Animal & human behavior

Bellwether for a drying delta

Downstream of hydroelectric dams and Alberta’s oil sands, one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas is drying out. New Stanford University research suggests long-term drying is making it harder for muskrats to recover from massive die-offs. It’s a sign of threats to come for many other species.

Environmental learning in unexpected places

A wide range of organizations focused on areas as seemingly disparate as social justice, religion and the arts play important roles in helping people understand and act on environmental issues. Stanford environmental experts discuss their analysis of nearly 1,000 such organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Illuminating a sea turtle mystery

North Pacific loggerhead turtles’ years-long oceanic journeys remain poorly understood. Using data from satellite tracking and other techniques, scientists reveal a unique phenomenon that may explain the endangered migrants’ pathway.

Men and women on the move

Research based on the daily movements of people living in a contemporary hunter-gatherer society provides new evidence for links between the gendered division of labor in human societies over the past 2.5 million years and differences in the way men and women think about space.

Watching decision making in the brain

A team of neuroscientists and engineers have developed a system that can show the neural process of decision making in real time, including the mental process of flipping between options before expressing a final choice.

Studying trust in autonomous products

Stanford engineers investigated how people’s moods might affect their trust of autonomous products, such as smart speakers. They uncovered a complicated relationship.

Forecasting ecosystem changes through DNA

The rapid, low-cost technique is the first to analyze DNA left behind in animals’ feces to map out complex networks of species interactions in a terrestrial system. It could help redefine conservation as we know it, identify otherwise hard-to-find species and guide a global effort to rewild vast areas.

Pattern in whale songs predicts migration

Through the use of two advanced audio recording technologies, a collaboration of Monterey Bay researchers has found that blue whales switch from nighttime to daytime singing when they are starting to migrate.

New way to study ocean life

Insights from an innovative rotating microscope could provide a new window into the secrets of microscopic life in the ocean and their effects on crucial planetary processes, such as carbon fixation.