Discoveries Archive

  • Pigeons Give Robots A Bird’s-eye View thumbnail

    Pigeons Give Robots A Bird’s-eye View

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2012
    Researchers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are attaching high-speed cameras to pigeons to gain insight into how the birds navigate through…

  • Low pH: What’s A Newt To Do? thumbnail

    Low pH: What’s A Newt To Do?

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2012
    A new study of eastern red-spotted newts, by a biologist at Bennington College in Vermont, suggests that these amphibians are able to adapt to dramatically…

  • Like Moths to a Short Wavelength thumbnail

    Like Moths to a Short Wavelength

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2012
    Those interested in observing the night sky are often frustrated by the glow of population centers and street lights that makes it difficult to see…

  • When It Acid Rains, It Pours thumbnail

    When It Acid Rains, It Pours

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2012
    Acid rain has long been known to acidify the calcium-poor soils in parts of the Northeast, resulting in declines in sugar maple and other important…

  • Pitcher Plants Offer Slippery Inspiration thumbnail

    Pitcher Plants Offer Slippery Inspiration

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2012
    When it rains, the cupped leaf of the pitcher plant becomes so slick that ants, spiders, and other prey attracted to its sweet aroma slide…

  • Winners and Losers in a Maturing Forest thumbnail

    Winners and Losers in a Maturing Forest

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2011
    While Vermont’s forest and wetland bird species are generally doing well, a recent survey documented a significant decline of grassland and shrubland birds. The Vermont…

  • Poplars Separated at Birth thumbnail

    Poplars Separated at Birth

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2011
    Most gardeners are familiar with what has become known as “the nursery effect,” in which genetically identical plants acquired from different nurseries grow and respond…

  • Outsider Disrupts Relationship thumbnail

    Outsider Disrupts Relationship

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2011
    One of the most important relationships in the forest is between mycorrhizal fungi, a highly diverse group of soil microbes, and a wide variety of…

  • The Wind and the Willows thumbnail

    The Wind and the Willows

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2011
    While it is well known that wind causes trees to sway, University of Connecticut researcher Mark Rudnicki says that the movement of trees also affects…

  • Migration and Infection thumbnail

    Migration and Infection

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2011
    Global travel raises concerns among public health officials that a disease outbreak in one part of the world will quickly and easily spread elsewhere. The…

  • Lichens Break Down Prions thumbnail

    Lichens Break Down Prions

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2011
    The chemical compounds in lichens have long been known to have antibiotic and antiviral properties. Pharmaceutical companies have been studying these properties for years. But…

  • Seasonally Affected Dating Disorder thumbnail

    Seasonally Affected Dating Disorder

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2011
    It appears that Sadie Hawkins Day has made its way into the butterfly world. Or, more likely, the sex role reversal when women ask men…

  • Trees: Now With Thirty Percent More Absorption! thumbnail

    Trees: Now With Thirty Percent More Absorption!

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2011
    While it has long been known that plants absorb carbon dioxide for use in photosynthesis, a new study has found that plants play a larger…

  • Evolution in Small Spaces thumbnail

    Evolution in Small Spaces

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2011
    When Mark Urban noticed that some vernal pools contained an abundance of certain salamanders but the same species was scarce or absent in other nearby…

  • Where Have All the Pollinators Gone? thumbnail

    Where Have All the Pollinators Gone?

    by Carrie Chandler | Spring 2007
    Pollinators make the world go ’round, but according to a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, their populations are in rapid decline. Shrinking…

  • Lead Levels Settling Down thumbnail

    Lead Levels Settling Down

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2011
    Lead that for decades accumulated in the duff layer of the forest floor in the Northeast is finally disappearing deep into the soil in low-elevation…

  • Lights, Action! thumbnail

    Lights, Action!

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2011
    While toxins and noise are often cited for their detrimental effects on wildlife, recent research suggests that light pollution is negatively affecting forest-breeding wildlife as…

  • The Pine Tea State thumbnail

    The Pine Tea State

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2011
    If Ray Fort has his way, the next time you get the flu, the cure might just come from the needles of a New England…

  • Lasers Generate Forest Height Map thumbnail

    Lasers Generate Forest Height Map

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2010
    Scientists from Colorado State University have produced a first of- its-kind map of the height of the world’s forests by combining data from three NASA…

  • Nature as Stimulant thumbnail

    Nature as Stimulant

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2010
    In news that will come as no surprise to readers of Northern Woodlands, a team of psychologists has concluded that spending time in nature makes…