Evolutionary biologists have long suspected that the diversification of a single species into multiple descendent species – that is, an “adaptive radiation” – is the result of each species adapting to a different environment. Yet formal tests of this hypothesis have been elusive owing to the difficulty of firmly establishing the relationship between species traits and evolutionary “fitness” for a group of related species that recently diverged from a common ancestral species.

Published on: 9 Jan 2024

Researchers zero in on spinocerebellar ataxia type 6, a disease that disrupts brain function

Researchers from McGill University, led by Professor Alanna Watt of the Department of Biology, have identified previously unknown changes in brain cells affected by a neurological disease. Their research, published in eLife, could pave the way to future treatments for the disease.

Published on: 12 Dec 2023

In a new study from McGill University, researchers bring science into an unexpected setting: a tattoo parlor. In this first characterization of the human piercing microbiome, the uniquely human cultural practice of piercing serves as a model system to help us better understand how biological communities (re)assemble after catastrophic environmental disturbances.

Published on: 5 Dec 2023

Sixteen McGill researchers have been included on the Highly Cited Researchers™ (HCRs) list, as published by Clarivate. To be included in the prestigious list, researchers must rank in the top 1 per cent worldwide for their fields and publications in the Web of Science index. In being named to this list, these investigators join a cohort of 6,849 individuals around the world who have been recognized for their academic contributions.

Published on: 15 Nov 2023

When you learn you’ve been awarded Canada’s largest scholarship for STEM studies, it’s a pretty heady moment. Just ask some of McGill’s new Schulich Leaders. These new McGill students hail from New Brunswick to Vancouver and are among the 100 recipients in Canada this year of Schulich Leader Scholarships, valued at up to $120,000.


Read the full article.

Classified as: Schulich Leaders
Published on: 8 Sep 2023

Biological invasions are a major threat to ecosystems, biodiversity, and human well-being, resulting in ecosystem degradation and causing economic costs in the multi-trillions of euros globally. A study led by McGill University sheds light on the stark economic cost resulting from biological invasions in the European Union (EU).

Classified as: alien invasion, biological invasion, European Union, economic costs, invasive species, Sustainability
Published on: 13 Jul 2023

Congratulations to Alanna Watt, Department of Biology, for being awarded the 2023 Leo Yaffe Award for Excellence in Teaching

Published on: 6 Jun 2023

Just shy of 100 faculty, students, and friends packed the Redpath Auditorium on May 12th to celebrate the retirement of Graham Bell, James McGill Professor in the Department of Biology at McGill. For the occasion, Bell delivered a “final “seminar to the audience, which included his wife and three sons, surveying his career as an evolutionary biologist.

Published on: 25 May 2023

Surveying the body sizes of Earth’s living organisms, researchers from McGill University and University of British Columbia found that the planet’s biomass – the material that makes up all living organisms – is concentrated in organisms at either end of the size spectrum.

The researchers spent five years compiling and analyzing data about the size and biomass of every type of living organism on the planet—from tiny one-celled organisms like soil archaea and bacteria to large organisms like blue whales and sequoia trees.

Classified as: size, life, biomass, Sustainability
Published on: 10 May 2023

On le sait désormais : la préservation de l’environnement ne s’arrête pas à la simple réduction des émissions de carbone dans l’atmosphère. Grâce, notamment, à la tenue de la Conférence de l’ONU sur la biodiversité (COP15) à Montréal en décembre 2022, l’importance de la protection de la biodiversité est aujourd’hui bien présente dans l’actualité. Pour des chercheurs comme Andrew Gonzalez, professeur de biologie à l’Université McGill, il était plus que temps.

Published on: 26 Apr 2023

At the recent COP 15 conference in Montreal, Canada committed to protecting 30% of its land by 2030, but which areas are most crucial to protect for at-risk species such as the spotted turtles?

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, McGill University researchers overlayed maps of species at risk to find hotspots where many species live together. They found that hotspots often overlap.

Classified as: Biology, Faculty of Science
Published on: 11 Apr 2023

Diane Dechief from the Office of Science Education and Stephanie Weber from the Dept. of Biology were among several McGill instructors who recently gathered to share their ideas for fostering equitable and inclusive learning environments.

Published on: 26 Oct 2022

Join five current Biology students as they share their stories of finding their place and pursuing diverse paths within the discipline in this new video: A Glimpse Into Biology at McGill. To learn more about the inspiration for this video, read Video marks launch of Department of Biology outreach campaign.

Classified as: STEM Outreach, Redpath Museum, Biology Department
Published on: 14 Oct 2022

Many mammal species living in cold climates tend to have large bodies and short limbs to reduce heat loss – a general pattern known as Bergmann’s rule. However, bats are the exception to the rule, displaying small body sizes in both hot and cold regions. A McGill-led team of researchers is shedding light on this long-standing debate over bats’ body sizes and focus on why bats are seemingly non-conforming to ecogeographical patterns found in other mammals. Their findings offer a new method for investigating complex macroecology across bat species.

Classified as: mcgill research, Department of Biology, bats, Thermoregulation, Sustainability, Juan G Rubalcaba, morphology, evolution, flight cost
Published on: 21 Jul 2022


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