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Rachel Wachman '24December 3, 20216min
Haley Brumberger BA/MA ’21 captured an image through a microscope of tiny crustaceans called ostracods in sediments of a volcanic lake in Oregon during the 2019 program for Wesleyan Summer Research in the Sciences, which she participated in as a summer research fellow through the College of Integrative Sciences. The image first won the Summer Research in the Sciences Image Competition for 2019 before winning this year’s image competition for The Micropalaeontological Society (TMS). They announced her win on Twitter, as well as through the RedBubble merchandise they’re selling of the image. Brumberger, who majored in earth and environmental sciences…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 12, 20217min
A 7-foot-long extinct marine crocodile has finally found a permanent home on Wesleyan's campus—exactly 150 years after it arrived. Known as a Teleosaur (Macrospondylus bollensis), the sea-dwelling lizard lived during the early Jurassic period, approximately 180 million years ago. A cast was gifted to Wesleyan in 1871 by chemist Orange Judd of the Wesleyan Class of 1847, and the namesake of the University’s Orange Judd Museum of Natural Sciences. When the museum closed in 1957, more than 900 animal casts, including the Teleosaur, were moved into storage in random locations throughout campus. Over sixty years later, the Teleosaur cast was…

Olivia DrakeMay 4, 20213min
Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, is the co-author of five scientific papers. All are part of the output of international collaborations of which her Wesleyan-based research was a part, funded by the National Science Foundation over the last three years. “All the studies look at different aspects of the behavior of microscopic organisms in the oceans under past environmental stress, whether caused by the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, or past episodes of global warming or cooling, and at the effect of different rates of environmental change on these life forms," she said.…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 1, 20212min
Olin Library's newest resident is looking for a good book to sink his tusk into. The skull of a one-toothed walrus, which was installed in the Campbell Reading Room on Jan. 20, is the University's latest exhibit on display from the former Museum of Wesleyan University (1871–1957). The piece was donated to Wesleyan 145 years ago by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History but has spent about half of its university life in storage. The 26-pound skull, which is missing its right tusk, belonged to a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) living along the Ugashik River in Alaska in…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 6, 20203min
Associate Professor of Spanish María Ospina's collection of short stories, Azares del Cuerpo (Variations on the Body), was published in Spain in September 2020, after being previously published in Colombia, Chile, and Italy. The book also is forthcoming in the U.S. next summer by Coffee House Press. Azares del Cuerpo was reviewed in one of Spain’s most important national newspapers (El Mundo) on Oct. 30. Read more here. Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Smith Curator of Paleontology of the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History, and University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, is the…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 26, 20202min
Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Smith Curator of Paleontology of the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History, and University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, is the recipient of the 2020 Joseph A. Cushman Award for Excellence in Foraminiferal Research. At Wesleyan, Thomas investigates oceanic benthic foraminifera (eukaryotic unicellular organisms) as proxies for the impact of changes in environment and climate on living organisms on various time scales. This fall, she's teaching the courses Research Frontiers in the Sciences and Mass Extinctions in the Oceans. Brian Huber, president of the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 19, 20202min
Wesleyan students, graduate students, and recent alumni will present research posters during the annual Geological Society of America meeting Oct. 26–30. The virtual event will allow for a five-minute presentation followed by a five-minute period to answer questions. Earth and environmental sciences graduate student Yu Kai Tan '20 and Andy (Dick Yee) Tan '21 will present their poster, titled "Freshwater Mussels in North America: Museum Collections and Pre-Industrial Biogeography," at 5:15 p.m. Oct. 29. Their advisors are Ann Burke, professor of biology, and Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Smith Curator of Paleontology of the Joe Webb…

Olivia DrakeAugust 21, 20201min
Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, is the co-author of: "Miocene evolution of North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature," published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 35, in April 2020. "Extensive morphological variability in asexually produced planktic foraminifera," published in Science Advances, 6, in July 2020. "Origin of a global carbonate layer deposited in the aftermath of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary impact," published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 548, in October 2020.

Olivia DrakeJune 30, 20203min
As part of the University's efforts to "activate campus," a third prehistoric creature has taken up residence at Wesleyan. The new Mosasaur exhibit is on permanent display inside Olin Library and is a collaboration of faculty, student, and staff efforts. Mosasaurus hoffmannii Mantell (Mosasaur), a marine lizard, lived in the oceans during the Late Cretaceous period (66 to 68 million years ago) when the last dinosaurs walked the Earth. Mosasaurs had long, snake-like bodies with paddle-like limbs and flattened tails. Some specimens grew to be more than 50 feet long. In 1871, chemist Orange Judd of the Wesleyan Class of…

Olivia DrakeJanuary 9, 20203min
Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Smith Curator of Paleontology of the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History and University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, is the co-author of five new publications. They include: "On impact and volcanism across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary," published in Science, Jan. 17, 2020. Also, see this research in The New York Times and National Geographic. "Stable isotope constraints on marine productivity across the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction," published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, Volume 34, June 2019. "Refining the planktonic foraminifera I/Ca proxy: results from the Southeast Atlantic Ocean," published in Geochimica…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 12, 20192min
(By Kayleigh Schweiker '22) As scientific study regarding the mass extinction of marine life during the Cretaceous era has progressed, theories including extraterrestrial impact and intense volcanism have surfaced. However, a recent study co-authored by Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, suggests that carbon impact—not volcanism—was key in driving the Cretaceous mass extinction. In a paper titled "Rapid ocean acidification and protracted Earth system recovery followed the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub impact," which was published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Thomas and her colleagues discuss how increases in ocean…