ecology

Bird Brain Maps: Study Explores the Neuroecology of Flocking in Birds

November 05, 2018
In Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers provide the scientific community with comprehensive brain maps of the hormone receptors that may be involved in the flocking behaviors of European starlings, house sparrows and rock doves.

Risk and Reward: Lizards Demonstrate Role of Natural Selection in Shaping Behavior

May 31, 2018
Tiny lizards in the Bahamas are providing scientists with new insights into evolution in isolated environments. In a new paper in the journal Science, biologists analyzed the risk-taking actions of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) to better understand how animal behavior is influenced by natural selection.

Native Wildflowers Bank on Seeds Underground to Endure Drought

March 01, 2018
Native wildflowers were surprisingly resilient during California’s most recent drought, even more so than exotic grasses. But signs of their resilience were not evident with showy blooms aboveground. Rather, they were found mostly underground, hidden in the seed bank, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

Coping With Climate Stress in Antarctica

January 17, 2018
Some Antarctic fish living in the planet’s coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can’t deal with both stressors at the same time, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

It’s Good to Be Rare, for Some Species

December 12, 2017
When most people think of rare species, they think of endangered ones that humans have caused to be rare through habitat loss, poaching, climate change and other disturbances. But some species have always been rare — occurring in small densities throughout their range — throughout their evolutionary history.

ID of Pest Reproduction Pheromone May Help Fight Citrus Greening Disease

December 05, 2017
The Asian citrus psyllid, the most devastating threat to the worldwide citrus industry, may have met its match. In a ground-breaking discovery encompassing six years of research, an international team of scientists led by UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal announced they've identified the sex pheromone of the pest, which feeds on citrus and transmits the bacteria that causes the deadly citrus greening disease known as Huanglongbing (HLB).

Why Study Bird Brains? A Video by Rebecca Calisi

November 29, 2017
Why study the brains of birds? Do birds even have brains worth talking about? In fact, birds can show complex behavior and mental function. We can learn a lot from studying the neuroscience of birds — knowledge that we can relate to how human brains function in health and disease. In this video, Rebecca Calisi Rodriguez, assistant professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, introduces her own work on bird brains and talks to some prominent neuroscientists about their work.