Bonnie Stevens

Brain Food - Reporter/Host
KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

New knowledge about the endangered Bonytail Chub is helping biologists understand more about the native Colorado River fish: how it maneuvered through pre-dam floods and is surviving current experimental high-flow releases. 


Courtesy of thetreecenter.com

Voracious Japanese beetles are becoming frequent fliers on airlines traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast. And that’s wreaking havoc on hundreds of species of plants. Ecosystem scientist Bruce Hungate is trying to find out how the beetles are getting their boarding passes. 


Wikipedia

Glyptodonts were giant armadillo-like creatures that went extinct with the last Ice Age. But not before they traveled across the land bridge from South America; some ending up in the Arizona desert near Safford. That's where scientists recently found a pair of their enormous skeletons, remarkably preserved. 


NAU/Jackie Thomas

Scientists are trying to project what mule deer on the Kaibab Plateau might need in order to survive a changing climate. The herd lives on a forested "sky island" - an elevated area surrounded by different low-land environments. If the future holds warmer, drier conditions, how would food sources and hiding places change for the deer? That's what Spatial Ecologist Jackie Thomas is trying to find out.

prx.org

LIGO technology is enabling astronomers to listen to the sounds of the universe through gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of time and space. 


Dogs have long been used to sniff out bombs, drugs and bodies. Now, a forest ecologist at Northern Arizona University is enlisting the help of scent-detecting dogs to locate bat colonies. Carol Chambers is testing the idea in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, working with dogs trained to pick up the scent of bat guano. 


Rapid Eye Movement – that thing we do in our deepest sleep – is not fully understood. Scientists think it happens when different parts of the brain are communicating and making sense out of the chaos of the day. 


Literary and cinematic history is full of characters who have some type of disability...from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, to Rain Man, to Marlee Matlin's Oscar-winning performance in  Children of a Lesser God. But there aren't nearly as many of these characters in musical theater. That's according to Jim Leve, a musicology professor at Northern Arizona University. He's researching the repertoire of musical productions that feature characters - and actors - with all kinds of disabilities. 


NASA

Space missions are revealing more and more evidence of watery worlds in surprising places. Nadine Barlow is a physics and astronomy professor at Northern Arizona University. She's part of an international panel that studies areas of the solar system where water - and possibly life - may be present.


KNAU/Bonnie Stevens

It would be ideal if anthropology students had access to the world's oldest artifacts for their studies. But many of those objects are locked away in museums and private collections. That's why Northern Arizona University professor Francis Smiley makes epoxy replicas of knives, blades and spear points, so his students have hands-on training with Stone Age tools.

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