black-legged tick

Every rose has its thorn — and its tick

A new study in Parasites & Vectors finds ticks in urban parks dominated by an invasive rose bush are nearly twice as likely to be infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, as compared to ticks from uninvaded forest fragments. But the trend reverses itself at a broader scale.
A group of people examining a dirt sample

Listening to the land​

​Victims of chronic flooding, dozens of homes in Baden neighborhood will be demolished this summer. But a team of Washington University in St. Louis researchers, together with the City of St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri Department of Conservation, are determined to help the community create something better in the neighborhood.​

Hot on the trail of the Asian tiger mosquito

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) was spotted in Houston in 1985 but can now be found in all of the southern states and as far north as Maine. To reconstruct its spread, scientists turned to the new discipline of landscape genetics. Correlating genetic patterns with landscape patterns, they concluded that the mosquito had hitched a ride along highways. One of only a handful of landscape genetics studies to track an invasive species, this is the first to detect hitchhiking.

Harnessing the sun’s power

This spring and summer, Washington University in St. Louis is adding 379 kilowatts of solar energy throughout all campuses, a move that will increase its solar output by more than 1,150 percent over previous levels. (Pictured) Tyson Research Center now has a 50-kW ground-mounted array.

Scientist helps kids — through turtles — connect with nature

Visiting scientist Stephen Blake has traveled the world trying to protect endangered species, including forest elephants and giant tortoises. Lately he and his wife veterinarian Sharon Deem have put increasing emphasis on trying to restore another endangered species: kids who care about nature. They’ve started the St. Louis Box Turtle Project as a kid-friendly way to re-introduce kids to the woods.

SIFT & TERF: Forming young scientists​ (VIDEO)

SIFT (Shaw Institute for Field Training) and TERF (Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships) — a collaboration between WUSTL’s Tyson Research Center and the Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Shaw Nature Reserve — gives high school students authentic engagement in environmental research and prepares them for careers in biology and other sciences.​

Foundational concept of ecology tested by experiment

How strong are the links in food webs? An experiment at Washington University in St. Louis demonstrates that they’re strong enough for a disturbance  to propagate across four trophic levels and two ecosystems. The experiment demonstrates that invasive species such as purple loosestrife could have broad effects on surrounding plant and animal communities, many of them cryptic.

City youth help St. Louis Zoo, WUSTL scientists study box turtles

Sixteen St. Louis youth will be in Forest Park on June 13 tracking box turtles, fitted with telemetry devices — all to help with a project aimed at studying box turtle movements and their health. The 12- and 13-year-olds are participating in a pilot study designed by scientists from the Saint Louis Zoo and Washington University in St. Louis to document box turtle movements and their health status in urban and rural areas in and around St. Louis.

WUSTL wins award for case study of Living Learning Center

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education will name Washington University in St. Louis as the winner of its “Best Lessons Learned Case Study Award” on Tuesday, Oct. 11, during the AASHE 2011 Conference in Pittsburgh. The award, for the case study, “Getting to Net-Zero: Lessons Learned from a Living Building Challenge,” which outlined “the mistakes, corrections, and lessons learned that ultimately led to successful certification” of WUSTL’s Living Learning Center at Tyson Research Center as one of the first net zero energy “living buildings.”
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