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News from the Field

February 2015

Nichar Gregory, recent E3B M.A. graduate, has a paper in the International Journal for Parasitology, February 2015. Follow this link to read the paper LINK

Su-Jen Roberts (2014 E3B Ph.D. grad), Eleni Nikitopoulos (recent E3B Post-doc), and E3B Professor Marina Cords published an article that made the front cover of Behavioral Ecology. Congratulations! The article is titled, Factors affecting low resident male siring success in one-male groups of blue monkeys. Behavioral Ecology (2014) 25 (4): 852-861

E3B PhD student Bob Muscarella, E3B Professor Maria Uriarte and co-authors have just published a paper in PLOSone, "A well-resolved phylogeny of the trees of Puerto Rico based on DNA barcode sequence data" CLICK HERE for link

E3B Ph.D. student Maressa Takahashi has been awarded a grant from the American Society for Primatologists to fund her research in Kenya. Congratulations, Maressa!

E3B student Megan Cattau's research was covered recently on the Mongabay.com environmental news site. A study was led by Megan and was carried out in collaboration with The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) and Center for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatlands (CIMTROP). According to its results, the latest estimate for Kalimantan’s current orangutan population is between 1,500 and 1,700 as of 2009, a decline from as many as 4,100 individuals in 1995. In other words, the population dropped by more than half in just 14 years. Read more HERE

Bob Muscarella (E3B PhD student) and E3B Professor Maria Uriarte collaborated with Rob Anderson's lab at City College CUNY to develop "ENMeval", an R package for tuning Maxent ecological niche models. A paper describing the package is available at Methods in Ecology and Evolution and the package itself is available on CRAN.
Paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/2041-210X.12261/abstract
Package: http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/ENMeval/index.html

E3B Ph.D. student Steve Wood is second author on a new paper just out in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413707111 Link HERE

E3B Postdoc Pinki Mondal has just published a paper with E3B Professor Ruth DeFries, recent E3B Ph.D. recipient Meha Jain, DeFries lab alum Gillian Galford, Andrew Robertson of IRI, Earth Institute, and Chris Small of LDEO. Winter crop sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability in central India. Pinki Mondal , Meha Jain , Andrew W. Robertson , Gillian L. Galford , Christopher Small & Ruth S. DeFries. Climatic Change. Volume 126 , Issue 1, pages 61-76. Link, HERE

E3B Lecturer and M.A. Program Advisor Josh Drew and E3B M.A. student Erin Eastwood ran a program this summer in Fiji, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and Fiji W.I.S.E. (workshop on international science education). The workshop, which just finished, had 11 students participating from six different countries. Attendees learned about biogeography, ecology and conservation of Melanesian coral reefs and had labs at a local reef, a freshwater ecosystem and at the Suva fish market. The program was mentioned by the U.S. Ambassador to Fiji during her Independence Day remarks. Congratulations on the recognition of your work! Josh and Erin were also quoted in a recent Nature Jobs article. Please click here for link

Abigail Golden, who recently graduated as an Environmental Biology major from E3B (May 21, 2014) has published her senior thesis! Combining Natural History Collections with Fisher Knowledge for Community-Based Conservation in Fiji Please follow the link: Abigail's article was chosen for the Conservation Story of the Week by Conservation Magazine.

E3B and the Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species program are proud to report that the Columbia College faculty Committee on Honors, Awards and Prizes awarded Margarete Diaz Cuadros the honor of Class of 2014 Valedictorian. Margarete is a biochemistry major with a concentration in EBHS. Congratulations, Margarete!

Undergraduate Honors--A grand total of five of the graduates of the Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species majors were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa...Margarete Diaz Cuadros, Evelyn Jagoda, Michael Kelly, Leslie Quade and Misha Solomon. Two Environmental Biology graduates were also Phi Beta Kappa...Isabelle Fisher and Abigail Golden.Congratulations to all of the graduating students and to their major advisors Jill Shapiro (EBHS)and Matt Palmer (EB)!

Bob Muscarella, E3B Ph.D. student, has been awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship; it is a 2-year NSF International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology. The title of the project is, Evaluating determinants of demographic variation across tree species ranges...Congratulations!

Steve Wood, E3B Ph.D. student, has been granted a Fulbright award for 9 months of field work in southeastern Senegal studying how landscape configuration and agrobiodiversity influence soil organic matter stabilization. Congratulations! Steve also had two articles published and was awarded a United States Agency for International Development/Feed the Future Borlaug Food Security Fellowship. His two articles are "The impact of climate change on agricultural net revenue: a case study in the Fouta Djallon, West Africa," which appeared in Environment and Development Economics, and "Smallholder farmer cropping decisions related to climate variability across multiple regions," which appeared in Global Environmental Change, co-authored by Meha Jain, an E3B Ph.D. student, and Ruth DeFries, Chair of E3B. Please click here:

Vivian Valencia, E3B Ph.D. student, has recently published a paper on part of her dissertation work. "The role of coffee agroforestry in the conservation of tree diversity and community composition of native forests in a Biosphere Reserve" Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Volume 189, 1 May 2014, Pages 154 to 163 E3B Faculty and Affiliates Paige West, Eleanor J. Sterling, and Shahid Naeem are among the co-authors. Please follow this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.03.024

E3B post-doc, Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez, recently had a paper accepted in the journal Ecological Applications "Land cover change interacts with drought severity to change fire regimes in Western Amazonia" http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-2101.1 Co-authors include E3B and Earth Institute colleagues: Maria Uriarte, Ruth DeFries, Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez, Katia Fernandes, Pietro Ceccato, Walter Baethgen, and Christine Padoch

E3B Faculty and students are prominently featured in this Columbia College Today article, linked HERE,

Megan Cattau, E3B Ph.D. student, recently received a grant from the United Sates-Indonesia Society (USINDO) to support research for the fire probability modeling chapter of her thesis. In this chapter, she will evaluate the causes of large-scale, detrimental peatland fires in Indonesia. Megan is working in Indonesia this year, on her Fulbright.

Our Alumni Students in the News:

Kevin Olival, E3B alum, and E3B Affiliate at EcoHealth Alliance is co-author on a new paper in Emerging Infectious Diseases. click here This meta-analysis addresses the question of whether or not it's best to target zoonotic disease surveillance and viral discovery in sick vs. health wildlife. The answer is both, but surveillance of overtly "healthy" animals is critical for zoonotic pathogen discovery, especially for bats and rodents. Also, a couple of months ago, he published in the same journal evidence for Ebola virus in bats from Bangladesh. Please click here This work was also highlighted by the NY Times.

Mary Blair, E3B alum received an NSF Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) Fellowship to study the biology and socioeconomics of the wildlife trade in Vietnam, focusing on slow lorises. Please click HERE for information. Mary also received an award from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund for slow loris conservation work.