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19 March 2017

Sarah Davis receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship; Jakob Abtahi joins the lab

A year after winning most of the Department's top research awards, Sarah is now awarded NSF's GRFP for her proposal "Colorful pigments: Analyzing the evolution of avian carotenoids" and will continue her doctoral research in Julia Clarke's Lab in UT Austin.
   Jakob brings his interest in cellular and molecular biology to the Evolution in the Last Best Place project, investigating ontogenetic transformations in beak tissues during population diversification in Montana's house finches.









22 February 2017

Erin Morrison receives a Ph.D. and position at Sackler Genomics Institute

On 21 February, Erin successfully defended her dissertation "Exploring the deterministic landscape of evolution" in front of a standing-room-only audience. Prof. Sergey Gavrilets served as an opponent. Lab celebration: 1, 2, 3, 4.
   Dr. Morrison will now continue her research as a postdoctoral fellow at Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and American Museum of Natural History in New York.









1 February 2017

Front page of Arizona Daily Star, "No Fear of Flying" on bioGraphic

Our bobcat inserting itself into one of the most celebrated mutualistic interactions in Sonoran Desert is the frontpage of Arizona Daily Star the state largest newspaper. This is our fourth (e.g., #3) cover with the newspaper. The original photo is here.
   California Academy of Science's bioGraphic publishes our account of the differences between human inventions and evolutionary innovations. The feature, syndicated under everything from "River Nymph takes on Aviation Industry" to Flight Night (Discovery Magazine) to Nightime Acrobatics (Atlas Obscura) describes the evolution of the novel way of flying.









5 November 2016

Judging The 2016 Royal Society competition; talks at GDT and HCEO; Louise Misztal wins Tucson's "40 under 40"; Redeye Commuters and Agave Whisperers celebrate seasonal bat migration

"The winning image combines ephemerality with constancy and emergence with predictability,” says judge and award-winning nature photographer Alex Badyaev in a statement, "and in doing so, it captures the essence of this species’ natural history—an explosive, once-in-a-lifetime, mating dance of one of the world’s shortest-lived animals triggered and revealed by the millions-of-years old light of distant stars”. The winner and 12 finalists (also here and here) of the Royal Society Photography Competition were selected from more than 1,000 entries from dozens of countries.
    Alex talked at the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity (HCEO) Global Working Group conference in the University of Chicago, learning an exceptional amount from a great lineup of speakers.
    Lab's alumni Louise Misztal, now an Executive Director of Sky Island Alliance, upgrading in the process from chasing finches to chasing jaguars, has been recognized by the 2016 Tucson's "40 under 40" award. Here is Louise (with Kevin Oh) in even younger "under 30" version.
   "An unmistakable midnight sight in Tucson’s fall" is featured in Arizona Alumni Magazine (Redeye Commuters) and California Academy of Science's bioGraphics (Agave Whisperers).










15 June 2016

Matt Coope and Courtney Christie join the lab; new paper on structuring evolutionary diversifications; The Making of a Southwest Desert Icon is published; lecture at the 2016 Festival

Matt brings his interest in developmental genetics to a set of projects on the evolution of biochemical determinants in color evolution. Courtney's interests at the interface of natural history and evolutionary biology will facilitate her studies of directional evolutionary transitions in within-species polymorphisms.
    Erin Morrison's analysis of more than 250 species, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, examines the correspondence between opportunities for diversification and realized diversity in biochemical networks, uncovering "significant structural determinism in phenotypic evolution."
   "Cycles of coexistence with wolves shaped the legendary versatility of coyotes" according to a popular science feature in Arizona Alumni Magazine (originally published here).
    In other news, Alex will present "Lighting the pathway: Photographing as learning and exploring"
at the 2016 International Nature Photography Festival in Germany, once again (and again), speaking alongside some of the legends in nature photography.










18 May 2016

Two papers, two covers

"Coevolution of metabolic modification and selective expression enables the use of unstable pigments in long-term evolutionary trends" according to a new cover paper in Proceeding Royal Society B that examined evolutionary transitions between avian strategies to stabilize fast-degrading dietary carotenoids. New cover (also here) paper in Integrative & Comparative Biology outlines a predictive framework to "test the contributions of structural and dynamic properties of deterministic networks to evolutionary diversifications".










28 April 2016

Network controlability, metabolic subsampling, structural basis for polymorphisms, population divergence vs ecological specialization at EEB poster session + bioGraphic of CalAcademy is published

The Lab students presented 5 (!) comprehensive papers at the 2016 EEB Poster session. Caitlin Davey analyzed correspondence between ecological specialization and metabolic complexity across 250 species, Emmet Andrews talked about structural and dynamic subsampling of shared traits in sexual dimorphisms, Xander Posner presented the test of new approach for analysing coevolution of controllability and complexity, Sarah Davis discussed the origin of novel color phenotypes during population divergence, and Adam Welu presented in-depth analysis of the biochemical basis of within-species polymorphisms.
    In another news, the inaugural issue of the California Academy of Sciences' new bioGraphic, "an innovative new magazine showcasing biodiversity and extraordinary scientific discoveries", highlights two (1, 2) of the lab's collaborative projects. The climbing fox story is also featured by Arizona Alumni Magazine this month.










1 March 2016

Sarah Davis in the Winner of the 2016 Excellence in Research Award

Following her other recent top research awards, Sarah receives the prestigious 2016 Excellence in Research Award from the Department (and is nominated for the College of Science Excellence in Research Award). Between interviewing at top graduate schools across the country and considering various doctoral offers, Sarah is finishing up her thesis in the Lab.
    Following recent keynote to a few hundred brilliant undergrads, Alex had now faced a much more intimidating convention of a few hundred forged-in-fire high school teachers. The talk seemed to have went well...








1 February 2016

Network topology and flux at the 27th UBRP and 2016 SICB conferences, Arizona Daily Star puts us on the cover, Xander Posner joins the lab

Sarah Davis presented her project "Origin of novel color phenotypes: Contribution of static and dynamic properties of biochemical networks" examining the contribution of metabolic network topology and flux to ongoing population differentiation. Emmet Andrews talked about "Correspondence between static and dynamic properties in a biochemical network" in evolution of sexual dichromatism. Erin Morrison discussed "Landscapes of Evolution" at Evolutionary Endocrinology symposium at 2016 SICB Conference.
    In other news, Arizona Daily Star puts us on its cover, highlights two (1, 2) lab research projects in its Science 2016 section, and uses our photo to celebrate state's birthday. This is our third cover with this newspaper. And finally, Alexander Posner brings his interests in evolutionary anthropology and training in mathematics to a variety of research projects in the lab. Among his many recognitions, Xander is a National Scholar and a recipient of four consecutive Awards for Academic Excellence (2010-4).




10 December 2015

Judging The Royal Society competition, cover of the new Mammals of Wyoming, Wildscreen's "New Horizons" posters, plus two upcoming symposia.

The Royal Society celebrated its 350th of scientific publishing with inaugural competition of science photography. The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Royal Society in London on 26th of November with the coverage in Science, BBC, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, Resource Magazine, International Business Times, LiveScience, Coveted Magazine, DDN, and many others.
    The new, authoritative Mammals of Wyoming (456 pp) comes out with our cover and some of the species accounts. Wildscreen announces its "New Horizons in Natural World Storytelling Festival" in Bristol with our window posters and invitation cards.

    In other news, the lab will present invited talks at Evolutionary Endocrinology symposium at 2016 SICB in Portland and "Ecological Morphology" symposium at XI International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in D.C. And Emmet Andrews writes about his research project in the lab for the UA's UBRP Gazette.




25 August 2015

Cycles of avian diversification published + new conference poster + iNBRE conference plenary lecture

"Ubiquitous, but previously overlooked, structural property of underlying metabolic networks produces cycles of carotenoid diversification in birds ", says our new major paper published this week in Biology Direct, succinctly summarizing in 20 pages (+ about 70 pages more in Supplementary) ten years of work and thinking. Funded by the Packard Fellowship, this is our best scientific work to date.
    Our best photographic work to date of a Catalina Mountains' Starlight Hunter becomes a pretty cool poster of The 2016 UBRP Conference.
    "Islands in the Sea of Possibilities: Making sense of biological diversity in the era of genomics" is a Banquet Keynote Alex will deliver at The 2015 NBRE/NIH (Network of Biomedical Research Excellence/ National Institute of Health) Conference in early November. And in September, next installment of a popular science lecture series will continue with the Flying Squirrel Aerodynamics Project.
UPD: Some photos from the banquet lecture (1, 2, 3, 4)



15 July 2015

Dr. Georgy Semenov joins the lab as the 2015 G.G. Simpson Fellow + two more covers + The Masters of Downfall published

Georgy studies genomic basis of speciation and population divergence in birds (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4). His G.G. Simpson postdoctoral fellowship combines cutting edge genomic and bioinformatics approaches with extensive field sampling and collections work. He emerges from his first field season having set an all-time record of fieldwork in the most distant locations across the US's fourth largest state in a single season.
    Our cover of July's American Journal of Botany features Mike Sanderson's discovery that the giant saguaro has the smallest plasmid genome. And our cover of August's Evolution highlights Jeff Good's finding of weak nuclear introgression in very actively speciating chipmunks.
    And if you ever wondered how beavers fell giant trees directionally (in a crashing violation of The Central Place Foraging Theory), read the text or see the photos in the first popular summary of this recently completed long-term project.




18 April 2015

Caitlin Davey and Emmet Andrews join the lab + Sarah Davis wins 1st place in poster award + Night at the Museum

Caitlin works on the mechanisms behind sex differences in feather microstructure. In his UBRP and Honors Thesis study, Emmet will address the correspondence between dynamic and static properties of complex biochemical networks.
    Sarah Davis receives the First Place Award (Emergent Category) for her poster at the 2015 EEB Undergraduate Research Session. The lab’s students presents three additional excellent posters at the event: Adam Welu with "Do changes in enzymatic network underlie age-dependent optimization of carotenoid displays in a bird?", Victoria Farrar with "Evolution of novel color phenotypes during population establishment: Genetic, biochemical, and ecological considerations", and Tayler LaSharr (last year's First Place Winner) with "Mechanisms influencing distribution and the coexistence of passerine species"
    Alex returns to the American Museum of Natural History to give a Comparative Biology Seminar on 30 March 2015. 24 years on the exact date (30 March 1991) since riding a subway straight from JFK to see the Museum the very first place visited in US. Now a life and a world away, to celebrate, I had the Museum entirely to myself for two nights thanks to my gracious hosts.




20 March 2015

Dawn Higginson publishes new AmNat paper on evolution of allometric rules

Dawn Higginson's new paper in American Naturalist "Causes of discordance between allometries at and above species level" uses sophisticated phylogenetic techniques to examine the effect of rapidly evolving developmental trajectories of complex and specialized phenotypes on the long-term evolutionary allometries and tissue trade-offs across 30 species of diving beetles. The study builds on Dawn's previous discoveries of explosive evolutionary diversification in sperm morphology (Evolution, Biol Reviews) and corresponding sex coevolution (PNAS) in this group.




15 March 2015

Erin Morrison is a 2015 Galileo Circle Research Fellow; Victoria Farrar continues her award streak with both The 2015 Excellence in Research Award and 2015 Galileo Circle Undergraduate Scholar recognitions

Erin Morrison is awarded a prestigious 2015 Galileo Circle Scholarship of the College of Science in recognition of her "truly exceptional level of accomplishments in research and teaching". Erin is the Lab's fourth graduate Galileo Fellow.
    Victoria continues her unprecedented sequence of awards for excellent research. In addition to last month's Leslie N. Goodding Scholar Award, Victoria is now selected by the Department for the 2015 Excellence in Research Award and by the College of Science as a 2015 Galileo Circle Undergraduate Research Scholar (the Lab's third undergraduate Galileo Fellow). This year, the lab will have two Galileo Scholars at the University Galileo Award reception on April 7th.
    In other news, Virginia Belloni's (lab's former postdoc) collaboration with the Duckworth Lab is published in Science (news) and Alex gives a short interview to the Natural History Museum in London, which also posts the video of the BBC Award reception, featuring this year's famous guests.
"This what makes including human dimension in wildlife photography so rewarding it is an explicit link to humans who will see the photo. And to their own stories." (from here).




24 January 2015

Evolutionary trajectories and invariant life histories at the 26th UBRP Conference

Victoria Farrar presented her project "Uncovering evolutionary trajectories of complex color phenotypes during population establishment and differentiation" addressing correspondence between historical and genetic divergence along the sequence of newly established bird populations in Arizona and Montana. Tayler LaSharr's project "Mechanisms influencing distribution and the coexistence of passerine species" revealed the discovery of invariant life-history strategies in species occurring along distinct ecological and behavioral gradients. Our poster of the event didn't look bad either.
    In other news,
the photogallery of our award-winning (and best-looking) staff is now complete.




21 December 2014

Year's End

In an early New Year's present, the President signs the RMF Heritage Act permanently protecting iconic Rocky Mountain Front in Montana from oil development that seemed unstoppable just a few months ago. Some of the key players who pushed for the legislature against all odds over the years gather to celebrate. Truly unique area, that consistenly ranks in the upper 1% of North American biological diversity is the site of much of The Lab's field, scientific, and wilderness advocacy efforts for the last 20 years, as well as the center of our two largest ongoing field projects. In other news, PhotoWorld the leading photography and art magazine in China publishes our six-page "Art of Seeing" essay (+ there's this month's short interview in Photography Monthly and 24 Best Photos of the Year from Digital Camera World while on the subject).




10 December 2014

Victoria Farrar is a Leslie N. Goodding Scholar

The Award recognizes Victoria's excellence in scholarship and her exceptional research record. The scholarship will support Victoria's Honor Thesis on investigating evolutionary trajectories of complex color phenotypes during population establishment and differentiation. Hear Victoria talk about her earlier biology project on KXCI 91.3FM.





29 October 2014

From the press release...

A truly enchanted image that tells a complete story in a single frame … the lighting is as delicate as the setting ... outcompeting tens of thousands of entries this year and trumping tigers, gorillas, elephants, cougars and other big charismatic animals here is a little mouse... ” said legendary National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting in his introduction of the award. In 2014, the panel of international jury evaluated more than 42,000 entries from 96 countries. This is Alex Badyaev’s third Winner title in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions.
    The Awards, celebrating the 50th year of the world’s largest and most prestigious nature photography competition, were presented by legendary BBC natural history presenter Sir David Attenborough and Her Royal Highness Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, at a black tie gala ceremony in London’s Natural History Museum. Prior to the Award ceremony, Badyaev was selected to accompany The Duchess of Cambridge as she viewed and discussed the 50th BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit."




8 September 2014

Sarah Davis joins the lab + two more covers + 2015 UBRP poster

In her project, Sarah will explore evolution of avian color-producing networks. Cover of the new, excellent The Genetics and Biology of Sexual Conflict by William Rice and Sergey Gavrilets features both female choice and male competition in a single frame, our photo is the Cover of The 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Album (Finland edition) and Crossing Theories image becomes a new 2015 UBRP poster at the University of Arizona, ending the reign of grey foxes on the 2013 and 2014 posters. In the other news, our photo (also here) is featured alongside classic and impossibly stunning images, in the "50 Years of Wildlife Photography in 200 images: How photography became art" published by BBC and the National History Museum.




8 June 2014

Lauren Harris joins the lab, Alex to speak at WildPhotos 2014, No Swan Song appears in National Wildlife, Intergration of Evolution and Physiology is published

Lauren's projects explore the network perspective on color polymorphism and the relationship between biochemical aspects of pigments and avian molt schedules. Alex is to return to WildPhotos 2014 — one of the most prestigious international nature photography venues, organized in the Royal Geographical Society in London — to give two talks and a Master Class at the Museum of Natural History. This is WildPhotos's second attempt in three years to offset the presentations of legendary luminaries in the world of photography.
    The imposibly elegant trumpeters star in "Swans of Montana's Past" gallery of tenbestphotos.com and No Swan Song (this month's National Wildlife).

    Discovery of leading edge vortexes enabling power lift in flying squirrel is a highlight of talk at Montana Natural History Center.
    Finally, the special issue on The Integration of Evolutionary Biology with Physiological Science is published just in time for Physiology 2014 in London and European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology congress in Vienna.




27 April 2014

Tayler LaSharr wins first place in EEB's Annual Poster Session; Erin Morrison's museum work is in the news

Tayler's presentation with Duckworth Lab "Effects of interspecific aggression on range distribution in closely related species" received the First Place Award at 5th Annual EEB Undergraduate Research Poster Session. In the meantime, Erin "brings UA Bird Collection to the XXI century".




2 April 2014

Adam Welu, Victoria Farrar, and Kelly King join the Lab

Adam (Honor College Project) and Kelly (Independent Study) work on the evolution of age-dependent modulation of metabolic network structure in birds. Victoria (UBRP Program and Honor Thesis) will investigate the role of historical and ecological contingency in the structure of house finch populations along the Rocky Mountains Front in northern Montana. In other news, our photos are illustrating the new and fascinating Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin (also here).




28 February 2014

Plenary at the 2014 AOU/COS/SCO conference, giant photos on downtown buildings, two popular science essays on nearly extinct giant swans and competing bluebird species, plus new papers on overcoming the "curse of dimensionality".

Morning commute to work reveals that Lens on the Land placed our photos on Tucson's landmark downtown buildings to bring awareness to the rich cultural heritage and extraordinary biodiversity of the Santa Rita Mountains of Southern Arizona about to be destroyed by the Rosemont Mine Project.
    Two new cover features in National Wildlife and MT Outdoors discuss the "ice age" life history of ancient trumpeter swans and large-scale consequences of on-going species replacement in Sialia bluebirds, correspondingly. A chapter with Bruce Walsh and a paper in JPhys take complementary approaches to argue that epigenetic mapping of exceptionally conserved genomic landscape should strongly facilitate the evolution by natural selection by reducing the landscape dimensionality. Finally, Alex is to give plenary address at the 2014 Joint Conference of the American Ornithologists’ Union, Cooper Ornithological Society and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists — the largest ornithological meeting in North America.
UPD: Apparently the plenary went well.




25 November 2013

Erin Morrison breaks a world record...

Erin and her master swimming team posted 8:31.00 in the mixed 800m freestyle relay breaking the previous world record of 8:34.10 (October 2012, Great Britain). The world record follows Erin's effortlessly outswimming adult Harbor seals at The 2013 La Jolla Rough Water Swim Competition in August, and a collection of recent first-place wins more typical of a small nation. All between discovering the fundamental rules of animal color diversification.



20 November 2013

One more cover, plus Alaska Airlines Magazine and Horizon Air Magazine feature extensive photoessay of our book.

Bright red December cover of Integrative & Comparative Biology highlights our hypothesis that under weak and fluctuating selection, composite adaptations evolve by a mechanism analogous to genetic hitchhiking.
    And celebrating the 2012 Honor Book Award, the two of the largest inflight magazines publish a multipage photoessay of our Mammals of Montana book in their November editions (flip to page 40). Now "2.14 million attentive and sophisticated monthly enplanements throughout the western United States, Canada and Mexico..." will have no choice but either enjoy our work or study the flight safety booklet.




10 October 2013

Alex is 2013 Kavli Foundation Fellow, "Bathaven" is immortalized by BBC, "Living with snakes" published, plus two more covers and one more poster.

With the help of BBC's "Exposure" series we bid farewell to Bathaven — an ancient cabin in the Blackfoot Valley of Montana — that, for the last decade, was our Central Command Office for Montana field projects, home, and birthplace for some. Ethology celebrates a new month by giving us another cover, this time of Sandhill Cranes and Blackbirds. The diamondbacks fighting on the previous month's Ethology cover are now part of the "Living with Snakes" cover feature in this month's National Wildlife magazine. Upcoming plenary in Transgenerational Effects symposium in Leiden is announced with our poster featuring the "Life of the Beaver" photograph.
    And, in other news, Alex is elected a 2013 "Frontiers of Science" Fellow of Kavli Foundation of the National Academy of Sciences.




1 August 2013

Starlight Hunter

National Wildlife: "Science and photography are similar in the sense that you get better at both by figuring out your unique combination of background, interests and approaches..." From here.

And with this, National Wildlife features "a camera-toting biologist" and his "dazzling images of the most mysterious and striking canid in the world". The lead photo of the feature becomes the 25th Anniversary poster for the Undergraduate Biology Research Program of the University of Arizona. An infamous "skeleton of an undegraduate who did not study too well" from the last year's poster is now gone. Instead, celebrating the anniversary of the incredibly successful program, the now sated fox is inspirationally aiming directly for the stars.




12 July 2013

Erin Morrison receives GPSC's award, two more journal covers

Erin, received GPSC Award for her presentation at the Evolution 2013, Snowbird meeting. The lab presented three major new studies at the conference: Dawn Higginson talked about the evolution of allometric relationships in reproductive traits in beetles, Erin — on the biochemical network view of avian diversification, and Alex discussed the mechanisms for previously unknown macroevolutionary cycles of avian color elaboration.
     In other news, BBC Wildlife highlights our July's cover feature with the actual magazine cover (see our last year's BBC cover here), Battlesnakes! cover of Ethology is in Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True! blog, West Sound Wildlife Shelter in the Puget Sound conducts its fundraising with our poster, while Michigan Wildlife opens its series Eye on Wildlife with our article.




30 March 2013

Jared Padway joins the Lab, lab research in The Washington Post and BBC Wildlife, DVP Evolution lecture course in UMiami

Jared, fresh from fieldwork on howler monkeys in the Tirimbina Nature Reserve in Costa Rica and teaching in the Bronx will start his doctoral research in the Lab this summer. The Washington Post literally intercepts Alex enjoying record cherry blossoms (and NSF meetings) on the streets of D.C., and produces a Sunday feature and photogallery on flying squirrels (also here, here, here, and here). The effect of historical species coexistence on current behavioral flexibility is the upcoming cover feature of BBC Wildlife; some photos from the feature are in "The Dear Enemy" gallery of tenbestphotos.com.
     A two-week lecture course of "Chance and Necessity: Modern Evolution in 50 paragraphs" — given as a part of Distinquished Visiting Professor honor at University of Miami —
was reduced to just 30 (very concentrated) paragraphs due to excellent (but lengthy) discussions. Finally, The Journal of Experimental Biology reaffirms itself as the world's best-designed scientific publication, by putting our "mouse and the moon" on its April cover. This is our second cover with them in that many years.



20 January 2013

Tayler Lasharr joins the Lab, Mammals of Montana wins The 2012 Honor Book Prize, BBC features Arizona gray fox biology, the gene loss paper in Y. Evol. Biol., new NSF grant to enable long-term fieldwork in Montana

Tayler, a recipient of the President's Award and Dean's List Award (Fort Lewis College, CO), is interested in convergent evolution and the evolution of behavior. Mammals of Montana wins The 2012 Honor Award Prize. Natural history of Sonoran Desert's uniquely arboreal gray foxes is the cover feature of the 50-year anniversary issue of BBC Wildlife. A collaboration with Stuart Newman, on his lab's discovery of sequential gene loss preceding the orgin of birds is published in 2013 Y. Evol. Biology, while a new NSF grant will support a large-scale RNA-seq project among newly established house finch populations on both sides of the Continental Divide.




24 December 2012

We made the new EEB website...

learning in the process that ours are the best looking evolutionary ecologists and staff out there, working in the best places on the most interesting ideas. Nevertheless, will stick with photographing animals for now — illustrations for natural history account of species replacement caused by habitat change and climate warming forthcoming in Montana Outdoors and National Wildlife are now in the new Bluebirds' Battles gallery of tenbestphotos.com.




6 December 2012

Alex is elected a Fellow of AAAS

"for distinguished contributions to evolutionary ecology by integrating tools and theory from quantitative genetics and the evolution of development" (UA News, 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows). The induction ceremony will be on 16 February 2013 in Boston, Mass. The Lab throws a really nice surprise celebration...




28 October 2012

What Went Wrong...

Die Welt: "You are working in some of the wildest places with grizzlies and wolves, but photograph cute mice. What went wrong?"
Herr Badyaev: (lacht) "Wer genau hinsieht, erkennt, dass auf dem Gemälde im Foto oben eine Katze sitzt...". From here.

And with this, The Midnight Snack, featuring adventurous deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), wins Specially Commented title in the 2012 BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel, New Scientist, BBC WorldNews, Culture24, also Visitor vote) being selected from over 48,000 images from 98 countries, while Mouse and the Moon (the same species, but hundreds of miles away...) becomes the Highly Honored Winner in the 2012 Nature Best Photography competition [selected from over 20,000 images (of lions, whales, and gorillas) from 46 countries]. A second win in as many years in BBC/Veolia Photographer of the Year evidently puts one on the list of London's attractions by a five-star hotel...
     In the meantime, Montana Outdoors Magazine puts our flying squirrel (the winner of 2011 National Wildlife Award) on the cover of its November issue, highlighting our article on the evolution of gliding flight.




1 August 2012

"The Starlight Hunter" added, becomes the 2013 UBRP Poster

The gallery featuring extraordinary and never before photographed behaviors of gray foxes preying on roosting birds at dizzying heights of saguaros and ironwoods among stars, comets, and occasional planes is added to TenBestPhotos.com. The natural history account of morphological adaptations that enable such primate-like climbing in a fox is forthcoming in BBC Wildlife.
     The lead photo of the series—a fox gnawing on a skeleton of an undegraduate who did not study too well—becomes the 2013 Poster for Undergraduate Biology Research Program of University of Arizona. In the meantime, the award-winning Montana Outdoors Magazine highlights aerodynamic exploits of the "Cirque de la Lune" troupe in a forthcoming fall feature.




15 July 2012

"Mammals of Montana" published. Sells >1,000 copies on the opening day

The first, scientifically comprehensive, beautifully designed and stunningly illustrated guide to all species of Mammals of Montana (440 pages • 6.5" x 9" • 500 color photos • 55 pen illustrations • 115 maps• checklist ISBN 978-0-87842-590-7. Paper $32; Mountain Press Publishing Company) sells more than 1,000 copies on the day sales start. Receives instant glowing reviews and is selected as a Book of the Month by independent bookstores. Before the first printing runs out (when it hits Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks later this summer), you can still get your copy on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore.




13 April 2012

Ellen Ouellette is the 2012 EEB Outstanding Senior!

And the finalist of the 2012 UA's College of Science's Outstanding Senior Award! This most prestigious UA's recognition of undergraduate student accomplishments in research and education follows Ellen's impressive list of awards, including last year's Galileo Scholar Award, the 2011 Bravo! Award and St. Elizabeth’s Heart of Service Award. The award will be presented at the College of Science ceremony on May 3rd.
     Ellen's award also confirms The Three-year Rule, that states that the lab's exceptional students receive the Outstanding Senior Award, both at EEB and College levels, every three years: in 2003Dr. Rosetta Mui, now a faculty in University of Hong Kong, in 2006, Jerod Merkle, now a doctoral student at Université Lavall, in 2009, Laura Stein — now a doctoral student in University of Illinois, and now, in 2012 — Ellen. Stay tuned for the 2015 winner..




26 March 2012

Erin Morrison receives The 2012 Graduate Teaching Award!

The prestigious award reflects the fame of exceptional teaching that Erin has accumulated over the last two years in three different classes and is a fitting recognition of her dedication and talents. Erin is the second, following Kevin Oh, lab recipient of this top EEB award.
     In other news, UCF's Biology Graduate Student Association in Orlando, presents Alex with a phenomenal state-of-art post-seminar table-size cake depicting all our wonderful study species in different flavors.




1 March 2012

Our photo exhibit opens in Flandrau Science Center; "La nuit des animaux" is published by Fleurus; Origin of the fittest is the most cited in 2011.

An exhibit "Camouflage and Poison", featuring life size prints of bears, lions and snakes dissolving in plain daylight in the patterns of light and shadows is a screaming fest among visiting urban kids, who would all be an easy prey in the wild. To definitively confirm what they all suspect they miss while sleeping, Fleurus Editions publishes "La nuit des animaux" illustrated with our photos of beaver teams building palaces overnight, mice commanding gas stoves in midnight kitchens, fairytail nymphs gliding silently under the full moon, among others. Talented photographers at Taraji Blue say "I wish I'd taken this" about this photo.
     In the meantime, "Origin of the fittest" becomes the "Most downloaded and cited" paper from 2011 in Proceedings B.




9 February 2012

Dawn Higginson's new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study (with the cover, obviously!) is all over the news A day after PNAS published it and puts it on the cover, Dawn's new comprehensive study "Female reproductive tract form drives the evolution of complex sperm morphology" — reporting that reproductive tracts have undergone extensive evolutionary diversification in close association with evolution of sperm morphology and conjugation across species — is on MSNBC, The Huffington Post, Sierra Club, Scientific American (+slideshow) , UA News, ScienceDaily, LiveScience, Io9, Sinc, Arizona Illustrated, ScienceNews, PhysOrg, EurekaAlert, blogs, other news sources.

Click here to watch Dawn's TV interview with Mark McLemore on PBS.



22 December 2011

World's most fascinating species now has world's most comprehensive natural history account

In a 110 page chapter in The Birds of North America, Virginia Belloni and coauthors succinctly summarize what is known about one of the most thoroughly studied birds. The species with the widest ecological range: as common in the hottest place in contiguous US as it is in the coldest, wettest and driest; as likely to be eaten by a diamondback snake in Sonoran desert as to witness a wolverine alpine migration in Northern Rockies or to socialize with elepaio in Hawaii; that numbers in billions, but has most populations established by a handful of individuals a few generations ago; that combines unique adaptability with fascinating adaptations. The one and only. The House Finch.
    In separate news, the 2012 World Wildlife Fund's calendar of most charismatic species and places features two of our photos.




25 November 2011

Dawn Higginson's discovery of dramatic diversification in complex sperm traits in beetles is in Evolution; Blackfoot Valley wolves are the cover feature of BBC Wildlife

Dawn's comprehensive study uncovers the origin and evolutionary diversification of complex sperm morphology in Dytiscidae, a family famous for widespread sperm conjugation — where several sperm unite for motility or transport. Her upcoming Evolution paper "Convergence, recurrence and diversification of complex sperm traits in diving beetles (Dytiscidae)" reveals the discovery of an evolutionary pathway linking diversification in sperm morphology and conjugation.
    The BBC Wildlife December cover photo of the refrigerator-sized leader of an elusive Blackfoot Valley wolf pack — Alex's best (and only) neighbors during the 2009 sabbatical — highlights a feature on the recovery of this wilderness icon in the United States. Two years ago another member of this pack was scaring kids into better book-learning from the cover of a non-majors biology text.



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Design, maintenance, code, and non-human animal photos are by Alex Badyaev©2002-2016