Skip to main content

Author: eshamilton

Madison’s Urban Coyotes & Red Foxes — David Drake

The Wisconsin Podcast

David Drake, UW-Madison professor and extension wildlife specialist, discusses the UW Urban Canid Project, a study on red foxes and coyotes living in urban Madison. The project aims to investigate the way canids are living in the city and how we can coexist with these wild neighbors.

UW-Madison Winter Enrichment series, founded by Aldo Leopold students, in its 50th year

Outdoor News

The UW-Madison Arboretum began its 50th annual Winter Enrichment series in January. The event began in 1968 when professors from Wildlife Ecology, such as Joseph Hickey, Robert McCabe, and Robert Ellarson (who were graduate students under Professor Aldo Leopold) gave weekly winter presentations to Arboretum naturalists in an old Civilian Conservation Corps barracks.

A Wisconsin experiment is flying high… very high

Big Ten Network

For the next few months, University of Wisconsin professor Simon Gilroy will have an extension of his lab that is sky high. Well, actually, it will be more than sky high; it will be 254 miles above the surface of the earth and travelling at a rate of 4.76 miles per second. And his research assistants will be the crew of the International Space Station.

New calls for clear, easily accessible data on Ph.D. program outcomes in life sciences

Inside Higher Ed

Ten institutions on Thursday announced their commitment to providing life sciences Ph.D. students — current and future ones — transparent data on admissions, training opportunities and career outcomes. Most students aren’t going to end up in faculty jobs, and the founding members of the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science want potential trainees to know that up front.

Painting with betalains

Nature Plants

Investigations of plant metabolism (at UW–Madison) reveal how an enzyme variant with reduced feedback sensitivity may allow plants to switch their pigment palettes.

Weaning crops from nitrogen fertilizers wins federal grant for UW

Wisconsin State Journal

Plants producing their own nitrogen would require less fertilizer and reduce environmental pollution, and researchers at UW-Madison will be studying it thanks to a grant from a federal agency.UW-Madison and University of Florida researchers will share a $7 million grant from the Department of Energy to study how some plants partner with bacteria to create usable nitrogen, then transfering this to the bioenergy crop poplar.

Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose: View from Space


We can now watch Irma and Jose’s stunning fury nearly in real time. Researchers and engineers at the Space and Science Engineering Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison stitched together daytime and nighttime imagery for a full, composite picture of the storms, made available to TIME.

This Wisconsin floor has some powerful potential

Big Ten Network

Well, if you liked reading about this innovative source of green energy, then you might want to check out University of Wisconsin-Madison engineer Dr. Xudong Wang’s equally astonishing triboelectric nanogenerator, or TENG, technology.

UW-Madison offers new course on social genomics

The Daily Cardinal

Social genomics is a new field that merges sociology with genetics. It asks how our genes affect our functions in society. Social genomics is a topic of interest to Jason Fletcher, professor of public affairs and sociology in the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison. He will be teaching a sociology class on this topic this fall, called Molecular Me: Social Implications of the Genetic Revolution.

Next wave breeding


Inside the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, Madison chef Tory Miller stands over a tiny bamboo serving boat, concentrating as he pipes a dollop of bearnaise to finish off a bite-sized dish.“Tomato,” he says, almost reverently, placing the specimen in front of a hungry dinner guest. But it’s not your standard grocery-variety (or even garden-variety) fruit — it’s from a special breeding line developed as part of UW-Madison’s Seed to Kitchen Collaborative.

UW-Madison genomics course seeks to examine the subject’s relationship with society.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Although genetic information has become more accessible through direct-to-consumer testing, the secrets it reveals are not always as clear as a crystal ball.“They’ll tell you whether you like cilantro, which is a genetic trait,” said Jason Fletcher, a professor of public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “They’re right with that — I hate cilantro. … But they’re wrong when they tell me that I shouldn’t be bald.”

Can ‘Sin Taxes’ Solve America’s Obesity Problem?

Consumer Reports

If you got rid of the 7 percent of calories consumed through soda, would that be enough to affect weight?” asks Jason Fletcher, Ph.D., a professor of public affairs and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has studied the issue. “The answer is yes, if you take all those calories and just remove them from your diet.” But, he says, “If you substitute those beverages with other high-calorie drinks, then you haven’t reduced your calories at all.”

How Wisconsin researchers are digging deep in Aztalan

Big Ten Network

If your only exposure to archaeology is watching the Indiana Jones movies, than let us quickly disabuse you of the notion that archaeologists spend their days dodging bullets and nabbing ancient idols.Archaeology is dirty work. The researchers that dedicate themselves to the discipline are a dusty sort, armed with an array of trowels, brushes and other tools for unearthing long-lost artifacts.It’s that kind of gritty, grimy, sweaty archaeology that’s a hallmark of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Archaeology Field School at Aztalan State Park.

Bee alert


In March, the rusty patched bumble bee was listed as an endangered species.One of the places this species is still found is right here in Madison. A visiting bee expert from California found a rusty patched bumble bee at the UW Arboretum in 2010, says Susan Carpenter, a native plant gardener there. Now the organization has a group of volunteers keeping an eye out for this species, as well as the 11 other bumble bee species found on the 1,200 acres.

We Live in a Cosmic Void, Another Study Confirms

Earth and its parent galaxy are living in a cosmic desert — a region of space largely devoid of other galaxies, stars and planets, according to a new study. The new study shows this model of the KBC void is not ruled out based on additional observational data, Amy Barger, an observational cosmologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who was involved with both studies, said in a statement from the university.

UW Hopes To Make Most Of Rediscovered Mosses

Wisconsin Public Radio

A collection of more than 2,000 mosses has been discovered at a University of Wisconsin-Madison building known for its plant specimens. The collection was  found inside a cabinet at Birge Hall, where the Wisconsin State Herbarium is housed.Director Ken Cameron said the mosses were gathered in the 1920s by several people including retired Herbarium curator Lellan Cheney. Cheney, who served as served as curator 1891-1903, died in 1938.

A Wisconsin grad is using art to educate about the school’s prairie past

Big Ten Network

A native of the Midwest, Liz Anna Kozik spent much of her childhood surrounded by prairies. Yet it wasn’t until Kozik left her home in Naperville, Illinois, for her undergrad studies in Rhode Island that she began to appreciate their beauty. She opted to go to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin – not just so she could be close to the prairie again, but also to study the grassy habitat’s history.

Expert Doubts China’s Population Number, Saying India May Be No. 1

New York Times

Chinese people cheering on their country’s ascent sometimes comfort themselves with the idea that Asia’s other behemoth, India, is years from surpassing China’s population and decades from emerging as a potential economic peer. But Yi Fuxiang, a Chinese scientist based in Wisconsin, boldly challenged that assumption this week in Beijing. He laid out arguments that India may already be more populous than China, a view that has created a controversy about whose numbers to believe in forecasting China’s demographic and economic destiny.

Edible CRISPR Could Replace Antibiotics

MIT Technology Review

As resistance to antibiotics grows in the U.S., researchers are looking for new ways to fight germs like Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that can cause fatal infections in hospitals and nursing homes. Now scientists want to turn CRISPR into ultra-precise antimicrobial treatments to “specifically kill your bacteria of choice,” says food scientist Jan-Peter Van Pijkeren of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Joy Cardin: How to help pollinators

Wisconsin Public Radio

The rusty-patched bumblebee recently became the first bumblebee, as well as the first bee overall in the continental United States, to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. We talk with a native plant gardener Susan Carpenter about what can be done to help this bee and other native pollinators and how everyone…

Susan Carpenter: How to Protect our Disappearing Bumble Bees

Scientific American

On March 21, the rusty-patched bumble bee, Bombus affinis, officially became the first bumble bee listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. We must take action now to prevent the extinction of the rusty-patched and other imperiled bumble bees and foster native pollinators to maintain agricultural productivity and healthy ecosystems. It is still found in southern Wisconsin, including at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum, where our restored prairies, savannas, and woodlands provide the diverse native plant habitat they need to survive.

Spring’s false start


On a recent Saturday morning walk through the UW-Madison Arboretum, Christy Lowney stops to examine the newly formed buds on a stately magnolia tree. They’re lovely to see and touch — fuzzy little proto-blossoms bursting forth from dormant wintry branches. But they’ve arrived several weeks early. “Our curator is kind of in a panic,” says Lowney, an Arboretum ranger. “This normally happens much later.”