Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Can plants be altruistic? You bet, says new CU-Boulder-led study

We’ve all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests some plants are altruistic too.

New ‘Map of Life’ project aims to show distribution of all plants, animals on planet

A research team involving Yale University and the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a first public demonstration version of its “Map of Life,” an ambitious Web-based endeavor designed to show the distribution of all living plants and animals on the planet.

Undergraduate student gains hands-on experience in disease ecology

They’re called cowboys, but you won’t find them astride a horse rounding up stray cattle. They are scientists—dubbed disease cowboys—who search for the cause when unknown diseases break out in remote locales.

Ian Buller, a CU-Boulder senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, has his sights set on being one of these daring “disease cowboys” and to specialize in disease ecology, specifically identifying and studying disease emergence and designing control programs.

Research team discovers new kind of bacterial “fingerprint”

Forensic scientists may soon have a valuable new item in their tool kits—a way to identify individuals using unique, telltale types of hand bacteria left behind on objects such as keyboards and computer mice, according to a new CU-Boulder study.

Explaining the link between climate change and pine bark beetles

“On one hand, I’m gonna tell you, ‘This is no big deal, bark beetles have been around for 35 million years, conifers have been around for a lot longer than that, and bark beetles have been killing conifers for 35 million years. There have been epidemics every 30 to 70 years. This is no big deal.’

“Then, on the other hand, I’m gonna tell you, ‘Holy smokes guys, this has never been seen before. Yes, it’s an epidemic, yes, epidemics are natural, but never has there been an epidemic like this as far as biologists have been able to look into the past.”

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