      Freshwater mussels and shad were once plentiful in the Delaware Estuary and its tributaries, providing a range of natural benefits to people and waterways. Today they face an uncertain future in local streams and rivers, creating a serious disadvantage when it comes to ecological health.

      Now, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences of Drexel University, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water Department and Department of Parks and Recreation, Bartram’s Garden, and the Independence Seaport Museum have come together to develop the Aquatic Research and Restoration Center to coordinate large-scale restoration efforts that do not currently exist in the Philadelphia region.

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    • Drexel Student Jackie Garcia

      Forensic Entomology

      May 08, 2018

      Drexel University environmental science graduate Jackie Garcia had the opportunity to pursue an independent study during her senior year. She chose Academy scientist and Drexel professor Jon Gelhaus as her mentor. Together, the two set out to explore the complex field of forensic entomology. We talked with Garcia about learning a new field during an independent study, sharing her work with the public at Bug Fest and inspiring one high school student to pursue her own work in the field.

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    • A microscopic image of plasmodium cells

      Malaria-Carrying Parasites Spread More When They Can Jump Into Multiple Birds - Study

      April 27, 2018

      A study out of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University found that blood parasites that cause malaria spread more widely if they can use many different kinds of birds as hosts. But even those "generalist" parasites are limited.

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    • A turtle ant on a branch with another type of smaller bug

      Without 46 Million Year-Old Bacteria, Turtle Ants Would Need More Bite And Less Armor

      March 06, 2018

      Socially transmitted, nitrogen-providing microbes have opened a new ecological frontier for herbivorous turtle ants.

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    •   Back row, left to right: Dean Cohen, Amy Gottsegen, Kelly Weissberger (Associate Director, CSD), Ashleigh Jugan, Nicholas Barber, Vincent O’Leary, Provost Blake, Riki McDaniel, Ian Nichols, Caitlin Walczyk, Sam Buczek, Meredith Wooten (Director, CSD), Dean Van Bockstaele, Martha Meiers (Program Coordinator, CSD). Front row, left to right: Caitlin Cooper, Ana Monastero, Jacob Baron, Dylan O’Donoghue, Marina D’souza, Gabrielle Salib, Emily Coyle (Fellowships Advisor, CSD). Photo credit Jordan Stein.

      Meet the Drexel Dragons up for the Biggest Awards This Year

      March 01, 2018

      Drexel University’s Center for Scholar Development recently hosted an event to recognize the hard work and initiative taken by those students who applied for major fellowships this year.

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    • Asclepias syriaca with flowers

      Plants Evolve Away from Obsolete Defenses When Attacked by Immune Herbivores, Study Shows

      February 26, 2018

      A new study shows that plants can evolve out of their obsolete defense mechanisms when facing an immune enemy, an illustration of the “defense de-escalation” evolution theory.

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    • Ted Daeschler's Drexel hat hanging on a tent post in Antartica

      To the Ends of the Earth

      January 19, 2018

      For most people, the thought of camping conjures images of leisurely hikes and starry nights cozied up to a campfire. For geoscience prof Ted Daeschler, PhD, it resembles something more like a two-day flight, followed by a noisy jaunt via military cargo plane, culminating in a 100-mile helicopter ride into the remote terrain and sub-freezing temperatures of Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys.

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    • New Startup

      New Startup Proves You Can Catch Flies with Sugar

      January 17, 2018

      A sixth-grade science fair project in 2014 led to the discovery that erythritol, the main component of Truvia, is a natural insecticide. Today, that discovery is the basis of a new Drexel-backed startup, BioLogic Insecticide. Simon D. Kaschock-Marenda, now a freshman at Drexel in the College of Engineering, was 11 when he noticed that Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as fruit flies, died much quicker when they fed on Truvia than on other sweeteners. His father, Daniel Marenda, PhD, professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was unconvinced at first.

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    • Tale of the Mysterious Manuscripts, Illustration by Drexel Student Natalie Vaughn ’18

      Field Notes

      January 16, 2018

      The Unsung, Unpublished Adventures of Drexel Researchers in the Field

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    • butterfly

      4 Ways Climate Change Can Affect the Brain

      January 11, 2018

      The typical images that “climate change” conjures include disappearing coastlines and melting polar ice. But what about animals’ brains — including our own? Can they be affected by the changing climate? Sean O’Donnell, PhD, professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, argues that they absolutely can.

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  • 2017

    • The Academy of Natural Sciences' watershed field crew heads downstream after collecting algae samples from the Upper Paulins Kill River in the New Jersey Highlands. Photo by Tess Hooper

      Dolan Fund for Innovative Water Research

      December 19, 2017

      Water scarcity is one of the greatest challenges of our time, according to the United Nations. For the Dolan family of Philadelphia, water runs deep and personal. Almost 90 years ago, Philadelphia-area naturalist/adventurist, Brooke Dolan II, led expeditions to western China and Tibet and collected the Asian mammals on exhibit in the dioramas of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. He and his colleagues also brought back thousands of other specimens to study at a time when the world looked to natural history museums for information on countless little-known species.

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    • A wide view of a Barnegat Bay salt marsh

      Studies Show Barnegat Bay Salt Marshes Provide Millions of Dollars of Water Treatment for Free – For Now

      December 07, 2017

      A pair of studies led by Academy of Natural Sciences researchers show that salt marshes along New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay are invaluable for removing nutrients — but they’re threatened by climate change.

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    • Drexel Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science Student Nick Barber in Yellowstone National Park

      Geoscience Major Completes Award-Winning Project in Seafloor Volcanology

      December 04, 2017

      It was a summer that would make any adventure blogger envious: 12 days at sea aboard a 273-foot vessel, treks through the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, nights beneath the stars on Oregon’s massive stratovolcano Mount Hood. Geoscience major Nick Barber ’18 did all of this — along with award-winning conference presentations and innovative research — in the name of science.

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    • Kevin Sievers stands beneath the Academy's intimidating Tyrannosaurus rex.

      Fossils Fuel This Student’s Attraction to the Academy

      December 04, 2017

      Kevin Sievers has been coming to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University since he was a little kid to learn about the ancient animal history on display. Now, as a Drexel student, he gets to work there.

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    • Mount Agung

      Q&A: Could Bali's Mount Agung have a Major Eruption?

      November 30, 2017

      Around 100,000 people on the Indonesian island of Bali have been evacuated from their homes, and more could follow as the island’s most prominent mountain has begun to show signs of a potential major eruption. Assistant Professor Loÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD, has been monitoring the situation from afar and conversing with his volcanologist colleagues about it.

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    • Ellen Wildner, Drexel Biology Alumni

      Geek of the Week: Ellen Wildner, Biological Sciences '15

      October 24, 2017

      Ellen Wildner is a trained biologist and anthropologist. She currently studies snails at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, but like most scientists is curious about everything and how it all connects.

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    • California Wild Fire

      What Goes Into a Controlled Burn?

      October 19, 2017

      The fires now ravaging North California have been particularly bad this year because years of drought have left the area much like a tinderbox. One way to combat this build-up of “fuel load” is a controlled burn.

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    • Marie Kurz, PhD, Academy environmental geochemist and assistant research professor in Drexel University’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science

      Day in the Life of a Creek

      October 12, 2017

      If you happened to be hiking, biking or boating in the Wissahickon Creek area recently or watched the local news you may have thought you were imaging things. It wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but the creek was green!

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    • A collapsed home in Mexico City after the earthquake September 2017

      Q&A: Are the Earthquakes in Mexico Related?

      September 21, 2017

      Amanda Lough, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a geologist who focuses on seismology, the study of earthquakes. She explains that although there are some rare cases where one earthquake might lead to another, that is almost certainly not the case in Mexico.

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    • Flooding during Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Photo by Jill Carlson from Roman Forest, Texas

      Hurricane Harvey: Even After Floodwaters Recede, They Hold Danger

      August 31, 2017

      Since Friday, Houston and its surrounding area has been hammered by more than 40 inches of rain, with more set to come. Flooding related to Hurricane Harvey has water cresting dams and forcing people to their rooftops all across the area.

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    • Irish moss

      Seaweed: The New Superfood

      August 24, 2017

      Swak! The ocean waves crash around your legs, leaving a slimy green thing clinging to your ankle. Another day at the beach, another piece of seaweed.

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    • Dragon logo

      College of Arts and Sciences Tenure, Promotion and Awards

      June 26, 2017

      The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University could not be accomplished without the dedication and support of our faculty members. It is their pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship that reinforces our position as a modern liberal arts college, and enhances our University’s reputation as a world-class research institution.

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    • Drexel University Professor Susan Kilham, PhD

      Sue Kilham Receives Phycological Society of America Career Achievement Award

      June 26, 2017

      Sue Kilham, PhD, professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, received the Phycological Society of America’s Award of Excellence — a career achievement award that honors scientists who have had a major impact on the field of phycology, and who have a record of sustained scholarly activity, including teaching and service.

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    • Ashleigh Jugan lets a pangolin go.

      Protecting the World’s Most Trafficked Animal While on Co-op

      June 20, 2017

      What’s a pangolin? And why is Ashleigh Jugan in Vietnam working to keep them safe from hunters? DrexelNow asked the fourth-year environmental sciences major about that and more in a Q&A about a highly unusual co-op. 

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    • White-eared ground sparrow

      Birds of All Feathers Work Together to Hunt When Army Ants March

      June 19, 2017

      When army ants move out, a new Drexel University study found that, instead of chasing each other away, birds work together to follow the column and hunt the insects that marching ants scare out of hiding.

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    • A fruit fly standing on an evergreen branch

      Common Artificial Sweetener Likely a Safe, Effective Birth Control, Pesticide for Insects, Drexel Study Finds

      May 23, 2017

      Erythritol, a non-nutritive sweetener found in products like Truvia, has proven effective in killing fly larvae and slowing down their egg production, making it a good candidate for human and pet-safe pesticide use.

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    • Students attempt to negotiate a climate change agreement.

      Drexel Students Try to Negotiate a Climate Change Accord

      May 22, 2017

      Three-dozen Drexel students role-played as global climate officials during a recent classroom exercise, working together to hash out a plan to address the changing environment. Over the course of nearly three hours of negotiations, they developed an agreement to reduce climate change and learned just how challenging such an endeavor can be. 

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    • jillian adair

      25 Faces 25 Years: Jillian Adair

      May 15, 2017

      “I’ve always loved nature, but I never thought I could turn that passion into a career,” says Jillian Adair, a junior in Drexel’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science. The once skeptic took a 12-week adventure last summer with the Sea Education Association, studying marine science and maritime history, and then sailing around New Zealand.

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    • kuphus polythamia giant shipworm

      Q&A: Extraordinary Four-Foot-Long Clams Finally Found Alive

      April 26, 2017

      Hiding inside a hard shell that’s up to four feet long and resembles an elephant tusk, there’s a dark-colored earthworm-like creature. At one end, the creature’s body forms a slight bulb. At the other, claw-like appendages. It doesn’t really eat on its own, but ingests products made by bacteria that live within it.

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    • Vincent O'Leary, center, celebrates his Truman Scholarship alongside President John Fry.

      Drexel’s Vincent O’Leary Receives Truman Scholarship for Environmental Science

      April 12, 2017

      O’Leary is the first Dragon to be named a Truman Scholar, which provides a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school for students pursuing careers in the public sector.

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    • Drexel is sponsoring a block of films at the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival.

      Drexel Takes Eco Education to the Movies at Philadelphia Film Festival

      April 04, 2017

      In search of new ways to promote awareness of the realities of climate change and global warming, Drexel faculty members have struck up a relationship with the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival. The University is sponsoring a block of local films later this month.

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    • Mario the Dragon Drexel University Statue

      Awards, Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships - BEES Students’ Work Pays Off

      March 22, 2017

      Graduate and undergraduate students in Drexel's Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) received an impressive number of awards, scholarships, grants and fellowships for 2017-18. Their academic prowess also earned the department the record for the highest number of honorees for major scholarships/fellowships out of any department in the University!

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    • View of the Micromyzon orinoco specimen from above.

      Almost 4 Decades Later, Mini Eyeless Catfish Gets a Name

      February 23, 2017

      Discovered in a 1978–79 expedition, a pale, eyeless catfish that doesn’t even measure an inch long is now known as Micromyzon orinoco, for the South American river in which it was discovered.

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    • Peter DeCarlo, PhD, speaks about climate change at a panel discussion.

      At Climate Change Panel, Drexel Faculty Urges Action

      February 20, 2017

      Global warming requires an immediate and aggressive response around the globe, but it’s unclear whether the United States will participate under the new administration, according to a discussion led by Drexel professors. 

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    • Vincent O'Leary on the Schuylkill River as part of the "Project Footpath" course.

      In the Classroom and on the River Banks, Passing on a Love for Science

      February 15, 2017

      Vincent O’Leary is using his time at Drexel to get others interested in science, whether that means teaching elementary school students about physics or helping launch a class to explore urban ecology and environmental science.

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    • How to Train 'Superhuman' Geoscientists

      How to Train 'Superhuman' Geoscientists

      February 02, 2017

      The radiologist interpreting your MRI scan and the geologist assessing our natural resource reserves have one important thing in common: They are both exceptionally skilled at perceiving important cues in an image or vista that the rest of us are almost certain to miss.

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    • Dalton George presents findings from the global climate change conference.

      Climate Change Workshop Tackles Solutions to a Global Problem

      February 01, 2017

      The students and faculty who attended COP22 spoke to an audience eager for an update on the international efforts to address the damage humans are doing to the environment.

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    • Ted Daeschler's Camp in Anartica

      Ted Daeschler Checks in from Antarctica

      January 17, 2017

      Ted Daeschler, PhD, recently completed an expedition to explore Antarctic rocks dating to the Devonian Period, a time that ended some 120 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University thought it would be fun to have Ted describe his odyssey in his own words - and he obliged by writing a few posts for their blog while he was on his journey.

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  • 2016

  • 2015

  • 2014

    • Kenneth Lacovara, PhD (center) speaks with a crowd of community members in attendance at the Mantua Township Community Fossil Dig Day.

      A World-Class Fossil Dig, a One-of-a-Kind Community Event

      September 24, 2014

      More than a thousand residents and visitors to southern New Jersey will dig their own fossils and learn from the Drexel University paleontologist and students who conduct globally significant scientific research at Mantua Township's third annual Community Fossil Dig Day.

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    • Kenneth Lacovara, PhD, stands in his lab among the bones of the exceptionally complete dinosaur skeleton he discovered in Patagonia.

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

      September 04, 2014

      A Drexel-led team has described a new dinosaur species with the most complete skeleton ever found of one of the largest animals to ever walk the Earth. At 85 feet (26 m) long and weighing about 65 tons (59,300 kg) in life, Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal for which a body mass can be accurately calculated.

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    • A northern pine snake near the edge of an asphalt road in New Jersey. Credit: Dane Ward

      Roadside Research from the New Jersey Pinelands and Coast to Coast

      August 12, 2014

      Three doctoral students from Drexel's Laboratory of Pinelands Research are presenting their work with northern pine snakes and the Pine Barrens gentian at the Ecological Society of America meeting, after doing some new roadside research during their cross-country drive to Sacramento.

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    • In the Drexel team's experiments, flies died after an average of 5.8 days when consuming a diet of the sweetener erythritol.

      Drexel Scientists Find Common Sweetener is a Safe Insecticide

      June 04, 2014

      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. Erythritol, the main component of the sweetener Truvia®, was toxic to Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies in a dose-dependent manner in the Drexel team’s study, published in PLOS ONE. The flies consumed erythritol when sugar was available and even seemed to prefer it. No other sweeteners tested had these toxic effects.

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    • A high-resolution digital image of the face of Kryptoglanis shajii

      A Tiny, Toothy Catfish with Bulldog Snout Defies Classification

      May 13, 2014

      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 flooded rice paddies in the Western Ghats mountain region of Kerala, India. Scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University have recently provided a detailed description of this fish's bizarre bone structures.

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

      January 08, 2014

      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 longlines that set thousands of hooks in the ocean to catch fish, but sometimes catch sea turtles as well. Using modern GPS technology, researchers are now able to predict where fisheries and turtles will interact and to reduce the unwanted capture of turtles by fishermen.

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    • Paperwasps in Different Castes Develop Different-Sized Sensory Brain Structures

      January 06, 2014

      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 led by Drexel professor Sean O'Donnell, PhD, indicates that the brain regions involved in sensory perception also develop differently in these castes, according to the different behavioral reliance on the senses.

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  • 2013

  • 2012