Jen Lau

About Jen Lau

Jen is an evolutionary ecologist studying how global change affects the ecology and evolution of plants and the microbes, herbivores, and pollinators with which plants interact.

The Real Jurassic Park–A Millennium of Evolution Captured by a Pontoon Boat

It is the stuff of action movies—researchers have resurrected killer Daphnia from our past. Okay so the Daphnia are only killer in the “killer” = synonym for “awesome” sense (unless you’re a phytoplankton anyway). But this study is still amazing. For the first time, we have a series of snapshots showing evolutionary change over a 1600-year period leading up to a century of rapid human population growth. In 1860, the … Continue reading

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies (or how tarweeds lure fruit flies to their doom and use the poor unsuspecting victims to bribe predator defenders) Smell is the sense of memory, and anyone who has walked through a Californian grassland in the heat of summer will never forget the scent of tarweeds. That scent oozes from thousands of glandular trichomes that produce the characteristic sticky stink, and a big question is WHY? … Continue reading