News 2012

December 14, 2012

Dr. Evangeline (Anji) Ballerini, a NIH postdoctoral associate in Scott Hodges’ laboratory, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2012 Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award. Funded through a generous gift from international business leader and entrepreneur Harvey Karp, the award is intended to provide seed funding to the most exceptional young postdocs at UC Santa Barbara in the Division of Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences early in their careers and support their innovative research. Dr. Ballerini will use the $48,000 award to conduct her research project “Genetic variation, gene expression and the evolution of floral nectar spurs”.

Gretchen Hofmann. Credit: George Foulsham
October 15, 2012

With increasing levels of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and moving into marine systems, the world's oceans are becoming more acidic.

"The big question is whether species will be able to adapt to future levels of ocean acidification," said Gretchen Hofmann, a marine biologist and professor in UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology.

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Black surfperch (Embiotoca jacksoni) Credit: Clint Nelson
September 27, 2012

Thanks to studies of a fish that gives birth to live young and is not fished commercially, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that food availability is a critical limiting factor in the health of fish populations.

The scientists were able to attach numbers to this idea, based on 16 years of data. They discovered that the availability of enough food can drive up to a 10-fold increase in the per capita birthrate of fish. And, with adequate food, the young are up to 10 times more likely to survive than those without it.

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July 10, 2012

US and Canadian researchers, including EEMB professor William Rice, have evolved a population of fruitflies that can count. The result, presented on 9 July at the First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa, Canada, supports the notion that the neural mechanisms underlying basic arithmetic skills first emerged hundreds of millions of years ago. It could also eventually offer a key to understanding why some people have problems with numbers.

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May 08, 2012

“I always wanted to write a children’s book,” said Joan Calder, manager of UCSB’s Greenhouse for Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. So after watching monarch chrysalises - two of which she named Stanley and Sergio - develop into butterflies in her backyard, Calder combined her love of teaching and insects and wrote the tome Airplanes in the Garden: Monarch Butterflies Take Flight.

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