Monday, April 25, 2016

scuba diverBiofluorescence — the ability to absorb light, transform it, and eject it as a different color — has recently been found to be widespread in marine fish, including sharks. Catsharks, such as the Swell Shark from the eastern Pacific and the Chain Catshark from the western Atlantic, are known to exhibit a bright green fluorescence. In their article, “Biofluorescence in Catsharks (Scyliorhinidae): Fundamental Description and Relevance for Elasmobranch Visual Ecology,” Leo Smith, Matthew Davis, and their colleagues examined the spectral sensitivity and visual characteristics of these cat sharks, taking into consideration the fluorescent properties of their skin. Findings include the presence of a single visual pigment in each species. For more on the implications of such a discovery, you can read the full article here

Photo by Kyle McBurnie 

Ichthyology
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

book cover

The Kansas Notable Book List highlights our lively contemporary writing community and encourages readers to enjoy some of the best writing of the authors among us.

A committee of academics, librarians, and authors of previous Notable Books identifies quality titles from among those published the previous year, and the State Librarian makes the selection for the final List. A medal awards ceremony honors the books and their authors.

A reference and a guidebook for a new generation of plant enthusiasts, this volume includes up-to-date nomenclature, keys, and descriptions, as well as habitat, distribution, and ecological information. Designed for the professional botanist and passionate amateur alike, it expands upon Bare's earlier book's 831 entries with descriptions of 1,163 species—representing about 56 percent of the native and naturalized species currently known in Kansas—as well as 742 color photographs

The Kansas Notable Books List is the annual recognition of 15 outstanding titles either written by Kansans or about a Kansas related topic. The book Kansas Wildflowers and Weeds, by by Michael John Haddock, Craig C. Freeman and Janet E. Bare, made the list this year. More information is below; a full list of awardees can be found here

Botany
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Arabian horse

Sandi Olsen, curator-in-charge of archaeology, was recently interviewed for The National in an article by Daniel Bardsley titled “Scientists try to uncover mystery of Arabian horse’s ancestry.” Olsen uses rock carvings (petroglyphs) to understand the origins of the Arabian horse. As the article notes, “Petroglyphs from Saudi Arabia that show equines with Arabian features date between 800 BCE and 200 CE, based on associated inscriptions.” Based on the work she’s been doing, Olsen believes that it is too soon to be making any conclusions about the Arabian site of Al Magar as many believe this to be the place where horse domestication began. According to Olsen, there are a few other possible origin sites of horse domestication, including Kazakshtan, Ukraine, or western Russia. To read more, click here. 

Photo by Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters

Archaeology
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ph.D. student, Marianna Simoes, co-mentored by Andrew Short and Town Peterson, has received the 2016 Coleopterists Society Graduate Student Research Enhancement Award to support the development of a molecular phylogeny of the Dorynotini leaf Beatles. 

Entomology
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ph.D. student, Marianna Simoes, co-mentored by Andrew Short and Town Peterson, has received the 2016 Coleopterists Society Graduate Student Research Enhancement Award to support the development of a molecular phylogeny of the Dorynotini leaf Beatles. 

Entomology
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ph.D. student, Marianna Simoes, co-mentored by Andrew Short and Town Peterson, has received the 2016 Coleopterists Society Graduate Student Research Enhancement Award to support the development of a molecular phylogeny of the Dorynotini leaf Beatles. 

Entomology
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Andrew Short, assistant curator, recently received a $6600 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement to his NSF Career award to support undergraduate student, Alex Kohlenberg, over the summer. Kohlenberg will be revising a genus of water scavenger beetles.

Entomology
Monday, April 4, 2016

Edith Taylor, senior curator, Tom Taylor, and Collection Manager, Rudy Serbet, have learned that their research proposal "CSBR: Natural History: Securing Paleobotanical Collections at the University of Kansas: Evolution of Seed Plants and Antarctic Fossil Plants,” has been awarded $495,455 by the National Science Foundation. This will allow for new compactor shelving for the Paleobotany collection. 

Paleobotany
Monday, April 4, 2016

Edith Taylor, senior curator, Tom Taylor, and Collection Manager, Rudy Serbet, have learned that their research proposal "CSBR: Natural History: Securing Paleobotanical Collections at the University of Kansas: Evolution of Seed Plants and Antarctic Fossil Plants,” has been awarded $495,455 by the National Science Foundation. This will allow for new compactor shelving for the Paleobotany collection. 

Paleobotany
Monday, April 4, 2016

Edith Taylor, senior curator, Tom Taylor, and Collection Manager, Rudy Serbet, have learned that their research proposal "CSBR: Natural History: Securing Paleobotanical Collections at the University of Kansas: Evolution of Seed Plants and Antarctic Fossil Plants,” has been awarded $495,455 by the National Science Foundation. This will allow for new compactor shelving for the Paleobotany collection. 

Paleobotany