2017-2018 News

Professor Doug Emlen's Extreme Animal Weapons Documentary to Air on PBS/NOVA (November 22nd)

Professor Doug Emlen with Elk Antler

From lobster claws and dog teeth to bee stings and snake fangs, every creature depends on a weapon. But some are armed to extremes that make no practical sense—whether it’s bull elks with giant 40-pound antler racks or tiny rhinoceros beetles with horns bigger than their body. What explains giant tusks, horns, and claws that can slow an animal down and even impair health and nutrition? NOVA investigates the riddle of outsize weaponry and uncovers a bold new theory about what triggers an animal arms race. In creatures as varied as dung beetles and saber-toothed tigers, shrimp and elephants, the same hidden factors trigger the race and, once started, these arms races unfold in exactly the same pattern. Join scientists as they crack the secret biological code that underlies nature’s battleground.  Airing November 22, 2017 at 9 pm on PBS

New NIH grant funds research on host-microbe interactions

cooper_photo_galap.jpgAssistant Professor Brandon S. Cooper has been awarded an R35 MIRA grant from the NIH ($1,802,630) to fund his research on interactions between endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria and their Drosophila fly hosts. This research will identify genetic and environmental contexts that promote Wolbachiaspread, which is crucial to explain the prevalence of Wolbachia infections in nature and to improve the efficacy of Wolbachia biocontrol.  For more infomration, see UM's article regarding the grant.