News

"The Voice" courtesy of Andy Morffew on Flickr

L. Mahadevan Develops A Simple Device That Mimics Complex Birdsongs

August 28, 2017

L. Mahadevan used air blown through a stretched rubber tube to recreate complex birdsongs. The study published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, found the complexity of birdsongs may be due to a simple controllable instability in the structure of the syrinx, a specialized organ used to create songs. News coverage in the ...

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Image: Copyright: 3-D model from eFLOWER, Hervé Sauquet/Jürg Schönenberger (study co-authors)

A Look At Flowers Millions of Years Ago

August 2, 2017
News from the Friedman Lab!  

Flowering plants, which arose approximately 140 million years ago, are the most diverse group of plants on Earth. The evolution of these plants and why so diverse is a biology mystery. OEB Ph.D. student, Kristel Schoonderwoerd (Friedman Lab) is part of an international effort, the eFLOWER Project, which aims to reconstruct the evolution of flowers. The study in Nature Communications, reveals...

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Moorcroft_Brazil Rainforest

Variability in Plant Hydraulic Traits Explain Differences in Drought Tolerance Among Amazon Rainforests

May 29, 2017
A study led by Thomas Powell (Moorcroft Lab), former OEB PhD student, James Wheeler (Holbrook Lab) and Paul Moorcroft examined the unknown effects of drought tolerance among mature Amazon rainforest trees. The study found the differences in xylem and leaf hydraulic traits not only explained the differences in drought tolerance among mature Amazon rainforest trees, but is critical in determining the fate of... Read more about Variability in Plant Hydraulic Traits Explain Differences in Drought Tolerance Among Amazon Rainforests
Charles Davis by Stu Rosner

Colossal Blossom: Charles Davis Studies Rafflesia's Peculiar Genetics

February 22, 2017

Charles Davis first encountered the Rafflesia arnoldii flower in a small village in northern Borneo while studying the region's plant diversity. Many years later, Davis, Director of the Harvard University Herbaria and Curator of Vascular Plants, continues his research on the mysterious, beautiful bloom that attracts flies with its surprising scent of rotting meat. Davis's research is featured in the current issue of Harvard Magazine...

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A Painfully Interesting Subject

A Painfully Interesting Subject

October 17, 2016

Don Pfister and Jean Beagle Ristaino's latest article in BioScience"What a Painfully Interesting Subject": Charles Darwin's Studies of Potato Late Blight, looks closely at the pathogen, Phytophthora infestans.  The pathogen, responsible for the 1845 Ireland famine, is still wreaking havoc on potatoes and tomatoes in the United States and many areas of the world and is considered a threat to global...

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