• Pollution causing problems for nighttime pollinators

    You might not know it, but some moths can smell just as well as dogs. The nighttime insects use their antennae to sniff out flowers heavy with pollen up to a mile away. New research from the UW shows pollution in car exhaust can blunt the flowers’ scent – making it hard for pollinators to find the blossoms. The UW's Jeff Riffell, professor of biology, and Joel Thornton, professor of atmospheric sciences, are quoted.
    02/21/2024 | KNKX
  • Pollution is problematic for pollinators — and perhaps your produce

    Air pollution is making it hard for some Washington state flowers to get pollinated, according to a new study in the journal Science. Jeff Riffell, professor of biology at the UW, is quoted.
    02/19/2024 | KUOW
  • Video: Bringing stars back to the sea

    Scientists at this University of Washington facility in the San Juan Islands are working to help sunflower stars — a type of sea star — grow and thrive once again after their populations along the West Coast were devastated by a mysterious disease. Jason Hodin, research scientist in the UW Department of Biology, is quoted.

    02/16/2024 | UW News
  • Polluted flowers smell less sweet to pollinators, study finds

    The research, involving primroses and hawk moths, suggests that air pollution could be interfering with plant reproduction. The UW's Jeff Riffell, professor of biology, and Joel Thornton, professor of atmospheric sciences, are quoted, and Jeremy Chan, a former graduate student, is pictured.
    02/12/2024 | The New York Times
  • How air pollution prevents pollinators from finding their flowers

    Many animals rely on scent to make sense of the world. Pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes may be making them nose-blind. The UW's Jeff Riffell, professor of biology, and Joel Thornton, professor of atmospheric sciences, are quoted.
    02/09/2024 | The Washington Post
  • Air pollution messes with moths’ ability to smell flowers

    Byproducts of car exhaust disrupt pollination by degrading the floral scents that insects use to track down their favorite plants, according to new research. The UW's Jeff Riffell, professor of biology, and Joel Thornton, professor of atmospheric sciences, are quoted.
    02/09/2024 | Popular Science
  • Foul fumes pose pollinator problems

    Scientists at the University of Washington have discovered that nighttime air pollution â coming primarily from car exhaust and power plant emissions â is responsible for a major drop in nighttime pollinator activity. Nitrate radicals (NO3) in the air degrade the scent chemicals released by a common wildflower, drastically reducing the scent-based cues that its chief pollinators rely on to locate the flower. The findings, published Feb. 9 in Science, are the first to show how nighttime pollution creates a chain of chemical reactions that degrades scent cues, leaving flowers undetectable by smell. The researchers also determined that pollution likely has worldwide impacts on pollination.
    02/08/2024 | UW News
  • Could studying how dogs age help us understand the ways humans do?

    Dogs share so much of their lives with humans and can develop the same health conditions we do, like dementia or diabetes. Those similarities drove researchers to wonder if our medical science can help dogs live longer — and if maybe, our furry friends could tell us something about how we age, too. Daniel Promislow, professor of biology and of laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW, is quoted.
    01/22/2024 | KUOW
  • Scientists are using AI to study bee behavior, zebra movement, and insects on treadmills

    At the the 2024 annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Seattle, researchers discussed the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for learning about things like spiders, bats, bees, elephants and other creatures. Jeff Riffell, a professor of biology at the UW, is quoted.
    01/17/2024 | GeekWire
  • Researchers scramble to keep dog aging project alive

    The National Institute on Aging may let funding lapse for a yearslong study of nearly 50,000 pet dogs, which could also offer insight into human health. Daniel Promislow, professor of biology and of laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW, is quoted.
    01/12/2024 | The New York Times
  • UW researcher slows down hummingbirds to study them — what he found is amazing

    Alejandro Rico-Guevara, assistant professor of biology at the UW and curator of ornithology at the UW Burke Museum, has dedicated his life to looking at hummingbirds in ways other people can’t. What he’s learned changed the world’s understanding of hummingbirds and, at times, has been of great use to humans.
    01/10/2024 | KUOW
  • Massive study of dog aging likely to lose funding

    Organizers hope to save long-running project on canine aging and longevity. Daniel Promislow, professor of biology and of laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW, is quoted.
    01/09/2024 | Science
  • Sleep experts, physicians address impacts of increased travel on student-athletes as colleges leave Pac-12 conference

    As several athletic programs announce their move to a new conference, a group of sleep and circadian scientists and physicians dive into the impacts of increased travel on student-athletes. The UW's Horacio de la Iglesia, professor of biology; Dr. Russ Van Gelder, professor of ophthalmology; and Michael Dillon, associate athletic director for health and wellness, are quoted.
    12/06/2023 | KHQ
  • UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences maintains No. 1 global ranking; more than two dozen UW subjects in top 50

    Six University of Washington subjects ranked in the top 10, and atmospheric sciences maintained its position as No. 1 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2023. The ranking, released at the end of October, was conducted by researchers at the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, a fully independent organization dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultation.
    11/13/2023 | UW News
  • Cheetahs become more nocturnal in extreme heat, study finds

    Hunting later at night may force the big cats to surrender their prey to larger carnivores, such as lions and leopards. Kasim Rafiq, a UW postdoctoral researcher in biology, is quoted.
    11/12/2023 | Smithsonian Magazine