Tag Archives: university of florida

Nighttime smartphone use zaps workers’ energy

Using a smartphone to cram in more work at night results in less work the next day, indicates new research co-authored by a Michigan State University business scholar.

In a pair of studies surveying a broad spectrum of U.S. workers, Russell Johnson and colleagues found that people who monitored their smart phones for business purposes after 9 p.m. were more tired and were less engaged the following day on the job. (more…)

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Lionfish Invasion

Invasive species among marine science subjects in Cayman Islands study abroad program

With a spiky fringe of venomous barbs and bold brown-and-white stripes, the exotic lionfish invaded Florida waters several decades ago and expanded its range widely from the Caribbean to New York. Native to the Indo-Pacific, the invasive species has no natural predators in this part of the world and readily feasts on small fish and shrimp.

UD students have the opportunity to observe these intruders — up-close and underwater — in a new study abroad program offered in the Cayman Islands through the School of Marine Science and Policy (SMSP). (more…)

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Even Adaptable Viruses Have Trouble Surviving Erratic Temperatures

Viruses such as those that cause the common cold are some of the most hardy and adaptable things on earth, but even they have trouble surviving the unpredictable and sudden temperature changes predicted by climate change models.

A simple RNA virus subjected to random temperature fluctuations within a window of just 8 degree C showed inability to adapt to this environmental change, according to research by Yale University and University of Florida scientists published Jan. 31 in the journal Evolution. (more…)

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UF Scientists Find State Record 87 Eggs In Largest Python From Everglades

GAINESVILLE, Fla.University of Florida researchers curating a 17-foot-7-inch Burmese python, the largest found in Florida, discovered 87 eggs in the snake, also a state record.

Scientists at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus examined the internal anatomy of the 164.5-pound snake Friday. The animal was brought to the Florida Museum from Everglades National Park as part of a long-term project with the U.S. Department of the Interior to research methods for managing the state’s invasive Burmese python problem. Following scientific investigation, the snake will be mounted for exhibition at the museum for about five years, and then returned for exhibition at Everglades National Park. (more…)

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Highway Through Amazon Worsens Effects of Climate Change, Provides Mixed Economic Gains

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Paving a highway across South America is providing lessons on the impact of road construction elsewhere.

That’s what a University of Florida researcher and his international colleagues have determined from analyzing communities along the Amazonian portion of the nearly 4,200-mile Interoceanic Highway, a coast-to-coast road that starts at ports in Brazil and will eventually connect to ones in Peru. (more…)

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New UF Study Shows Early North Americans Lived With Extinct Giant Beasts

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new University of Florida study that determined the age of skeletal remains provides evidence humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside giant extinct mammals.

The study published online today (May 3, 2012) in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology addresses the century-long debate among scientists about whether human and mammal remains found at Vero Beach in the early 1900s date to the same time period. Using rare earth element analysis to measure the concentration of naturally occurring metals absorbed during fossilization, researchers show modern humans in North America co-existed with large extinct mammals about 13,000 years ago, including mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths. (more…)

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Science Fair Winner Publishes New Study on Butterfly Foraging Behavior

GAINESVILLE, Fla.University of Florida lepidopterist Andrei Sourakov has spent his life’s work studying moths and butterflies. But it was his teenage daughter, Alexandra, who led research on how color impacts butterflies’ feeding patterns.

The research shows different species exhibit unique foraging behaviors, and the study may be used to build more effective, species-specific synthetic lures for understanding pollinators, insects on which humans depend for sustaining many crops.

In a study appearing online in April in the journal Psyche, researchers used multi-colored landing pads and baits in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity on the UF campus to determine that some butterflies use both sight and smell to locate food, while others rely primarily on smell. (more…)

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Evolution of Earliest Horses Driven by Climate Change

*The hotter it gets, the smaller the animal?*

When Sifrhippus sandae, the earliest known horse, first appeared in the forests of North America more than 50 million years ago, it would not have been mistaken for a Clydesdale.

It weighed in at around 12 pounds–and it was destined to get much smaller over the ensuing millennia.

Sifrhippus lived during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a 175,000-year interval of time some 56 million years ago in which average global temperatures rose by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. (more…)

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