LIVE: PC Prof’s Research Shows Roads are Changing Plant and Animal Evolution

Monday, March 06, 2017


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Dr. Jonathan Richardson, PhD.

Dr. Jonathan Richardson, PhD., an assistant professor of biology at Providence College, recently published a study on how recent research shows that roads, and their negative effects, like pollution and salt, can drive evolutionary change.

Richardson says some species are adapting rapidly to road changes while others are not. 

“What we found in this study is that evolution can act quickly to moderate some of these negative effects by changing traits that are better adapted to road environments. This is true for organisms as varied as birds, plants and amphibians,” says Richardson. 

The paper, “Road ecology: shifting gears toward evolutionary perspectives,” was published in Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.  


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