Skip to content

James MacDonald

James MacDonald received a BS in Environmental Biology from Columbia and a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, spending 4 years in Central America collecting data on fish in mangrove forests. His research has been published in scholarly journals such as Estuaries and Coasts and Biological Invasions. He currently works in fisheries management and outreach in New York.

Extreme ultraviolet light streams out of an X-class solar flare

The Threat of Solar Flares

Solar flares are highly unpredictable and difficult to anticipate. But their threat is very real.
North American Nebula

The Search For Antimatter

Physicists, in recent years, have been trying to find evidence of antimatter in the universe. Its existence could overturn the Big Bang theory.
Antique illustration of northern crested newt (Triturus cristatus)

The Age of Amphibians

Tracing the remarkable diversity of the early amphibians, creatures that spanned the globe and preceded the age of dinosaurs.
Meat products

Fake Meat: Get Ready for The Synthetic Meat Revolution

New Wave Foods, a Silicon Valley start-up, has developed synthetic shrimp in a lab. Will fake meat revolutionize the food industry?
The Pyramids and Sphinx

Using Technology to Understand the Pyramids

Technological advances continue to play a strong role in our efforts to understand the great pyramids of Egypt.
Microlattice is the world's lightest material but is also very strong.

Microlattice: The World’s Lightest Metal

Boeing has developed a metal microlattice, a strong material mostly composed of air.
Sleepy Bulldog

Why Does Eating Food Make You Sleepy?

Your turkey is not to blame.
Humpback Whale

The Importance of Whale Poop

Whales are an important part of ocean biodiversity. So is their poop.
Wolly Mammoth model at the Royal BC Museum

How Did the Pleistocene Support Such Large Herbivores?

How could the era have supported such massive herbivores?
Human chimera with two different colored eyes.

Human Chimeras

Human chimeras are surprisingly common and a wonder of the human reproductive process.
Apatosaurus

Could the Apatosaurus’ Tail Break the Sound Barrier?

Research suggests that the apatosaurus' tail was an impressive appendage.
Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921

Entanglement: A Milestone for Quantum Mechanics

Advances in quantum mechanics has proved the existence of entanglement, a principle even Einstein had a hard time swallowing.
Sunscreen

Sunscreen Linked to Coral Reef Decay

Globally, we release roughly four to six thousand tons of sunscreen in coral reef areas. The result has been disastrous.
Bleached wart coral

The Global Coral Bleaching Event

We look at the current global coral bleaching event, possibly the worst in recorded history.
Ebola virus

Is a Virus Alive?

The answer to the question whether a virus is alive isn't so simple.

Do Tall People Have a Higher Risk of Cancer?

We review the research on the correlation between height and cancer risk.
Bacteria

Protecting Mars From Earthly Contaminates

Now that water has been discovered on Mars, the next step is to ensure we don't contaminate the planet with Earthly microbes and bacteria.
Fire

Fire Season is Getting Longer and Longer

A look at how climate change and human influences are changing the dynamics of fire, and the landscape, in the American west.
Broken windows in Prypiat, Chernobyl

Chernobyl: Can Wildlife Return After the Blast?

For 30 years we have assumed that no life would return to Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster there. We may be wrong.
This is an artist’s impression of a Kuiper Belt object (KBO), located on the outer rim of our solar system.

Next stop for the New Horizons Spacecraft: The Kuiper Belt

New Horizons, the NASA probe deployed to visit Pluto, has begun a new mission: visit the Kuiper belt, a region beyond the orbit of Neptune.
The Brain That Wouldn't Die - 1962 - Joseph Green

Head Transplants: A History

The first human head transplant is scheduled for 2017. But the possibility of transplants has transfixed scientists for most of the last century.
Beth Stevens

Read MacArthur “Genius” Grant Winner Beth Stevens’ Work on JSTOR

Beth Stevens was awarded the heralded "genius" grant for her work on microglia, the specialized nervous system cells.

We’re Down to Half the Fish in the Sea

Since the 1970s, half of the world's fish population has disappeared. We trace the history of this ecological disaster.