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earth and environmental sciences

International collaboration draws new conclusions about ‘convergent evolution’ of saber-tooth cats

Jun. 26, 2020—International collaboration shows that marsupial saber-tooth cats were more closely related to possums than fearsome predators.

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Unexpected mammal provides insight into the lives of ancient hominins

Jun. 11, 2020—Paleontologist and associate professor of biological sciences Larisa DeSantis finds answers about early hominin diets are with an unrelated group of mammals—tapirs.

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Virtual Gatherings: Grad student in Earth & Environmental Sciences keeps group hangouts on schedule

Apr. 10, 2020—When COVID-19 threw a wrench in their plans for meeting up in person, graduate students in Earth and Environmental Sciences decided to take their weekly hangout online. 

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Bangladesh collaboration offers lessons for facing rapid environmental changes

Feb. 24, 2020—With a population of roughly 150 million people, the delta country of Bangladesh holds about half the population of the entire United States in an area the size of Louisiana, and exists under a near-constant risk of sea level rise and other dynamic climate changes. Now, as the world faces a future chock-full of increasing...

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Where are the quokkas? New study explains what happened to the “happiest animal in the world”

Feb. 21, 2020—The quokka, a small marsupial native to Australia, is an example of a species vulnerable to extinction in the country’s harsh surroundings. In a new study, researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrate evidence for the dramatic decline of quokkas over the past century.

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New thalattosaur species discovered in Southeast Alaska

Feb. 4, 2020—Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Vanderbilt University have identified a new species of thalattosaur, a marine reptile that lived more than 200 million years ago. 

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From Antarctica to The Ingram Commons

Oct. 22, 2019—Dan Morgan, faculty head of Memorial House and principal senior lecturer of earth and environmental sciences, leads with optimism.

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Ediacaran dinner party featured plenty to eat, adequate sanitation, computer model shows

Jun. 19, 2019—“They are behaving like animals, and that’s a link between them and what we recognize as animals," says paleontologist Simon A.F. Darroch.

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Explosive Discoveries: What science can tell us about the next volcanic super-eruption

Feb. 19, 2019—Guilherme Gualda, associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences, has spent much of his career working to find out what causes volcanic super-eruptions.

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Ice Age: Vanderbilt expedition to Antarctica studies ice and how it has changed over millions of years

Feb. 19, 2019—In the remote mountains far beyond Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, Vanderbilt geologist Dan Morgan and undergraduate Andrew Grant lived in tents for more than a month while they hunted in the glow of an ever-present sun for the oldest ice ever found.

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Childhood meeting with Bush inspired Vanderbilt’s DeSantis to be role model for others

Dec. 6, 2018—When Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Larisa DeSantis was 9 years old, she had the opportunity to meet with then-President George H.W. Bush in the Oval Office. The interaction with the 41st president would have a profound effect on her life.

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Earth Horizons partnership to boost minority representation in geosciences

Sep. 24, 2018—Vanderbilt and Tennessee State universities are joining forces to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minorities studying the geosciences.

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