Ecology and Evolutionary Biology News

Four UT Researchers Named 2016 AAAS Fellows

Four professors with UT ties have been named to the American Association for the Advancement of Science class of fellows for 2016: Brian Wirth, Karen Hughes, George Ostrouchov and Baohua Gu. The fellows will be inducted in February 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

WBIR: Salamanders: Exploring a small species of the Smokies


WBIR-TV Channel 10 highlighted UT graduate student Todd Pierson in a story about species of salamanders in the Smokies. The national park is home to thirty different species, making it informally the Salamander Capital of the World, according to the news outlet.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Invasive Species

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Distinguished Professor Dan Simberloff, the Gore-Hunger Professor of Environmental Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a leading expert in invasive species, had the idea of starting an institute to study biological invasions.

Metro Pulse: 17,000 Species in the Great Smoky Mountains. And Counting.

The Metro Pulse interviewed Nate Sanders, an associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology, about his assistance into a large-scale project looking to identify every living thing in the Great Smoky Mountains. Sanders conducts research on biodiversity of the more than seventeen thousand species.

Honoring Veterans: UT Senior Recalls Her Navy Deployment

While Christine Braaten was in the Navy, she went on a six-month humanitarian deployment aboard the USNS Mercy to provide follow-up medical care in Southeast Asia and Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami. Braaten spent six years as a Navy information systems technician. She is now a senior in ecology and evolutionary biology at UT Knoxville.

UT Professor Finds Economic Importance of Bats in the Billions

Bats in North America are under a two-pronged attack but they are not the only victim – so is the U.S. economy. Gary McCracken, head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UT Knoxville, analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be in the $3.7 to $53 billion a year range.

UT Researcher Finds Power and Corruption may be Good for Society

Moral corruption and power asymmetries are pervasive in human societies, but as it turns out, that may not be such a bad thing. Francisco Úbeda, an evolutionary biology professor at UT Knoxville, and Edgar Duéñez of Harvard University found that power and corruption may play a role in maintaining overall societal cooperation.

UT Researcher Links Maternal Genes to Selfish Behavior

If you are more inclined to love thyself than thy neighbor, it could be your mother’s fault. Those are the findings of Francisco Úbeda, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UT Knoxville.

UT Pregame Showcase Goes Batty

This week’s Pregame Showcase features Gary McCracken, department head and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. He will present “The Conservation of North American Bats: What Happens If We Lose Them?”

UT Professor Uncovers Clues into How Viruses Jump From Hosts

HIV-AIDS. SARS. Ebola. Bird Flu. Swine Flu. Rabies. These are emerging infectious diseases where the viruses have jumped from one animal species into another and now infect humans. Gary McCracken, a UT Knoxville professor and department head in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is one of those scientists and has made a groundbreaking discovery into how viruses jump from host to host.