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Student Spotlight: Ishana Shukla

As an undergraduate, Ishana Shukla has not been shy about participating in research. She has worked in seven different labs, completed six internships, and developed and taught a student-directed seminar, “Undergraduates in Research.” Her project, “Variation in resting strategies across trophic levels and habitats in mammals” recently received one of the Physical and Biological Science […]







Healthy oceans need healthy soundscapes, say marine scientists

A global team of researchers has found overwhelming evidence that marine fauna and their ecosystems are negatively impacted by noise, which disrupts their behavior, physiology, and reproduction, and can even cause mortality.


Study of flowers with two types of anthers solves mystery that baffled Darwin

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have found that some flowers encourage bees to visit, and therefore pollinate, multiple flowers through a clever strategy of doling out pollen gradually from two different sets of anthers.

Original story from the UCSC Newscenter.


Cooperative research effort documents northward migration of kelp forests

In a sweeping display of the power of community-based science to capture data spanning the entire West Coast of North America, a team of scientists and countless volunteers from 14 different organizations joined forces to document the northward migration of kelp forests due to warming waters.


Marine mammals show off their training in evacuation from Long Marine Lab

CZU Lightning Complex update: two dolphins, five seals, and a sea lion were safely evacuated from the UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Laboratory thanks to good preparation, well-trained and cooperative animals, and generous assistance from SeaWorld San Diego and the Marine Mammal Center.

Original story from UCSC Newscenter.


Alaska’s salmon are getting smaller, affecting people and ecosystems

The size of salmon returning to rivers in Alaska has declined dramatically over the past 60 years because they are spending fewer years at sea, according to a new study. Salmon are critically important to both people and ecosystems in Alaska. Smaller salmon provide less food for people who depend on them, less value for commercial fishers, and less fertilizer for terrestrial ecosystems.









The mysterious case of the ornamented coot chicks has a surprising explanation

As adults, American coots have a drab color scheme, with black bodies and white bills. Their chicks, however, have an aesthetic that’s part drunk friar, part disheveled lion, and part tequila sunrise. Their faces and bald pates are bright red, while their necks are encircled in scruffy yellow-orange plumes.
Original story from The Atlantic.


Saving pumas with genomics

Genomes from mountain lions, or pumas, have spawned insights into how to encourage genetic diversification within the striking feline species and boost their health and survival.
Puma concolor – also known as cougars or panthers – were once widespread but are now mainly found in low population densities throughout western North America and much of Central and South America, and many of those are at risk of extinction.
Original story from Cosmos Magazine.



'Genius' grant goes to marine scientist who embraces flash mobs & comic books

NPR — Ecology & Environmental Biology alumna Stacy Jupiter realized how dangerous flooding was becoming in her adopted home of Fiji in 2009 when she flew back after a vacation and landed on an island in crisis. “Water was up to the roofs of the houses, and roads were cut off,” says the marine scientist, who directs the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Melanesia Program. Her research soon revealed that this uptick in floods — paired with human land mismanagement — was spreading waterborne diseases.


Alumna Stacy Jupiter wins coveted MacArthur Fellowship

UCSC Newscenter — Alumna Stacy Jupiter, a marine scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society who earned her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz in 2006, is among the 26 new MacArthur Fellows for 2019. The prestigious MacArthur fellowships, awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for “extraordinary originality and dedication,” come with a no-strings-attached award of $625,000 over five years.


Switzer Environmental Fellowship awarded to ecology Ph.D. student Melissa Cronin

UCSC Newscenter — Melissa Cronin, a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, has been awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The prestigious fellowship recognizes promising environmental leaders and provides $15,000 to support their research.
Cronin’s research focuses on threatened manta ray and devil ray populations, which are often caught as bycatch in industrial fishing operations.



A study in Elkhorn Slough reveals the increasing threat of climate change to salt marshes.

Monterey County Weekly — Between crabs burrowing into the marshes and rising oceans, a recent study led by Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in collaboration with NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System found that it is not crabs alone that are potentially causing problems for the nation’s salt marshes.