There is a strong trend toward publishing scientific findings in open access journals, where the results are then freely available for other scientists or decision-makers rather than locked behind paywalls. Yet, there is no oversight of these journals, so “predatory publishing” has become a problem. A newly launched tool developed in part by UW researchers shows that open-access journals’ fees do not correlate particularly strongly with their influence, as measured by a citation-based index. Check out the visualization tool, and other resources available from Eigenfactor.org, which is based out of the UW Biology department.
Dr. Robert T. Paine, pre-eminent UW ecologist who developed the concept of the keystone species, was one himself, with a powerful effect on the field of ecology that has extended far beyond his own impressive work. Check out this story about the Paine “lineage” and how it has facilitated key perspectives on ecology, academia, and the role of science in policymaking.
Researchers from the Carsey Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries sought to understand how residents of the Puget Sound region of Washington view social and environmental change in the area and engage stakeholders in a discussion of restoration options. Read about their findings and what’s important to citizens.
A surprising number of microorganisms – 99 percent more kinds than had been reported in findings published just four months ago – are leaping the biggest gap on the planet. Hitching rides in the upper troposphere, they’re making their way from Asia across the Pacific Ocean and landing in North America. Read more about this research and its implications for aerobiology.
Moths are able to enjoy a pollinator’s buffet of flowers — in spite of being among the insect world’s picky eaters — because of two distinct “channels” in their brains, scientists at the University of Washington and University of Arizona have discovered. Read more about these research findings here.
Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs like the small, swift-footed Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus. UW Biology post-doc Sterling Nesbitt led the study – read more here.
Addendum: check out the great UW News Story about Armbrust’s award here!
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced Ginger Armbrust as one of its new Marine Microbiology Initiative investigators, which provides 16 scientists from 14 different institutions a total of up to $35 million over five years to pursue pioneering research in the field of marine microbial ecology. The funding will enable researchers to explore how the trillions upon trillions of microscopic organisms at the base of the ocean’s food webs interact with each other and their environment. It will help scientists understand how the ocean’s most abundant yet smallest organisms affect the movement of nutrients in our oceans. The funding will also provide new insights—and lead to new and exciting questions—about our basic understanding of ocean ecosystems and pressing issues like climate change.