Ecology and Environment

Male Size Advantage Drives Evolution of Sex Change in Reef Fish

March 09, 2020
Some species of fish, notably parrotfish and wrasses living on coral reefs, change their biological sex as they age, beginning life as females and later becoming functionally male. New work from the University of California, Davis, shows that this sequential hermaphroditism evolves when bigger males gain an advantage in reproductive success.

Bumblebees Carry Heavy Loads in Economy Mode

February 05, 2020
Bumblebees are the big lifters of the insect world, able to fly back to the hive with almost their own body weight in nectar on board. A study published Feb. 5 in Science Advances shows how they do it — and that bees can show more flexibility in behavior than you might expect from a bumbling insect.

About That Butterfly Contest: ‘It’s Complicated’

January 30, 2020
Professor Art Shapiro predicted it: The cabbage white butterfly would be out this week, alerting his “posse” to their opportunity to win his annual Beer for a Butterfly contest — the prize going to the person who catches the first cabbage white of the new year.

Can Scents Create New Species? Smells Like Orchid Bee Evolution

January 13, 2020
To attract a mate, male orchid bees collect scents from the environment to create the perfect aroma. In a study appearing in Nature Communications, UC Davis researchers link the evolution of sexual signaling in orchid bees to a gene that’s been shaped by each species’ perfume preferences

The Art-Science Loop: Creating Worlds with Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity Undergraduate Megan Ma

December 05, 2019
Since enrolling at UC Davis nearly four years ago, undergraduate Megan Ma has lent her artistic talent to the Aggie community. She’s taught scientific illustration, provided artwork for the BIS 2C lab manual and currently works as a graphic designer for the Center for Leadership Learning, all the while taking classes and rotating through research labs.