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Rebecca Terry sitting in office space in front of map

Discover: Research Highlights

Rebecca Terry, integrative biology assistant professor discovered fossilized owl pellets in Utah

The College of Science has an extensive and deep research portfolio that is globally recognized, providing our students enriching and life-changing experiences working alongside leading scientists and researchers in the College.

Our Faculty and Researchers

George Poinar, Jr., emeritus professor in the Department of Integrative Biology recently discovered the oldest-ever evidence of the bubonic plague that has been locked away in a 20-million-year-old flea trapped in amber. He also discovered the first-ever fossil of an extinct species of salamander revealing that salamanders once lived on an island in the Caribbean Sea, something previously not known.

Stephanie Green, the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology, recently created quite a stir with her new study that suggests an outright ban on the common use of plastic “microbeads” from products that enter wastewater is the best way to protect water quality, wildlife, and resources used by people. The study was the number three science story in the world on September 18 on Google News.

skull within owl pellet

Mammal bones are visible in this owl pellet, which is tangled in cheatgrass and buried in sediment. Credit: Rebecca Terry

Professor Jane Lubchenco and assistant professor Kirsten Grorud-Colvert of the Department of Integrative Biology published a policy article on ocean protection, “Making waves: The science and politics of ocean protection,” in the journal Science. The article recognizes the substantial strides the international community has made toward protecting the oceans, but says much more work remains to assure vital fish stocks and other resources will remain sustainable into the future.

Lubchenco delivered a similar message along with other OSU ecologists in an op-ed piece published in Nature Geoscience that argued scientific “business as usual” will fall far short of what is needed to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals expected to be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Rebecca Terry, integrative biology assistant professor discovered fossilized owl pellets in Utah when the earth went through a period of rapid warming about 13,000 years ago. The finding suggests that small mammal community was stable and resilient, indicating human activities have disturbed ecosystem resilience.

Microbiology professor Janine Trempy and her team have discovered, helped patent and commercialize a new type of dairy or food thickener, which may add probiotic characteristics to products.

Integrative Biology assistant professor Eli Meyer was part of a collaborative research study with scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and the Australian Institute of Marine Science that revealed some corals already have the genes to adapt to higher temperatures.