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Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science News

  • 2019

    • 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.

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    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

  • 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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    • 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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    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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!

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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. 

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

  • 2016

    • The central corridor at the COP22 conference in Morocco.

      Climate Change Conference COP22 Energizes Drexel Faculty, Students

      December 15, 2016

      A group of 10 students and professors went to Morocco in November for the annual gathering of government delegates and climate researchers. They came back refocused and reinvigorated.

      Read More

    • Ted Daeschler, PhD

      Journey to the Bottom of the World: Academy Researcher to Dig for Fossils in Antarctica

      November 21, 2016

      On his latest adventure, Ted Daeschler won’t have to keep an eye out for wolves or polar bears. That’s a welcome change. “That’ll be very comforting,” he laughed. For the first time, Daeschler, a PhD who serves as vice president of Collections and the Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will head to Antarctica to seek out fossils dating back to a time before the dinosaurs.

      Read More

    • Golden Crowned Kinglet

      Into The Trees

      November 16, 2016

      A few times a year, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University venture to remote regions of the planet on some of the most important field trips in the name of science: collecting expeditions. The material they bring back has the potential to open new lines of research and answer limitless questions about life on Earth.

      Read More

    • Dimetrodon

      Dimetrodon Discovery

      November 07, 2016

      A prehistoric fossil is “discovered” in the University’s collections and finally classified with its close relatives, 160 years after being dug out of the ground. Since 1845, a segment of an upper jawbone with serrated, inches-long teeth has resided on a shelf at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University under the name Bathygnathus borealism. But like many of the millions of specimens at the Academy, this 270-million-year-old fossil still had a story to tell.

      Read More

    • The Ichthyosaurus somersetensis specimen at the Academy of Natural Sciences with (from L–R) Ted Daeschler, Dean Lomax and Judy Massare.

      160 Years After Its Arrival, New Ichthyosaurus identified at the Academy of Natural Sciences

      October 12, 2016

      More than 160 years after its discovery in an English quarry, an ancient, aquatic reptile specimen at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has finally been given its own name.

      Read More

    • Yellow-faced bee. Photo by Katja Schulz

      4 Things to Know About Bees Hitting the Endangered Species List

      October 12, 2016

      For the first time, bees have been placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Endangered Species List. Sean O’Donnell, PhD, professor in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on tropical insect ecology, focusing on bees, wasps and ants. He explains here what the addition of bees to the list means and where the prolific pollinators might go from here.

      Read More

    • Fossils discovered from the B. rex around a drawing of what the fish's head looked like.

      A New ‘King’ — New, Gigantic, Ancient Armored Fish Discovered

      October 11, 2016

      In the Arctic, a team that included scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University found fossils of a giant new species of extinct armored fish that they named Bothriolepis rex — the new king of Bothriolepis.

      Read More

    • Rheophyte Illustration

      Natural Born Mysteries

      October 05, 2016

      Until recently, the flora of the interior of Cambodia’s Cardamom region has remained largely uncatalogued. But as Cambodian and international survey teams collaborate, more and more species are coming to light.

      Such was the case for Sarcolobus cambogensis, a rheophytic shrub discovered in the Tatai River in the Koh Kong province.

      Read More

    • Two Centuries of Shells image

      Two Centuries of Shells

      September 19, 2016

      Scientists and naturalists have spent more than 200 years building the Malacology Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences, making it one of the richest and largest collections in the country, and even the world. It’s no wonder, then, that researchers from across the globe are regularly knocking on the Academy’s door, asking for access to it.

      Read More

    • Yellostone

      Where the Research Meets the Road: Drexel Goes to Yellowstone During NPS100

      September 16, 2016

      A team of researchers, led by Drexel University's Loyc Vanderkluysen, PhD, and Roger Thomas of the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, embarked on a journey to Yellowstone National Park earlier this month to gather new data on geyser activity in the area. The expedition coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, making this a significant opportunity for the team to appreciate the history of the park.

      Read More

    • Don Charles

      Breathing Life Back Into Brooktrout Lake

      September 12, 2016

      Brooktrout lake was once teeming with the speckled fish after which it is named, but by the 1980s, it had become one of hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks of upstate New York that were devoid of fish. The culprit: acid rain from the burning of fossil fuels.

      Read More

    • An artist's depiction of what the Strud nursery ecosystem may have looked like, including the three different placoderm species discovered at the site and the likely plant-life there. Image by Justine Jacquot-Hameon/PLOS-One.

      ‘Nursery’ Discovered in Belgium Provides Insight into Prehistoric Fish Life

      September 02, 2016

      The discovery of a group of young, prehistoric fish fossils provides some insights into the extinct creatures’ lives — and how fish today might be similar to them.

      Read More

    • Deccan Traps

      What really killed them?

      August 29, 2016

      A new theory suggests that the dinosaurs' fate was sealed by not just one, but two separate disasters around 66 million years ago.

       

      Read More

    • William Smith Geology Map

      Science Underfoot

      August 25, 2016

      The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University celebrated the 200th anniversary of the geological map that laid the foundation for earth science with a rare public viewing this year.

      Read More

    • Law of the Jungle - Image by Exel magazine

      Law of the Jungle, Ignored

      August 23, 2016

      On Equatorial Guinea’s island of Bioko, rising prosperity and lax conservation enforcement have devastated the population of primates and other animals prized by consumers as “bushmeat” delicacies. Thirteen years of data collected by a team of researchers on the island of Bioko show how ineffective the country’s lax environmental conservation laws were in stemming the growth of illegal hunting.

      Read More

    • Forest Fire

      Q&A: Are Wildfires Really That Bad?

      July 14, 2016

      In California, nine different wildfires have destroyed roughly 70,000 acres. They are just 40 percent contained. A fire that cropped up in Lovell Canyon near Las Vegas has consumed roughly 300–400 acres. With thunderstorms likely over the next few days, firefighters fear lightning could spark a new blaze.

      Read More

    • Labidus Praedator. Photo by Dinesh Rao.

      Mountaineering Ants Use Body Heat to Warm Nests

      June 29, 2016

      Underground army ants can keep their nests — called bivouacs — warm with their body heat; this social warming may enable fragile offspring to survive in chilly mountain forests , according to Drexel University researchers.

      Read More

    • A fruit fly on a compost pile. Photo by John Tann.

      Ladykiller: Artificial Sweetener Proves Deadly for Female Flies

      June 27, 2016

      In testing multiple artificial sweeteners, a Drexel University research team found that one was particularly deadly for female fruit flies — and left males relatively untouched.

      Read More

    • A scanning electron microscope image of a diatom. Courtesy of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

      Tiny Algae Ideal for Sniffing Out Nutrient Pollution in Water

      June 24, 2016

      Tiny algae, called diatoms, living in water could be key to providing a definitive and clear measure of whether streams, rivers and lakes have damaging levels of nutrients in them.

      Read More

    • Dragon logo

      College of Arts and Sciences Tenure, Promotion and Awards

      June 19, 2016

      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

    • A giant panda cooling off with a block of ice. Photo by Mingxi Li.

      Pandas Don’t Like It Hot: Temperature, Not Food is Biggest Concern for Conservation

      June 06, 2016

      China’s bamboo supply is more than enough to support giant pandas after it was discovered that they have bigger appetites than originally believed, but climate change could destroy their plentiful food source anyway.

      Read More

    • NOAA logo

      Bees Students Named Drexel's First Hollings Scholars

      April 14, 2016

      Nicholas Barber, BS geoscience '18, honors, and Vincent O'Leary, BS environmental science and BS geoscience '18, honors, are the first students at Drexel University to receive the Earnest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A total 125 students from across the United States receive this award, which recognizes the nation’s top undergraduates interested in pursuing research, public service or teaching careers in the oceanic and atmospheric sciences.

      Read More

    • The Drexel Naturalists' Association pictured on an excursion in Wissahickon Valley Park.

      Celebrate the Great Outdoors with the Drexel Naturalists’ Association

      April 11, 2016

      Now that spring has sprung, students can better appreciate nature in and outside of the city with the Drexel Naturalists’ Association.

      Read More

    • East fork of the Bear River, one of the study sites.

      Un-Muddying Waters: Drexel Researchers Studying Climate Change in Mongolian, U.S. Rivers

      March 29, 2016

      As a part of a National Science Foundation macroecology study spanning two continents, a team of researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will compare river systems in grassland areas of Asia and North America to see how they function and how human activity, including the effects of climate change alters that.

      Read More

    • A pair of Ceuthophilus crickets.

      Surface-Going Cave Crickets Actually More Isolated Than Cave-Dwelling Cousins

      March 16, 2016

      Although other studies on cave-dwelling creatures have found that animals that spend all of their lives in the dark of caves are more likely to be genetically isolated, a recent study on two groups of crickets found the opposite.

      Read More

    • Eciton burchellii ants, among the above-ground species that appeared to regrow the parts of the brain used for sight.

      Seeing the Light: Army Ants Evolve to Regain Sight and More in Return to Surface’s Complex Environment

      March 09, 2016

      A study of army ants revealed that some species increased their brain size, including visual brain regions, after evolving above-ground behavior. Their ancestors had lived mainly underground for nearly 60 million years. Such increases in brain capacity are a rarely-studied evolutionary phenomenon.

      Read More

    • Kenneth Lacovara, PhD unearthing Dreadnaughtus

      How to Build a Flexing Robotic Dinosaur Limb In Seven ‘Easy’ Steps

      February 17, 2016

      With their discovery of Dreadnoughtus schrani in 2014, a team of Drexel University researchers unearthed not only the most complete skeleton of a new species of supermassive dinosaur, but also a trove of research opportunities. One of the first of these endeavors to take shape at Drexel is an effort to better understand how the dinosaur might have moved.

      Read More

    • Central American Bushmaster

      5 Things to Know About Being Bitten By A Viper

      February 05, 2016

      Sean O’Donnell is a member of the white fang club — which is to say that he’s one of a group of biologists whose been bitten by a venomous snake and lived to tell the tale.

      In 2009, O’Donnell, PhD, now an associate department head of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) in Drexel’s College of Arts and Science, was involved in a program teaching tropical field courses for undergraduates in a lowland rain forest in Costa Rica. It was there, two years before he came to Drexel, that he was initiated to the club via a Central American bushmaster.

      Read More

    • Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

      New Poll Ranks Academy Near Top of Best Higher Ed Natural History Museums

      January 27, 2016

      A new report on the nation’s best higher education natural history museums ranks the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University as No. 2, largely for the public and student access to its world-renowned collections and scientists.

      Read More

    • New Spring Courses

      January 05, 2016

      Students will lead fiction writing exercises with patients at CHOP, discover the therapeutic potential of philosophy, and learn about the millions of species of insects that co-inhabit our planet — for better or worse — in these spring courses!

      Read More

  • 2015

  • 2014

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

      September 30, 2014

      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 Indonesia monitoring the active Sinabung volcano

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • Digging Deeper into Dreadnoughtus: Dinosaur Interview with Ken Lacovara

      September 11, 2014

      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 back into the process of discovery and then forward into how paleontology is going high-tech and much more.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • Drexel Faculty, Students Among Nominees For 2014 Philadelphia Geek Awards

      July 08, 2014

      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.

      Read More

    • 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!

      Read More

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

      June 05, 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

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

      April 10, 2014

      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’d expect. The pair traveled to well-known sites, including Grand Central Station and Saks Fifth Avenue, where half-a-billion-year-old fossils can be found in the buildings’ limestone structures. Their Big Apple adventure, “Born to Explore New York: The Great Fossil Hunt,” received a Bronze Telly for Travel and Tourism at the 35th Annual Telly Awards competition.

      Read More

    • Worker Wasps Grow Visual Brains, Queens Stay in the Dark

      January 09, 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 indicates that the brain regions involved in sensory perception also develop differently in these castes, according to the different behavioral reliance on the senses. The study is published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

      Read More

    • 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.

      Read More

  • 2013

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

      December 03, 2013

      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.

      Read More

    • Fossils in the Big Apple and Other Urban Paleontology Adventures

      November 21, 2013

      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 station’s floors was formed through the accumulation of ancient marine life. You can still see impressions of some of those life forms today if you know what to look for.

      Read More

    • Stephen C. Lawrence (left), chairman of the Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation, and George W. Gephart, Jr., president and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, shake hands over an agreement to form an environmental research and educational consortium at Lacawac in the Pocono Mountains. The consortium also includes Drexel University.

      Environmental Research Consortium Formed with Lacawac Sanctuary, Drexel and Academy of Natural Sciences

      October 24, 2013

      Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and Drexel University today announced an agreement to form an environmental research and education consortium at Lacawac Sanctuary, a popular National Natural Landmark and ecological field research station in the Pocono Mountains.

      Read More

    • Foreground: Dr. Tracy Quirk uses a Surface Elevation Table (SET) to measure relative sediment elevation change in a salt marsh in Barnegat Bay, NJ while staff scientist Linda Zaoudeh records data. Background: Staff scientist Stephanie Leach and Drexel environmental science graduate student Viktoria Unger use Real Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation with GPS technology to measure the elevation of the marsh.

      Drexel Scientist Studies Hurricane Sandy Impact on NJ Coastal Wetlands One Year Later

      October 07, 2013

      In a stroke of good luck, Drexel's Dr. Tracy Quirk captured detailed measurements of water level and salinity at a range of coastal wetland sites, even as they were overtaken by Hurricane Sandy. After the storm, she began working on an intensive year-long project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to evaluate ecosystem processes in New Jersey’s salt marshes before, during, and for a year following Hurricane Sandy. Quirk is beginning to analyze findings from the study now.

      Read More

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

      October 02, 2013

      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 fish. These findings and more, reported in a new study in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, indicate that the Costa Rican longline fishery represents a major threat to the survival of eastern Pacific populations of sea turtles as well as sharks.

      Read More

    • Pioneering Ecologist Dr. Ruth Patrick Dies

      September 24, 2013

      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.

      Read More

    • Why Can't Snakes Cross the Road?

      August 02, 2013

      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 Northern Pine Snake in several presentations and posters at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting next week (ESA 2013), based on their research with Dr. Walt Bien’s Laboratory of Pinelands Research in the New Jersey Pinelands.

      Read More

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

      August 01, 2013

      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, montane, cloud) replace each other along the way. Short distances bring dramatic elevation changes in this steep terrain.

      Read More

    • Drexel’s Moth Goes Full Circle

      July 23, 2013

      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 unlike a dried leaf. The surprise was its name, Datana drexelii.

      Read More

    • Sandy Provides New Answers to Old Questions for BEES Professor

      July 18, 2013

      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 Delaware Bays in New Jersey.

      Read More

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

      June 27, 2013

      “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 there. No trees to cut down for firewood. No roads, houses, stores, or built civilization, apart from one small town on the far southern end of the island. Ellesmere, which sits above the Arctic Circle and is more northerly than any part of Alaska, is not exactly an ideal spot for a summer camping trip. There isn’t even much soil to sink tent stakes into.

      Read More

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

      May 22, 2013

      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 Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The two-month, paid co-op was with the Academy’s fisheries and watershed scientists.

      Read More

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

      May 21, 2013

      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 and demonstrate a region-wide impact on improving water quality.

      Read More

    • Dr. Tracy Quirk Named SCH Kleckner Scientist in Residence

      May 15, 2013

      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 school in Philadelphia.

      Read More

    • Drexel at Philadelphia Science Festival and Philly Tech Week

      April 16, 2013

      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 cutting-edge robotics, to an interactive Jazz concert, Drexel’s students, faculty and professional staff will be part of the programming for both week-long celebrations of the inquisitive and innovative spirits that are part of the fabric of the city.

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    • 2013 CoAS Research Day Winners

      April 11, 2013

      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 130 students presented on topics ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder and dark matter, to infertility treatment and urban access to healthy foods.

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    • New Fossil from a Fish-Eat-Fish World Driving the Evolution of Limbed Animals

      March 27, 2013

      Scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University have described another new lobe-finned fossil fish species from the same time and place in the Canadian Arctic as the famous precursor to limbed animals, Tiktaalik roseae, which they discovered several years ago. 

      Read More

    • 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 placoderm, are known for the distinctive ornamentation of ridges on their exterior plates. As with many such fossils, scientists often find the remains of these species as impressions in stone

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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

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

      Read More

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

      March 22, 2013

      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 streams to dry up, grass to grow stunted, and, consequently, some nomadic herders to lose their livelihoods.

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    • Dr. Clyde Goulden (far left) discusses climate change with Mongolian students. Credit: Dr. Bazartseren Boldgiv

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

      March 21, 2013

      Dr. Clyde Goulden, a pioneering ecologist and director of the Asia Center of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, has devoted his life to studying climate change and how it is affecting Mongolian herders and the pristine 2-million-year-old Lake Hövsgöl. His efforts have now been recognized with Mongolia’s highest award to foreigners, the Order of the Polar Star. In a separate honor, Dr. Jon Gelhaus, Academy curator of entomology and professor in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has received the Kublai Khan medal for his scientific achievements in Mongolia.

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    • Exclusive Screening: The Drill Project

      March 11, 2013

      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 with extinction due to the increasing bushmeat trade in West Africa. The Drill Project is a conservation initiative and wildlife documentary featuring never-before-seen footage of the drill in its natural habitat. The film was shot entirely by Drexel biologist Dr. Shaya Honarvar and conservation biologist and director Justin Jay.

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

      January 15, 2013

      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 Natural Sciences.

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    • First BEES Class: A Success from Day One

      January 04, 2013

      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 department brings together Drexel’s headline-making environmental science faculty with the impressive researchers of the Academy of Natural Sciences. Dr. Jerry Mead is an assistant scientist and section leader of the Watershed and Systems Ecology Section of the Academy—and an assistant research professor in the new BEES department. Below, Mead shares the excitement of introducing students to the diverse possibilities of the field.

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  • 2012

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

      December 18, 2012

      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

      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 Drexel's learn-by-doing model.

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    • Selling Their Future

      November 27, 2012

      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 to convince islanders that the monkeys, and the biodiversity they represent, are worth a great deal more than the $300 they fetch at market.

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    • Q&A With Dr. Ted Daeschler

      November 01, 2012

      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 between fish and early limbed vertebrates, and hear his thoughts on meeting Stephen Colbert!

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    • BEES Scientist to Lead International Society for Diatom Research

      October 22, 2012

      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. Potapova is an assistant professor in Drexel's Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science and assistant curator of diatoms at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, home to one of the largest diatom collections in the world. Potapova manages the Academy's Diatom Herbarium.

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    • Hundreds Come Out for Fossil Dig Day

      October 19, 2012

      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 Fossil Dig Day at Lacovara’s world-class archeological site in nearby Mantua Township, New Jersey.

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

      October 15, 2012

      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

      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 find myself drawn now to really, really small organisms and fish, which aren’t quite as charismatic to most, but I find them really interesting,” Sullam said with a laugh.

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

      September 21, 2012

      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 16th, Parker Urban Greenscapes, which completed the biowall’s installation last September, received the Expo’s Living Wall Award of Excellence as well as the “Best in Show” Judges’ Award for its work at Drexel.

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    • Giant Panda Conservation Researchers from China to Speak at Drexel

      August 16, 2012

      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,” at Drexel University on August 22.

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    • Private Landowners Can Help Protect Biodiversity "Arks" in Tropical Reserves

      July 27, 2012

      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. Among them, Drexel's  Dr. Sean O’Donnell, highlighted the important, beneficial role of private landowners who work to preserve biodiversity in their land surrounding tropical reserves.

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    • Scientists at the Seashore

      July 24, 2012

      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 Patrick Center for Environmental Research are busy taking sediment cores, collecting water samples, and examining microscopic organisms as part of a large water quality study of Barnegat Bay.

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

      July 01, 2012

      New research suggests that climate change could exacerbate existing threats to critically endangered leatherback turtles and nearly wipe out the population in the eastern Pacific. Deaths of turtle eggs and hatchlings in nests buried at hotter, drier beaches are the leading projected cause of the potential climate-related decline, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change by a research team from Drexel, Princeton University, other institutions and government agencies.

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    • BEES Prof on NatGeo Wild June 3rd

      May 30, 2012

      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 Killers,” a new National Geographic series that explores the amazing and seemingly out-of-this-world superpowers of Mother Nature’s deadliest creatures. The program is hosted by television and film star Patrick Stewart, and showcases scientists in the wild with these incredible animals.

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

      May 29, 2012

      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 rainforest-adapted species. The Mandrillus leucophaeus, or drill monkey, is a large-bodied primate that dwells in the African equatorial rainforest. The study found that the species, which is already threatened by poachers and habitat destruction, might not be able to survive the imminent atmospheric warm-up.

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

      May 24, 2012

      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 include egg poaching and human fishing practices. Now, Drexel University researchers have found that the climate conditions at the nesting beach affect the early survival of turtle eggs and hatchlings. They predict, based on projections from multiple models, that egg and hatchling survival will drop by half in the next 100 years as a result of global climate change.

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

      May 23, 2012

      Drexel University researchers have found that the climate conditions at a major leatherback turtle nesting beach affects the early survival of turtle eggs and hatchlings. They predict, based on projections from multiple models, that egg and hatchling survival will drop by half in the next 100 years as a result of global climate change.

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

      May 14, 2012

      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 Academy of Natural Sciences. Out of the affiliation comes the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES), where students will work and learn among some of the world’s leading scientists and have access to the Academy’s extensive natural science collections and community outreach programs.

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    • Environmental Science Education Enhanced with Drexel-Academy of Natural Sciences Partnership, Experiential Learning

      May 14, 2012

      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 Academy of Natural Sciences. Out of the affiliation comes the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES), where students will work and learn among some of the world’s leading scientists and have access to the Academy’s extensive natural science collections and community outreach programs.

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    • Dr. Gary Rosenberg Receives $500,000 NSF Grant

      May 02, 2012

      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 of $522,000 on April 20, 2012, by the National Science Foundation for digital imaging of molluscan type specimens at the Academy.

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

      April 17, 2012

      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 Award at the 32nd Annual International Sea Turtle Symposium in Huatulco, Mexico.

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    • Biology Major is Drexel's First Udall Scholar

      April 12, 2012

      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 Drexel student to be named a Udall Scholar.

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    • 2012 CoAS Research Day Winners

      April 10, 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 students presented on topics ranging from the environmental factors controlling terrapin nesting to effective interrogation strategies for juvenile offenders.

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

      February 22, 2012

      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 hypotheses about how dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals moved and lived in their environments.

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  • 2011