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Regrow, not reuse: How restoring abandoned farms can mitigate climate change

May 25, 2022 ・ B. Rose Huber

The Institute Woods near Princeton University’s campus comprises 589 acres of serene walking trails and a wooden footbridge enjoyed by hikers, runners, and birdwatchers. Like many forests in New Jersey, this local landmark was a patchwork of farm fields and…

Unchecked global emissions on track to initiate mass extinction of marine life

April 28, 2022 ・ Liana Wait

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to warm the world’s oceans, marine biodiversity could be on track to plummet within the next few centuries to levels not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs, according to a recent study in the…

World’s thinnest roots are ‘underground weapons’ in ecological competition

February 14, 2022 ・ Liz Fuller-Wright

Most of us only think about the easily visible parts of plants — stems, flowers, leaves — but in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Princeton ecologists Lars Hedin and Mingzhen Lu show that the hidden root…

With DNA toolkit, Rob Pringle is learning how to rebuild broken ecosystems

December 13, 2021 ・ Jeff Labrecque

In the beginning, Rob Pringle didn’t have a choice. His grandparents were passionate naturalists who loved exploring the outdoors with him and his younger sister, and his parents’ idea of vacations when he was growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan,…

Gone one, gone all: Without Africa’s large herbivores, a woody vine could threaten the biodiversity of savanna plant communities

September 27, 2021 ・ Liana Wait

The African savanna supports one of the world’s last intact large-mammal communities. Savannas also are home to a diverse array of plant species, but human-driven declines in animal populations could disrupt the balance of both plant and animal species in…

Tropical birds may skip breeding when hot, dry conditions persist

July 20, 2021 ・ Liana Wait

During the past several years, ecologists have warned that prolonged periods of drought may be leading to declines in tropical bird populations by reducing reproductive success in adults. Now, Princeton researchers report that some tropical birds may not only be…

Walbridge Fund 2021 graduate researchers explore environmental topics from carbon capture to the social power of “sacred ecology”

July 15, 2021 ・ Morgan Kelly

The High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) has selected 10 Princeton University graduate students as 2021 recipients of the Walbridge Fund Graduate Award for Environmental Research. The awardees are Maria Curria, Ipsita Dey, Yuki Haba, Shannon Hoffman, Xiaohan Li, Sayumi Miyano, José Montaño…

Joe Kawalec ’21 looks skyward in search of a tiny ecosystem engineer

May 11, 2021 ・ Morgan Kelly

The two years Princeton Joe Kawalec spent studying the natural camouflage of the ubiquitous downy woodpecker oddly enough began and ended the same way — tracing the outlines of birds. In between, he observed patterns in tree bark through the ultraviolet…

Connection and resilience: Kuziel explores the ecology of the African savanna

May 3, 2021 ・ Liz Fuller-Wright

When Luca Kuziel discovered the community of ecologists at Princeton, he had no idea that his experience of radical acceptance with them would change the course of his research and his life. Over the past four years, he has deepened…