Scientist Profiles on Project Biodiversify

Below is a table of all the Data Nuggets for which we have a Scientist Profile. Click on the title to open a page displaying the Data Nugget activity, teacher guide, and links to the Profile on Project Biodiversify. The table can be sorted and searched.

For more information on Project Biodiversify, visit their website! For more information on the collaboration between Data Nuggets and Project Biodiversify, check out this press release.

 TitleScientist ProfilesSummaryContent Level
Spiders under the influenceAaron CurryPeople use pharmaceutical drugs, personal care products, and other chemicals on a daily basis. Often, they get washed down our drains and end up in local waterways. Chris knew that many types of spiders live near streams and are exposed to toxins through the prey they eat. Chris wanted to compare effects of the chemicals on spiders in rural and urban environments. By comparing spider webs in these two habitats, they could see how different the webs are and infer how many chemicals are in the waterways. 2
Getting to the roots of serpentine soilAllie IgweWhen an organism grows in different environments, some traits change to fit the conditions. Serpentine soils have high amounts of toxic heavy metals, do not hold water well, and have low nutrient levels. Low levels of water and nutrients found in serpentine soils limit plant growth. Because serpentine soils have fewer plant nutrients and are drier than non-serpentine soils, Alexandria thought that plants growing in serpentine soils may not invest as much into large root systems.2
pcare2Raising Nemo: Parental care in the clown anemonefishTina BarbaschOffspring in many animal species rely on parental care; the more time and energy parents invest in their young, the more likely it is that their offspring will survive. However, parental care is costly for the parents. The more time spent on care, the less time they have to find food or care for themselves. In the clown anemonefish, the amount of food available may impact parental care behaviors. When there is food freely available in the environment, are parents able to spend more time caring for their young?3
What big teeth you have! Sexual selection in rhesus macaquesRaisa Hernández-PachecoIn Cayo Santiago there is one of the oldest free-ranging rhesus macaque colonies in the world. Scientists have gathered data on these monkeys and their habitat for over 70 years. The program monitors individual monkeys over their entire lives, and when they die their bodies are recovered and skeletal specimens are stored in a museum. These skeletal specimens can be used by scientists today to ask new and exciting questions, for example, what traits are under sexual selection in this population?3
cricketsBon Appétit! Why do male crickets feed females during courtship?Biz TurnellIn many species of insects and spiders, males provide females with gifts of food during courtship and mating. This is called nuptial feeding. These offerings are eaten by the female and can take many forms, including prey items the male captured, substances produced by the male, or parts from the male’s body. These gifts can cost the male a lot, so why do they give them? They may increase the male's chances of mating with a female, or they may help the female have more and healthier offspring.4
Stop that oxidation! What fruit flies teach us about human healthBiz TurnellEach of our cells is home to mitochondria, tiny factories whose job is to turn the food we eat into the energy we need to live. But during this process oxidative damage can cause harm to everything in the cell. There are two ways that bodies can prevent oxidative damage: antioxidants and more efficient metabolic pathways. Biz looked at fruit flies with varying genetics for these two strategies and wanted to test whether the level of oxidative damage in eggs and sperm would influence how many offspring a female had.4