Beavers—Once Nearly Extinct—Could Help Fight Climate Change

From The National Geographic


The English language is replete with idioms about beavers, like “beaver away” or “busy as a beaver,” all signifying hard work and industry. In his new book, Eager, Ben Goldfarb takes us inside the amazing world of nature’s premier construction engineer—which can create dams as long as half a mile—and shows us why the restoration of an animal almost driven to extinction ...

Natural habitat can help farmers control pests, but the benefits vary widely across the globe

From VT News
Songbirds and coffee farms in Central America. Ladybugs and soybean fields in the Midwest.
These are well-known, win-win stories that demonstrate how conserving natural habitat can benefit farmers.
But an international team of authors, including Megan O’Rourke, assistant professor in the Virginia Tech School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, found that natural habitat surrounding farm fields is not always an effective pest-control tool for farmers worldwide. The team’s analysis was published Aug. 2 in the journal PNAS.

VT-FAST: A new resource for Virginia Tech faculty

From VT News
Imagine this: you are a new assistant professor in biological sciences at Virginia Tech. You are overwhelmed by setting up your lab, hiring staff, writing grant proposals, submitting manuscripts, and recruiting graduate students. What is your most precious resource? Time.

This is where the Virginia Tech Faculty Activity Support Team, or VT-FAST, comes in.
VT-FAST is a virtual team of faculty and staff across campus who support faculty at Virginia Tech in all aspects ...

Sea level rise is already costing property owners on the coast

From The Washington Post


CHARLESTON, S.C. — Elizabeth Boineau’s 1939 Colonial sits a block and a half from the Ashley River in a sought-after neighborhood of ancient live oaks, charming gardens and historic homes. A year ago, she thought she could sell it for nearly $1 million. But after dropping the price 11 times, Boineau has decided to tear it down.
In March, the city’s Board of Architectural ...

Virginia Tech researchers studying how fungus among us can control invasive tree of heaven

From The Roanoke Times

The kudzu of the tree world could one day be controlled by a fungus.

Virginia Tech graduate student Rachel Brooks is testing how the fungus verticillium attacks tree of heaven, an invasive species for which Brooks used the kudzu reference. The hope: that the fungus will help kill the tree, which grows just about everywhere.

Tree of heaven is a plant from China that creates problems across Virginia and the country. ...

Virginia Tech researchers collaborate with global scientists to study vector behavior and disease transmission

From VT News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing that diseases from vectors, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, have tripled since 2004 in the U.S.
The World Health Organization is also tracking the global spread and increase of vector-borne diseases. Clearly, there is a need for researchers to connect and develop tools to address this problem.
Leah R. Johnson, a Virginia Tech researcher, in collaboration with colleagues at Imperial College London, Stanford, and Penn ...