Natural Inspiration

The Smoky Mountains are home to about 30 species of lungless salamanders, including Plethodon montanus. Mike Belleme
September 22, 2022

Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & YIBS Faculty Affiliate, Martha Muñoz, has shown that organisms can influence their own evolution, a lesson she’s passing on to her students. After working in the lab all summer, Muñoz’s students are eager to see the salamanders in their native habitat. The first night out is challenging, as the species they’re seeking proves elusive. But by the second night the students know the routine better, and they’ve set their sights on a different species that proves to be more plentiful. Anderson, with the aid of the new walking stick, catches a few to help the group meet its goal. Jesús Buenrostro, a YIBS SURES program summer fellow, who as a youth worked alongside his mom packing fruit, shows no fear as he digs into the dirt. They finish up before midnight, far earlier than expected. “You guys are awesome,” Muñoz says. “In one day, you figured it all out.” Click here to read the full Science article. 

News & Updates

The Smoky Mountains are home to about 30 species of lungless salamanders, including Plethodon montanus. Mike Belleme

Natural Inspiration

September 22, 2022
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & YIBS Faculty Affiliate, Martha Muñoz, has shown that organisms can influence their own evolution, a lesson she’s...
Similar leaf types evolved independently in three species of plants found in cloud forests of Oaxaca, Mexico and three species of plants in similar environment in Chiapas, Mexico. This example of parallel evolution is one of several found by Yale-led scientists and suggests that evolution may be predictable.

Plant Study Hints Evolution May be Predictable

July 22, 2022
Evolution has long been viewed as a rather random process, with the traits of species shaped by chance mutations and environmental events — and therefore largely...
Diversity of hummingbird plumage color.

In Colorful Avian World, Hummingbirds Rule

June 23, 2022
Yale ornithologist Richard Prum has spent years studying the molecules and nanostructures that give many bird species their rich colorful plumage, but nothing prepared him...