It's easy to think of plants as passive features of their environments, doing as the land prescribes, serving as a backdrop to the bustling animal kingdom.
Princeton University researchers deployed a new tool to help solve an old ecological puzzle: How can multiple animals coexist while eating the same resources?
In 2015, data from satellites scanning the African savannas revealed that the more instances of heavy rainfall a savanna received, the fewer trees it had.
On Friday, May 8th, the Princeton Environmental Institute hosted its annual Discovery Day—a multidisciplinary poster session celebrating undergraduate senior thesis research on environmental issues. Over 50 students from 16 academic departments showcased their work which was mentored by 34 faculty advisers. Discovery Day is a culminating event for students participating in the Program in Environmental Studies and for students receiving field research support from PEI and the Grand Challen
Sunset over the Mississippi River. (Photo credit: Katherine Smith) For many years Katherine Smith has been fascinated by the complexities of riparian ecology, but as she approached her senior year at Princeton University the ecology and evolutionary biology major felt the need to transition from the classroom to the real world. So when it came time to choose a senior thesis project, Smith turned her attention to the Lower Mississippi River watershed to study a pressing problem of water po
In recent years, as governments have begun to protect tropical forests because of the carbon they store, other vast tropical ecosystems have come under increasing threat.
In an opinion piece in the journal Nature Lars Hedin discusses the need to better understand whether carbon uptake in forests worldwide is slowing.
With support from Grand Challenges, a recent study finds that a small percentage of Africa's wet savannas have the potential to produce staple crops while emitting significantly less carbon dioxide than the world's average cropland.
A new video series features Princeton University researchers funded by Grand Challenges working in the biologically rich Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park.
Termites might not top the list of humanity's favorite insects, but new research suggests that their large dirt mounds are crucial to stopping the spread of deserts into semi-arid ecosystems and agricultural lands.
During the 2014 fall break, 12 Princeton freshman traveled to Bermuda to study the role of the ocean in global climate change. In this video, they share their experience.
A five-year study led by Princeton University researchers suggests that certain wild African animals, particularly elephants, could be a boon to human-raised livestock because of their voracious appetite for the toxic and invasive plant Solanum campylacanthum, or the Sodom apple.
For a long time Lauren Wyman has been fascinated by the function of ecological systems. So when it came to her senior thesis, the Princeton University ecology and evolutionary biology major posed a question: What happens to these systems when they are disrupted by invasive species?
A Princeton University Grand Challenges research team has created a model to evaluate how a human response to climate change may alter the agricultural utility of land.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) is pleased to announce the award of a New Investigator Grant on behalf of the Development Challenge.
Trees in the continental U.S. could send out new spring leaves up to 17 days earlier than they did before, according to a new study by Princeton University researchers.
"Our study shows that biodiversity also seems important in boosting economic welfare – probably through its impact on buffering disease outbreaks,” said co-author Andrew Dobson.
A video game designed for predatory fish might have unraveled some lingering evolutionary questions about group formation and movement in animals.
National Geographic's Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists and storytellers, who are pushing the boundaries of discovery, adventure and global problem-solving.
In May 2011, geosciences major Sara Nason ’12, was awarded the Becky Colvin Memorial Award by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the Colvin family.
An expansion of hydropower planned for the Mekong River could have a catastrophic impact on the river's fishery and people who depend on it. Photo: P. Deetes/Creative Commons
Princeton researchers reported in Science that tropical savanna wildfires combined with climate conditions maintain the border between savannas and forests.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) has announced $1.1 million in new awards to support climate and energy research at Princeton University.
Ann Carla Staver is first author of a paper published today in Science.
In the latest issue of Nature, Onstott and several colleagues announced the discovery of a creature one step up on the food chain from bacteria.
U.S. biologists, including PEI associated faculty members Daniel Rubenstein and Ian Couzin, worked with computer scientists to invent a scanner that can identify an individual zebra.
This report is a review of the fish and fisheries section of the Feasibility Study (FS) and of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Xayaburi hydropower project, with a particular focus on the fish passes proposed as an environmental impact mitigation measure.
An interview with Emmanuel Kreike, associate professor of history, Princeton University.
The University of Cantabria has announced the award of a Honorary Doctor's Degree to Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe.
Tanzania's iconic national park must not be divided by a highway, say Andrew Dobson, Markus Borner, Tony Sinclair and 24 others. A route farther south would bring greater benefits to development and the environment.
Michael Oppenheimer, David Wilcove, and others publish "Climate change: helping nature survive the human response" in Conservation International.
The paper Climate change: helping nature survive the human response, published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, looks at efforts to both reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and potential action that could be taken by people to adapt to a changed climate and assesses the potential impact that these could have on global ecosystems.
This summer's work builds upon PEI's multiyear environmental monitoring program to help improve water quality and ecological balance.
Levin was chosen for his fundamental contributions in theoretical ecology and for his ground-breaking research on integrating different scales in understanding ecological processes.
Two members of the Princeton University faculty have been recognized for major contributions to ecological research.
Climate change is expected to cause mass human migration, including immigration across international borders.
The recipients include: Kevin Loutherback, Electrical Engineering; Dalin Shi, Geosciences; and Ann Carla Staver, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Despite the challenges and shortcomings, Bhutan's way of conserving the environment and wildlife is worth appreciating, according to participants attending an international conference in Bumthang on “Wildlife research techniques in rugged mountainous Asian landscape” which ended yesterday.
In a collaboration melding art with science, climate researchers and other members of the Princeton University community joined forces with The Civilians to help create a work-in-progress about global climate change.
Sarah Chambliss ’10 and Josephine Walker ’10 named co-recipients of 2009 Becky Colvin Memorial Award.
Using ENV 307as a foundation.
Now in its third year of funding, the Grand Challenges Initiative, administered by PEI in collaboration with the Woodrow Wilson School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has created a diverse research and scholarship endeavor.
While exploring the Panama Canal in a small tourist boat, Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman were startled by a massive container ship suddenly passing by, rocking them violently in its wake. Painted on the hull in Chinese characters, its name was boldly inscribed as "The Great Immensity."
Princeton senior Ruth Metzel has been awarded the University's Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize, which will fund her work with a nongovernmental organization to help address environmental issues in Panama.
Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, an environmental engineer and pioneer in the field of ecohydrology, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in all areas of science.
Recently, an analysis of Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters recognized the work of Dr. Lars Hedin as having the highest percent increase in total citations in the field of Environment & Ecology.
Freshman Sarah Bluher spent part of her spring break in the Florida Everglades collecting field samples from an airboat in a water conservation area.
A lot of scientists and conservationists find themselves questioning whether science got its due in the latest round of international negotiations on trade in endangered wildlife.
Effective Feb. 1, 2010, Lars Hedin, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will assume the role of Director, Program in Environmental Studies (ENV) at Princeton Environmental Institute.
The recipients, Craig Arnold, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Lars Hedin, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will receive funding for projects that will be integrated teaching and research initiatives within the Siebel Energy Grand Challenge.
Rising acid levels in the world's oceans appear to be robbing the tiny animals that form the bedrock of the marine food web of a vital nutrient.
Though experts may dispute the role of human activity in climate change, evidence is mounting that temperatures and sea levels are rising.
The Officers of the James S. McDonnell Foundation today announced more than $14 million in grants in their ongoing program, the 21st Century Science Initiative
Filling the ENV lab to capacity, students were eager to learn about the environmental studies program.
PEI Research and Centers News from Fall/Winter 2009.
Franz, a third year Ph.D. student was awarded a $10,000 grant to continue his research.
The question is a potential deal-killer: If nations ever agree to slash greenhouse gas emissions, how will the world know if they live up to their pledges?
If patterns of globalization over decades could be plotted on a world map, what might they look like and what deeper insights might they reveal, wondered Miguel Centeno.
Natural ecosystems and biodiversity must be made a bulwark against climate change, not a casualty of it, argue Will R. Turner, Michael Oppenheimer and David S. Wilcove.
In its first report since adopting a Sustainability Plan in February 2008, Princeton University states that on-campus greenhouse gas emissions have decreased for the first time since the University's energy-efficient cogeneration plant was installed in 1996.
On September 25, 2009, The Princeton Environmental Institute held its second annual Summer of Learning Symposium.
In his new book, "The Princeton Guide to Ecology," Princeton professor Simon Levin has tapped more than 130 experts to compile a concise, authoritative one-volume reference to the major subjects and concepts in ecology.
At the moment, the roof above Dormitory A of the redeveloped Butler College complex is a "green" roof only in the most technical sense of the phrase.
The new dormitories at Princeton University are already covered in green -- but not the traditional green ivy of the Ivy League.
Princeton's Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will receive the 2009 William Bowie Medal, the highest honor awarded by the American Geophysical Union.
Princeton University's Peter and Rosemary Grant, whose legendary explorations on the bleak Galapagos island of Daphne Major over nearly four decades have produced an array of dazzling insights into evolutionary theory, have been named recipients of the Kyoto Prize.
Kelly Caylor, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded a Faculty Early Career Development award from the National Science Foundation.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) will host a symposium and conference Wednesday through Friday, April 29-May 1, to address challenges related to agriculture and climate change as the global population expands.
A team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists has found for the first time that tropical rainforests, a vital part of the Earth's ecosystem, rely on the rare trace element molybdenum to capture the nitrogen fertilizer needed to support their wildly productive growth.
Grand Challenges collaborations focus on development, energy, health solutions.
Ask Princeton ecologist David Wilcove about the largest threat to the greatest number of species in the next 25 years, and he'll give you a two-word answer. Global warming? No, oil palm.
You have to love nature, rising junior Stephanie Hill said, when you grow up, as she did, in a remote, pristine village on the shores of a glacier-fed lake in British Columbia.
President Shirley M. Tilghman comments on Princeton's focus on energy and the environment.
The first round of initiatives has been funded under the auspices of the research, education and civic engagement section of the University's new Sustainability Plan.
Princeton ecologist Simon Levin, who has made major contributions in the areas of biological conservation and ecosystem management, has been selected as a foreign member of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, a venerable Italian academic institute.
Princeton researchers have invented a method for turning simple data about rainfall and river networks into accurate assessments of fish biodiversity, allowing better prediction of the effects of climate change and the ecological impact of man-made structures like dams.
If you were a zebra, how would you spend your days? Daniel Rubenstein, director of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, has been pursuing this question for years.
Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been named a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Snorkeling practice in DeNunzio Pool may be an unusual activity for a freshman seminar, unless the class is going to the Sargasso Sea.
David Wilcove, one of world's leading experts on endangered species, discusses his new book, No Way Home, which chronicles the decline of the world's animal migrations.
Scientists are developing a new branch of network theory to understand zebra communities.
Humanity can't go on like this. Earth's climate is shifting, and it is all but certainly civilization's fault for burning fossil fuels and spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
David Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, has been named a recipient of the 2011 Pioneers of Science Award.
PEI Researchers Combat Climate Change through Land Rehabilitation and Carbon Sequestration in Northern Kenya
Researchers from Princeton, in partnership with other scientists, are launching a research project that will ultimately help improve the livelihoods of pastoralists in the Horn of Africa region.
David Wilcove has been named a 2011 Pioneers of Science Award recipient by the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI).
Several Princeton undergraduates spent this summer immersed in local environmental issues.
China, India and Saudi Arabia are trying to secure their food supply by leasing water-rich African land. Doing so is cheaper and easier than using water resources back home, but it could backfire.
Animal species all follow the same rule for how common they are in an ecosystem, scientists have discovered. And the rule is simple.