a fuzzy black and tan beetle chews on the bark of a pine tree sapling, whose needles can be seen in the background
Pine Trees’ Fragrances Help Neighbors Battle Bark Beetles
Polluted air impedes the trees’ ability to read each other’s signals, a study finds.
Pine Trees’ Fragrances Help Neighbors Battle Bark Beetles
Pine Trees’ Fragrances Help Neighbors Battle Bark Beetles

Polluted air impedes the trees’ ability to read each other’s signals, a study finds.

Polluted air impedes the trees’ ability to read each other’s signals, a study finds.

ecology & environment
Green fish with boat behind
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill’s Hidden Impacts on Mahi-Mahi      
Natalia Mesa | Sep 28, 2022
Mahi-mahi were more likely to be eaten and less likely to spawn after being exposed to sublethal concentrations of oil, raising concerns about the risks oceanic drilling pose to life in the ocean.
A white deer mouse on sand surrounded by plants
Are We In the Midst of a Silent Mass Extinction?
Andy Carstens | Sep 22, 2022
A new modeling technique aims to help scientists and policymakers detect declines in genetic diversity based on habitat loss.
An orange toad perched on a leaf
Past Malaria Surges Linked to Amphibian Die-off
Andy Carstens | Sep 21, 2022
A study suggests that pathogens affecting other species can indirectly harm human health.
group of people standing on rock outcropping with ocean in distance
Repeated El Niño Events Could Spark Big Ecological Shifts
Margaret Osborne | Sep 19, 2022
Five major El Niño events per century could lead to fewer fishes that thrive in cold water and more terrestrial birds in eastern coastal ecosystems.
Green frog in trees with green leaves
For Frogs, Bigger Brains Mean Worse Camouflage
Natalia Mesa | Aug 23, 2022
Frogs invest in cognitive capacity to avoid predators—up until there are too many hungry snakes around for the evolutionary strategy to pay off.
Oysters’ shells were made into concrete and other materials used in construction during the Industrial Revolution.
Scientists Use Sound to Attract Baby Oysters Back to the Reef
Ian Rose | Aug 15, 2022
Meet the team trying to restore mollusk populations with the help of underwater speakers.
Countless bats swarming in the evening dusk
Bat Coronaviruses May Infect Tens of Thousands of People Yearly
Andy Carstens | Aug 10, 2022
Parts of Southeast Asia where human and bat population densities are highest could be infection hotspots, a study finds.
Calm lake reflecting sky with boat in foreground
Plastic Pollution Boosts Bacterial Growth in Lake Water
Patience Asanga | Jul 26, 2022
A study finds that not only did aquatic bacteria thrive when chemicals washed from degrading plastic were introduced into lake water, they also broke down organic matter more efficiently.
Vicu&ntilde;as <em>(Lama vicugna)</em> run across the plains in San Guillermo National Park, Argentina.
How Mange Remade an Ecosystem
Shawna Williams | Jul 5, 2022
A study traces the effects of a mite outbreak from the earth to the heavens.
teabag with green tag on a white background
Spilling the Tea: Insect DNA Shows Up in World’s Top Beverage
Shawna Williams | Jun 14, 2022
The Scientist speaks with Trier University’s Henrik Krehenwinkel, whose group recently detected traces of hundreds of arthropod species from a sample of dried plants—in this case, the contents of a tea bag.
caged panels submerged underwater
How Rising Temperatures Affect Ocean Predation
Andy Carstens | Jun 9, 2022
A study yields insights into how predator-prey dynamics may shift with climate change, but many questions remain.
Ribbon weed meadow in Shark Bay, Western Australia
World’s Largest Organism Discovered Underwater
Andy Carstens | Jun 2, 2022
Off the western Australian coast, in Shark Bay, a field of seagrass big enough to cover Washington, DC, has flourished for more than four millennia, a new study finds.
spikes of white coral underwater
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
Bianca Nogrady | May 14, 2022
A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.
Image of sperm hooks (<em>Peromyscus maniculatus</em>)
The Mystery of the Mouse Sperm Hook
Natalia Mesa | May 2, 2022
Nearly all mouse sperm have hooks on their heads. But new research suggests the structures slow them down—so what exactly is their purpose?
leatherback sea turtle making its way across a beach
Fifteen-Year Project Quantifies Threat to Reptiles
Shawna Williams | Apr 28, 2022
The study estimates that one-fifth of reptile species worldwide are at risk of extinction.
Close-up of a fiber with brightly colored pathogens beside it
Microplastics in Seawater May Harbor Parasites
Christie Wilcox | Apr 26, 2022
Laboratory experiments find that Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia can congregate on microplastic beads and fibers, suggesting they might make their way into and around the world’s oceans by hitching rides on tiny bits of trash.
bat flying in front of tan building
Fruit Bats Echolocate During the Day Despite Having Great Vision
Natalia Mesa | Apr 20, 2022
Contrary to what researchers had assumed, Egyptian fruit bats don’t rely solely on sight to orient themselves as they drink and forage for food in daylight. 
Gasteranthus extinctus, a plant with bright orange flowers and deep green leaves
Science Snapshot: Not “Extinctus” After All
Lisa Winter | Apr 19, 2022
Assumed to have gone extinct more than 30 years ago, Gasteranthus extinctus has been rediscovered by scientists working in Ecuador.
Older woman with grey hair staring at the camera
Adriana Hoffmann, Botanist and Environmentalist, Dies at Age 82
Natalia Mesa | Apr 18, 2022
Hoffmann traveled through Chile cataloging its rare flora. Later, she fought to defend the country’s forests from commercial deforestation.