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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.

What Would Alien Life on Other Planets Look Like?

Predictions on alien life on other planets.

What’s Killing the Saiga Antelope?

In Kazakhstan, saiga antelope are dying by the thousands, and nobody knows precisely why.

Got Plants? You may also have diamonds!

The use of plants as indicators for specific environmental conditions

Seeing Through Your Skin? No Sweat, If You’re an Octopus

New research suggests that the octopus can “see” through its body.

The Forgotten Pyramids of Sudan

Sudanese pyramids are far less well known by either archaeologists or the public than their Egyptian counterparts.

The Opah Fish is Warm-Blooded!

The Opah fish, or moonfish, is actually warm-blooded.

History Repeats Itself in a Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Two pieces look at a 1969 oil spill in California
Coffee

Good News, Coffee Drinkers!

A moderate amount of coffee might be genuinely good for you.

The How of Seasonal Allergies

Allergies, how do they work?

Why Rhinos Need Their Horns

Trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn is banned in most countries, but every effort must be made to turn the consumption of wildlife products from status symbol into stigma.

An Eye Full of Ebola

Dr. Ian Crozier was declared cured after a harrowing bout with the Ebola virus, only to discover that his left eye was full of the virus.

Warty Pigeons, Dodos, Giant Tortoises, and More: The Extinct Wildlife of Mauritius

Newly discovered Dutch manuscripts describe the extinct wildlife of Mauritius Island.

The Lowdown on Bees and Pesticides

New research suggests that declines in wild bees may be due to a specific pesticide.

The Creepy “Blood Falls” of Antarctica

How Antarctica's "Blood Falls" were discovered.

Endangered Gorillas’ New Ally – Giant Snails

Giant snail farming may be the only hope to save an endangered gorilla species in Cameroon.

Desalination: Drought Relief or Liability?

Is desalination a viable solution for California's water crisis?

Sex and the Stegosaurus

How do you sex a Stegosaurus? Look at its back plates.

Do Vitamin Supplements Cause Cancer?

There's been a long history of research on vitamin supplements and their potential cancer risk.

What Happens When You Crack Your Knuckles?

Where does the sound of cracking knuckles come from, and is it dangerous?
Seagulls follow whales to eat anchovies.

The Sound of an Unknown Whale

Researchers might have identified one—and maybe even two—brand new species of whale.

Watching the Twin Suns Rise on a Real-Life Tatooine

Twin suns, like the ones seen in Star Wars, may be more common than originally thought.

The Invincible Tardigrade

Tardigrades, aka water bears, are microscopic animals that are found in virtually any environment on Earth.
Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica striata) on branch

Blackpoll Warblers: Tiny bird, Huge Journey

Blackpoll warblers make a 1,500 mile, non-stop flight over the Atlantic

A Cosmic Mystery from a Microwave Burrito

The source of mysterious radio waves detected by two of world's largest telescopes has been traced to a microwave.