EEB Alumni Distinguished Service professor Dr. Gordon Burghardt comments on the first documented example of locomotor play in an invertebrate. Read the article here: https://www.science.org/content/article/fruit-flies-may-enjoy-taking-carousels-spin
Professor Gordon Burghardt has a new article out in Journal of Comparative Psychology with Akira Mori called, “Do tiger keelback snakes (Rhabdophis tigrinus) recognize how toxic they are?” (DOI: 10.1037/com0000075)
The findings of the article have been picked up by places like New Scientist. Tiger keelback snakes do not make their own venom; they store and use toxins from the food they eat. Individuals that have been fed a diet of toxic toads display more aggressive behavior when threatened, unlike their non-toxic brethren, who typically slither away. This raises the question of how the snakes know whether they are toxic or not.
Professor Gordon Burghardt appears in the June 23 Knoxville News-Sentinel, in an article by Philip Kronk called, “Fear of snakes may date to evolution in Africa.”
Burghardt also appears on The Evolution Institute website, in a conversation with Kevin Laland, author of “Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind.” They discuss adaptive trends and parallel evolution generated by niche construction. Associate Professor Joe Bailey’s research gets mentioned, too!
The June 2017 issue of Discover Magazine has an article on play behavior in non-mammalian animals. Called “The Play’s the Thing,” it features interviews with Professor Gordon Burghardt and alumnus Jonathan Pruit (PhD 2010, Riechert Lab, now on the faculty at UC-Santa Barbara). The article references a paper published in 2012 that was written by Burghardt, Pruitt, and Riechert.
Four undergraduate students affiliated with EEB received 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Internships. The Office of Research awards these each year for undergraduates to work in a faculty mentor’s lab for pay. The award is worth $2500:
- Chandler Brown (mentor, Williams);
- Aaron Free (mentor, Burghardt);
- Terrell Carter (mentor, Schweitzer);
- Han Noh (mentor, Schweitzer).
Congratulations to you all!
EEB’s Gordon Burghardt and Nina Fefferman were featured on WUOT’s Dialogue program (NPR 91.9 FM) on Wednesday March 1. You can listen to the podcast, entitled “Donald Trump And The Future Of Science” at http://wuot.drupal.publicbroadcasting.net/post/dialogue-donald-trump-and-future-science#stream/0
NPR’s summarizes the show here:
“Donald Trump’s public comments about science and his choices to run the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have given a lot of scientists cause for concern. How will the President’s attitudes and opinions about science affect funding? How will research on politically-charged issues like climate change be affected? On this episode of Dialogue, we’ll examine the next four years from a scientists’ perspective. Panelists include Dr. Gordon Burghardt and Dr. Nina Fefferman of the University of Tennessee and Dr. Gretchen Goldman from the Union of Concerned Scientists.”
Graduate student Jordan Bush (Simberloff lab) wrote a guest blog post for “Not Bad Science” on the Scientific American blog network. It features some of Gordon Burghardt’s studies on play behavior and some of Todd Pierson’s photography.
Congratulations to Gordon Burghardt – his new paper is getting press on Science Newsline and Phys.org! The senior author of the paper, Paul Weldon, received his PhD in Zoology at UK. Gordon was his dissertation adviser. You can read the UT press release, here..
The paper is called, “Evolving détente: the origin of warning signals via concurrent reciprocal selection,” in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.