Exploring cryptocurrency and blockchain in Iceland
A virtual reality film, photo series, and soundscape from Penn and Rutgers document the effect this fast-growing tech industry is having on the country’s natural resources and people.
Fruit flies’ microbiomes shape their evolution
In just five generations, an altered microbiome can lead to genome-wide evolution in fruit flies, according to new research led by Paul Schmidt and postdoc Seth Rudman of the School of Arts and Sciences.
Inferno in the rainforest
Satellite images have detected more than 100,000 points of fire in the Amazon this year. Scientists Reto Gieré and Alain Plante illuminate some less obvious impacts of the fires, including health threats and climate impacts.
Making insights into ancient marine ecosystems with 3D-printed shells
If you’re a snail hoping to survive an encounter with a hungry fish, it helps to have a strong shell. Paleoecology doctoral student Erynn Johnson is using 3D printing to understand how predator-prey interactions may have played out hundreds of millions of years ago.
The beauty and nuances of Iceland, through a multidisciplinary lens
Tracing a circular path around Iceland, the students in Alain Plante’s Penn Global Seminar saw firsthand the nation’s unique geology, culture, politics, energy, people, and wildlife.
‘Design with Nature,’ 50 years later
Beginning on the Summer Solstice, the Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology at the Weitzman School is presenting Design With Nature Now, a multi-platform exploration of the legacy of visionary environmental planner and landscape architect Ian L. McHarg.
How one gene in a tiny fish may alter an aquatic ecosystem
Linking genomics to evolution to ecology, the work takes an unusual approach to reveal broad implications of how species adapt to their local environment.
Dry conditions may have helped a new type of plant gain a foothold on Earth
Plants reap energy from the sun using two photosynthesis pathways, C3 and C4. A new study led by Haoran Zhou, Erol Akçay and Brent Helliker suggests that water availability drove the expansion of C4 species, which may help to explain how different plant lineages came to be distributed on the planet today.
Tracing the evolutionary origins of fish to shallow ocean waters
Coral reefs are envisioned as the seats of great biodiversity, but they may not be where all that diversity got its start. In a new study in Science, paleobiologist Lauren Sallan and colleagues reveal that the earliest fish may have diversified in shallower waters near shore.
Growing a ‘culture of cultivation’ on campus
Even on an urban campus, there are numerous places to coax food from the soil. From the Penn Student Garden on Spruce Street to the Penn Park Orchard, Facilities and Real Estate Services staff are expanding opportunities for the community to interact with an edible landscape.
In the News
Not over the hill: ‘Design With Nature,’ Ian McHarg’s landmark book of ecological design turns 50
Bill Whitaker of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design spoke about Penn landscape architect Ian McHarg’s influence on ecological design and city planning. “He realized that people paid attention when you had scientific information and you had hard facts,” said Whitaker.
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