Browsing: Sustainability

Although filled with tropical life today, the Caribbean islands have been a hotspot of mammal extinction since the end of the last glaciation, some 12,000 years ago. Since people also arrived after that time, it has been impossible to determine whether natural changes or human influence are most responsible for these extinctions. A new study by an international team of scientists, including Stony Brook University Professor Liliana M. Dávalos, reports an analysis of the incredibly diverse “lost world” of Caribbean fossils that includes giant rodents, vampire bats, enigmatic monkeys, ground sloths, shrews and dozens of other ancient mammals. The study, published today in the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, reveals that the arrival of humans…

A new study published in PNAS details a new “landscape portfolio” theory that uses insights from economics to predict animal population growth and the spread of disease. The paper, co-authored by Stony Brook’s Jessica Gurevitch, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution in the College of Arts and Sciences, melds Harry Markowitz’s “portfolio theory” in economics with ecological landscape theory to predict population growth of living things. Population demography of plants, animals and microbes that cause diseases is central to understanding many problems in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. Scientists have had limited information on collections of living populations to understand and…

The challenges are formidable and the predictions bold — envisioning an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Highlighting these ambitious goals, Timothy Bouley, MD, launched the Global Health Institute’s Precision Planetary Lecture Series October 26 at the Charles B. Wang Center Theatre. Bouley is a global health and environmental specialist who is at the forefront of the World Bank’s efforts to integrate health and environmental considerations into its investments. Following an introduction by President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Peter Small, MD, founding director of the Global Health Institute, welcomed Distinguished Service Professor Patricia Wright via Skype…

Penguins are noisy, as any visitor to an aquarium knows. Penguins may be noisy in others ways too, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. Scientists have long used Adélie penguin populations to monitor the health of the Southern Ocean and to understand how major factors such as fishing and climate change impact the oceans and the animals that rely on them. Now an extensive analysis of all known data on Adélie penguin populations over the last 35 years has found that only a small fraction of year-to-year changes in Adélie penguin populations can be attributed to measurable factors such…

Stony Brook University is part of a statewide collaboration involving 10 SUNY campuses and five not-for-profit organizations to establish a sustainable village and learning community in Akayè, Haiti. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded SUNY a nearly $800,000 grant to support the project, which will develop educational, economic and social programs, resources, and other needed services on 40 acres of land donated by a Nassau Community College professor emeritus. Stony Brook faculty and staff, under the direction of PI Dr. Christina Maxis, will bring expertise to the project in the area of health sciences. The other SUNY campuses involved include:…

Three Stony Brook science professors delivered a powerful message to Capitol Hill at a public forum on water quality last month. Professors Jeffrey Levinton, Joseph Warren and Michael Frisk journeyed to Washington, DC in conjunction with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a Beacon, New York-based grassroots organization founded by Pete Seeger. These advocates for environmental action conveyed a “cargo of concern” consisting of municipal resolutions, petitions and personal messages from residents and communities between the Hudson Valley and Washington DC to decision makers in support of fair and equal environmental policies and projections based on science. The action was symbolic of a…

In a June 25 episode of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, NBC News’ Harry Smith journeyed to Antarctica and spoke with Stony Brook’s Heather Lynch about the signs penguins might be giving us about climate change. Dr. Lynch called penguins the “canaries in the coalmine” of global warming. “All the species on the planet are going to have to deal with climate change,” she said. “It’s not just an Antarctic issue. But these penguins are dealing with it now.” Lynch and her team count the numbers of various penguin species in order to track the impact of climate change. Her…

It was a perfect June morning on the East End of Long Island. Breeze flowing off the water, clouds providing a slight scrim for the sun trying to push through. Sitting at a remote picnic table (although not quite remote enough to keep away several “Hi Bobby, I love your new show” fans) with television star and celebrity chef Bobby Flay, I shared our plans and set-up for the opening night keynote address he would be delivering for the 3rd Annual Food Lab Conference. It would be delivered that evening on the water’s edge at the School of Marine and Atmospheric…

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD joined hundreds of college and university presidents, business leaders, investors, governors and mayors from across the United States in signing an open letter to the international community, endorsing actions being taken at the state and local levels to address climate change in support of the Paris Agreement. Those signing the Grand Coalition Statement on the Paris Agreement declare that they “will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement,” and vow “to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.” “Climate…

As the world awaits President Trump’s decision on continued US participation in the Paris Accord, the landmark global warming agreement signed in 2015, Stony Brook researchers continue to pioneer discoveries that shed light on pressing climate issues. Stony Brook’s commitment to collaborative research yields dividends that expand knowledge and create real-world impact in the fields of environmental science and energy. Read about some recent discoveries and initiatives: Climate Change Threatening Humans Through Toxic Algae Spread Caribbean Bats Would Need 8 Million Years to Recover from Extinctions Creating a Sustainable Earth: Batteries Included SBU Study Says Climate Change is Major Factor in…

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