Category Archives: Links

150 things that make Lehigh University what it is today

As part of the Lehigh University sesquicentennial celebration, the University is rolling out a list of some of the things that have helped Lehigh become such an interesting and unique place.

The “lost” forest made the list at #93!

Some of the fun that Lehigh students have in this historically unique forest is highlighted here and here.


How shall I build my test? (reblogged)

From inside the shell

How do testate amoebae build their tests? How they chose the components to build it? How do they assemble organic or inorganic particles that shape their shell? These are questions I’m often asked. Unfortunately, these questions are very difficult to answer using common tools like the light microscope.

During the last couple decades, testate amoebae have been increasingly used as proxies for reconstructing Holocene environmental change in peatlands. Community composition primarily reflects surface wetness and pH, and can be used to study mire development, climate change and human impacts. However, little is known regarding the factors that may alter quantitatively or qualitatively the test composition of these organisms. Recently studies observed variations in shell composition of some testate amoebae in acidic environments, and suggested that a better understanding of how testate amoebae build their test may improve paleo-reconstruction models (Mitchell et al. 2008).

Historically, many researchers have worked on characterizing…

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New blog on testate amoebae

Announcing a new collaborative blog focused on testate amoebae. The coverage will include any research on or utilizing these interesting organisms – including their evolution, taxonomy, biology, ecology, paleoecology, and their applied use as bioindicators. Link to first blog post below…


50 million-year-old testate amoebae.

Happy Birthday Alfred Russel Wallace

The cover of his 1876 work, “The geographical distribution of animals. With a study of the relations of living and extinct faunas as elucidating the past changes of the earth’s surface.” Needless to say, this is a topic that we are still fascinated with today. Image from: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online (

Alfred Russel Wallace, the “father of biogeography,” was born on this day in 1823. Check out a fantastic collection of his work at

And, check out the recent update of Wallace’s zoogeographic regions of the world here.

Sequoias: Scaling a Forest Giant (link)

Fun article on “The President” by David Quammen.

Sequoias: Scaling a Forest Giant – National Geographic Magazine.

Interview with Michelle Spicer about her forest research (link)

Tulip poplars in the Lehigh University Experimental Forest.

A nice interview with Michelle Spicer has been posted over at IheartAnthony’s Research Blog, where she describes her recent #SciFund proposal to investigate the history of the Lehigh forest.  Check it out!

As of today, Michelle has almost reached her funding goal!

Pollen in poop reveals ecological secrets (link)

Analysis of fossil dung reveals a previous ecological relationship between an endangered parrot and an endangered plant!  A fun story… (link)

The Kakapo parrot.

Testate amoeba versus the diatom

What happens when a testate amoeba and a diatom get into a brawl?  The testate amoeba wins of course.  Below is a fun video of a testate amoeba spitting out a diatom – it has been up on youtube for quite a few years, but I happened to stumble across it today.  The diatom is expelled at the very end…

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