Faculty, staff and students from EEB gathered on May 18, 2023 to celebrate the end of the semester, recognize award-winners, and honor retirees. Check out this YouTube video to see all of the winners, along with some photos from the celebration.
We are pleased to offer three mini-term courses this year. We are confident that you will love each of these courses. Email email@example.com to override pre-req
Natural History of the Smokies – 70213 – CRN 461-001
“Natural History of the Great Smoky Mountains”. This course is a field ecology course that includes a one-week field trip. Course Fee of $350 to cover housing, transportation & food. Questions? Contact Gary McCracken or Randy Small **This course can be petitioned to count for a “Field or Lab Emphasis Course” for the EEB concentration**
Avian Diversification – 70235 – EEB 461 – 002
Avian Diversity will provide a general overview of avian systematics, evolution, ecology, and behavior. Other special topics will include physiology, migration and orientation, mating systems and parental behavior, communication, and conservation biology. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions. duration: 3 week course from May 9 – 30 times: 3 days/week in class: Dabney-Buehler Hall 575, 1-4pm, 2 days/week outdoors: mornings to early afternoon.
Theory in Ethnobiology – 70260 – EEB 461 – 004
What are the theories and hypotheses commonly tested in ethnobiology? What types of data are collected to test these hypotheses? How are these data analyzed to understand the link between plant and culture, the way in which human, by selecting certain organs on certain plant species in specific location, and at some specific time, have shaped their environment? How environmental feedback constrained the nature and extent of human-plant interactions? The ultimate goal of this class is to guide students in conducting hypothesis/theory-driven research in ethnobiology. We will review various theories and hypotheses in ethnobiology. Second, we will learn the different methods used in ethnobotanical research and finally we will identify the major types of data commonly collected in this field and how these data are analyzed. At the end of this course students will be able to develop and test simple hypotheses in ethnobiology and discuss how they fit into the broad ethnobiology literature. Although this course method is applied to ethnobiology, the course can be of interest to students interested in learning about how to use the scientific method in biology in general.
Congratulations to all the graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff who received awards at the EEB Awards Ceremony on May 1. To view more photos, please visit the EEB Facebook page. For more information about any of the awards below, please visit the Departmental Awards and Scholarships page.
2017 EEB Outstanding Master’s Thesis
Alix Pfennigwerth (Schweitzer Lab)
2017 EEB Jim Tanner Outstanding Dissertation
Michael Van Nuland (Schweitzer Lab)
2017 EEB Best Progress Toward Dissertation
Sam Borstein (O’Meara Lab)
2017 EEB Outstanding Publication by a Graduate Student
Rachel Wooliver (Schweitzer Lab)
2017 EEB Tom Hallam Appreciation Award
Angela Chuang (Riechert Lab)
2017 EEB Outstanding Outreach and Community Service by a Graduate Student
Alannie-Grace Grant (Kalisz Lab)
2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Award
Sarah Ottinger (Classen Lab)
2017 EEB Outstanding Undergraduate Research
Hannah Anderson (Riechert Lab)
2017 EEB Undergraduate for Professional Promise
Katie Plant (Williams Lab)
2017 EEB Outstanding Outreach and Community Service by an Undergraduate Student
Heiler Meek (Schweitzer Lab)
2017 EEB Outstanding Administrative Service Award
Going Above and Beyond Award
Jess Welch (Simberloff & McCracken Labs)
A new paper by Gary McCracken and colleagues will be published online in the Royal Society journal Open Science on November 9, 2016:
RSOS-160398. Airplane tracking documents the fastest flight speeds recorded for bats. McCracken, G.F., K. Safi, T.H. Kunz, D.K.N. Dechmann, S.M. Swartz, M. Wikelski
This study reports new research demonstrating that Brazilian free-tailed bats achieve flight speeds that are faster than previously documented for any bat or bird. Using a novel airplane tracking method, we document that moderate flight speeds, which are consistent with existing literature, are punctuated by bouts of very rapid flight. Much current literature indicates that birds fly faster and more efficiently that bats. These unexpected flight abilities of bats will stimulate research into the interplay of phylogeny, adaptation, and physical constraints in determining the functional capabilities and structural architecture of animals. When most people think of animals moving at high speed, they envision cheetahs or swiftly diving raptors, but probably not small and unfamiliar nocturnal flying mammals. The mystery around bats ensures public fascination, and we anticipate that this study will improve public perceptions of bats.
The popular Scientific American Blog has posted an article about bat research done by grad student Jessica Welch (McCracken and Simberloff labs) and NIMBioS postdoc Jeremy Beaulieu.
Tennessee Today also did an article covering the blog post.
Jessica Welch (Simberloff and McCracken Labs) has a new paper out in Biological Conservation. The paper is based on the field work she conducted in the Northern Mariana Islands, testing the indirect effect of invasive species on an endangered bat. Congratulations, Jessica!
Jessica Nicole Welch, James A. Fordyce, Daniel S. Simberloff. 2016. Indirect impacts of invaders: A case study of the Pacific sheath-tailed bat (Emballonura semicaudata rotensis). Biological Conservation. Volume 201. Pages 146–151. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.07.004
The Ecological Society of America announced the six 2016 recipients of its annual Graduate Student Policy Award, and the list includes our own Jessica Welch (McCracken and Simberloff Labs)! The award winners will travel to Washington, DC, to participate in policy training sessions and meetings with their US Representative and Senators. On Capitol Hill, they will team with other scientists to discuss with lawmakers the importance of federal funding for the biological sciences, particularly the National Science Foundation.
To view the full press release, please click here.
Emma Willcox (PI, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries), Gary McCracken (co-PI, EEB), and Riley Bernard (co-PI, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries) have recently been awarded almost $250,000 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to try to identify the differences in susceptibility of different species of bats to the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome. This work will be conducted in east and middle Tennessee and will be a joint effort with the National Park Service, the TN Wildlife Resources Agency, The Nature Conservancy, and the TN Department of Environment and Conservation. The grant is called, “The effect of winter emergence and foraging on the susceptibility of Southeastern bats to Psuedogymnoascus destructans: Implications for conservation and management.”
The same trio of PIs also received a $10,000 grant from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Center for Wildlife Health for the same project.
Gary McCracken and Emma Wilcox (FWF) have received a Community Engagement Incentive Grant to build a bat house over in the UT Gardens. The house will be large, about the size of a faculty office, and raised on stilts. McCracken hopes to attract Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) to the house. These insectivorous bats often roost in large numbers.