In Quanta Magazine: Fossil discoveries challenge ideas about Earth’s start

A series of fossil finds suggests that life on Earth started earlier than anyone thought, calling into question a widely held theory of the solar system’s beginnings.

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On Wisconsin Public Radio: UW botany professor Simon Gilroy grows plants in space

Since the 1960s, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been studying how plants will grow in space. WPR talks with Professor of Botany Simon Gilroy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has been leading a research team to study the effects of growing plants in a zero gravity environment.

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In Bloomberg: Math whiz who doubled debt is favorite to win Colombian election

As Colombian presidential candidates try to outdo each other with pledges to slash taxes, Sergio Fajardo (PhD'84, Mathematics) has stood aloof from what he calls the “political bazaar.”

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In the New York Times: Climate change is altering lakes and streams, study suggests

“We’re monkeying with the very chemical foundation of these ecosystems,” said Emily H. Stanley, a limnologist (freshwater ecologist) at the University of Wisconsin — Madison. “But right now we don’t know enough yet to know where we’re going. To me, scientifically that’s really interesting, and as a human a little bit frightening.”

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In the Washington Post: In a fast-warming world, scientists say recent cold wave was exceptionally weird

The record-crushing cold that rang in 2018 was like a blast from the past that will become increasingly rare. For much of the Eastern United States, the polar vortex unleashed the coldest start to a calendar year in recorded history. The punishing cold was exceptional for both its strength and duration, shattering scores of records and persisting two weeks after its invasion on Christmas Eve.

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In The Atlantic: America's rivers are getting saltier

“When we’re throwing down road salt, we might be thinking about the fact that we’re putting salt into the water, but we’re not thinking that it may also mobilize lead,” says Hilary Dugan, a limnologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dugan has studied lakes in North America, which she also found to be increasing in salinity.

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Professor Jonathan Martin in the Washington Post: How climate change could counterintuitively feed winter storms

While the world is certainly experiencing an overall warming trend, much more goes into winter than temperature alone — snowfall depends on moisture in the atmosphere, and under climate change, that is increasing. And snowy weather patterns depend on the large-scale flow of the atmosphere, which is changing, too.

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Professor Jonathan Martin quoted in The Verge: What’s unusual about the ‘bomb cyclone’ headed toward the East Coast

If you live in the eastern US, from northern Florida all the way to New England, you’re in for some nasty weather: a massive winter storm called a “bomb cyclone” is hammering the coast, bringing snow, ice, flooding, and strong winds. That’s not a made-up click-bait term; it’s actually used by meteorologists to indicate a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly — or as meteorologist Jon Martin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says, they “just kind of explode.”

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Yingyu Liang joins machine learning faculty

Yingyu Liang, a new faculty member in machine learning in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Computer Sciences, enjoys bringing his disparate interests together. In his free time, he enjoys hobbies ranging from badminton to classical Chinese poetry. Within computer science, he was drawn to machine learning because it pulls together so many things that fascinate him.

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