Biology Department News
In January 2015, the Honolulu Star Advertiser published the article “Humpback Love: The whale’s courtship and mating rituals remain a mystery after 35 years of research. The story featured the quotes from several researchers in Hawaiʻi including Adam Pack.
Dr. Li Tao received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California at Davis in 2007. He then worked as a Project Scientist at UC Santa Cruz conducting research on the molecular mechanisms involved in the timing and positioning of the cytokinesis furrow during cell division.
The Stacy Lab published their research on Incipient radiation within the dominant Hawaiian tree Metrosideros polymorpha in Heredity. This study provides evidence for the evolutionary significance of four of the five named varieties of this species on Hawaiʻi Island and indicates that Hawaiian Metrosideros should be useful for studies of divergence and the evolution of reproductive isolating barriers at the early stages of speciation in trees.
In its May-June 2014 issue, Australian Geographic Magazine published a story on humpback whales including an interview with Adam Pack about his research findings on the relation of whale size to behavior in Hawaiʻi.
Research led by Dr. Yohan Pillon in the Stacy Lab reveals a cryptic adaptive radiation of trees in New Caledonia. This study of the nickel(Ni)-hyperaccumulating tree genus Geissois suggests that variation in biochemical strategies for coping with both typical and adverse soil conditions may help to explain the diversification and coexistence of tropical forest trees on similar soil types.
Biology Professor Dr. Don Price, along with Dr. Elizabeth Stacy and Dr. Patrick Hart received 5 million dollar NSF CREST award titled “Understanding Biotic Response to Environmental Change in Tropical Ecosystems Through a Place-Based Context”. This award primarily supports the UH Hilo Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) program, but also provides many research opportunities for undergraduates in the UH Hilo Biology Department.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council re-elects Adam Pack as Chairperson
Dr. Adam Pack was re-elected Chair of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of 52 primary and alternate members representing the islands of Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi, Maui and Oʻahu, representing various constituencies such as Research, Education, Conservation, Native Hawaiian, Whale Watching, Fishing, Business, Commercial Shipping, Tourism, Ocean Recreation, and Youth, and representing State and Federal Agencies. Adam currently occupies the Council Seat for Hawaiʻi Island.
Adam Pack also co-authored the paper “Habitat segregation by female humpback whales in Hawaiian waters: avoidance of males?” published in the journal “Behaviour.” The research reported in this article shows that female humpback whales with newborn calves segregate themselves into shallower water than females without calf to avoid energetically costly associations with male humpback whales prospecting for mating opportunities. The article’s findings were featured in a story by the BBC News: Edinburgh, File, East Scotland (Read the complete article).