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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

How the ability to clone itself may empower a mystery globetrotter

October 09, 2020

It always pays to think outside of the box. Rachel Collin decided to look further afield to find the adult form that matched a larvae from a plankton sample in Panama and was surprised by the result.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

A journey of growth and discovery

October 09, 2020

The first time Dumas Gálvez saw the ant species Ectatomma ruidum under a microscope, he was just a little boy. He was immediately fascinated. A few decades later, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a professor in the entomology department at the University of Panama and a mentor to young scientists, he does research on that same ant species. Listen...

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Unequal migration across the land-bridge millions of years ago

October 06, 2020

The disproportionate extinction of South American mammals when the Americas collided is still evident today

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

A new nemertean species discovered in Panama’s Bocas del Toro archipelago was named after a local biologist

September 28, 2020

The novel ribbon worm was found as part of STRI’s Training in Tropical Taxonomy program and represents the first species of its genus from the Caribbean

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Why do small marine organisms matter for the future of our oceans?

September 15, 2020

Beneficial partnerships between diverse marine organisms are often favorable to the health of marine ecosystems as well. Listen to STRI postdoctoral fellow and marine and evolutionary biologist Matthieu Leray describe how mutualistic relationships among coral reefs and small marine species or microorganisms may help them cope with climate change.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

How do Giraffes and Elephants alter the african savanna landscape?

September 15, 2020

Through their foraging behavior across the diverse topography of the African savanna, megaherbivores may be unknowingly influencing the growth and survival of vegetation on valleys and plateaus, while preserving steep slopes as habitat refugia.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Peruvian Amazonian shaman rose to power on promises of liberation and immortality

September 14, 2020

Anthropologist Fernando Santos-Granero has pieced together the story of a change agent whose life spanned an important period in South American history in his book, Slavery and Utopia , now available in English and Spanish.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Animated maps of sea level rise: the Isthmus of Panama during the last 26,000 years

September 11, 2020

These maps dramatically illustrate how rising sea levels completely altered the shape of Panama’s coastline, creating islands and submerging large areas of land.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

An untraditional path for science

September 09, 2020

For Panamanian marine biologist Yehudi Rodríguez, her curiosity about sharks began early in life, watching the National Geographic programs and listening to her father’s stories as an underwater fisherman. This persistent interest led her to pave a path where there were not many opportunities, and to learn as much as possible from the people she encountered during her research projects in the...

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Fossil trees on Peru’s Central Andean Plateau tell a tale of dramatic environmental change

August 28, 2020

As the Earth’s surface transforms, entire ecosystems come and go. The anatomy of fossil plants growing in the Andean Altiplano region 10 million years ago calls current paleoclimate models into question, suggesting that the area was more humid than models predict.

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