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February 2018

Princeton geologists solve fossil mystery by creating 3-D ‘virtual tour’ through rock

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 12:15pm

With an industrial grinder and a super-high-resolution camera, PEI associated faculty Adam Maloof, a Princeton associate professor of geosciences, and graduate student Akshay Mehra can deconstruct rock samples and create three-dimensional digital versions that scientists can look at from any angle. In addition, they have developed software that allows the computer to segment images and isolate objects without human bias.

Saving our cities and ourselves: A Q&A with PEI's Ashley Dawson

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 9:00am

Eco-justice scholar and activist Ashley Dawson, PEI's 2017-18 Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities, spoke with PEI about his recent book, "Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change," the uncertain future of cities, and how we can save our largest and most imperiled communities.

Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 1:00pm

Researchers from Princeton University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences suggest that plants were able to spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread from their nutrient-rich tropical origins, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance on fungi most consistently characterize the plant communities across entire biomes such as deserts, savannas and temperate forests.

Stoddard named 2018 Sloan Research Fellow

Publish Date: 
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 11:15am

Mary Caswell Stoddard, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and PEI associated faculty, was among two Princeton University faculty members to be named a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow, along with 126 researchers from 53 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the $65,000 grants recognize outstanding scientists and scholars early in their careers. Recipients can use the grants as they wish to further their research.

By 2100, arid cities will suffer from more severe heat waves than temperate cities

Publish Date: 
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 11:00am

In a reversal of current conditions, by 2100, arid cities such as Phoenix will become more susceptible to heatwaves compared to their surrounding rural areas, while cities on the eastern seaboard will actually be less severely affected by heatwaves compared to theirs. Co-lead authors were Lei Zhao, a postdoctoral research scholar associated with PEI's Carbon Mitigation Initiative, which supported this research, and Michael Oppenheimer, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

Pride tops guilt as a motivator for environmental decisions

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 12:45pm

Princeton University research suggests that emphasizing the pride people will feel if they make environmentally conscious decisions is a better way to promote eco-friendly behavior than making people feel guilty for not living more sustainably nor taking steps to ameliorate climate change.

PEI-STEP Fellow Jane Baldwin receives AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award

Publish Date: 
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 3:45pm

PEI-STEP fellow Jane Baldwin, a graduate student in Princeton's Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, received an Outstanding Student Paper Award at the American Geophysical Union's 2017 Fall Meeting in December.

Competing for blood: How ecologists are solving infectious disease mysteries

Publish Date: 
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 1:45pm

Princeton ecologists Andrea Graham, an associate professor of ecology and environmental biologist and PEI associated faculty, and Sarah Budischak examined data from an Indonesian study of 4,000 patients who were "co-infected" with malaria and hookworm. Their ecological perspective proved vital to realizing that the co-infecting species are fighting over a shared resource: red blood cells.

PEI announces ChESS Series on environmental science

Publish Date: 
Friday, February 9, 2018 - 11:00am

In Spring 2018, the Princeton Environmental Institute, in cooperation with campus partners, established the Challenges in Environmental Sciences Seminar (ChESS) Series. The ChESS Series featured leading scientists from around the United States and the world discussing current issues and challenges in the environmental sciences.

Video for Rob Socolow's Feb. 6 PEI Faculty Seminar now available

Publish Date: 
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 11:45am

The video and presentation for Rob Socolow's Feb. 6 PEI Faculty Seminar, "Truths We Must Tell Ourselves to Manage Climate Change," are now available.

Peter and Rosemary Grant to receive BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 10:30am

Princeton ecologists Peter and Rosemary Grant will receive the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of ecology and conservation biology. The Grants were cited for "their profound contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms and processes by which evolution occurs in the wild."

Community-run seafood program, Fishadelphia, links city and Shore

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

Fishadelphia, a new community-based fishery program in Philadelphia, will launch its pilot program Friday, Feb. 9, to help provide city residents with access to fresh seafood from Jersey Shore fisheries. Talia Young, a Princeton postdoctoral research associate in ecology and evolutionary biology, created the program to promote affordable access to high-quality food in urban communities, while also supporting local fisheries. She created Fishadelphia with assistance from Atarah McCoy '20 (WWS), who worked on the initiative through PEI's Summer Internship Program.