Earth's Organisms

Horny and Hungry: The Dilemma of Sexual Cannibalism

That's Life [Science] In some species, the phrase “I could eat you up” between lovers has a very literal meaning. Let’s check out the stories behind sexual cannibalism, the strange and intriguing behavior where males become meals! Read More ›

TLS Writing Contest

That's Life [Science] TLS is hosting a writing competition where the winning article will be posted on our blog! Details here. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Minding my Moth and Meandering in Malaysia

That's Life [Science] I never thought I’d get the chance to go to Malaysia, but I went for a scientific meeting and it was an experience of a lifetime. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Distilling Complexity in Three Minutes - The UMass 3MT Competition

That's Life [Science] The UMass 3-Minute Thesis is back! During 3MT competition, grad students explain their research in 180 seconds. Find out more, plus insights from a finalist last year! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

All My Friends Are Dead - A Day in the Museum Basement

That's Life [Science] For an anatomist, museum basements are a magnificent scientific wonderland full of skulls, bones, and biodiversity! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A Day In the Life of a Bird Nerd

That's Life [Science] Have you ever wondered what graduate students actually do? While every day is a new adventure, here’s a sample of one of my Wednesdays… Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Salameandering – Searching the Southern Appalachians for Gummy Lizards

That's Life [Science] In the Southern Appalachians, salamander diversity is tops. I went to see how many species I could find. Read More ›

How It Works

Making a Murderer - A Matter of Biology?

That's Life [Science] As technology advances, we are gaining a better understanding of how biology underlies human behavior. When it comes to crime, can we blame someone’s biology? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Some people just love plants (as long as they can afford them...)

That's Life [Science] This post will finally answer all the questions you never had about why your sister has so many plants in her house. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

You Are What You Eat – Measuring the Impact of Diet on Jaw Bone Growth in Fish, part I

That's Life [Science] Building a face requires a delicate interplay between genes and the environment! Read More ›

How It Works

Got Lactase? Breaking Down the Enzyme

That's Life [Science] We've been told that dairy is a miracle food for good health and strong bones, but most of the human population can't even digest it. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Who’s who? The elusive difference between butterflies and moths

That's Life [Science] Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a butterfly and a moth? Me too. This is what I found out. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Tuberculosis - A Romantic Disease?

That's Life [Science] A survey of an unlikely pair - Tuberculosis and art Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Ode to a Few Arachnids

That's Life [Science] Limericks honoring my favorite class in the animal kingdom Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Spooky Science: When Nightmares Become Reality

That's Life [Science] It’s Halloween - but what if the thing you fear most is your own research? Read More ›

How It Works

Why Do I Shiver When It’s Cold?

That's Life [Science] Body shivering, teeth chattering, why does our body descend into a twitching mess in the cold? Learn how odd behaviors work to keep us warm! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

What I wish I had known: advice about graduate school (and life) to my younger self

That's Life [Science] Intrigued by graduate student life? If so, read on to discover the 6 things I wish I had known when I started grad school. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Life on the Edge: 3 Important Ways that Habitat Edges Affect Forests

That's Life [Science] “Edges exist in nature, but what happens when humans continue to fragment habitat?" Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Monotropa uniflora - This wildflower is pretty wild

That's Life [Science] Check out this plant with an amazing set of pipes! Read More ›

How It Works

Crap you didn’t really need to know

That's Life [Science] “How do you count an animal you can’t see, hear, or find? By its poo of course!” Read More ›

How It Works

You Can't Observe A Lot Just By Watching

That's Life [Science] “Are you watching closely? Abracadabra.” How magicians use our brains against us. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Are we running out of invasives?

That's Life [Science] Have we already experienced so many invasive species that we’re exhausting the pool of potential species? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Eavesdropping in the Animal Kingdom: Sneaky Creatures Just Trying to Get Ahead

That's Life [Science] Humans aren’t the only nosy creatures out there – animals eavesdrop too! Read all about eavesdropping in the animal kingdom Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Trickle-Down Academics - Facing the Loss of the NSF DDIG in Biology

That's Life [Science] Losing the NSF DDIG in biology will have lasting ramifications on graduate student independence…here’s why. Read More ›

How It Works

What Do You Do When It's Too Hot to Move?

That's Life [Science] If there’s not enough ice cream in the world to cool you off, here are some tips from nature on coping with the heat! Read More ›

How It Works

5 Fun Facts about Hormones

That's Life [Science] Hormones can get hairy. Find out 5 things you might not have known about these chemicals. Read More ›

How It Works

Death stinks - literally

That's Life [Science] With the summer heat comes the stench of death – but why does it smell so bad? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Trypanosomes - A Weird Pathogen You Haven't Heard Of

That's Life [Science] Ever wonder what parasites are up to when they’re not bothering people? Take a look at the secret lives of parasites. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

A Beautiful 9/11 Tribute, but a Fiasco for Migratory Birds

That's Life [Science] “Manhattan’s dramatic Tribute In Light memorial to 9/11 unintentionally created a major hazard for birds during fall migration – learn all about it here!” Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Science for the Public – A Panel Discussion Hosted by TLS and OPD

That's Life [Science] TLS recently teamed up with the OPD to organize a panel with three science communicators. This post recounts a few of the highlights. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Cats can have AIDS, too.

That's Life [Science] Did you know that HIV has a lesser known pathogen cousin: FIV? Read More ›

How It Works

Why the sea salt fad could be very bad

That's Life [Science] Though it can be prettier and tastier than your average iodized salt, gourmet salt is unfortunately lacking a huge health benefit. Read More ›

How It Works

Henry's Pockets: A Poem

That's Life [Science] A little rhyme about something I think about from time to time. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Part 2: Does catching Pidgeys help you notice Pigeons? Interviews with Pokémon Go Researchers

That's Life [Science] “Remember when PokémonGo was a thing? Do researchers think '#PoGo' helped us appreciate both the pidgeys AND the pigeons?” Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Biodiversity in my Backyard: Encounters with Pidgeys and Dratinis, Part 1

That's Life [Science] Do you remember #PokemonGo? A first look at how #PokemonIRL may actually help us connect to and appreciate nature. Read More ›

How It Works

Biology Superpowers: X-Ray Vision

That's Life [Science] Have you ever really looked at your hands? No, I mean really looked at them? Without all the skin and stuff in the way? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Chasing Fire - One Scientist’s Mission to Photograph Her Study Organism

That's Life [Science] While many scientists handle their study organisms daily, wildfires can remain elusive. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Field station memories

That's Life [Science] A photo journal of a short summer season in the Rockies– remembering to take in the beauty around the science. Read More ›

How It Works

How to Expand Your Senses by Reading a Blog Post

That's Life [Science] You’ve been lied to. Let’s make you aware of all you can feel. Read More ›

How It Works

What's up with bat echolocation?

That's Life [Science] Ever yell into a canyon and hear your voice echo back? Learn how bats use this property of sound to navigate at night! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Fins, Limbs, Rays, and Digits – A Beginner's Guide to Terrestrial Living

That's Life [Science] Life’s transition out of the oceans changed some of the body’s most important structures. Recent research sheds light on this drastic shift. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

An Office in the Great Outdoors: The joys and challenges of being an aquatic ecologist

That's Life [Science] Being an aquatic ecologist means getting paid to explore some of earth’s most beautiful natural locations, but it also means dealing with the harsher side of Mother Nature as well. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Five things that really stink about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

That's Life [Science] “Marmorated stink bugs stink—literally and metaphorically. They are invasive, are damaging crops, and are spreading at an alarming rate.” Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Tricks but no Treats - An Orchid’s Guide to Making a Fool of Your Pollinator

That's Life [Science] From mimicry to pseudocopulation, orchids have many tools to trick pollinators. As the orchids say: 'If you are not cheating, you are not trying hard enough.' Read More ›

How It Works

Seeing is Believing - How Can We Visualize Tiny Colorless Bacteria?

That's Life [Science] How this microbiologist makes her experiments look like teeny tiny raves Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Is Milk Bad for Me? Finding Scientific Truths in the "Post-Truth" Era

That's Life [Science] With so much false scientific information floating around online, how do I separate the truth from the dumpster fires? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Tracking the lost years - where do baby sea turtles grow?

That's Life [Science] Locating the lost childhood photo albums of sea turtles Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Sketch-noting the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology 2017 Meeting

That's Life [Science] “I learned a new technique at a conference – sketch-noting! Take a look at sketch-notes I produced for two of the talks I saw there.” Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Ask your food for its DNA ID

That's Life [Science] DNA barcoding reveals seafood fraud. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Hot moves and sexy sons

When Boys Become Men By Dancing

That's Life [Science] It’s hard to catch the attention of ladies sometimes. So why not do a little dance, to make a little love? Let’s catch up on some of the best courtship dances in the natural world. Read More ›

How It Works – Saving water is no longer a matter of how short our showers are

Water balance in a man-made world

That's Life [Science] During the Anthropocene, conserving environmental flows for strategic ecosystems is not just about biophysical dynamics; water trade is becoming an undeniable influence Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Science Cafe

That's Life [Science] Join us this month at OEB Science Café - a free event where scientists and community members meet to share ideas and pizza. Read More ›

How It Works – Double Digestion in Rabbits

Why Does Mopsy Eat Her Own Poop?

That's Life [Science] Have you ever seen a rabbit eat its own poop? It’s not uncommon, in fact it’s necessary to live! Read More ›

How It Works

Should I say sex or gender? Pt. 2

That's Life [Science] Sex is often presented as a dichotomy as either being male or female, but there is beautiful diversity in how sex presents itself across the animal kingdom. Read More ›

How It Works

Should I say sex or gender? Pt. 1

That's Life [Science] Some people use ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ interchangeably, but here are the reasons why there’s is a big difference between these terms. Read More ›

How It Works

How To Catch Hard-to-Catch Fish?

That's Life [Science] Some fish are really hard to catch, but scientists need to study these hard-to-catch fish too. How do they do it? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The hungry caterpillar in real life

That's Life [Science] Many of us read The Hungry Caterpillar as a kid. If you ever want to find a real life hungry caterpillar, look no further than eastern Massachusetts and the invasive winter moth. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Mantis Shrimp Vision - Seeing in Secret Code

That's Life [Science] In the animal kingdom, mantis shrimps just might have the all-seeing eye. Read More ›

How It Works

Finding the Perfect Partner

That's Life [Science] Flowers and pollinators, completely dependent on each other. A match made in heaven? Not so much. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Art for Science - Science communication through art

That's Life [Science] Tackling huge scientific issues such as climate change with art can help form a cultural connection Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

When It Comes to Bird Beaks - Size Matters

That's Life [Science] Small differences in beak size can have large energetic consequences when environmental conditions are hot and dry. Read More ›

How It Works · Earth's Organisms – Is your gut trying to kill your resolve?

Mind over microbe

That's Life [Science] Already broken your New Year's resolution? Can you blame it on your microbes? Read More ›

How It Works

Why Do Mothers Mother?

That's Life [Science] You smell like my child, sweet child of mine. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Finding wildfire’s niche in the Anthropocene

That's Life [Science] Are humans starting a new fiery relationship with nature in wetter climates? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Recent talk of walls in the media has brought up a lot of emotions, but what do walls do in nature?

When a Wall is just a Wall

That's Life [Science] Take a break from arguing about political walls and learn what a cell wall can do Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – A day of inspiration and learning at the Life Sciences Graduate Research

The Birds and the Beetles: Research Highlights from UMass Grad Students

That's Life [Science] Highlights from UMass Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium, plus a Q&A with the two award winners. Get inspired! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

The Earth is a blue marble (and the world is green)

That's Life [Science] “You may have heard the Earth called the blue marble, but do you know why the world is also green?” Read More ›

How It Works

GMO! The Places You'll Go!

That's Life [Science] Genetically modified organisms may seem like science fiction! What are the benefits and risks of this technology in our food and daily products? Read More ›

How It Works – New-Fangled Paleontology

Really Old Fossils, Really Strong Predators, and Cool New Tech

That's Life [Science] Digital reconstructions of ancient mammal fossils help us understand that mammals rule and dinosaurs drool. Read More ›

How It Works

A Brief History of Evolutionary Thought, part III

That's Life [Science] Evolutionary biology has made huge strides in the past 30 years, and yet, there’s still a long way to go. Read More ›

How It Works

Saving face: transplanting our most distinctive features

That's Life [Science] The face switching of scifi is now reality – but it's not what you think! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Four Unexpected Ways that Living in Cities Affects Wildlife

That's Life [Science] “Many people make cities home – But did you know that many species of wildlife do as well?" Read More ›

How It Works

A Brief History of Evolutionary Thought, part II

That's Life [Science] Evolutionary biology has come a long way since the Origin of Species was published in 1859. Today we look at how the Modern Synthesis reconciled genetics and natural selection Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Bees are more than buzzing insects around you

May the Bees Be With You: Maintaining the Sweet Balance in Life

That's Life [Science] Without bees the world would look very different. Why are bees in decline, and what can we do to help them? Read More ›

How It Works – DNA as a solution for data storage

DNA - Nature’s Hard Drive

That's Life [Science] In 60 short years we've discovered how to read, write, and edit DNA. Now could it be the answer to our data storage problems? Read More ›

How It Works – A Crash Course in the Coolness of Mitochondria

Mitochondria: The Underrated Organelles

That's Life [Science] Think mitochondria are just little batteries for your cells? Think again. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Neither a toad nor a worm

Nematodes: The super microscopic animal!

That's Life [Science] Nematodes are the greatest animal of which you most likely have never heard! Read More ›

How It Works – A Pollinator’s Job Description and Why We Should All Care About Them

Pollination 101

That's Life [Science] Pollinators are not only beautiful but are also integral to our food system. Unfortunately, pollinators are in trouble. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

An American Graduate Student in France

That's Life [Science] Graduate school can be challenging, but it has its perks. Getting to travel and do science abroad is one of the best! Read More ›

How It Works

You May Say I’m Biased, But I’m Not the Only One

That's Life [Science] Being human, otherwise known as the art of making decisions without sufficient data. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Snap! Flash! Bang! Find out how ocean-dwelling pistol shrimp fire bubble ‘bullets’ to stun their unsuspecting prey.

How Pistol Shrimp Kill with Bubbles

That's Life [Science] Pistol shrimp are aptly named. Despite their small, unassuming presence, they carry with them an impressive weapon that can discharge powerful underwater ‘bullets’ capable of stunning or even killing prey. Read More ›

How It Works – The evolution of one of the greatest medical discoveries in history.

The Path of Least Resistance: Our Relationship with Antibiotics

That's Life [Science] They think they can beat us with their antibiotics?! Silly humans... Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – Science may be a universal language, but for international students, many other things are lost in translation.

Science - A Universal Language

That's Life [Science] Studying abroad is an opportunity for advancing in a scientific career; it is also a test to one’s endurance. Hear from those who decided to embark on this journey. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Celebrating 117 Years of Christmas Bird Counts

'Tis the Season for Citizen Science

That's Life [Science] The nation’s longest-running citizen science project is both a scientific and cultural treasure. Read More ›

How It Works – Mother Nature’s History Book

Estimating the Age of Life Long-Gone

That's Life [Science] T. rex lived 68 to 66 million years ago. How do scientists know the ages of things that lived long before humans existed? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Why fish deserve our research money

Fish are friends AND food

That's Life [Science] Many people don’t think about fish beyond what’s in their tanks or on their plate. Fish are actually a valuable and important focus for research efforts. I have trillions of reasons why! Read More ›

How It Works – Proprioception as a vital sense

Know Your Limb-its

That's Life [Science] Detecting the location of your own fingertips without seeing them is a sense we should all appreciate. But what do we know about this sense in other animals? Read More ›

How It Works – Man’s Best Artificially-Selected Friend

Your Dog is a GMO Wolf

That's Life [Science] Call of the wild becomes call of the squeaky toy through artificial selection. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Integrating knowledge of microbial ecology into building architecture.

Building with Microbes (In Mind)

That's Life [Science] Human microbiome studies have demonstrated how crucial bacteria are to our health. Will microbiome of the built environment be as important? Read More ›

How It Works

Better Safe Than Sorry: The Pesticide Industry is Getting a Revamp

That's Life [Science] Did you know that some pesticides are not hazardous? The industry is shifting towards safer formulations that mitigate non-target impacts. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Who needs males after all?

That's Life [Science] Meet these all female lizards who propagate their species with some diversified cloning and lady lovin’. Read More ›

How It Works – Sometimes scientists have to get creative in order to effectively do science – especially on a budget.

The Bizarre Shopping List of a Determined Scientist

That's Life [Science] Why would a scientist need a selfie stick? What use is a bunch of scrap chicken bones from the butcher shop? Science isn’t only accomplished with high-tech equipment -- read below to find out how everyday items are used by scientists in non-traditional ways! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Ecology and Behavior of Woodchucks

Opposition Research on My Garden’s Greatest Nemesis

That's Life [Science] Even if a woodchuck could chuck wood, it would still rather eat your garden! Read More ›

How It Works

Insects Get Sick Too: The Study of Insect Pathology

That's Life [Science] Understanding the diseases insects get has implications for protecting our beneficial insects, managing pest species, and modeling our own diseases. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again

That's Life [Science] As a researcher, you can’t be afraid of failure. This is the #1 rule you should stress when mentoring in a lab setting. Read More ›

How It Works – Our teeny tiny friends and their huge potential

Employee of the Month - Hire a Microbe to Do Your Work

That's Life [Science] Thought that microbes were only important for our health and making food for us? Turns out these little factories still have a lot more to offer. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Vision in Jumping Spiders

Watching Your Every Move

That's Life [Science] Jumping spiders can change the direction of their gaze without changing their body’s position. If you think about it, it’s just like a creepy painting with eyes that follow you across a room… Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Slimed and Consumed - The Blob is Real!

That's Life [Science] It's the season of darkness - rationalize your fear of those strange creatures found at your every turn Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Halloween Tales from the Ocean

A thorny, venomous creature is terrorizing coral reefs

That's Life [Science] When you’ve got venomous thorns and you eat innocent beautiful coral for breakfast, I think you qualify as a new kind of monster. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – The Evolution and Ecological Impacts of Cats

Lion in Sheep's Clothing

That's Life [Science] Cats may seem cute and cuddly, but hunting is in their blood. Domestic cats evolved from wild cats and are now shaping animal populations in nature. Read More ›

How It Works

A Brief History of Evolutionary Thought - Part I

That's Life [Science] Evolutionary biology has come a long way since the Origin of Species was published in 1859. Today let’s discuss the history of evolutionary thinking, focusing on the earliest, and often surprising, roots of the science. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Science Outreach: “Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart & bold” with Plant Science!

That's Life [Science] Our 1-day and 3-day workshops on Plant Science were described as “lit” by the Eureka! Girls. Read More ›

How It Works – The Effects of Custom Build Paradise

Artificial Islands

That's Life [Science] Artificial islands have been build all around the world for a variety of reasons. But what is their impact on the local ecological communities? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – What happens when frogs have to compete for acoustic space and a chance to be heard?

Struggling to be Heard - Competition in a Complex Soundscape

That's Life [Science] When a loud, invasive frog species acoustically overpowers native frog calling, important communication can be blocked. Then what? Read More ›

How It Works

To B(PA) Or To Not B(PA): Regulating Endocrine Disruptors

That's Life [Science] To B(PA) or not to B(PA) - what about this environmental toxicant is so concerning? Read on to find out why regulating BPA is important. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Think Genghis Khan and Napoleon were the most successful invaders? Think again.

Invasive Species and Invasion: Part 1

That's Life [Science] Confused about invasive species? Read on to learn more about the how, what, and why of invasive species. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

When, and how, terror birds invade

That's Life [Science] When the Earth changes, it can bring unexpected visitors. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

8 Reasons Plants Are Amazing

That's Life [Science] From chemotherapies to smelling like carrion, plants have an amazingly diverse skillset. Here are 8 reasons to get excited about the plant kingdom. Read More ›

How It Works – Bioluminescence truly looks like it is nothing short of sorcery, and although this naturally occurring phenomenon is well studied and explained, that does not take away from its beauty.

Fireflies of the Ocean: Lighting up the Dark with Science

That's Life [Science] If you’re perfectly happy thinking of bioluminescence as the result of sheer magic, do not read this post. If you’d like to understand the biological mechanism behind it, however, this post is for you. Spoiler alert: it’s not magic (and the tooth fairy isn’t real either…) Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Too Clean for Comfort

How our obsession with cleanliness might be hurting our health

That's Life [Science] The old adage “a little dirt never hurt” might actually be good health advice after all! Find out how our obsession with being “clean” might be doing more harm than good for our health. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – The magic of in-between places along the Appalachian Trail

Walking through Transitions

That's Life [Science] #Walking isn’t just good exercise, but a great way to be in many places at once! #ecotone #AppalachianTrail Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Stop, evaluate, and listen - serotonin surges when a female is present

That's Life [Science] A brain region involved in hearing surges with serotonin in male mice when a female is present but drops if the mouse is romantically rejected. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

How are forest insect outbreaks like wildfires?

That's Life [Science] Wildfire and insect outbreak both affect our forest in complex and interconnected ways. Learn more in this post. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

No Teeth, Long Tongue, No Problem - Adaptations for Ant-eating

That's Life [Science] A strict ant diet plus convergent evolution leads to cool adaptations. Read More ›

How It Works – Part II - Cases of altruism in the animal kingdom

Charity cases in nature - when are animals more likely to be altruistic?

That's Life [Science] With the understanding that true altruism never benefits an individual, let’s explore some of these interesting cases of altruism in nature. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Sharing the ecosystem with wildlife - why getting outside is more important than ever

That's Life [Science] Backyard bears and flying fish - Human’s sometimes misguided approach to wildlife control Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Predators, Parasitoids, and Parasites

That's Life [Science] What Simba didn’t know about the circle of life - parasitoids, predators and parasites Read More ›

How It Works – Part I - Why true altruism is a rare behavior in the animal kingdom

Being selfish means staying alive

That's Life [Science] When I say altruism, you probably think of giving to others. As humans, we admire when someone acts altruistic and consider altruism to be a good personality trait. Why then, is true altruism in the animal kingdom rare? Read More ›

How It Works

Penguins and other strange things we study from space

That's Life [Science] How scientists use satellites to answer questions about life here on planet Earth. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – How Mercury in Fish Could End Up in Your Dish

The Mercurial Path of Mercury to Aquatic Ecosystems

That's Life [Science] The trophic transfer of mercury has bearing on my life. I eat fish regularly, but select small species. Let me explain why. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – How our microbiome affects our health and vice versa

If you don't care for your microbiome, you might want to start

That's Life [Science] Microbes are estimated to have a nearly 1:1 association with the human body. That’s 1 microbe for every 1 human cell. Do we ever get sick because of these microbes? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Nicotine Dreams - Baby Birds Protected by Cigarettes

That's Life [Science] Birds know how to fumigate for unwanted pests! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Finding new ways to grow bacteria to progress science

Culturing the Least Cultured Members of Society

That's Life [Science] Bacteria are everywhere, and we are very effective at growing billions of them in our guts, on our shower curtains, and on our food. But those bacteria we think about every day cover just a tiny fraction of the diversity of bacteria that exist in the world. How do we learn about all these other bacteria? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Hit the Road Jack

That's Life [Science] Picture swimming in a pool of honey. Not the easiest of tasks right? This is how microbes feel moving through water! Read More ›

How It Works

Pseudoreplication and the Art of Biological Statistics

That's Life [Science] Ever wondered how biologists learn about the world? They use statistics. Learn more about the use (and misuse) of stats in biology! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

What Happened to Your Nose?

That's Life [Science] Fancy schnozzes have surprising functions across the mammal family tree. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – A reflection about the value of water and the forest

Drinking from the rivers and eating from the forests

That's Life [Science] Environmental disasters are happening around the world and most of us are not even aware. Read More ›

How It Works – What is wrong with my tomatoes?...And other plant disease questions

Why did orange prices increase?

That's Life [Science] Citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing or Dragon Yellows, is causing devastating losses to citrus trees in Africa, Asia, Brazil, and the southern United States. Plant pathologists are working hard to combat this disease and keep oranges on our tables (and at a reasonable price)! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Good intentions sometimes lead to unfortunate outcomes

4 ways humans harm the environment (when they are trying to help)

That's Life [Science] There’s no question that human activities impact the natural environment. Some human activities have devastating consequences on the environment, while others have the sole purpose of improving or restoring the environment. Unfortunately, the latter occasionally has negative results, despite having positive intentions. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Building better plants - Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

That's Life [Science] There are a lot of hungry mouths to feed in the world. How did modern agriculture come to support such a large population? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Love Songs for Nobody - Birdsong in Winter

That's Life [Science] We typically understand singing in birds to function in mate attraction and territory defense, two behaviors closely tied to breeding. But sometimes birds sing far from their breeding grounds and outside of their mating season, when singing doesn’t seem to make biological sense. So what the heck is going on? A recent study sheds light on this long-debated topic! Read More ›

How It Works – How fecal microbiota transplants can improve lives and possibly save them

The Wonders of Fecal Transplants

That's Life [Science] Fecal microbiota transplantation is the new ‘it’ treatment. Here’s why you should give a s**t. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – Catch-and-release anglers catalyze conservation for the prized golden dorado fish

Fishing Towards Conservation

That's Life [Science] Anglers are vital advocates for their beloved waters; some decide to leave fish in the rivers and off the dinner table. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Marvel at Larval - An Appreciation for Young and Developing Fish

That's Life [Science] Below the surface, fish live fascinating and complex lives! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – We know we get infections from time to time. Why does this happen?

The Evolution of Virulence

That's Life [Science] Have you ever wondered why pathogens, or microorganisms that cause disease, exist? Why do these microbes choose to attack our bodies? What is fascinating is that pathogenic microbes are typically not—at least initially—looking for their next target. Instead, these microbes are generally just really good survivors. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – How cheese rinds may be a valuable tool for microbial discovery

The Unseen World – On Cheese?

That's Life [Science] Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Find Me Where the Wild Things Are

That's Life [Science] Take a minute and think - what do you consider “wild things”? Would bacteria count in your book? Click to explore the tiny world of microbes and learn about some fundamental microbial ecology! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – A commentary on how to make science more ‘clickable’

You won’t believe this simple trick to tell if your coral is healthy or not

That's Life [Science] The internet is a big place. Amidst intense competition for readership online, could scientists make their research feel more ‘clickable’? Should they? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – Why I care about ecology and you should, too!

Why I chose to be a field ecologist

That's Life [Science] Think everyone who works outside likes dirt? Think again! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Some species hide in plain sight, but scientists have ways to suss them out

Cryptic Species Hide in Plain Sight

That's Life [Science] The advent of affordable DNA sequencing has put molecular techniques at the forefront of species discovery. For the sake of biodiversity, ecological conservation, public health, and pest management, let’s hope that “new age of [species] discovery” has only just begun. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Minuscule Hitchhikers Pinch a Ride

Creature Feature - Pseudoscorpions

That's Life [Science] These small arachnids are all around us, and may even live in your house! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Some Australians consider kangaroos to be pests. Surprised? So was I.

That's Life [Science] Kangaroos, posterchildren for the Australian outback, are considered by some to be pests in their homeland. In fact, most tourists have experienced the availability of kangaroo meat and leather in parts of Australia. How did this come to be? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – re: thoughts about something you’re going to write anyway…

Five Sentence Emails

That's Life [Science] Brevity is the soul of email. Here’s the buzz about writing emails that are concise, elegant, and logical Read More ›

How It Works – The scientific facts behind the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines

Calling the Shots - Discussing Vaccines

That's Life [Science] You’ve probably encountered memes, celebrities, and blogs vilifying childhood vaccines - let’s dive into some facts that will hopefully help clarify just how safe and effective the science community agrees vaccines to be. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

World Fish Migration Day 2016!

That's Life [Science] Each year, in rivers all around the world, several fish species make an all-or-nothing trek from sea to freshwater (or vice versa) in order to reproduce. Join us in celebrating the second ever World Fish Migration Day on May 21st! On World Fish Migration Day, we celebrate the ecological, economical, and cultural importance of these fish through education and outreach in order to promote a better future for all of the organisms that rely on migratory fish (including ourselves). Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

A World without Birdsong

That's Life [Science] What would the world be like if it weren’t for natural sounds? Are we facing an imminent extinction of the natural soundscape experience? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – Juggling teaching, research, and outreach

Life in the balance

That's Life [Science] I’m a up-and-coming molecular biologist, and I study genetics, evolution, and development. But what do I actually do all day? Read More ›

How It Works

3D Printing for Fun and Science

That's Life [Science] Almost any conceivable object can now be 3D printed into reality. The process is fun and futuristic, but it’s also opening new doors for biological research. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Walking With Giant Anteaters

That's Life [Science] Do you know anteaters? Read More ›

How It Works – What is wrong with my tomatoes?...And other plant disease questions

What is Phytopathology?

That's Life [Science] Plants, including tomatoes, are constantly under attack by microscopic organisms, like bacteria and viruses, and larger organisms, like insects and deer. Phytopathology is the study of plant diseases with the aim of keeping our plants from becoming sick. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Welcome To That's Life [Science]

That's Life [Science] All we knew is that we wanted to make an outreach blog. We weren’t sure how or who would be willing to help with such an endeavor. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms – Why we should care about sea turtles

When A Sea Turtle Balanced Earth

That's Life [Science] What about sea turtles instills a power of captivation over so many people -- to the point even, that conservationists would sacrifice their life to save them? Why should we be alarmed that this ancient species is disappearing from the globe? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries – What happens when a researcher steps outside the lab and into the public sphere?

Unexpected Encounters of the Human Kind

That's Life [Science] Research in a lab setting allows for control over many environmental variables and conditions, but can be limiting due to the unnatural context. Research in a field setting can be more natural and realistic, however that tight control over the environment is lost. One unpredictable source of a challenging field environment? People. Read More ›

How It Works

Medical Mysteries Still Surrounding Zika Virus

That's Life [Science] The challenges of understanding, diagnosing, and treating Zika virus: there are more questions than answers. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems – A closer look at species diversity in the tropics

It's Standing Room Only At The Equator

That's Life [Science] Ever wonder why the tropics have more plants and animals than places closer to the poles? You aren't alone. Read More ›