Earth's Organisms

Thriving in Deadly Environments: Could Mushrooms be our Ticket to Colonizing Space?

That's Life [Science] Space: the final frontier or the fungal frontier? The challenges to life in space seem insurmountable, but with a little help from a familiar friend, it may not be so far-fetched. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Freshwater Mussels are Declining: Why Should You Care, and What Can You Do?

That's Life [Science] These small animals are incredibly important to aquatic environments but face challenges due to human activities, including climate change. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

When does order matter when listing the sexes? Always

That's Life [Science] Is it “males and females” or “females and males”? What is the big difference and why might it matter. Read More ›

How It Works

How the Microbiome May Solve the Mystery of Peanut Allergies

That's Life [Science] Peanut allergies have taken over. But diet changes that have nothing to do with peanuts could be a new treatment. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

La Belle et La Boeuf (NOT!) How do human meat preferences impact climate change?

That's Life [Science] The agricultural industry has taken a toll on our environment in terms of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

What is a post bac? My experience in PREP

That's Life [Science] Should you do a post-bac program before you apply to graduate school? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Story of Chestnuts in North America: How a Forest Giant Disappeared from American Forests and Culture

That's Life [Science] The American Chestnut once dominated forests along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Where did they go, and will they ever return to their former glory? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Musings of a Hobby Mushroom Hunter

That's Life [Science] In this blog, I explore how mushroom identification has shaped how I view the natural world and given me a deeper appreciation of the biodiversity all around me. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Friendships, Betrayals, and Reputations in the Animal Kingdom

That's Life [Science] Relationships are tricky things to maintain, and not just for humans. Many animals have complex social networks, both within their species and with others. Read to learn about these fascinating relationships and the many clever ways animals have evolved to build trust. Read More ›

How It Works

CRISPR technology may be a promising tool to combat multidrug resistant fungus C. auris

That's Life [Science] The CRISPR/Cas9 system has the power to revolutionize our fight against drug resistant pathogens by making gene editing possible. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Storytelling in Science

That's Life [Science] Scientific publications are usually boring. Read More ›

How It Works

How the search for a universal gene forever changed biology: the story of Carl Woese and 16S sequencing

That's Life [Science] While searching for a universal gene to create a comprehensive tree of life, Carl Woese ended up revolutionizing the field of microbiology and forever changed our conceptions of life. Read on to find out how! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Why Don't Apes Have Tails?

That's Life [Science] “Apes—including humans—are unique within the Primate order for not having tails. When and why did apes lose this seemingly useful appendage?” Read More ›

How It Works

Quarantine Blues? The Effects of Social Isolation in the Brain

That's Life [Science] Neuroscientists study the effects of social isolation in the brain and how to rescue the damage. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

My bonsai journey part 2

That's Life [Science] What I learned a year into my journey of raising bonsai seedlings. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Giant Bacteria, Giant Genomes

That's Life [Science] The incredible life of Epulopiscium bacteria. Read More ›

How It Works

The Lovebug Effect

That's Life [Science] The primal relationship between humans and nature has perplexed scientists for years. It is no secret that reduced anxiety and a sense of serenity are common consequences from spending time in the natural world, but the underlying mechanism may surprise you. Read More ›

How It Works

CRISPR: Careful When Running with Genetic Scissors

That's Life [Science] Altering the genetic makeup of human-kind is a dangerous game to play. Read More ›

How It Works

Bacteria: The Solution to Our Plastic Waste Problem?

That's Life [Science] Plastic waste is a major problem facing the world. Could bacteria be the solution? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Artificial Selection: From Tiny Fish to Empty Dish

That's Life [Science] How do human preferences impact global fish populations? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Mentoring Musings

That's Life [Science] Top 10 mentoring tips for a successful relationship. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Three Minute Thesis…But Make It Virtual

That's Life [Science] Put a bunch of graduate students in a room to give three minute talks about their research. Then, put them on a Zoom call and see how it changes. What did I learn from one year to the next? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

A breath of fresh air: How the great oxygenation event changed life on Earth forever

That's Life [Science] When did Earth's atmosphere become oxygen-based, and why did it matter for life on Earth? Learn all about it in this article! Read More ›

How It Works

Maps are the ultimate scientific tool

That's Life [Science] Take some time to appreciate the beauty and complexity of maps used in our everyday lives and in nearly every field of science. Read More ›

How It Works

Why does it Taste like that? - How Saccharomyces Yeast Makes Beer

That's Life [Science] How do tiny yeast give beer its big flavor? The metabolic assembly line of this little livestock significantly contributes to one of our oldest culinary creations. Read More ›

How It Works

Inherited Trauma

That's Life [Science] What kind of environmental and social traumas can be passed down to the next generation? What does that manifestation even look like? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Nurturing and celebrating our offline selves

That's Life [Science] Reflections on an evolving sense of self in the age of social media and COVID. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

'Til the Yeasts Come Home? - Domesticating Microbes

That's Life [Science] Cows and Sheep aren’t the only species touched by the hand of domestication. Microbes have been domesticated for just as long as many traditional 'farm animals.' Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

The Women Behind the Gun vs. The Women Behind the Bird

That's Life [Science] Two lesser known women helped set the stage for international wildlife treaties and conservation in the United States. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Three things STEM undergrads might not know (that you can teach them!)

That's Life [Science] Navigating the world of scientific research and academia can be tricky as an undergraduate. Grad students and instructors can teach STEM undergrads these three things to make their lives easier! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Built Different

That's Life [Science] Alzheimer's and depression are more commonly diagnosed in women, while Parkinson's is more commonly diagnosed in men. Why is that? Read More ›

How It Works

WEIRD Science

That's Life [Science] Why wouldn’t you trust a scientist or a medical professional? They’ve spent years developing a better understanding of the world and how we can survive it… or how some of us can survive it. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

COVID-19 Stinks!

That's Life [Science] Many people who have recovered from COVID-19 report a loss of their sense of smell. How important is your sense of smell, really? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

How do microbes help animals adapt?

That's Life [Science] Evolving is a team sport. Many animals co-evolve along with microbes in a symbiotic relationship. Read More ›

How It Works

Hug an Oyster for Wildlife Conservation

That's Life [Science] Ever wonder how wildlife biology and conservation got to be the way it is? If you live in the U.S., you may need to thank an oyster... Read More ›

How It Works

The Big Data Revolution

That's Life [Science] Access to large, open source datasets is paving the way for new scientific insights. But is bigger always better? Read More ›

How It Works

If I Only Had A Brain (Organoid)

That's Life [Science] What would you think if I told you I grow human brains in a lab? Read More ›

How It Works

Bang! 'Ouch' *Grab*

That's Life [Science] When you bang your elbow on a table, why is your first instinct to grab it? This response might have something to do with how your sensory neurons process information. Read More ›

How It Works

Interview with Dr. Matthew Moore - Viral Perspectives

That's Life [Science] Going viral (or rather not): perspectives on viruses with an emphasis on foodborne disease from UMass professor Dr. Matthew Moore. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Sleeping in a Pandemic

That's Life [Science] Can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up? Here’s how to fix it! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Wildlife and Protected Areas During the Pandemic

That's Life [Science] With tourism down to a standstill, how are protected areas persisting during the pandemic? People are not moving around locally or globally as much as before the pandemic. How does this impact wildlife? Read More ›

How It Works

Why are Parka Ruffs Made with Wolverine Fur?

That's Life [Science] Native Alaskans have a wealth of traditional knowledge that helps them survive, some of which are still not entirely understood by science. Many Native Alaskan groups use wolverine fur for the ruffs around their faces. Read on to find why wolverine fur is the best for ruffs. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A Basic Guide to Mentoring Undergraduates in STEM

That's Life [Science] Project and people management is not part of normal curriculum in graduate school – but you better believe you will be expected to do it! Here’s some advice to help you be a better mentor to undergraduate students. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

What's the world's largest virus?

That's Life [Science] We have barely scratched the surface of virus diversity, but over the past decade scientists have discovered shockingly large viruses in environments across the globe. These giant viruses shook up everything we thought we knew about the origin of viruses. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A Guide to Graduate School Interviews

That's Life [Science] What to expect during graduate school interviews, and the key questions to ask to land you in the right program. Read More ›

How It Works

Why Don’t We Keep Resolutions?

That's Life [Science] We have the best intentions, but never quite make it to the gym or reach that deadline. Why are we so bad with following through? There’s a phenomenon in neuroscience that might explain these behaviors. Read More ›

How It Works

Genetic Diversity and Its Impact on Disease Treatment

That's Life [Science] Though not captured in the language we use to describe disease, many ailments are caused by diverse genetic backgrounds. What are the implications of these variations and how can we take advantage of them to develop better treatments? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

How Community-based Conservation Helps Lemurs

That's Life [Science] Madagascar is undergoing environmental and socioeconomic crises that threaten the future of the island country. Here is how community-based conservation can help. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

How to Join a Lab

That's Life [Science] You want to join a lab. Where do you look? How do you express interest? What do you say? Read More ›

How It Works

How Rat Fur can Help Diabetics Heal Wounds

That's Life [Science] The lab rat, historically used for countless areas of scientific and medical research, presents a promising possibility in the field of biomedical and regenerative medicine. New research shows that these furry critters help regenerate tissue to heal wounds, having implications for diseases like diabetes. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

How Botanical Sexism is Making Your Allergies Worse

That's Life [Science] Do you feel like your allergies are worse than those of your grandparents? It could be due to an overabundance of male trees in your environment. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

The Pandemic That Changed The World: Many Questions and a Few Answers

That's Life [Science] The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a number of questions about the virus, how it spreads, and its global impacts. A panel of biologists provides answers to some frequently asked questions. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

The Biology of Booze ft. Gin & Tonic

That's Life [Science] This is the unlikely biological love story of when a compound from the South American cinchona tree met a European distilled liquor fragrant with juniper botanicals in the tropical jungles of India! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

My Bonsai Journey Part 1

That's Life [Science] This spring, I tackled the art of bonsai tree care. Check out the first part of my journey to prune my green thumb! Read More ›

How It Works

Using eDNA to Revolutionize Wildlife Conservation

That's Life [Science] From scat to skin, animals leave a lot of evidence to track them with, but can we use this environmental DNA to monitor them? Read More ›

How It Works

Fat is Good for Your Brain

That's Life [Science] There is a time and place for everything. While fat on your belly might make you run slower, fat in your brain lets you think faster. Read More ›

How It Works

Why Wash Your Hands?

That's Life [Science] What even IS soap and how does using it to wash your hands prevent disease? Read More ›

How It Works

A Unique Case of Arthropod Vision

That's Life [Science] Jumping spiders have a complex visual system, and here's how it works. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Climate Disaster? Humans Will Pass Point of No Return Sooner Than We Think

That's Life [Science] Is 2 degrees Celsius warming too much for our planet? Researchers suspect yes… Read More ›

How It Works

How does your clock tick?

That's Life [Science] Researching the neural mechanisms behind your sex hormone levels and your body’s circadian rhythms. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

How Monkeys and Apes Fight Climate Change by Eating Fruit

That's Life [Science] With people protesting all around the world, how are the rest of the world’s inhabitants fighting against the climate crisis? What role do primates play? Why is primate conservation important? Read More ›

How It Works

Expand Your Mind

That's Life [Science] Make what you want to look at bigger so you don’t have to build a microscope that sees smaller. Expansion microscopy uses diaper technology to make small things, like neurons, bigger. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Sound the Alarm! One Unique Way Primates Avoid Being Eaten

That's Life [Science] “Many primates use alarm calls to alert other members of their group to potential predators. But how specific and effective are these alarm calls? What risks come with sounding the alarm?” Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Living below sea level (Part 2): Learning to live with water

That's Life [Science] The Dutch are leading the world in flood-risk mitigation through clever engineering and an eco-friendly mindset. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Drama of Barotrauma: Blobfish, Rockfish, and More

That's Life [Science] Have you ever wondered why blobfish looks the way it does? Or why some fish have their stomachs bulging out of their mouths and eyes popping out of their heads when they’re caught? You’ve just witnessed barotrauma. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

10 Life Science Films You Can't Miss

That's Life [Science] With the constant stream of content coming your way, here are some of the best science/nature films entertainment has to offer Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Protein Perspectives from the Protein Data Bank

That's Life [Science] A tool to see things from a protein’s point of view! Read More ›

How It Works

Going on Autopilot? Thank Your Place Cells

That's Life [Science] Why do we go on autopilot when we travel somewhere we’ve been a thousand times? How do our brains snap out of this routine when we need to change it up? Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Living below sea level: Dutch engineering marvels

That's Life [Science] Us: Living near water and below sea-level is a bad idea. The Dutch: Challenge accepted. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Why are some primate infants brightly colored?

That's Life [Science] “In some primate species, infants are born with conspicuous coats that fade to normal adult coloration over time. What could be causing these uniquely colored infants? What do species with natal coats all have in common?” Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Technological Advancements…. Thanks to Ferrets?

That's Life [Science] Ferrets did what? The surprising use of ferrets for solving technological problems. Read More ›

How It Works

Immunohistochemistry: One man’s illness is another man’s experimental verification method

That's Life [Science] How do neuroscientists make a certain population of cells stand out from a sea of them squished together in the brain? The tools are already in nature, no need to reinvent the wheel. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Are palm trees really trees?

That's Life [Science] Palm trees are quite unique, and to be honest, a little funny looking. Are they actually trees? And why are they the way they are? Read More ›

How It Works

The Power of Fear: Four Ways Being Scared Affects Wildlife

That's Life [Science] Fear is a powerful driver of wildlife behavior, here are five ways animals respond to fear. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

How Climate Change Affects Your Seafood

That's Life [Science] The ocean is shifting along with a changing climate. What does that mean for the local seafood on your plate and in the market? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Managing Up

That's Life [Science] Why might your advisor become distant from your work and how can you bring them back into it? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Eastern Spotted Newt: A Wandering Teenage Identity Crisis

That's Life [Science] The Eastern Spotted Newt has three dramatically different looks as it grows from egg to adulthood. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Survival by Aposematism and Mimicry: The Evolution of Bright Color Patterns

That's Life [Science] Sometimes the best defense from predators is to stay in plain sight. Read More ›

How It Works

The crime-fighting field of forensic palynology

That's Life [Science] “The distinct diversity of pollen grains has many uses - including helping detectives around the world piece together the details of a crime.” Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

The Traveling Field Biologist

That's Life [Science] “What does it take to get to the remote field sites where so many biologists collect their data?” Read More ›

How It Works

Bioremediation - One Species’ Trash, Another’s Treasure?

That's Life [Science] How microbes can help address one of the long-term issues associated with waste disposal. Read More ›

How It Works

Brain Surgery… It’s Not Rocket Science!

That's Life [Science] “Brain surgery is surprisingly simple. Aside from the risk of death, here’s all there is to it.” Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

More Tales from Trails

That's Life [Science] A tale of carnivores, camera traps, and camaraderie straight from the grasslands and woodlands of Africa. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms


That's Life [Science] What type of an animal is a sifaka? What makes them unique? And how in the world do you pronounce ‘sifaka’? Read More ›

How It Works

Changing the climate change conversation

That's Life [Science] My lessons learned from NNOCCI’s keys to successful climate change conversations - let’s solve this together! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Is Science for Women?

That's Life [Science] “What are the implications of a male dominated field for women, whether they are in that field or not?” Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Money Doesn’t Grow on Monsteras: The Economics of Indoor Plants

That's Life [Science] #indoorplants don’t just look great on Instagram; they also tell us about economic tradeoffs, priorities, and a changing economy Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Tales from Trails: Field Dispatches from Africa

That's Life [Science] “A postcard from a field biologist still a bit stunned about landing her dream location in southern Africa!” Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Climate change impacts on our health and safety

That's Life [Science] What to know about the major impacts of climate change on our health and safety, and what we’re doing to limit them. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

So Many Choices… The Challenge of Selecting Trees for the Urban Environment

That's Life [Science] “With seemingly endless tree species available, how can you decide which one to plant?” Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Should I Apply to Graduate School?

That's Life [Science] “Thinking about the next steps in your life? If graduate school is one of those potential options, here’s some things you should be thinking about.” Read More ›

How It Works

Why does alcohol make you dizzy?

That's Life [Science] “How does drinking alcohol lead to lack of balance? What are the physiological processes underlying this phenomenon?” Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

You are a fish

That's Life [Science] Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? Because that's exactly what you are. Read More ›

How It Works

It’s Not Science Fiction, Chimeras Are Real

That's Life [Science] All of our cells have the same DNA… right? Not always. Genetic chimeras shatter our ideas of identity and blur the lines between self and non-self, siblings, and sexes. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

The Tale of A Conspicuous Invader and Inconspicuous Field Sites

That's Life [Science] A trip to scout field sites is thwarted when a notorious invasive grass refuses to live by the rules of a scientist’s study design. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Things That Glow Pink in the Night: Why do some animals have fluorescent coloration under ultraviolet light?

That's Life [Science] “What could be the meaning behind squirrels with pink fur and puffins with electric blue beaks?” Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

When You Call a Fish a Frog

That's Life [Science] When the way fish look remind us of another animal, why not name them that way? You can decide for yourself whether these fish really look like a lizard, hog, or frog! Read More ›

How It Works

A Peanut A Day Keeps the Allergist Away

That's Life [Science] **Undergraduate Writing Contest Spring 2019 WINNER** Read More ›


Pipettes and Paintbrushes 2019

That's Life [Science] The second annual collaborative art/science exhibit was featured last month on the UMass Amherst campus. Check out this work in our virtual art gallery under the Events tab. Read More ›

How It Works

The Rise of Sourdough and Mason Jar Ecosystems

That's Life [Science] Science-up your everyday life with some kitchen microbiology, starting with the secret lives of microbes in sourdough! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Who’s Got the Biggest Genome of Them All?

That's Life [Science] The answer may surprise you... Read More ›

How It Works

Radioactive Bananas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Greenhouse Gases, OH MY!

That's Life [Science] Here's a closer look into Radiation: the facts, the myths, and the bananas… Read More ›

How It Works

Uncharted Intellectual Territory: Science Isn’t Linear

That's Life [Science] Federally-funded science has been ridiculed as wasteful spending, citing bizarre methods out of context… but silly methods ≠ silly science! Read More ›

How It Works

It’s a Trap! How Looks Can Be Deceiving in Habitat Selection

That's Life [Science] Ecological traps are an important concept in conservation biology. Let’s talk about what it means for wildlife. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A Day - and Night - in the Life of a Bat Biologist

That's Life [Science] Most scientists work in the day and sleep at night, but scientists who study nocturnal animals don’t get that luxury! Read More ›

How It Works

The Feelings that Linger: Good vs. Bad

That's Life [Science] Why can bad things be so overpowering of the good? Evolution might give us some insights. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Biology of Booze ft. Tequila

That's Life [Science] This is a brief biological story involving the agave plant and its pollinators that are instrumental in the birth of tequila! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Mangroves: at your service

That's Life [Science] The services mangrove forests provide are priceless, so why are these ecosystems threatened? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Purebred Poodle Problem

That's Life [Science] The hidden risks behind that pedigree certificate. **Undergraduate Writing Contest Fall 2018 WINNER** Read More ›

How It Works

Go With Your Gut...

That's Life [Science] ...Unless Your Gut is Going Against You. **Undergraduate Writing Contest Fall 2018 RUNNER-UP** Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Pleistocene Rewilding: A Controversial Idea in Conservation Biology

That's Life [Science] Some conservationists dream of returning to an ancient past of free roaming elephants and lions in the U.S. - let’s explore the controversial and intriguing idea of Pleistocene rewilding. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Mangroves: where blue meets green, brown, and every other color under the sun

That's Life [Science] Trees may seem a bit out of place at the edge of the ocean, but mangroves know what they are doing. Read More ›

How It Works

Live Fast, Die Young: Why Some Animals Die After Mating

That's Life [Science] Some have termed it “suicidal mating,” when adult animals die shortly after mating for the first time. How could it be beneficial to live a short life and only reproduce once? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Diversity in the Forest

That's Life [Science] We know the importance of diversity in the environment, but what’s at risk by neglecting the levels of diversity in forestry’s workforce? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Let It Glow

That's Life [Science] A closer look at some species that use bioluminescence to glow. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

I’m Likin’ That Lichen

That's Life [Science] Don’t miss the diversity of lichen that provide a colorful cover for many surfaces across the world. Read More ›

How It Works

New Culture, New Microbiome, New Problems

That's Life [Science] How adopting an “American” diet can be detrimental for the health of many immigrants. Read More ›



That's Life [Science] My neuroscientist friends at UMass Amherst and I led a workshop with Girls Inc. to encourage curiosity among local middle school girls. Read More ›

How It Works

If Only There Were a U.S. Census Question About Biodiversity…

That's Life [Science] Have you ever wondered why some streets in your city or town have more trees than others? Read this post to find out more… Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Celebrate the Holidays with a Decorative Parasite

That's Life [Science] As the winter holiday season approaches, will you be decorating with this festive parasitic plant? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Sleeping One Hemisphere at a Time

That's Life [Science] “Did you know it’s possible for only half of your brain to sleep while the other half stays awake? Why would anyone do that?” Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Through the Mycologist's Hand Lens: Deceptive Decomposers

That's Life [Science] Fungi are fascinating! You can find them just outside your door, and some wild varieties are edible. But be careful - these decomposers can be deceptive! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Standing on the shoulders of giants

That's Life [Science] “Scientific discovery is incremental and extends beyond the lifespan of a single researcher. But whose shoulders do I stand upon?” Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

3 Reasons Why What You Grow in Your Garden Matters

That's Life [Science] Planting a flower from your local nursery seems innocuous enough, but where that flower comes from is an important consideration that often gets overlooked. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Tails from the Field: Studying Lemurs in Southwestern Madagascar

That's Life [Science] In one of the most ecologically unique regions in the world, I had the chance to get up close and personal with lemurs! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Frankenstein: A ghost-story about scientific ethics and work-life balance

That's Life [Science] Happy Halloween! Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein turns 200 this year. Let’s take a closer look at this ghost-story about science gone wrong. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Scottish Summer Surprises - Part 2!

That's Life [Science] Scottish wildlife postcard from the Highlands! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Lessons from My First Conference

That's Life [Science] I attended my first mega-conference as a graduate student, and I learned a few things along the way... Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

How a cattle vaccine helped save giraffes

That's Life [Science] Find out how a vaccine for cattle resulted in a rebound in giraffe populations on the Serengeti. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Scottish Summer Surprises (Part 1)!

That's Life [Science] Scottish wildlife postcard from the Highlands! Read More ›

How It Works

How An Invasive Plant Helped Fuel The Largest Wildfire You’ve Never Heard Of

That's Life [Science] Currently, there are roughly 50 large wildfires burning in the U.S. We’re taking a look at how one of this season’s fires got so big. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

The Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting

That's Life [Science] What does the largest neuroscience conference have to offer an early career researcher, from undergrad to grad student? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Life Science in Outer Space!

That's Life [Science] Humans have been occupying outer space for decades, but what other species have made it beyond Earth’s atmosphere? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

How Many Botanists Does it Take to ID an Orchid?

That's Life [Science] I tagged along with the New England Botanical Club to explore plants of the Pioneer Valley. Come check out some photos! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A Baby Photo Book – For Fish!

That's Life [Science] You know how new parents always post photos of their babies? Well this is that, but with fish. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Do we have all the data needed to make safe choices about seafood?

That's Life [Science] Every year, fish consumption advisories are published to help us make healthy seafood choices, but how good is the data used to construct these advisories? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Rats

That's Life [Science] Rats have pretty surprising features. You’ll be shocked to find how similar they are to people in some ways and different in others. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Watermelon Snow

That's Life [Science] What looks like a slushy, feels like a slushy, but makes you wish you hadn’t eaten it? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Critter Candid Cam

That's Life [Science] Travel to this fabulous landscape in India’s wild west to encounter camels, carnivores, people, livestock, and more! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Three Cool Plants in Hot Places

That's Life [Science] We’re taking a closer look at three interesting desert plants. But don’t get too close; they may prick you! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Research Highlight - Making Brain Cells

That's Life [Science] Research Highlight - As a Ph.D. student, I get to grow brain cells! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

A parasite only a moth could love

That's Life [Science] Did you know that a parasite can have a parasite, which in turn can have a parasite of its own? These interactions can influence our ability to control pest insect species. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Telling tales of plants and their names

That's Life [Science] Every plant has a Latin and a common name, both of which come with a story. Come find out how some plants get their quirky callings! Read More ›

How It Works

Human Eye Structure Makes No Sense…Or Does It?

That's Life [Science] The reason visual information begins processing at the back of the eye. Read More ›


Extract DNA from any living thing

That's Life [Science] DNA Extraction is easier than you might think - you can even try it in your kitchen at home! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Is it possible to eat too much fish?

That's Life [Science] Seafood is part of a healthy diet, but it’s not a perfect health food. Let’s discuss fish consumption advisories and how they can help you avoid eating unhealthy seafood. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

The Colorful World of Primate Hair

That's Life [Science] Black, yellow, red, and white—what makes primates the most colorful mammals? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Celebrity Sightings while Science-ing

That's Life [Science] Sometimes science brings you to obscure locations and equips you with binoculars – in New York City, it’s a perfect setup for rare celebrity sightings in the concrete jungle! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Breaks on Campus

That's Life [Science] What happens when everyone goes on vacation during school breaks? Why would someone choose to stay and work? Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Awe-inspiring, but relatable – the goal of any science communication effort

That's Life [Science] Journey with TLS author Dina Navon to the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology, and learn more about the ways scientists think about communicating their work! Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Where do fish go in winter?

That's Life [Science] When the weather gets unbearably cold and the waters freeze, what do the fish do? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours

That's Life [Science] Curious cases of cooperation, coexistence, and camaraderie in creatures great and small. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Secrets of the Soil: Searching for Stories from a Warming Climate

That's Life [Science] Get the “dirt” on one grad student’s “hot” work. Read More ›

How It Works

The Price of Pigment on Your Immune System

That's Life [Science] Although tattoos are safe for most everyone, here are two unique cases of a person’s body responding poorly to this form of body art. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Alien Microbes: How studying hyperthermophiles can help us discover life on other planets

That's Life [Science] How do the microorganisms that live in hot springs, deep sea floors, and volcanos survive? Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Life, the universe, and everything: Dreams of being a biophysicist

That's Life [Science] When physics and biology come together to figure out life Read More ›

How It Works

Midnight Snacks Could Be the Death of You

That's Life [Science] What time you’re eating may be more influential than what you’re eating, according to a collaborator of Nobel Prize recipients. Read More ›

Earth's Organisms

Bug Sleuth – One Entomologist’s Mission to ID a Mysterious Swarm of Wasps

That's Life [Science] This past fall, I came across a swarm of wasps and did not know what they were. For an entomologist, that’s scarier than the swarm itself, so I did some sleuthing. Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Single Large or Several Small? The Ongoing Debate in Nature Preserve Design

That's Life [Science] Should we use limited resources for fewer large nature preserves, or a patchwork of smaller ones? Read More ›

How It Works

Lobster Fight Club

That's Life [Science] Learn the ins and outs of combat in one of the ocean’s fiercest fighters, the American lobster. Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A Fishtastic Journey Abroad

That's Life [Science] While much of my summer was spent in a lab, I snuck away for two splendid weeks in Bergen, Norway – for research! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Greetings from Michigan: American Ornithology Conference 2017

That's Life [Science] Scientists are often alone in their labs, at remote field sites, or staring at computers – but once a year, they get together to nerd out! Read More ›

Our Ecosystems

Moving away from monoculture in aquaculture

That's Life [Science] Can aquaculture farming successfully break free from conventional monoculture practices? Read More ›


What do cockroaches, power tools, and pollinator gardens have in common?

That's Life [Science] This fall, TLS teamed up with local Girl Scout troops to learn about the importance of animal habitats. Here is what happened! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

Grad Students Meet Girl Scouts Part 2: Conserving Local Bee Habitats, One Person at a Time!

That's Life [Science] Girl scouts learn about why bees are in trouble and what they can do to help maintain local bee populations. Bee the Change! Read More ›

Grad School Diaries

A graduate student in elementary school

That's Life [Science] When your research is about environmental education, you end up spending all your time at school! Read More ›

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 ›


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 ›


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 ›

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 ›

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 ›


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 ›


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 ›

Outreach – 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 ›


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 ›