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The Biodiversity Institute's Director of Science Programs, Brian Barber, Joins Willow Beldon on a podcast episode of
"Out There".

this black-crowned night heron is part of a large collection of stuffed birds that were discovered at a school in laramie, wyoming in 2016. (photo by Willow Belden)

What the Future Will Hold

How a mysterious bird collection could unlock tomorrow's scientific secrets

  Click Here to Listen Now

"When evolutionary biologist Brian Barber first heard that some stuffed birds had been found at a Wyoming high school, he didn't think too much of it. But as luck would have it, the mysterious collection would turn out to be a goldmine. 

On this episode, we tell the story of a treasure trove of forgotten specimens that could help with scientific breakthroughs decades or centuries down the road.

The story takes us from the prairies of Wyoming in the 1960s to a fancy research facility today, and shows the surprising things that can come about from a project that started on someone’s kitchen table." - Out There


The WyoBio Minute:

Wyoming is home to one of the world’s rarest plants, the desert yellowhead. This unusual plant defies all expectations—its shiny, dark green leaves contrast with the rough and rugged leaves of its neighbors on the wind-swept slopes of central Wyoming.
Vertebrate bones are a treasure trove of information. From what an animal eats, to how they move, or how they died, scientists can extract myriad data from a skeleton.
Vampires evoke dreams of cool nights and warm blood. For the vampire bat these dreams are reality. These nocturnal denizens of the tropics acquire their liquid nourishment from other mammals and birds. Image by: Sandstein, Via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the WyoBio Minute Podcast Archive

Field Surveys

Dr. Anna Chalfoun is an Assistant Professor in the University of Wyoming's Zoology and Physiology Department and the Assistant Unit Leader for Wildlife at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. We sat down to talk about her career path, sagebrush songbirds, and what makes for good applied ecology research. Pikas, a lone wolf, and a hapless cow also make appearances in our conversation.
Dr. Merav Ben-David is an Professor in the University of Wyoming's Zoology and Physiology Department and the Director of the University's Program in Ecology. We sat down to talk about growing up in Israel, the plight of polar bears, and how otters are fighting climate change. Dr. Ben-David also shares stories of several close calls in the field, involving a stuck anchor, Arctic fog, and an exploding battery.

Visit the Field Surveys Podcast Archive

Featured Podcast:

Podcast: SciCafe: Island Birds and Biodiversity

From Darwin’s finches to the Dodo, island birds have inspired groundbreaking scientific theories. The genomic revolution and increased access to islands are now enabling a new age of island exploration by researchers.

In this podcast from April’s SciCafe, Chris Filardi, director of Pacific Programs for the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, highlights the Museum’s ongoing island research and new paradigms in island biology.


Biodiversity Institute Video Selection:

Wyoming's Big Game Migrations and 50 Years of Wilderness from Biodiversity Institute on Vimeo.

This Months Featured Media:

Featured Video:

Latest from the Berry Prairie Blog

The Tale of the Scarlet Gilia

The Scarlet Gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) is a pretty fabulous plant. Bright red tubular flowers hanging off tall, narrow stems, and leaves so narrow they almost look coniferous. They bloom late in the summer (August), and hummingbirds and hawk moths love these beautiful flowers. Drought tolerant and doesn't require much for nutrient input, this plant is great for Wyoming gardens.

Truffula Trees

I discovered what must have been Dr. Seuss's inspiration. Can you believe that the Berry Prairie has real-live miniature truffula trees?!

Hey there good lookin'!

In the words of Ron Burgandy (well, paraphrased), the Berry Prairie looks good. I mean, really good. Hey everybody - come and see how good it looks! The plants are just as lush as can be, and the diversity of flowers is fabulous. Stop in any time to get an up-close look!

Asteraceaes in Bloom!

The Berry Prairie plants are going nuts. So many in bloom right now! A group of flowers in the Asteraceae family, or the sunflower family, have a number of species in bloom right now. Below, Charmaine Delmatier, Director of the Rocky Mountain Herbarium Volunteer Program at the University of Wyoming, describes three that are in bloom right now.

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