Ecology Department

EcoSENSE Workshop Draws Participants from All Six Areas of Berkeley Lab

More than 75 participants from across all six areas of Berkeley Lab attended a half-day workshop on December 1 to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with ecosystem sensing and characterization. Hosts Eoin Brodie, Senior Scientist, Ecology Department, and research scientist Yuxin Wu, opened the morning workshop with an explanation of the work underway by Lab researchers…

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2017 Techwomen Foster Collaborations at Berkeley Lab and Around the Globe

The following story was authored by Linda Vu of Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences. The story she tells of the collaboration between Daniela Ushizima and Romy Chakraborty is a great example of the ways scientists work together across Berkeley Lab. Their participation in the U.S. State Department’s TechWomen program is testament to the far-reaching impact the…

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Berkeley Lab Ecologist Hosts Guatemalan Students Researching Insect Genes, Gut Microbes

Berkeley Lab ecologist Javier A. Ceja-Navarro welcomed three undergraduate students from the University of Guatemala to the national laboratory during the week of September 11, 2017. The young women are studying three insects of economic significance: Anopheles albimanus, Ceratitis capitata, and Anastrepha ludens. The Latin American students learned about the lab's work to assess the role of the gut microbiome in mosquitoes through its Microbes to Biomes project. They learned to extract DNA and then use it to amplify genes for the identification of microbial populations.

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Berkeley Lab Scientists Brief California Science Advisory Panel for Food and Agriculture

Crops in California's Central Valley

As two-thirds of the fruits and nuts—and over a third of the vegetables—produced in the United States are grown in California, it’s crucial that the Golden State cultivate healthy soils that are resilient to stresses such as climate change, drought, and groundwater overuse. Now scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) and Biosciences Area are contributing to the effort by sharing their expertise with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Science Advisory Panel, a group comprised of farmers, agriculture professionals, and experts in areas such as water, conservation, and resource management. Last week, EESA scientist Peter Nico hosted the panel at the Lab to brief them on research related to developing healthy soils, sustainable groundwater management strategies, and climate-adaptive agriculture.

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EESA Researchers Solve Deepwater Horizon Mystery

Gary Andersen

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists haven’t agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now EESA researchers have identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.

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Gary Andersen tapped for tracking water pathogens in Marin County

Lagunitas Creek view, Marin County, California (cr. Marin County)

Marin County’s San Geronimo Valley Planning Group is evaluating the watersheds that encompass the Lagunitas and San Geronimo Creeks, which drain into Tomales Bay and provide coho salmon habitat. Water pathogens have been detected in the watershed and Tomales Bay. Faulty on-site wastewater systems, especially for properties in close proximity to streams, have been identified as among the sources…

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