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July 2014

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Day in the Life of a Field Biologist
MVZ's Dan Portik takes us through a day in the field collecting amphibians in Mabira Forest Reserve, Uganda


MVZ graduate student Dan Portik in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - June 2014 (Photo by David C. Blackburn)
MVZ PhD candidate Dan Portik spent the entire month of June collecting frogs in Uganda's Mabira Forest Reserve - a place to which there are yet no guides to amphibian diversity, and where the possibility of discovering new species is still great. 
In this article, Dan leads us through a typical day in the field - a day involving a morning spent preparing specimens to the tune of red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white-casqued hornbills, and an evening searching out frogs in the darkest of forests and wetlands.
More on Drunken Monkeys 
Robert Dudley explains the inspiration behind his new book
Exploring his primate roots: Robert Dudley climbing trees in Panama.
(Photo by Steve Yanoviak)

In our June Newsletter, our Featured Publication was "The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol" by MVZ affiliated faculty member Robert Dudley.


In a recent UC Berkeley News Center interview, Dudley opens up about the inspiration behind his new book and talks about the questions that remain to be answered.


READ MORE or watch our Video Pick below...

Species with Spunk: Bushy-tailed WoodratArticle3
Naturalists of olde and adventurers of today share favorite stories about this curious and compelling mammal...
"Bushy-tailed Wood Rat - in life". Taken by Joseph Dixon on September 2, 1916 near Bullfrog Lake in Fresno Co., California. 
(Photo courtesy of the MVZ Archives, Image Number 2253)

From old-timey naturalists to modern-day adventurers, woodrats have made an impression on us for at least a century, if not longer. The Bushy-tailed Woodrat (Neotoma cinerea), a well-established yet somewhat inconspicuous inhabitant of prairies and rocky, mountainous habitats in Western North America, has made a name for itself as a cabin-dwellin' rodent with a penchant for human artifacts and a knack for keeping things organized. 


This article interweaves historical and recent tales of human-woodrat interactions and exposes the curious and often downright comical nature of this fascinating species. 



Speaking Science
UC Berkeley palaeoecologist makes waves in Washington

White House
The White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by LollyKnit on Flickr)


UC Museum of Paleontology curator and MVZ researcher Tony Barnosky could never have imagined that his 2012 Nature article "Approaching a state shift in Earth's Biosphere" would act as a tipping point in the ongoing politics-climate change tug-of-war. 


As described in a recent News Feature in the journal Nature, Barnosky came to work rather unexpectedly with California Governor Jerry Brown to come up with a consensus statement that would translate his scientific publication into a format more easily communicated to the public and among political circles.


Writing the consensus statement helped Barnosky come to the realization that in order to affect meaningful change, it is critical that scientists effectively communicate their research not only to their own scientific community, but also to a broader public audience.



This month's banner photo courtesy of...

This photograph was taken by the MVZ's first Director, Joseph Grinnell, in 1910. It depicts the ventral view of a series of Woodrat (genus Neotoma) skulls from the museum's collections. Read more about the curious world of woodrats in this month's article!

(Photo courtesy of the MVZ Archives, Image Number 351)

This month, we feature
a paper recently published in the journal Global Change Biology, entitled "Beyond a warming fingerprint: individualistic biogeographic responses to heterogeneous climate change in California".


This article was written by Giovanni Rapacciuolo, an EcoEngine Post-Doc, along with a team of co-authors that include MVZ affiliates Sean Maher, Talisin Hammond, Rachel Walsh, and Steve Beissinger.


This article is breaking news for the field of climate change research. Essentially, the authors demonstrate that many biogeographic responses to climate change in California are inconsistent with increasing temperatures, suggesting that other direct and indirect mechanisms of change are at play.
Would you like your publication featured? Email Us!
Bird 'Tails' from an 
MVZ Graduate Student

In Tough Little Birds, Katie LaBarbera blogs specifically about her research on Dark-eyed Juncos, and more broadly about animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and birds.

Her latest post, "
", explores importance of networking for scientists through the eyes of other species.

The views expressed on Tough Little Birds belong solely to Katie LaBarbera and do not necessarily represent those of MVZ.  
Upcoming Events


MVZ Lunch Seminars will resume with classes in the Fall.


During the school year, the MVZ Lunch series is open to the public and takes place each Wednesday from 12-1 pm in the MVZ's Grinnell-Miller Library.



Coming up on August 16th:
by Michel M. MaharbizAssociate Professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


MVZ T-Shirts
Wear your MVZ t-shirt around town!
We have new printings in all sizes (including youth) of the owl shirt, the animal banner, and the Ensatina.
All t-shirts are $15. Please contact our front desk for more information:
MVZ Posters
Show your love for the MVZ by purchasing an MVZ Poster!
Currently we have posters of Discovering Yosemite, Understanding California, and California Vernal Pools.
Suggested donation of $3-10 per poster. Pick up one today at the front office of the MVZ!

Show your support for amphibians by picking up some Amphibiaweb mugs, shopping bags, or water bottles from our Zazzle site!


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