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Jaguar kills ocelot in rare footage, and climate change might be behind it

Another wild cat was an unusual meal choice for a jaguar, so scientists are looking for the reason.

A camera trap at a watering hole in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve captured some extremely rare footage of an unusual jaguar meal: an ocelot. The footage showed the male jaguar letting a tapir pass by and waiting it out to instead nab the cat. Washington State University described the event as a possible “sign of climate-change-induced conflict” in a statement on Tuesday.

Ecologists from WSU and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) studied the footage and published a paper on the predator interaction in the journal Biotropica in late December.

Daniel Thornton.
Thornton

The timing of the watering hole incident was important. It happened in March 2019 during a serious drought. “Although these predator-on-predator interactions may be rare, there may be certain instances when they become more prevalent, and one of those could be over contested water resources,” said study co-author WSU assistant professor Daniel Thornton.

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Phys.org
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Daily Mail
Radio.com

International workshop aims to boost number, success of women in STEM

A free, online event on Tuesday, Nov. 17 aims to increase the participation and success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Presented by Washington State University faculty, “Remedying the Leaky Pipeline for Women in STEM” is a workshop and mentoring/networking event that will bring together mentors and trainees from across the globe in real time. Participants will discuss the barriers women and other underrepresented groups face in pursuing STEM careers and ways of overcoming those hurdles. The event will run 6–9 p.m. PT. Registration is free but required.

Elissa Schwartz.
Schwartz

The three-part, interactive forum will feature live mentoring by women scientists and mathematicians as well as scholars in WSU’s Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). The keynote address will be presented by Seema Nanda, a mathematician and founder of the nonprofit Leora Trust, which promotes the empowerment of women in India through education.

“The story of Dr. Nanda’s career journey and the obstacles she overcame to become a mathematician and start her educational nonprofit foundation is deeply inspiring,” said workshop organizer and WGSS affiliate Elissa Schwartz, an associate professor in both the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

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WSU Insider

The Evangelical Vote

With the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the president is hoping to fill the seat with a more ideologically conservative justice. And evangelical Christians, who’ve become a powerful conservative voting bloc, have been waiting for this moment. But how and when did this religious group become so intertwined with today’s political issues, especially abortion?

In this episode of Throughline, what it means to be an evangelical today and how that has changed over time.

Matthew Avery Sutton.
Sutton

Throughline revisited a previous broadcast featuring Matthew Sutton, a professor of history at Washington State University and expert on the intersection of U.S. political history and evangelicalism.

National Public Radio

 

Study to explore risks and benefits of breastfeeding during COVID-19

To breastfeed or not to breastfeed? Science has long supported that “breast is best,” but COVID-19 has brought with it new questions related to the benefits and/or potential risks of breastfeeding during this pandemic.

Is the SARS-COV2 virus present in breast milk and could it be transmitted from mom to baby? Could antibodies found in breast milk actually help protect babies from the SARS-COV2 virus?

Researchers at Washington State University are part of a new nationwide study on COVID-19 and infant feeding to help answer these questions. Their work could ultimately help scientists better understand how COVID-19 affects the health and immune responses of mothers and babies and whether infant feeding practices play a role.

Courtney Meehan.
Meehan

“We don’t have the answers right now,” said Courtney Meehan, professor of anthropology in the WSU College of Arts and Sciences who has studied human milk composition and maternal-infant health in populations around the world.

The limited research conducted on this topic so far, she said, has yielded mixed results.

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News Medical
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KIMA TV
Spokesman-Review

Spokesman-Review

The Daily Chronicle

Nine CAS undergraduate researchers earn WSU fellowships

The Office of Undergraduate Research at Washington State University has named 32 students, including nine in the College of Arts and Sciences, as recipients of nearly $50,000 in awards in support of their mentored research, scholarship and creative activities for the 2020-21 academic year.

Students received 10 Auvil Scholars Fellowship awards, three Scott and Linda Carson Undergraduate Research awards, four WSU LSAMP Research awards, and 15 general undergraduate research awards. All are students at WSU Pullman with around 20 majors across STEM and non-STEM fields. Awardees include five sophomores, 13 juniors, and 14 seniors; 18 females and 14 males; and, nine first-generation students. Thirteen recipients are members of the WSU Honors College.

The fellowship award-winning students majoring in CAS disciplines are:

  • Annie Lu, a senior mathematics major mentored by Nikolaos Voulgarakis
  • Lucas Blevins, a sophomore music composition major mentored by Gregory Yasinitsky
  • Christopher Huong, a senior psychology and sports science major mentored by Sarah Ullrich-French
  • Tabitha McCoard, a senior fine arts major mentored by Hallie Meredith
  • Georgie Rosales, a senior English and psychology major in the Honors College mentored by Rebecca Craft
  • Olivia Willis, a junior neuroscience and psychology major in the Honors College mentored by Cheryl Reed
  • Jesús Mendoza, a senior zoology major mentored by Douglas Call
  • Marcelo Ruiz, a senior mathematics and mechanical engineering major mentored by Jacob Leachman
  • Krista Brutman, a senior mathematics major in the Honors College mentored by Bertrand Tanner

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WSU Insider