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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute - Press Releases

2016
APR 20, 2016
First North American Monkey Fossils Are Found in Panama Canal Excavation:
New Species Named Panamacebus transitus

APR 4, 2016
African Wars Endanger World's Largest Gorilla Subspecies

MAR 2, 2016
Tiny Island Deer in Panama Was Hunted to Extinction Thousands of Years Ago

FEB 12, 2016
Spanish Conquest Left Its Imprint on Men's Genes in Panama

FEB 11, 2016
Scientists in Panama Call for Alert as Cobia, a Potentially Invasive Fish, Spreads in Eastern Pacific

JAN 21, 2016
Smithsonian Botanist Discovers New Ground-Flowering Plant in Panama

JAN 19, 2016
Photos Show Elusive Bush Dog To Be Widespread in Panama

JAN 7, 2016
Were Panamanian Islanders Dolphin Hunters?

2015
DEC 8, 2015
Smithsonian Offers Free Publication to Inform Tropical Land-use Decisions

OCT 28, 2015
Major El Niño Is Perfect Climate for Global Change Research

OCT 9, 2015
Smithsonian Scientists Say Vines Strangle Carbon Storage in Tropical Forests

SEP 1, 2015
Fossil Specimen Reveals a New Species of Ancient River Dolphin to Smithsonian Scientists

JUN 25, 2015
More Endangered Pygmy Sloths in Panama than Previously Estimated
Isolated Species Provides Unique Conservation Opportunity

JUN 12, 2015
We Are Entering a "Golden Age" of Animal Tracking
Smithsonian Continues To Convene Animal-Movement Researchers

JUN 4, 2015
New Tropical Tree Species Await Discovery

APR 30, 2015
Fossils Inform Marine Conservation

APR 22, 2015
Researchers Ask If Plant Neighbors Are Relatives To Predict Disease

APR 20, 2015
Necessity at the Roots of Innovation: The Scramble for Nutrients Intensifies as Soils Age

APR 9, 2015
New Rescue Lab for Endangered Amphibians Opens in Panama

APR 3, 2015
How Will Warming Affect Tropical Forests?
Smithsonian CTFS-ForestGEO Network Contributes Data to $100 Million Climate-Change Study

APR 2, 2015
Smithsonian’s Panama Debate Fueled by Zircon Dating

MAR 9, 2015
Newly Described Poison Dart Frog Hatched for the First Time in Captivity

JAN 9, 2015
Smithsonian Scientists Explain Spread of Chikungunya Vector Tropical Disease Detected in US Earlier This Year

JAN 9, 2015
Smithsonian Research Supports Panama’s New Marine Protected Areas Proposal

2014
NOV 10, 2014
Dead Zones Likely to Expand As Coastal Waters Warm
Majority of World’s Dead Zones Expected to Heat Up Under Climate Change

SEP 26, 2014
Scientists Discover New Poison Dart Frog Species in Donoso, Panama

SEP 15, 2014
Smithsonian Scientists Discover Tropical Tree Microbiome in Panama

MAY 28, 2014
Panama Saves Whales and Protects World Trade: Smithsonian Science at Work

MAY 23, 2014
Smithsonian Scientists Find That Vines Choke a Forest’s Ability to Capture Carbon

APR 17, 2014
Chickens to Chili Peppers: Searching for the First Genetic Engineers

APR 07, 2014
Fishery Management Plan Approved for Panama’s Coiba National Park

APR 02, 2014
Matthew Larsen Named Director of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama

MAR 19, 2014
Humans Drive Evolution of Conch Size

2013
2013
4,000-Year-Old Shaman's Stones Discovered Near Boquete, Panama
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  • Casita_de_Piedra_Rockshelter
    Composite copy: Stones found in precolombian shaman's cache, Boquete, Panama, Composite photo by Ruth Dickau. Casita de Piedra rockshelter: Casita de Piedra rockshelter. Photo by Eduardo Bejerano

2012
2012
Why Spiders Do Not Stick to Their Own Sticky Web Sites

2012
Ancient Popcorn Discovered in Peru
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  • Peruvian corn cobs.jpg
    Cobs date roughly from 6500-4000 years ago. A) Proto-Confite Morocho race; b) Confite Chavinense maize race; c) Proto-Alazan maize race.

2011
2011
A Whole New Meaning for Thinking on Your Feet.
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  • Nephila clavipes, a big tropical spider, has plenty of room in its body for its brain. Credit: Pamela Belding.
  • Mysmena
    The brains of smaller spiders, like nymphs in the genus Mysmena, extend out of their body cavity into their legs. Credit: Wcislo lab.


2011
Two New Bee Species Are Mysterious Pieces in the Panama Puzzle.
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  • Abejas_de_David David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, attracts bees by applying scents to paper cards. As bees come to collect the scents, Dave nets them so that he can see the characteristics that distinguish one species from another. Melipona insularis, the new bee species from Coiba Island in Panama, has fuzzy yellow hairs on its abdomen.
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    David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, making the crossing from mainland Panama to Panama's Coiba Island.
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    David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, sorts bee collection on Rancheria Island
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    David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, nets Melipona insularis, the new bee species from Panama's Coiba Island, in its forest habitat
  • Roubik, D.W., Camargo, J.M.F. 2011. The Panama microplate, island studies and relictual species of Melipona (Melikerria) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00587.x - [ Download PDF ]

2011
Hitchhiking Snails Fly from Ocean to Ocean.

2011
What Makes Rainforests Unique? History, Not Ecology.
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2011
Landslides: How Rainfall Dried up Panama's Drinking Water.

2011
Reforestation Research in Latin America Helps Build Better Forests.
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    Jefferson S. Hall, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, directs the Agua Salud Project, a 700 hectare experiment in the Panama Canal Watershed aimed at measuring how land use practices affect water flow, carbon storage and biodiversity. Credit: Marcos Guerra, STRI
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    Diogenes Ibarra measures the growth of native tree saplings to see how they perform in different environmental settings. Credit: STRI Archives.

2011
First Rainforests Arose When Plants Solved Plumbing Problem.
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2011
Why Are Vines Overtaking the American Tropics? 
A Million-Dollar Question.
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  • MAG_3244.jpg
    Lianas, or woody vines, are overgrowing the tropical forests of the Americas. Stefan Schnitzer studies lianas at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's research station on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Credit: Marcos Guerra, STRI.
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    Heart-shaped seed of a liana, Entada spp.
  • Videos
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJKy1PVD0OI

      S. Joseph Wright, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, describes research showing that lianas, woody vines, are on the rise in the tropical forests of the Americas.


2011
Online Access to the Plants of the World Is Available.
The Global Plants Initiative Meets at the Smithsonian in Panama Jan. 11-13
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  • US00002212.jpg
    Herbarium specimen
    Identify plants using your handheld computer or phone! Plant collectors dry plants and mount them on paper sheets that are stored in plant collections called herbaria. This plant specimen was collected in Panama nearly 100 years ago by Henri Pittier. The Global Plants Initiative puts high resolution scans of the specimens used by botanists to name plants on the internet. Representatives from 36 countries are meeting at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute from Jan. 11-13.
  • STRIHerbarium.jpg
    Herbarium cabinet
    The goal of the Global Plants Initiative, meeting at the Smithsonian in Panama from Jan 11-13, is to make plant specimens, currently stored in herbarium cabinets like this one in Panama, available around the world on the Internet. The GPI online data base currently holds more than 1.5 million images.
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    Latin American Plants Initiative group photo
    The Latin American Plants Initiative, representing GPI partners from Central and South America, met in late 2009 in Medellin, Colombia. The Global Plants Initiative currently partners with 175 museums, universities and herbaria from 60 countries and is actively working to further extend participation.

2010
2010
Tropical Forest Diversity Increased during Ancient Global Warming Event.
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2010
Smithsonian Researchers Report that Regional Sea Temperature Rise and Coral Bleaching Event Has Reached Western Caribbean.
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2010
Smithsonian and Arizona State University Launch Virtual Classroom.

2010
Frog Killer Caught in the Act: Measuring Life’s Data Loss in Panama by Barcoding.

2010
Biodiversity's Holy Grail Is in the Soil.
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  • 2005-2012.jpg
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    Scott Mangan conducted seedling experiments to determine the effect of soil collected around trees of the same species, and trees of other species.

2010
Tropical Biodiversity Is about the Neighbors.
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  • Ziegler1289.jpg
    Cavanillesia plantanifolia seedling. Photo by Christian Ziegler
  • Ziegler1469.jpg
    Liza Comita measures seedling using a caliper. Photo by Christian Ziegler

2010
Extinct Giant Shark Nursery Discovered in Panama.
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    Catalina Pimiento excavating in Panama's Gatun Formation. Credit: Catalina Pimiento
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    Extinct giant shark, Carcharolcles megalodon, tooth in Panama's Gatun Formation. Credit: Catalina Pimiento

2010
First Radio Tracking of Tropical Orchid Bees.
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2010
Two New Frog Species Discovered in Panama's Fungal War Zone.
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2010
1200 Howler Monkeys on Panama's Barro Colorado Island.
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2010
New Thick-Shelled Turtle Species Lived with World’s Biggest Snake.

2010
Sand Fly Survey in Panama Reveals Leishmania Strain and Its Potential Control.

2010
Eating Like a Bird Helps Forests Grow.

2010
Social Bees Have Bigger Brain Area for Learning, Memory: Smithsonian Reports.

2010
Females Shut Down Male-Male Sperm Competition in Leafcutter Ants.

2010
HSBC Climate Partnership yields initial research findings.

2010
Smithsonian Hosts 2010 International CAM Workshop in Panama.

2010
Chagas Disease Surveillance Focuses on Palms, Undercover Bugs.
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2010
Live Webcast: HSBC Climate Partnership Research.
Today, Monday, March 1, 2010
Starting at 9AM US EST

2010
New Species Reports for Panama in Smithsonian Online Marine Plant Guide.
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2010
Stress and Trade-offs Explain Life’s Diversity: New Smithsonian Model.

2010
Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University announce education and research partnership in the fields of ecosystem services, sustainability, biofuels and cybertaxonomy.

2010
Climate Change Implicated in Fast Tree Growth
Forest Monitoring Study Reveals Effects of Climate Change

2010
Punishment Important in Plant-Pollinator Relationship
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Photos
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    Charlotte Jander places bags over fig fruits to control pollination. Credit: Marcos Guerra

2009
2009
Amphibian Rescue Expedition Discovers Chytrid Fungus on Rescued Frogs in Panama

2009
Catching a Killer One Spore at a Time
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2009
The First Neotropical Rainforest Was Home of the Titanoboa
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2009
2009 Legacy Awards Recognize Panamanian Achievement at the Smithsonian Institution

2009
“Panamanian Passages” Exhibit Showcases Panama’s History

2009
Killer Bees May Increase Food Supplies for Native Bees
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2009
China's New Climate Center Welcomes Citizen Scientists
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2009
Panama Butterfly Migrations Linked to El Niño, Climate Change

2009
Eminent Ecologist Award Presented to Stephen P. Hubbell

2009
Sex in the Caribbean: Environmental Change Drives Evolutionary Change--Eventually
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2009
“Panama at the Smithsonian” Program Series Highlights Relationship
between the Smithsonian and the Republic of Panama

2009
Putting Smithsonian Science to Work:
A New Plan for Panama's Coiba National Park and World Heritage Site
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2009
New Guide to Tropical Seedlings: Essential to Climate Change Research
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2009
Andes Mountains Are Older Than Previously Believed

2009
Fossil Teeth of Browsing Horse Found in Panama Canal Earthworks
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2009
First Jaguar Photo Taken at Smithsonian Research Station in Panama
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  • Jaguar
    Credit: Jackie Willis

2009
Temporary Infidelity may contribute to the Stability of Ancient Relationships
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2009
Smithsonian Scientists Receive Coveted BBVA Ecology and Conservation Award

2009
Genital Stimulation Opens Door for Cryptic Female Choice in Tsetse Flies

2009
Live-in Domestics: Mites as Maids in Tropical Rainforest Sweat Bee Nests

2009
Descoberta em uma floresta fossilizada a maior serpente do mundo

FEB 4, 2009
World’s Largest Snake Discovered in Fossilized Rainforest

2008
2008
Extinction Most Likely for Rare Trees in the Amazon Rainforest

2008
A Recipe for Saving the World’s Oceans from an Extinction Crisis

2008
Smithsonian Works with Embera Community to Offset Carbon Emissions
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    Photo by Marcos Guerra, STRI: Bonarge Pacheco, Jeremía Casarí, Eldredge Bermingham

2008
The Drivers of Tropical Deforestation Are Changing, Say Scientists
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2008
Eldredge Bermingham Is Named Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

2008
Insect Warning Colors Aid Cancer and Tropical Disease Drug Discovery

2008
Smithsonian Coral Biodiversity Survey of Panama’s Pearl Islands

2008
Smithsonian Inaugurates Landscape Study of Tropical Forest Ecosystem Services

2008
Smithsonian Scientist Receives 2008 Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany

2008
Smithsonian Researchers Show Major Role of Bats in Plant Protection

2008
Turtle Nesting Threatened by Logging Practices in Gabon, Smithsonian Warns

2008
Smithsonian Scientists Highlight Environmental Impacts of Biofuels

2008
First Electrophysical Recording of Sleep in a Wild Animal Reveals Captive Sloths Sleep More

2008
Smithsonian Launches Bocas del Toro Database for Biodiversity Day

2007
2007
Smithsonian to Host Pollen Specialists at Annual Meeting in Panama: American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Sept. 8-12

2007
Smithsonian Scientists Show Differing Patterns of Rainforest Biodiversity
-Study Has Implications for Species Conservation-
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  • Large Caterpillar
    (Credit: Milan Janda)
    A youngster holds a Hercules moth caterpillar-one of 500 species of caterpillars, ambrosia beetles and fruit flies studied by Smithsonian scientists in Papua New Guinea.

2007
Internship Program - Alexandra Kniewasser

2007
Satellite Survey Links Tropical Park Fires with Poverty and Corruption
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2007
Smithsonian Scientists Connect Climate Change, Origins of Agriculture in Mexico

2007
Scientists Discover Five New Species of Sea Slugs from the Tropical Eastern Pacific
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2007
Eldredge Bermingham is Named Acting Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

2007
Sea Snails break the Law. Scientists at the Smithsonian discover the re- evolution of a useful skill
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  • Dilata.jpg
    (Crepipatella dilatata, by: Rachel Collin)

2007
Drought Limits Tropical Plant Distributions, Scientists at the Smithsonian Report
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2007
Scientists Report New Take on Sexual Signaling
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2007
Smithsonian Study Concludes Caribbean Extinctions Occurred 2 Million Years After Apparent Cause
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2007
Smithsonian Scientists Discover New Marine Species in Eastern Pacific
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2007
Smithsonian Receives $8 million HSBC Grant; Funding Will Expand Climate Change Research on Forests
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FEB 12, 2007
Smithsonian Scientists Report Ancient Chili Pepper History; Americans Cultivated and Traded Chili Peppers 6,000 Years Ago

2006
2006
The Panama Canal and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
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2006
The Party Doesn't Start Until the Hosts Arrive: Parasite Invasions Depend on Host Invasions
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JUL 21, 2006
Kunming Declaration - The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation calls for conservation, research in tropical Asia

2006
Direct link established between tropical tree - and insect diversity
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2006
The Occult Life of Things
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2006
Smithsonian Coordinates Management Planning for Panama's Coiba National Park and World Heritage.
Site Developing new models for scientifically-informed conservation of tropical forest and coral reef habitats.

2006
Better models of tropical forest dynamics are urgently needed to improve global change predictions.
In hopes of modeling growth, mortality and size distributions of tropical trees, Helene Muller-Landau, University of Minnesota and colleagues from the Smithsonian's Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) tested predictions based on the theory of metabolic ecology with data collected from tropical forests worldwide. The results- no good fit and improved alternative models-- are published in two articles in Blackwell's Ecology Letters.
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2006
A new Smithsonian guide to the highly biodiverse marine environment of Panama's Bocas del Toro Province

2006
Tropical pollen biodiversity tracks global warming over millions of years

2006
Butterfly speciation event
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2006
Chimps, gorillas and humans harvest honey- and stingless bee nests in Ugandan reserve

2006
First Amazon-Andean crop plant transfer and corn processing in Peru 3600-4000 years ago

JUN 15, 2006
Liquid Jungle Lab environs--home to five new species First floral and faunal inventory of Panama’s Bahia Honda region
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2005
DEC 26, 2005
A new Smithsonian guide to the highly biodiverse marine environment of Panama's Bocas del Toro Province.
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APR 06, 2005
An (Ecological) Origin of Species for Tropical Reef Fish

2004
AUG 20, 2004
Oldest evidence for processing of wild cereals: starch grains from barley, wheat, on Paleolithic grinding stone.

AUG 19, 2004
The Panama Canal as a natural biological invasion experiment.

MAY 21, 2004
New highways drive accelerating deforestation in Amazonia.

MAR 10, 2004
Undisturbed Amazonian forests are changing, say scientists.

FEB 25, 2004
Researchers discover new family of Atlantic corals in groundbreaking study.

FEB 16, 2004
New, non-radioactive screen for antimalarial compounds.

FEB 05, 2004
The scoop on poop: Insect feces, dead leaves may provide clues to health of world.

2003
DEC 23, 2003
Armies of fighting fungi protect chocolate trees



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