PiBBs News Fall 2014

Welcome Back, PiBBs Fellows!

PiBBs Retreat —We are excited to announce the PiBBs Retreat for Fellows and Faculty, to be held October 3, 2014, at the beautiful and historic Los Poblanos Inn. This lovely venue features John Gaw Meem architecture, an organic farm and menu, and their famous lavender fields. But most exciting will be the presentations our fellows will give on their current research, and updates/strategic planning on PiBBs as we contemplate moving forward.

Haven’t seen yet the Science article, “Evidence for Mesothermy in Dinosaurs” ? The one written by PiBBs Fellows John Grady, Eva Dettweiler-Robinson, Natalie Wright, and PiBBs Director Felisa Smith, published just last Spring? Check it out at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6189/1268

PiBBs News Spring 2014

Congratulations to PiBBs fellow Meghan Balk, who received the 2014 UNM Department of Biology Outstanding Colleague Award - Graduate Student Division, based upon her contribution to the research mission of the University. PiBBs-affiliated faculty member Christopher Witt received the award in the Faculty Division. And Helen Wearing, Biology Professor and a PiBBs Advisory Council member, has received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award from the Office of the Provost, Teaching Enhancement Committee, and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

PiBBs Fellow Christian Gunning is graduating this Spring with his Ph.D. in Biology. All best wishes to Dr. Gunning, our 11th PiBBs graduate!

Great news for PiBBs fellows John Grady, Natalie Wright, Eva Dettweiler-Robinson, and PiBBs director, Felisa Smith, whose manuscript "Evidence for Mesothermy in Dinosaurs" has been (tentatively) accepted at Science. The work uses metabolic scaling theory in conjunction with a massive database of animal ontogenetic growth developed by John to determine the metabolic rate of extinct animals.

PiBBs fellows dominate the 28th Annual Biology Research Day! PiBBs fellows Natalie Wright and John Grady won 1st and 2nd place, respectively in the graduate student oral presentation awards. Natalie's talk was entitled "A New Island Rule for Birds: Evolution Towards Flightlessness" and John's was "Untangling the Energetics of Fossil Animals: Evidence for Mesothermy in Dinosaurs." And kudos to PIBBs fellow Melissa Pardi, who won first place in the graduate student poster presentations for her modeling of changes in the Pleistocene distribution of the carnivore guild.

Former PiBBs fellow Jordan Okie (now a postdoc at Arizona State University) won the 2013 Student Paper of the Year award from The American Naturalist. His winning paper is entitled "General Models for the Spectra of Surface Area Scaling Strategies of Cells and Organisms: Fractality, Geometric Dissimilitude, and Internalization."

Celebrated author Summer Wood has published an essay on Director Felisa Smith's field work in the upper Sonoran Desert, which also features PiBBs fellow Fred Whiteman. Read it on-line here. http://flyway.org/nonfiction/how-to-love-this-world/