Tag Archives: biology

‘As Above’ at the Belfry

February 12, 2024 | CBC Radio One via UVic News 

The Belfry Theatre has announced the [premiere of a play they have commissioned, titled As Above. Written by Christine Quintana, As Above follows the character Joe, a botanical researcher in her late 60s, who has been sober for eight years. Quintana said that this thriller/love story is driven by her fascination of communication networks between trees. This aspect in the play detailed how trees may communicate their needs and rely on one another through fungal networks.

Barbara Hawkins, a researcher at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Forest Biology, was asked to comment on the science behind Quintana’s play. Hawkins explained that mycorrhizae – the symbiotic relationship formed between plants and fungi networks – is important because the trees rely on the fungi when nutrition is scarce. However, Hawkins also pointed out that the science behind trees communicating with each other through these types of networks, is not strongly supported.

Barbara Hawkins is a biology professor and researcher at UVic’s Faculty of Science and UVic’s Centre for Forest Biology. Hawkins’ areas of study include tree physiology, tree nutrition, plant cold hardiness, and forest regeneration. Dr. Hawkins is particularly interested in how trees acclimate to low temperatures and low levels of nitrate.

To find out more about her work, you can read Dr. Hawkins’ publications in the University of Victoria’s institutional repository, UVicSpace! Or if you are interested in ecology, try checking out the collection of publications for the Centre for Forest Biology in UVicSpace.

B.C. scientists racing to understand singing fish

January 15, 2024 | Victoria Times Colonist via UVic News

Underwater soundscapes – or the sounds fish make – are a widely misunderstood and understudied area of research. Luckily, there are an increasing number of scientists, particularly in British Columbia and at the University of Victoria, who are reigniting interest in this field of study. One of these scholars is Dr. Rodney Rountree, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at UVic.

Dr. Rountree is popularly monikered as ‘The Fish Listener’ due to his decades of committed research in this area. Dr. Rountree, who is based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, has traveled all over the world collecting data on fish sounds. He is also one of the creators of the FishSounds online database.

Some of Dr. Rountree’s research, particularly on how anthropogenic noise is affecting fish soundscapes, is available to be read on UVic’s open access institutional repository, UVicSpace. The Copyright and Scholarly Communications Office at UVic Libraries encourages you to check it out!

Some Corals Can Survive Through Relentless Heat Waves, Surprising Scientists

December 11, 2020|Smithsonian Magazine via UVic News

A team of researchers had the chance to collaborate on a study of brain and star corals in the middle of a heat wave that lasted from 2015 to 2016. The team narrowed their focus on Christmas Island (also known as Kiritimati) for in-depth observations on the recovery of bleached coral during a heat wave rather than after sea temperatures had cooled down.

In a sea of grim news, researchers have found a glimmer of hope: Some corals have the capacity to recover from bleaching, even in the middle of a heat wave, reports Erik Stokstad for Science. The team published their findings this week in Nature Communications.

This paper features co-authors, Danielle C. Claar, Samuel Starko, Kristina L. Tietjen, Hannah E. Epstein & Julia K. Baum. Collaborators include UVic Biology faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and students. They are also a part of Baum’s lab team at UVic whose research is dedicated to the impact of climate change on the ocean and the marine life that thrives there. The Copyright and Scholarly Communications Office encourages you to explore this article and to read more of their important work by visiting UVic’s institutional repository, UVicSpace.

Making Sense in the Life Sciences by Patrick von Aderkas

Each year UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees produce an incredible amount of intellectual content reflecting their breadth and diversity of research, teaching, personal, and professional interests. A list of these works is available here.

About the Book

making-sensePart of the best-selling Making Sense series, Making Sense in the Life Sciences is an indispensable guide for students in any area of the life sciences – including biology, biochemistry, health sciences, pharmacology, and zoology. Maintaining the clear, straightforward style of the other books in the series, this book outlines topics such as writing essays and lab reports, conducting research, evaluating Internet sources, using electronic journal databases, and documenting sources.

About the Author

patrickvonaderkasPatrick von Aderkas is a professor in the biology department at the University of Victoria. His academic contributions include two books, numerous book chapters, and over 70 papers. He has been teaching at the University of Victoria since 1989, and his current interests centre around plant development as well as the social history of plants.



Praise for the Book – Ist edition

Making Sense in the Life Sciences focuses considerably on the writing process and the mechanics of writing itself. The assortment of writing tips and ‘common pitfalls to avoid’ complement the main text and hit upon many of the problems I observe in students’ writing. Furthermore, entire chapters devoted to grammar, punctuation, and ‘writing with style’ are novel elements in a science writing guide and would be a useful resource for such students. Finally, the Canadian references and examples are refreshing, a change that would appeal to the Canadian audience. —G.B. Bourne, University of Calgary