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In the Media: Research

Fungus turning ant into a 'zombie'
Futurity
Chuck Gill
After the “zombie ant fungus” kills a victim, it grows a stalk called the stroma, which protrudes from the ant cadaver. Previous research shows that the fungus, Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis, controls the behavior of carpenter ant workers—Camponotus rufipes—to die with precision, says Loreto, a doctoral candidate in entomology, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
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Mashable
Andrew Freedman
Glaciers all over the world have been retreating for decades, as average global surface temperatures have increased, but until now, no one had studied the obvious question: Just how much global glacier melt is global warming responsible for, and how much is from natural climate variability? A new study, tackles that question, and comes to a profound — if not surprising— conclusion. The study found that manmade global warming, which is largely due to the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal for energy, is responsible for nearly 70% of global glacier mass loss between 1991 to 2010. Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University, states that the study's results "make perfect sense."
Centre Daily Times logo
Centre Daily Times
Renowned Penn State geologist Richard Alley has been admitted as a foreign member of the United Kingdom’s Royal Society, according to the National Science Foundation. Alley, Evan Pugh professor of geosciences at Penn State, was honored for his outstanding contributions to the study of ice, its interactions with the landscape and its link to climate, the National Science Foundation said in a statement.
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NorthcentralPa.com
The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has awarded a $66,081 Air Quality grant to Penn State University in Centre County to fund education and biological effects research related to ground-level ozone.
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Phys.org
A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Responding to the impact that a growing population and changing land use have had on the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays over the past 60 years is the focus of a research project led by Penn State and supported by a $1.4 million grant from NASA.
Six bizarre landforms created by global warming
New Scientist
Global warming will transform Earth's landscapes. "If there's ice, it's going to melt – and wherever it melts we will see changes," says Richard Alley of Penn State University in University Park. Here are six landforms that will become more common as the planet heats up.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Isaac Stanley-Becker
It may not happen with a bang. No guns or bombs. No political assassinations or ultimatums borne of diplomatic alliances. The world's next great conflagration will occur because of the slow and steady warming of the climate, because of the concentration of greenhouse gases emitted by humans, argues a retired Navy rear admiral in a Friday editorial in Science magazine. David Titley, now director of Penn State's Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, finds a parallel between the choices elected officials face regarding climate change and the choices political leaders faced in 1914, as the First World War loomed.
Phys.org
A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Responding to the impact that a growing population and changing land use have had on the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays over the past 60 years is the focus of a research project led by Penn State and supported by a $1.4 million grant from NASA. Researchers involved in the three-year study are taking an interdisciplinary approach, using both computer models and data from NASA remote sensing satellites to understand the impacts climate change, land cover modifications and rising nitrogen levels from fertilizers have had on the estuaries and near-shore ocean waters.
gantdaily.com
Gant Daily
A group of Penn State students led by assistant professor of biology Charles Anderson is exploring ways to make plants hardier, boosting world food supplies in the process. The project, called Fast Farming: Feeding a Hot, Dry World, uses a genetic screening technique called activation tagging to identify genes that improve a plant’s ability to tolerate environmental stresses.
The green roof the company designed for Philadelphia's Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School.
philly.com
Erin Arvedlund
Roofmeadow founder Charlie Miller and head of operations Melissa Muroff are designing, promoting, and maintaining green roofs all across the Philadelphia area - the 13,000-square-foot green roof at the Barnes Museum, another atop the Granary building in Fairmount. Lately, they've been busy. Miller has been planting the seeds of this business since 1997, when he founded the company, then called Roofscapes. Miller wanted to introduce green-roof technology for urban stormwater management to the U.S., and he still participates on the advisory committee for the Center for Green Roof Research at Pennsylvania State University.
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National Geographic
Tim Profeta
The White House on Wednesday announced executive actions to help states and communities build their resilience to more intense storms, high heat, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change. Additionally, a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey finds that mountaintop removal mining negatively affects downstream fish populations. Researchers compared samples collected from nearby bodies of water in 2010 and 2011 to samples collected by Penn State University researchers in 1999 and 2001. They found that mountaintop mining creates landscape changes, including changes in water flow that have significant impacts on fish.
Centre Daily Times
Bill Lamont
Bill Lamont, professor and extension vegetable specialist in Penn State’s department of Plant Science writes: The issue of having adequate water supplies for agricultural use and for domestic consumption is becoming critical throughout the country, specifically in Florida and California. One way we can conserve water is through the use of drip irrigation in the home garden. It is a system of irrigation that has many advantages and is used around the world to conserve precious water resources. It is the technology that allowed the country of Israel with its limited water resources to cause the desert to bloom.
weareCentralPA.Com
Ali Ingersoll
Nationwide, the honeybee population is dying off. In Pennsylvania, the impact is greater - with 44% of the bees dying within the last year. Researchers say the cold winter was a factor but something man-made is playing a big role, too. "I think one of the key factors is the heavy use of pesticides," says Marianne Frazier, a senior extension associate at Penn State. "We're losing a lot of foreage area for the bees."
Mosquito net photograph
Futurity: Research News
Sara LaJeunesse
Cool, highland regions of East Africa could be more vulnerable to malaria than previously thought, while population centers in hot, lowland areas could be less vulnerable, according to new fine-scale climate model projections. “People might have an interest in predictions for global malaria trends and even more so for regional patterns, but they probably care most about what’s going to happen in their own town or village,” says Matthew Thomas, professor of ecological entomology at Penn State.
Centre Daily Times
Chris Rosenblum
Maryann Frazier loves bees. That’s why she kills them. Frazier, a Penn State senior extension associate with the university’s Center for Pollinator Research, is part of a team of scientists studying the effects of pesticides on honeybee colonies. Honeybee populations across the United States and globally are under siege from colony collapse disorder, in which worker bees disappear. Unchecked, the phenomenon could have profound consequences for economies and ecosystems.
CSA News
Madeline Fisher
Between 1982 and 2007, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and three other Northeastern states lost a larger proportion of their agricultural lands to development than anywhere else in the country. The region now has more than 20% of the United States’ population, but only 5 to 6% of its farmland. As much as 75 to 80% of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the Northeast come from faraway places like California, and more than seven million of its citizens lack access to healthy and affordable food. Add in uncertainties like California’s extreme, ongoing drought, and it’s clear why many people believe the Northeast is vulnerable when it comes to food. At the same time, other researchers were looking at the issue from different, but related, angles. Stephan Goetz, a Penn State University agricultural economist, was interested in the economic benefits of regional food production—not only for farmers, but also food distributors, retailers, and others businesses in the supply chain.
Climate Change Image
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
David Titley
Climate change is an accelerating threat to national security. That’s the finding of a recent report by the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board, a panel I serve on along with some of our country’s most senior retired military leaders. Retired Rear Adm. David W. Titley reports that this issue is about science, not politics, and the military is taking it very seriously. Titley directs the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
David Titley, rear admiral (ret.) in the U.S. Navy and professor of meteorology at Penn State University, will discuss climate change as a national security issue on Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m. at the Museum of the Rockies. In a talk titled “Climate Change and National Security: People not Polar Bears,” Titley will give a plainspoken talk on the causes and consequences of climate change and will outline how climate, water, energy and food security intersect and how these issues collectively impact national security.
EcoWatch.com
Brandon Baker
Malaria predictions serve an obvious purpose, but they don’t always tell you how susceptible a particular town or village might be. In fact, a group of professors and researchers found that the likelihood of malaria-carrying mosquitoes showing up in particularly can vary more than most would imagine. “People might have an interest in predictions for global malaria trends and even more so for regional patterns, but they probably care most about what’s going to happen in their own town or village,” said Matthew Thomas, a Penn State University professor and Huck Scholar in ecological entomology. “What is likely to happen in one location can be very different from another location just 50 miles down the road.”
Gant Daily
As the public dialogue continues to grow around the utilization of natural gas, Penn State University, America’s Natural Gas Alliance and the Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center are hosting the fourth annual Natural Gas Utilization Conference. The conference will discuss the current trends, opportunities and challenges around each of the uses for natural gas and include extensive information around exporting natural gas as LNG. The conference will be held in Southpointe at the Hilton Garden Inn on Oct. 14-15.

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