• Mite-thum

12 Questions from students about the (Wild) Life of Our Bodies

Today we have a special Q & A from Kelly Allen and her East Chapel Hill HS Biology II (Human Biology) students. Each year Allen’s students participate in Biology Book Clubs and this year they read Rob Dunn’s The Wild Life of Our Bodies. Without further ado, questions asked by high school juniors and seniors to Rob Dunn:  

Amanda: Why did humans lose their ability to detect who a person is by their scent, while other primates and mammals still are able to do so?  Since its something needed for survival, I would have thought that our ability to smell would have improved, so […]

By |May 18th, 2015|Belly Button Biodiversity, Q & A, Your Mites|0 Comments
  • utmpodcast

Dr. Eleanor Dishes about Ants!

Looking for a new podcast to listen to while waiting for the next season of Serial? Check out Under The Microscope — available for free on iTunes — where you can even hear a friendly voice, Dr. Eleanor Spicer-Rice, discuss ants with Daniel Hill and Clint Bergeron.

Under the Microscope

Ants, with Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice — Episode 3 

Released Feb 01, 2015

Join us as we chat with Senior Science Editor Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice (who literally wrote the book on ants!) about an invasive ant species with a powerful sting that could be making a destructive path to […]

By |March 18th, 2015|ants, Audio, Q & A|0 Comments
  • heart_dunn2

A Heart-to-Heart with Rob Dunn

We’re excited for the upcoming release of Rob Dunn‘s new book, The Man Who Touched His Own Heart, on February 3! After taking on the parasites, microbes, mutualists and predators that shape our human selves in his last book, The Wild Life of Our Bodies, Rob has moved on to explore the history and science of our most vital organ, the heart. Get a sneak preview of the book in this Q & A:

Interviewer: I’d like to ask you more about the story behind the story of your heart book.

Dunn: OK, sounds great.

What is the heart?

Oh, […]

By |January 27th, 2015|Books, News, Q & A|1 Comment
  • StephenKevinHorizontalLab

Junior Scientists Take on Invasive Ants in New York City

Two junior researchers, Stephen Coyle (a rising college sophomore, top) and Kevin Catalan (a high school student, bottom), have been hard at work at Fordham University in New York City looking at how different colonies of invasive ants have been affected by Superstorm Sandy. I sat down with them virtually to discuss their exciting research in the lab of our collaborator, Dr. Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis.

Kevin, I’ll start with you. Maybe you can tell me a little bit about yourself and what is it that you do?

Kevin: I’m a student at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics.  I’m a rising […]

By |August 26th, 2014|ants, Q & A, Student Features, Urban Ecology|0 Comments
  • TylerVitone_In Tunnel

Q & A with Tyler Vitone

It’s always fun to have visiting scientists come to our lab — it gives us a chance to show off our beautiful campus and city and, mostly, reinvigorates us and reminds us why we do what we do. Plus we get to eat ice cream in the middle of the day using the thinly veiled excuse: “It’s made right here on campus!” Tyler Vitone, a master’s student in Andrea Lucky’s lab at the University of Florida, drove up to Raleigh this week to meet with the Dunn Lab and Your Wild Life to about ants.

By |July 31st, 2014|ants, Q & A|0 Comments
  • Urban biodiversity_Street Median_670

The Effects of Urbanization on Biodiversity: Interview with Myla Aronson

Our blog and social media feeds have been overcome by urban sprawl this week.

Yesterday, Rob wrote about the rise of a new mega-city: Charlanta. He described new research by Adam Terando and team that predicted the future spread of cities in the South.

Our colleague Steve Frank and his PhD student Adam Dale in Entomology just published two research papers describing what increased warming associated with this urbanization means for street trees and and a common insect pest, the gloomy scale. Turns out gloomy scales are way more abundant on red maple trees in warm, urban […]

By |July 24th, 2014|Global Change, Q & A, Urban Ecology|0 Comments
  • chernobyl_670

The Art and Science of Life After Chernobyl

At first glance, the insect paintings by Cornelia Hesse-Honegger look no different than the images in a Peterson field guide. The subjects are set against a white background and copied in exact detail. Stare at them long enough, and something seems off. A rumpled wing, or a misplaced antenna. The insects are not merely damaged, claims the artist, but have been mutated by chronic exposure to radiation. For the last 30 years, Hesse-Honegger has been collecting and documenting insects that live in and around Chernobyl, the site of the world’s largest nuclear disaster.

I have admired Hesse-Honegger’s paintings for […]

By |January 6th, 2014|Explainer, Q & A, Your Wild Life Team|0 Comments
  • Raspberry (or tawny) crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva. Photo credit: Alex Wild

Crazy Ant Q & A

Crazy ants are in the news again, this time for expanding their range from Texas to several other states in the Southeast.

We asked our favorite ant expert, Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice, a few questions to help us better understand what the breaking news about this invasive species really means:

What’s the big deal about crazy ants? Who are they and where did they come from?

Crazy ants are members of an ant genus called Nylanderia, and they get their name from the haphazard way they run around. When they start running, they look like they’ve lost their minds. Raspberry crazy […]

By |October 29th, 2013|ants, Q & A|0 Comments
  • ambrosia_beetle_hulcr

Are there bark beetles in your backyard?

This past week we reconnected with Jiri Hulcr, resident Forest Entomologist at the University of Florida (and Dunn lab alum) who has just recently launched Backyard Bark Beetles – a new citizen science project that you can participate in now!  

The Backyard Bark Beetles project initially underwent some trials in Florida and Missouri over the summer and is now ready to roll-out to the rest of the country! The concept is familiar (if you’ve participated in the School of Ants); the citizen scientist creates a low-cost insect trap out of household materials, collects […]

By |October 1st, 2013|Feature, Nature in Your Backyard, Participate, Projects, Q & A|1 Comment
  • photo-21

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Joe Karlik

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Joe Karlik

Major: Biology and Physics; Senior

Position in lab: Research Technician; started May 2013

Joe has been involved in field and lab work ranging from the construction of ant colony nest boxes to the collection, feeding, counting and monitoring of ant individuals from 6 different species.

Describe your project/research: I am working on a project studying how temperature variation affects […]

By |August 15th, 2013|Q & A, Student Features, Your Wild Life Team|0 Comments
  • Undergraduate Mary Vincent sorts ants collected from the field for placement into the Phytotron, Dunn Lab, NCSU

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Mary Vincent

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Name: Mary Vincent

Degree: Major in Zoology, Minor in Environmental Sciences

Year in School: Junior

Career Goal: Graduate School, M.S. Genetics

How long have you been working in our lab? 5 months, since March 2013

Describe your project/research: I am working for ant scientist Dr. Clint Penick and my job is to feed, collect, construct ant nest boxes and sort […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Feature, Q & A, Student Features, Your Wild Life Team|0 Comments
  • Moriah Barrow feeds her slime mold so she can continue her research on optimum evacuation routes in the Southeastern US

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Moriah Barrow

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

 

Name: Moriah Barrow
Degree: Engineering (undeclared)
Year in school: Sophomore
Career Goal: Product Engineer / Physical Therapist
How long have you been working in our lab? About 8 months; started in January 2013

Describe your project/research: My Project uses the pladmodium of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum to model hurricane evacuation routes in the southeast United States. Using slime molds is a really
By |August 6th, 2013|Q & A, Student Features|0 Comments
  • Shelby Anderson at microscope

Meet the Worker Bees: Q & A with Shelby Anderson

Our lab has been buzzing with research activity this summer. We thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of the worker bees — undergraduates, high school interns, and research technicians — to ask them some questions and learn more about their work.

Name: Shelby Anderson

Degree: International Relations and French

Year in school: Post-Baccalaureate

Career goal: Physician

How long have you been working in our lab? 7 months

Describe your project/research: I am currently sorting and identifying arthropods that were collected in New York City, from the medians of Broadway to Central Park. We are currently trying to learn more about […]

By |August 1st, 2013|Feature, Q & A, Student Features, Your Wild Life Team|0 Comments
  • Planthopper

What do planthoppers and armpits have in common?

Did you know that today (May 22) is the International Day for Biological Diversity? To celebrate this holiday, we’re sharing a recent conversation we had with Dr. Julie Urban, our friend, collaborator and assistant director of the Genomics & Microbiology Lab at the Nature Research Center at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Julie studies the diversity of not one, but two of our favorite types of organisms: insects and bacteria!

I sat down with Julie right before she jetted off on a research trip to French Guiana. We chatted about her love for bacteria in strange […]

By |May 22nd, 2013|Education, Q & A, Video|2 Comments
  • Fruits & Vegetables. Image credit: douneika, Flickr

Lettuce eat microbes

Last week, Jonathan Leff and Noah Fierer, our colleagues at the University of Colorado at Boulder with whom we’re collaborating on the Wild Life of Our Homes project, published new research about the microbial communities living on fresh fruit and vegetables. Their study was the first to assess the diversity of non-pathogenic bacteria living on eleven types of produce, including lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, apples, peaches and grapes. Using many of the same genetic techniques we’ll be using in the home microbe study, they assessed what microbes are living on the surfaces of common produce and […]

By |April 1st, 2013|News, Q & A|1 Comment