Native forest plants rebound when invasive shrubs are removed

Removing invasive shrubs to restore native forest habitat brings a surprising result, according to Penn State researchers, who say desired native understory plants display an unexpected ability and vigor to recolonize open spots.

A "questing" female Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged tick) reaches out in hopes of climbing aboard a host. Researchers say the blacklegged tick, the primary vector of Lyme disease, was almost nonexistent in Pennsylvania in the 1960s but now is the state's dominant tick species.  IMAGE: JOYCE SAKAMOTO/PENN STATE

More Than 100 Years of Data show Pennsylvania Tick Population Shift

The prevalence of the most abundant species of ticks found in Pennsylvania has shifted over the last century, according to Penn State scientists, who analyzed 117 years' worth of specimens and data submitted primarily by residents from around the state.

Penn State alumna Laura Russo has been selected to receive the Robert May Prize from the British Ecological Society. IMAGE: PENN STATE

Alumna Laura Russo receives Robert May Prize from the British Ecological Society

PSU alumna Laura Russo has been selected to receive the Robert May Prize from the British Ecological Society, the oldest ecological society in the world. The prize recognizes the best paper by an early career researcher in the society’s scientific journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

'Right' Cover-Crop Mix Good for Both Chesapeake and Bottom Lines

Planting and growing a strategic mix of cover crops not only reduces the loss of nitrogen from farm fields, protecting water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, but the practice also contributes nitrogen to subsequent cash crops, improving yields, according to researchers.

White-throated sparrows are among the best-studied North American songbirds. With a typical wingspan of 6 to 7 inches, it breeds primarily in northern boreal coniferous and mixed forests and, a short-distance migrant, winters mainly in the southeastern U.S. To make these migrations, the bird's body changes significantly. IMAGE: PAUL BARTELL / PENN STATE

Songbird-body changes that allow migration may have human health implications

Songbirds that pack on as much as 50 percent of their body weight before migrating and that sleep very little, exhibit altered immune system and tissue-repair function during the journey, which may hold implications for human health, according to Penn State researchers.

Alex Weiner receiving his award

Five Huck Researchers Among Winners at Grad Student Awards

A quintet of Huck doctoral candidates were recognized for excellence in their studies and collaborations within and outside of Penn State.

Katriona Shea, alumni professor of biology in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State.  IMAGE: PENN STATE

Shea recognized with 2019 Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award

Katriona Shea, alumni professor of biology in the Eberly College of Science, is the recipient of Penn State's 2019 Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award. The award honors and recognizes outstanding achievement by a faculty member with at least five years of service who effectively guides junior faculty.

A male orca breaching off the west side of San Juan Island in Washington state. On his left side is a suction cup-attached "Dtag" which records depth, sound, acceleration and 3-dimensional orientation. CREDIT: M. Brad Hanson; Taken under federal permits NMFS #'s 781-1824 and 16163

Ecology Alum Jennifer Tennessen Brings Acoustics to Killer Whale Conservation

Dr. Jennifer Tennessen applies the lessons of her interdisciplinary research at the Huck to her professional work with killer whales in the Pacific Northwest.

A banded hare-wallaby IMAGE: MAMMALS OF AUSTRALIA JOHN GOULD / PUBLIC DOMAIN

Indigenous hunters have positive impacts on food webs in desert Australia

Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinction in the world. Resettlement of indigenous communities resulted in the spread of invasive species, the absence of human-set fires, and a general cascade in the interconnected food web that led to the largest mammalian extinction event ever recorded. In this case, the absence of direct human activity on the landscape may be the cause of the extinctions, according to a Penn State anthropologist.

A new study by Penn State researchers reveals that lizard with ancestors who were frequently exposed to stressful encounters with invasive fire ants have an improved immune response to stress. Photo credit: Gail McCormick, Penn State

Having stressed out ancestors improves immune response to stress

Having ancestors who were frequently exposed to stressors can improve one's own immune response to stressors, according to Penn State researchers who studied fence lizards and their stress response. The results suggest that family history should be considered to predict or understand the health implications of stress.