More than 150 people, including alumni, students, faculty and friends, gathered at the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology in October for a symposium marking the twentieth anniversary of the school’s Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development graduate program.
The effects of an animal population’s extinction may echo beyond the original species, new Odum School research finds. Loss of a population could ultimately result in the extinction of parasites—which are critical for a healthy ecosystem.
This fall, the Odum School of Ecology will launch a new Bachelor of Arts degree in ecology.
The Odum School's Laura Early and Jennafer Malek are among three UGA graduate students selected for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.
Well-maintained pastures can restore the soil’s organic matter much more quickly than previously thought, according to a new study in Nature Communications. Lead author Megan Machmuller, PhD '14, currently a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University, worked on the project as a doctoral student.
Ecology master's student Erin Abernethy is featured as one of "15 from 2015" on the UGA Commencement web site.
University of Georgia ecologist Andy Davis and his students studied beetles and their parasite loads last summer as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at UGA, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Their results—that infected beetles were slightly more likely to lose fights—were published earlier this month in the journal PLOS One.
Ecology major Torre Lavelle, a University of Georgia Honors student, has been named a 2015 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholar.
Supplemental feeding of wildlife can increase the spread of some infectious diseases and decrease the spread of others. A new study by University of Georgia ecologists has found that the outcome depends on the type of pathogen and the source of food.
A new study by University of Georgia ecologists, just published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, has found that winter-breeding butterflies are at increased risk of disease, a finding that could apply to other migratory species as well. Planting tropical milkweed, available at many garden centers, makes the problem worse.
Megan Machmuller, PhD ’14, is featured on the Nov. 24, 2014 episode the PBS program NewsHour. The segment covers climate change research in Alaska conducted by Machmuller and colleagues from Colorado State University, where she is currently a postdoctoral fellow.
Concerned about retaining and advancing women in science and technology careers, a group of Odum School students has formed an organization to promote equality in the sciences.
Odum School master's student Joseph Colbert's study of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes on Jekyll Island is featured in the fall 2014 issue of UGA Research Magazine.
A recent study in the Journal of Insect Behavior by Andy Davis, a faculty member in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, found that horned passalus beetles can lift more than 300 times their own weight without breaking a sweat. Now, Davis has teamed up with Jake LeFeuvre, a senior from Oconee County High School, to find out how internal parasites influence the beetles’ strength.
Scientists have long known that providing supplemental food for wildlife, or resource provisioning, can sometimes cause more harm than good. UGA ecologists Daniel Becker and Richard Hall have developed a new mathematical model to tease apart the processes that help explain why.
A study led by Julie Rushmore, PhD '13--currently a student in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine--finds that focusing vaccination efforts on chimpanzees with the highest numbers of social contacts can reduce the number of animals that must be vaccinated to prevent an epidemic.
Three ecology students were among eleven UGA students and alumni to receive Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation.
Recent research led by University of Georgia ecologists sheds new light on the natural nutrient dynamics of coral reefs, particularly the often overlooked but critical role of fish. Their findings, published in Global Change Biology, could help inform future research and coral conservation efforts.
Sara Black, a dual ecology and anthropology major who will graduate on May 9, received the 2014 Rotaract Student Service Award for the Odum School of Ecology.
Alexa Nicole Gusmerotti and William Harrison Miller received the 2014 Georgia Power Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award for research conducted at University of Georgia HorseShoe Bend Ecology Experimental Site.
Odum School of Ecology undergraduate Carmen Kraus won a best paper award at the 2014 Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium held on March 31-April 1, 2014.
Julie Rushmore, who received her Ph.D. from the Odum School in 2013 and is pursuing a D.V.M. degree in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Volterra Award for the Best Student Presentation in Theoretical Ecology from the Ecological Society of America.
University of Georgia undergraduate Zachary Holmes, an ecology and biology double-major from Atlanta, has received one of five John J. Scarano Memorial Scholarships for 2013.
Ecology doctoral student Shafkat Khan has received a grant from the UGA Office of Sustainability to establish a bicycle repair cooperative on campus, one of nine Campus Sustainability grants awarded this year.
Researchers from the Odum School and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have developed a new model that could help environmental managers determine the most cost-effective means to improve upstream passage for migratory fishes.
Undergraduate ecology major Zack Holmes has received one of two scholarships for study abroad opportunities in sustainability. The awards are made possible by the Brittney Fox Watts Memorial Endowment .
Odum School doctoral student Virginia Schutte is profiled in an article in the Summer 2013 issue of the University of Georgia Graduate School Magazine. The article describes Schutte’s research into red mangrove ecosystems in the tropics.
Read the article online: Gifts from the Sea: Virginia Schutte’s Route from Kentucky to the Ocean’s Fray
A study by University of Georgia ecologists has found that diversity in mammal immune system genes may have more to do with the opportunity to choose a mate than with exposure to parasites.
Two recent ecology graduates were among eight UGA students awarded international travel-study grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Dara Satterfield, Sarah Budischak, and Sara Heisel, doctoral students in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, have taken second place honors in the National Science Foundation Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge, the NSF announced on June 13, 2013.
Many think of social networks in terms of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but for recent University of Georgia doctoral graduate Julie Rushmore, social networks are tools in the fight against infectious diseases. Rushmore, who completed her doctorate in the Odum School of Ecology in May, analyzed the social networks of wild chimpanzees to determine which individuals were most likely to contract and spread pathogens. Her findings, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology on June 5, could help wildlife managers target their efforts to prevent outbreaks and potentially help public health officials prevent disease in human populations as well.
Ten University of Georgia students and alumni—including four from the Odum School of Ecology—were among received graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation to conduct research while working on their master’s and doctoral degrees.
University of Georgia Honors ecology student Theresa Stratmann will discuss her research with members of the Georgia and South Carolina congressional delegations as part of the Council for Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill Program.
UGA Honors students Sara Black, an ecology and anthropology double major, and Ian Karra, an economics and finance double major pursuing an ecology minor, were among 50 students nationwide who were awarded 2013 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarships.
A short film by Odum School doctoral student Virginia Schutte has been accepted into the Beneath the Waves Film Festival, which kicks off in Savannah, Georgia, from March 20-24.
Ecology graduate student Greg Skupien, along with Aaron Joslin and Holly Campbell of the Warnell School, was awarded a Campus Sustainability Grant from the Office of Sustainability for “Composting of Organic Waste in Academic Building on Campus: Pilot Project for Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources.”
Fish play a far more important role as contributors of nutrients to marine ecosystems than previously thought, according to research by Odum School doctoral student Jacob Allgeier and Florida International University associate professor Craig Layman.
Virginia Schutte, a doctoral student in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, is a finalist in a video contest sponsored by the National Science Foundation. To view Schutte’s video, see https://grf2012.skild.com/skild2/grf2012/viewEntryDetail.action?pid=40357.
Ecologists in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology have found that evolutionary diversity can be an effective method for identifying hotspots of mammal biodiversity.
Carrie Futch, Ph.D. '10, a post-doctoral researcher with the University of Georgia College of Public Health, has been named a recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship in infectious disease and public health microbiology through the American Society for Microbiology and Centers for Disease Control.
All eyes are turned to London as the world’s top athletes compete for Olympic glory, but a humbler competition has been taking place in Andy Davis’s lab at the University of Georgia this summer, featuring some unlikely competitors—horned passalus beetles.
Ecology Ph.D. student Rebeca de Jesús Crespo was one of four UGA recipients of a 2012 Fulbright Scholarship, which she will use to confinue her assessment of the impact of the Rainforest Alliance's certification program on the health of streams that flow into coffee plantations in Costa Rica.
Four of the ten University of Georgia students and alumni who received graduate research fellowships this spring from the National Science Foundation to conduct research during their master’s and doctoral studies are from the Odum School of Ecology.
University of Georgia Honors ecology student Scott Saunders has received an Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of only 115 awarded nationwide in 2012.
Alyssa Gehman, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, is participating in the second round of the #SciFund Challenge, an experiment in crowdfunding for scientific research. Her proposal is proposal is online at http://www.rockethub.com/projects/7476-a-climate-for-castrators.
Ecology major Todd Pierson has received a National Geographic Young Explorers grant to travel to China to study what may prove to be a new species of giant salamander.
Christina Faust, a University of Georgia Honors student from Athens, has been awarded a 2008 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a prestigious national honor recognizing outstanding juniors who are preparing for public service careers.
Squirrels and raccoons will give up food to avoid ticks
A recent paper by Ph.D. student Alexa Fritzsche sheds light on the interaction between ticks and host animals. The study is based on research conducted while Fritzsche was a research technician at Washington University in St. Louis.
Undergraduate Ecology Honors student Erin E. Froetschel received a Scientific Research Society Certificate of Recognition during the Eleventh Annual Sigma Xi Student Research Conference in Raleigh, NC.
Ecology undergraduate Malavika Rajeev was one of nine University of Georgia students awarded the William Moore Crane Leadership Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year.
The Odum School's Julie Rushmore was one of nine UGA graduate students to receive a 2011-2012 Atlanta ARCS Foundation award. Rushmore, a joint DVM/Ph.D. candidate, studies the behavioral and ecological factors that affect disease transmission in African great apes.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a grant to UGA researchers studying social and ecological factors that affect disease transmission in wild chimpanzees. This is the second grant the scientists have received from the USFWS Division of International Conservation for their work.
Study finds considerable regional variation in the impacts of extinction on biodiversity
When a species becomes extinct, its loss has an impact on global biodiversity. But a new study by University of Georgia researchers has found that species extinctions may have even greater impacts at the regional level, depending upon how closely related the lost species are to others nearby.
Odum School of Ecology undergraduate Alexander Wright received a commendation from the Awards Committee of the Georgia Academy of Science for the most outstanding paper presented in the Biological Sciences Section at the group's 89th annual meeting.
Graduate student James Moree has been awarded the American Society of Mammalogists-American Institute of Biological Sciences Public Policy Internship for fall 2011.
Honors student Brian Watts of Douglasville, Georgia, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology in May, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Watts will spend the 2011-2012 academic year in South Korea.
Researchers from the Odum School of Ecology have found that certain neotropical stream ecosystems rely almost entirely on a single fish species known as the banded tetra for the critical nutrient phosphorus. In a paper recently published in the journal Ecology, the researchers, led by Gaston E. “Chip” Small, Ph.D. '10, explain why this particular species plays such a crucial role—and why these stream systems are vulnerable as a result.
Ecology major Rosemary Gay of Douglasville is one of two UGA students to receive a National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship for international language study during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Ecology was well represented at the UGA Honors Program’s 2011 CURO Symposium, with seven Odum School undergraduates presenting papers and six presenting posters. Associate Professor John Drake received the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Early Career Faculty Award, and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory received the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program Award.
The University of Georgia Graduate School honored Gaston “Chip” Small with its 2011 Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award in Life Sciences. Small received his doctorate from the Odum School of Ecology in 2010.
Ecology undergraduates Todd Pierson and Theresa Stratmann were inducted into the Georgia chapter of the national Blue Key Honor Society on April 10, 2011.
Ecology major Todd Pierson, a second-year Honors student, is one of 80 recipients nationwide of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarship, which recognizes sophomores and juniors who are pursuing careers in environmental or Native American issues.
A new study by researchers at the UGA Odum School of Ecology and Florida International University has found that the elimination of large marine predators through overfishing and habitat alteration removes a vital source of nutrients for coastal ecosystems.
Ecology Ph.D. student Athena Rayne Anderson described her redesign of the Ecology 3500 field lab curriculum to incorporate team- and inquiry-based learning methods in an article published in the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.
Undergraduate ecology and scientific illustration major Elizabeth Nixon won first place in the State Botanical Garden of Georgia 2010 art competition sponsored by the J.A. and H.G. Woodruff, Jr. Charitable Trust.
The Atlanta chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Students Foundation recently awarded $55,000 to seven outstanding UGA doctoral students in the biomedical and health sciences, including Ecology student Julie Rushmore, who also received a special $10,000 grant for global health research abroad.
Like most infectious diseases, rabies can attack several species. However, which species are going to be infected and why turns out to be a difficult problem that represents a major gap in our knowledge of how diseases emerge. A paper just published in the journal Science by a team of researchers led by Daniel G. Streicker, a Ph.D. student in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, has begun to close that knowledge gap.
Ecology PhD student Ethell Vereen is featured as UGA's Amazing Student for the week of August 8, 2010.
Seventeen students graduated from the Odum School with degrees in ecology on May 8, 2010.
Two Ecology Ph.D. students, Carolyn Keough and Virginia Shcutte, are among 13 UGA students and alumni awarded Graduate Research Fellowships by the National Science Foundation.
Elizabeth Nixon, an undergraduate double major in Ecology and Scientific Illustration, won two awards at the 17th annual Science and Medical Illustration Exhibition, held from Feb. 23 - March 8 at the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art. The exhibition showcases the work of undergraduate scientific illustration students from UGA and graduate medical illustration students from the Medical College of Georgia, and is juried by faculty from both institutions.
Virginia Schutte, a Ph.D. student in the UGA Odum School of Ecology, has been awarded a highly competitive three-year National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) graduate research fellowship. She will study the effects of nutrient pollution on red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) in Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico.
A new collaboration between the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology and the international nonprofit Rainforest Alliance aims to ensure that the Rainforest Alliance’s Green Certification Program for tourism, timber and agricultural products meets its sustainability goals.
Chip Small, a PhD student at the Odum School of Ecology, is featured in the “Article Spotlight” in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of the North American Benthological Society. The article by Small, OSE doctoral student Ashley Helton, and Caner Kazanci, Assistant Professor in the UGA Department of Mathematics and Faculty of Engineering, is entitled “Can consumer stoichiometric regulation control nutrient spiraling in streams?” The article explores how consumers affect the downstream movement of different elements in stream ecosystems.
Julie Rushmore, a joint Ph.D. and DVM candidate at UGA’s Odum School of Ecology and College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded a 2009-10 Fulbright scholarship to pursue her study of how behavior affects pathogen transmission among great apes in Uganda. Her work has implications for wildlife conservation and public health.
The University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology will hold its fifteenth annual symposium showcasing student research Jan. 23-24. The free public event will feature graduate student oral presentations, an undergraduate poster session and a keynote address given by Evelyn Gaiser, UGA alumnae and associate professor at Florida International University.
Nicole Gottdenker, Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia, recently received the Wildlife Disease Association Graduate Student Scholarship Award. The $2,000 award was presented for leadership, scholarship and service at the 57th annual meeting of the Wildlife Disease Association held in Alberta, Canada.
Christina Faust, a University of Georgia Honors student from Athens, is one of 12 national recipients of the 2009-2010 George J. Mitchell Postgraduate Scholarship. She will use her fellowship to study immunology and global health at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
When Ph.D. student Jake Allgeier realized the information gap between sustainable seafood research and the public, he wrote a letter to the Flagpole. Read more to find out which fish are overfished so that you can make smart eating choices to protect the global fish population.
Streams that once sang with the croaks, chirps and ribbits of dozens of frog species have gone silent. They’re victims of a fungus that’s decimating amphibian populations worldwide.
Such catastrophic declines have been documented for more than a decade, but until recently scientists knew little about how the loss of frogs alters the larger ecosystem. A University of Georgia study that is the first to comprehensively examine an ecosystem before and after an amphibian population decline has found that tadpoles play a key role keeping the algae at the base of the food chain productive.
Research at the Agroecology Laboratory at the UGA Odum School of Ecology has led to the creation of organic farming enterprise budgets. Prior to this development, the economic decision-making tool used to estimate profitability was not widely available for organic production.
“Centuries of extensive tillage have caused much of our native topsoil to be washed into rivers,” said Krista Jacobsen, a recent Odum School Ph.D. graduate. “Many farmers in the Southeast inherit these degraded soils and it is important to develop and study farming practices that can restore soil and allow it to be farmed profitably at the same time. That’s where enterprise budgets come in.”
Stressed corals lose the symbiotic algae that help them survive in a process known as bleaching, but University of Georgia researchers have discovered that one subtype of the symbiotic algae that live mostly in shallow-water corals of the Caribbean provide resistance to environmental stress.
The researchers, who include plant biologists Gregory Schmidt and Brigitte Bruns and ecologists William Fitt and Jennifer McCabe Reynolds, showed for the first time that clade A Symbiodinium has complementary mechanisms for surviving in its coral hosts during periods of warmer-than-normal water temperatures and intense late-summer sun.
When seeing a need to provide recycling for UGA football games, the Odum School's Ecology Club quickly stepped up to the plate. Clearly, this group of undergraduates is passionate about recycling and respecting the UGA campus. Student volunteers pair up with the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division, who provides supplies. Every game, the aluminum cans are separated and donated to Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House Foundation. For more information on the Ecology Club's recycling efforts, please visit the official site of UGA Game Day Recycling.
Parasites can decimate amphibian populations, but one University of Georgia researcher believes they might also play a role in spurring the evolution of new and sometimes bizarre breeding strategies.
A pioneering study on the effects of nitrate, a form of nitrogen, in streams was recently published in Nature, with a team of 31 researchers including major contributions by Ashley M. Helton, a graduate student in the university's Odum School of Ecology.
The study demonstrated how varying amounts of nitrate are biologically processed in streams. And with the push for development of alternative fuels, it is important to note that excessive amounts of nitrogen may be created during the process of producing corn-based ethanol.