Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology News

The Evolution Institute: Burghardt Discusses Niche Construction

The Evolution Institute recently featured a conversation between Gordon Burghardt and  scientist Kevin Laland on the topic of niche construction–the process through which an organism alters its own or another species’ environment, rather than one being passively shaped by the other. Read the interview online. Burghardt is an Alumni Distinguished Service Professor, holds appointments in the

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Scientific American: Can We Really Eat Invasive Species into Submission?

Scientific American weighs the pros and cons of introducing–and removing–invasive species from ecology. The outlet interviewed Martin Nuñez, a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who has published several papers warning of perverse incentives to distribute economically valuable species more widely.

Multiple Outlets Highlight Tree Migrations Study Co-Authored by Schweitzer

Jennifer Schweitzer, associate professor and associate head in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, recently published a study on tree migration in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. Findings from the study were mentioned by Mother Nature Network, Climate Wire, and Scientific American.

Gavrilets Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

A leading theoretical evolutionary biologist at UT has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sergey Gavrilets, distinguished professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Mathematics, follows in the footsteps of historical greats such as Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Mead, and Nelson Mandela, who were all notable members of the academy.

News Sentinel: Hughes Among Scientists Studying GSMNP After Wildfires

The Knoxville News Sentinel recently featured Karen Hughes, a mycologist and professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, in a video interview and written article. Hughes is one of many scientists conducting research in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park following the November 2016 wildfires. Her research focuses on fungi that comes up uniquely after fires.

NIMBioS Study: Power of Shared Pain Triggers Extreme Self-Sacrifice

The extreme self-sacrificial behavior found in suicide bombers and soldiers presents an evolutionary puzzle: how can a trait that calls for an individual to make the ultimate sacrifice, especially in defense of a group of non-family members, persist over evolutionary time?