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  1. Puffer and porcupine fishes (families Diodontidae and Tetraodontidae, order Tetradontiformes) are known for their extraordinary ability to triple their body size by swallowing and retaining large amounts of seawater in their accommodating stomachs. This inflation mechanism provides a defence to predation; however, it is associated with the secondary loss of the stomach's digestive function. Ingestion of alkaline seawater during inflation would make acidification inefficient (a potential driver for the loss of gastric digestion), paralleled by the loss of acid–peptic genes. We tested the hypothesis of stomach inflation as a driver for the convergent evolution of stomach loss by investigating themore »gastric phenotype and genotype of four distantly related stomach inflating gnathostomes: sargassum fish, swellshark, bearded goby and the pygmy leatherjacket. Strikingly, unlike in the puffer/porcupine fishes, we found no evidence for the loss of stomach function in sargassum fish, swellshark and bearded goby. Only the pygmy leatherjacket (Monochanthidae, Tetraodontiformes) lacked the gastric phenotype and genotype. In conclusion, ingestion of seawater for inflation, associated with loss of gastric acid secretion, is restricted to the Tetraodontiformes and is not a selective pressure for gastric loss in other reported gastric inflating fishes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
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  5. Species distributions, abundance, and interactions have always been influenced by human activity and are currently experiencing rapid change. Biodiversity benchmark surveys traditionally require intense human labor inputs to find, identify, and record organisms limiting the rate and impact of scientific enquiry and discovery. Recent emergence and advancement of monitoring technologies have improved biodiversity data collection to a scale and scope previously unimaginable. Community science web platforms, smartphone applications, and technology assisted identification have expedited the speed and enhanced the volume of observational data all while providing open access to these data worldwide. How to integrate and leverage the data intomore »valuable information on how species are changing in space and time requires new best practices in computational and analytical approaches. Here we integrate data from three community science repositories to explore how a specialist herbivore distribution changes in relation to host plant distributions and other environmental factors. We generate a series of temporally explicit species distribution models to generate range predictions for a specialist insect herbivore ( Papilio cresphontes ) and three predominant host-plant species. We find that this insect species has experienced rapid northern range expansion, likely due to a combination of the range of its larval host plants and climate changes in winter. This case study shows rapid data collection through large scale community science endeavors can be leveraged through thoughtful data integration and transparent analytic pipelines to inform how environmental change impacts where species are and their interactions for a more cost effective method of biodiversity benchmarking.« less
  6. Abstract The investigation of transport properties in normal liquid helium-3 and its topological superfluid phases provides insights into related phenomena in electron fluids, topological materials, and putative topological superconductors. It relies on the measurement of mass, heat, and spin currents, due to system neutrality. Of particular interest is transport in strongly confining channels of height approaching the superfluid coherence length, to enhance the relative contribution of surface excitations, and suppress hydrodynamic counterflow. Here we report on the thermal conduction of helium-3 in a 1.1  μ m high channel. In the normal state we observe a diffusive thermal conductivity that ismore »approximately temperature independent, consistent with interference of bulk and boundary scattering. In the superfluid, the thermal conductivity is only weakly temperature dependent, requiring detailed theoretical analysis. An anomalous thermal response is detected in the superfluid which we propose arises from the emission of a flux of surface excitations from the channel.« less
  7. Most of the world's crops depend on pollinators, so declines in both managed and wild bees raise concerns about food security. However, the degree to which insect pollination is actually limiting current crop production is poorly understood, as is the role of wild species (as opposed to managed honeybees) in pollinating crops, particularly in intensive production areas. We established a nationwide study to assess the extent of pollinator limitation in seven crops at 131 locations situated across major crop-producing areas of the USA. We found that five out of seven crops showed evidence of pollinator limitation. Wild bees and honeybeesmore »provided comparable amounts of pollination for most crops, even in agriculturally intensive regions. We estimated the nationwide annual production value of wild pollinators to the seven crops we studied at over $1.5 billion; the value of wild bee pollination of all pollinator-dependent crops would be much greater. Our findings show that pollinator declines could translate directly into decreased yields or production for most of the crops studied, and that wild species contribute substantially to pollination of most study crops in major crop-producing regions.« less
  8. Abstract The CUORE experiment is a large bolometric array searching for the lepton number violating neutrino-less double beta decay ( $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β ) in the isotope $$\mathrm {^{130}Te}$$ 130 Te . In this work we present the latest results on two searches for the double beta decay (DBD) of $$\mathrm {^{130}Te}$$ 130 Te to the first $$0^{+}_2$$ 0 2 + excited state of $$\mathrm {^{130}Xe}$$ 130 Xe : the $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β decay and the Standard Model-allowed two-neutrinos double beta decay ( $$2\nu \beta \beta $$ 2 ν βmore »β ). Both searches are based on a 372.5 kg $$\times $$ × yr TeO $$_2$$ 2 exposure. The de-excitation gamma rays emitted by the excited Xe nucleus in the final state yield a unique signature, which can be searched for with low background by studying coincident events in two or more bolometers. The closely packed arrangement of the CUORE crystals constitutes a significant advantage in this regard. The median limit setting sensitivities at 90% Credible Interval (C.I.) of the given searches were estimated as $$\mathrm {S^{0\nu }_{1/2} = 5.6 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ S 1 / 2 0 ν = 5.6 × 10 24 yr for the $${0\nu \beta \beta }$$ 0 ν β β decay and $$\mathrm {S^{2\nu }_{1/2} = 2.1 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ S 1 / 2 2 ν = 2.1 × 10 24 yr for the $${2\nu \beta \beta }$$ 2 ν β β decay. No significant evidence for either of the decay modes was observed and a Bayesian lower bound at $$90\%$$ 90 % C.I. on the decay half lives is obtained as: $$\mathrm {(T_{1/2})^{0\nu }_{0^+_2} > 5.9 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ ( T 1 / 2 ) 0 2 + 0 ν > 5.9 × 10 24 yr for the $$0\nu \beta \beta $$ 0 ν β β mode and $$\mathrm {(T_{1/2})^{2\nu }_{0^+_2} > 1.3 \times 10^{24} \, \mathrm {yr}}$$ ( T 1 / 2 ) 0 2 + 2 ν > 1.3 × 10 24 yr for the $$2\nu \beta \beta $$ 2 ν β β mode. These represent the most stringent limits on the DBD of $$^{130}$$ 130 Te to excited states and improve by a factor $$\sim 5$$ ∼ 5 the previous results on this process.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2022