Plant of the Month: Cascarilla

Epidemics revive old remedies and accelerate experimentation with new ones.
Atlantic horseshoe crab (Polyphemus occidentalis) illustration from Zoology of New york (1842 - 1844) by James Ellsworth De Kay (1792-1851).

The Horseshoe Crab: Same as It Ever Was?

The seemingly static appearance of these ancient-looking arthropods presents a challenge for scientists who want to study their evolutionary history.
Little brown bat

What Bats Can Teach Humans About Coronavirus Immunity

Bats have a unique genetic ability to tolerate many viral infections. Can humans uncover their secrets?
On the left, Heliconia tarumaensis Barreiros (with yellow bracts); on the right, Heliconia acuminata L.C. Richard (with yellow and red bracts). Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection.

Plant of the Month: Heliconia

Heliconias can distinguish among pollinators like hummingbirds and respond selectively to their visits.
Birds flying past the windows of a building

Migrating Birds Face an Unexpected Danger: Glass Buildings

Research shows that building collisions take a staggering annual toll on North America's bird population.
A grizzly bear c. 1955

The Scientist Who Wanted Grizzly Bears Eliminated

In the late 1960s, two highly visible deaths from grizzly bear attacks led to a debate about whether humans and bears could coexist.
Ynés Mexía

Ynés Mexía: Botanical Trailblazer

This Mexican-American botanist fought against the harshness of both nature and society to follow her passion for plant collecting.
Usnea antarctica

The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology

Elke Mackenzie’s moments of self-citation illuminate the hopes of someone who, against ease and tradition, did not wish to separate her identity from her research.
Botanical manuscript of 450 watercolors of flowers and plants

Plant of the Month: Dittany

Did women in the premodern world have much agency over reproduction? Their use of plants like dittany suggests that they did.
A person taking a photograph of a mushroom on their phone.

iNaturalist and Crowdsourcing Natural History

The citizen-science app iNaturalist lets you record observations of plants and animals. The data can be used to study biodiversity.