A Chickadee, in bold black and white, stands in profile on the tip of an evergreen branch

Mountain chickadees have remarkable memories. A new study explains why (CU Boulder Today)

April 17, 2024

A multi-university team of researchers, including four members of CU Boulder's Taylor Lab, have identified nearly a hundred genes associated with the birds’ spatial memory, or ability to recall the locations of objects. Their paper, published in the journal Current Biology, also suggests a potential trade-off may exist between having a solid long-term memory and being able to quickly ditch old memories to form new ones.

A researcher's hand gently clasps a mountain chickadee fledgling by its feet.

Students may learn ecology (and much else) in the wild (Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine)

Feb. 29, 2024

CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station is offering six field courses this summer, giving students the opportunity to study a wide range of disciplines in nature

Scott Taylor while giving his TED-style talk at the Boulder Dairy Center

Contemplating evolution: Why making spaces to be curious was important for this gay scientist (RIO community talk on YouTube)

Dec. 15, 2023

Scott Taylor (INSTAAR Fellow, EBIO Associate Professor, MRS Director) gave a short TED-style talk at the Boulder Dairy Arts Center on October 18, 2023 as part of the 2023 Faculty Fellows program for CU Boulder's Research & Innovation Office (RIO). In his talk, Scott tells the story of his personal journey to a deeper understanding of his work as a scientist and his own place in the world.

Scott Taylor (center) and two students conduct field research on a snowy day at the Mountain Research Station.

Educating through an 'exceptional experience' (CU Boulder)

Dec. 13, 2023

For decades, the Mountain Research Station has been a stepping-off point for researchers studying plant and animal ecology, biogeochemistry, hydrology, geomorphology and atmospheric science. Much of that research takes place on rugged, nearby Niwot Ridge. Within that area lies every type of alpine and montane ecosystem that exists in the southern Rocky Mountains. That abundance has made Niwot Ridge a rare and important ‘living laboratory.’

Out of its nest box for the first time, a young chickadee squints in the sun and stretches its wings.

Chickadees crossbreed, despite biological barriers

Aug. 29, 2023

Researchers in the Taylor Lab study interactions between higher-elevation dwelling mountain chickadees and the closely related lower-elevation dwelling black capped chickadees. A recent study in Global Change Biology investigates barriers that prevent the two species from mating and what happens when they do mate and produce offspring.

Nine researchers stand close together facing the camera, smiling and holding butterfly nets, clipboards, and water bottles. They stand in a grassy clearing surrounded by trees, under a blue sky.

A world-class field research station in CU Boulder’s backyard (CU RIO)

July 18, 2023

CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station has a three-pronged mission—host some of the most influential and long-running ecological research in the world, give students a peerless education in mountain environments, and link the public to learning about important ecosystems.

A student and Prof. Bill Bowman crouch on the wildflower-strewn tundra of the Mountain Research Station.

‘Classroom in the sky’ inspires generations of researchers, students (CU Arts & Sciences)

June 12, 2023

Just north of Nederland, about 26 miles from Boulder, is CU Boulder’s “classroom in the sky”—the Mountain Research Station. It is home to some of the world’s longest-running alpine research, from how vegetation responds to wildfires, to how wildlife responds to climate change, to the changing composition of the soil itself.

Alpine wildflowers bloom on the tundra of Niwot Ridge. Photo by William Bowman.

$7.65 million grant to extend study of how climate change shapes life at 10,000 feet (CU Boulder Today)

Feb. 3, 2023

For more than 40 years, scientists from the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research program have worked to better understand high-alpine ecosystems in a warming world. Thanks to a new $7.65 million, six-year grant from the National Science Foundation, that work will continue, making Niwot Ridge LTER the longest-running NSF-funded program at CU Boulder.

Lead author Erik Funk with a rosy-finch.

Rosy-finches are Colorado’s high-alpine specialists, and researchers want to know why (CU Boulder Today)

Jan. 20, 2023

Birds that can live at 14,000 feet and also breed at sea level might have evolved more quickly than previously thought, finds research led by Scott Taylor. The findings add to scientists’ understanding of biodiversity and may also help inform conservation decisions in the face of human-caused climate change.

Scott Taylor

Research & Innovation Office names newest Faculty Fellow cohort (RIO)

Nov. 15, 2022

Scott Taylor (INSTAAR & EBIO) is one 17 CU Boulder faculty members selected by the Research and Innovation Office as their 2023 RIO Faculty Fellows cohort. The program supports faculty in achieving their research/innovation goals and promotes collaboration, all through tailored training, experiential learning and leadership development opportunities. Taylor and his cohort kick off 2023 with an intensive three-day retreat in January, followed by several more focused retreats and a variety of informal networking activities.