Earth & Environment

Making the most of microbes for soil restoration and function

Mary Ann Bruns is Associate Professor of Soil Microbiology in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University. The Bruns research group aims to understand how beneficial functions of soil microorganisms can be promoted through better management of agricultural and mining-impacted lands. The group focuses on microbial processes important in nutrient cycling and water retention. Their goal is […]

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Earth & Environment

Drilling for knowledge: A collaborative approach to ocean drilling in the Arctic

The Arctic contains important records of tectonic and geological oceanic history, yet is a vastly under-sampled area. However, a better knowledge of the past climate and tectonic history of this region is crucial to understanding contemporary climate change and modern geological hazards. This is what makes the research of Dr Lindsay Worthington at the University of New Mexico and fellow […]

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Earth & Environment

Going with the flow: Water quality and community health in Costa Rica

Water quality is one of the most pressing issues facing the world, with solutions to combat poor water quality remaining elusive. This is what makes the work of Dr Shahady and fellow researchers at the University of Lynchburg and the University of Georgia Costa Rica so important. Their pioneering work in promoting community engagement with a macroinvertebrate index to ensure […]

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Earth & Environment

Supervolcano Forensics: unravelling the mysteries of the Earth’s biggest natural catastrophe

To many, if not most, the word ‘forensics’ invokes images of the very small – DNA, fingerprints, etc., – but for Professor Shanaka de Silva and his colleagues at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, ‘forensics’ is being used to investigate something altogether bigger. The team is using a multidisciplinary approach to reveal the secrets […]

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Earth & Environment

The Sun’s crowning glory: observing the corona

How do you observe a faint light next to a very bright one? Put simply, with great difficulty. Our knowledge of the outer atmosphere of the Sun – called its corona – is still fairly limited, due to difficulties observing this part of the Sun. Fortunately, solar eclipses (where the Moon and Sun perfectly overlap ‘in syzygy’) provide scientists, such […]

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Earth & Environment

One ocean, many minds: collaborative science in the Arctic

The Arctic Ocean is undergoing a period of significant change. In collaboration with an international, multidisciplinary team of scientists, Professor Igor Polyakov from the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the lead scientist of an observational programme monitoring climatic changes in the Arctic Ocean. The data he and his team have collected is proving instrumental in understanding the on-going and fundamental […]

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Earth & Environment

Extinct giants, a new wolf and the key to understanding climate change

After its last excavation in the 1970s, a group of palaeontologists, genetics experts and cavers led by vertebrate palaeontologist and mammalian carnivore specialist Dr Julie Meachen of Des Moines University, have re-opened excavations at Natural Trap Cave (NTC) in North America. During this project, Dr Meachen hopes to uncover the secrets of the mass extinction of the last ice age […]

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