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Cassie Freund

Ecology

Wake Forest University

I am a tropical forest ecologist and PhD student at Wake Forest University. I currently study the disturbance ecology of tropical montane forests, which means I spend a lot of time scrambling up landslides in the Peruvian Andes! My work is important for understanding the structure, composition, and functioning of these dynamic forest ecosystems.

Cassie has authored 16 articles

There's a straight line from Trump's trade war with China to the destruction of the Amazon

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U.S. exports of soybeans to China have dropped dramatically. Brazil is stepping up to meet Chinese demand — and burning vast areas of the Amazon along the way.

Cassie Freund

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Climate change is almost too big a problem to study. The solution? Volcanoes.

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Volcanoes blanketed by tropical rainforests are a natural laboratory to study climate change

Cassie Freund

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Biodiversity loss is the very real end of the world and no one is acting like it

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Radical, wholesale change is needed right this second and cannot be delayed

Cassie Freund

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How shadowy tax havens skirt conservation efforts

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Dark money foreign investments may bankroll deforestation and overfishing

Cassie Freund

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"Poached" takes you into the trenches of wildlife crime

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Rachel Love Nuwer explains how and why illegal trade threatens to wipe some of our planet's most charismatic animals off the map forever

Cassie Freund

Why fieldwork is still crucial for science research

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There are some things it's impossible to discern without ground truthing

Cassie Freund

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How one invasive plant can change a rainforest

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The mountain apple's entry into Indonesia a century ago still threatens biodiversity there

Cassie Freund

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'Being Ecological' is a book with admirable aims and a tangled execution

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Prioritizing data over action can be counterproductive – but so is a muddled message

Cassie Freund

What Pokémon GO can teach conservationists about public engagement

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In six days, players collected as much data as naturalists had in 400 years

Cassie Freund

Four facts about Marie Tharp, the woman whose art mapped the bottom of the sea

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She discovered the Earth's 'backbone' even though men wouldn't let her on a ship for 17 years

Cassie Freund

The hidden costs of fieldwork are making science less diverse

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Here are five practical ways to start fixing the problem

Cassie Freund

Animals feel a 'landscape of fear' – just like humans

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Afraid of lions by moonlight and raptors by day, animals will behave in dramatic ways

Cassie Freund

Biodiversity doesn't just arise out of healthy ecosystems. It helps create them

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Why researchers are starting to think differently about biodiversity

Cassie Freund

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What modern conservationists can learn from humanity's long history with rainforests

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There's a growing body of evidence that humans have been modifying tropical forests for over 40,000 years

Cassie Freund

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A catastrophic power outage darkens California while horny spiders invade

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Tarantulas, fire-inducing weather, and failing infrastructure make for a spooky October story

Captive sea otters (adorably) raise orphaned pups as their own until they are ready to be released back into the wild

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New research from Monterey Bay Aquarium scientists finds that the pups and their own wild babies account for 55% of the growth of a California sea otter population

Your salad might bring an unwanted guest to the dinner table

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A new study finds that bagged and canned produce can occasionally (but rarely) come with a side of frog, lizard, bird, or rodent

Cassie has left Comment 13 peer comments

We need genetic engineering to stave off climate change-induced global hunger

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Despite what many say, organic farming will not save us from the worst impacts of climate change

Devang Mehta

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Climate change once heated the oceans and caused "The Great Dying"

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This time the planet is warming much, much faster

Elena Suglia

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Climate is getting more extreme in every possible way

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From precipitation to the carbon cycle to natural disasters, the outliers are now the norm.

Coleman Harris

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Should peer review stop being anonymous?

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Prominent researchers can take the gamble, but junior scientists risk retribution

Dan Samorodnitsky

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Floating detritus is giving new insights into deep-sea corals

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Environmental DNA is a less invasive way to solve long-submerged mysteries

Ashley Marranzino

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Can corals be saved? The key may be in their microbes

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Biologists are studying corals with techniques designed for humans

Maite Ghazaleh Bucher

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Science doesn't need to be so complicated. The answer: more sensible statistics

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Let the battle between human psychology and science have statisticians' supervision

Irineo Cabreros

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What does California's future look like? Scientists asked trees

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Blue oaks have up to 500 years of climate history written in their rings

Daniel Ackerman

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What the Ice Age tells us about how plants will manage in a hotter world

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New research seems to resolve a puzzle of why plants struggled in the past

Baird Langenbrunner

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Is light pollution changing how plants do – and don't – grow?

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Plants depend on cycles of light. Now, they're always on

Kylla Benes

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Toxic chemicals are being freed from melting glaciers

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Scientists are finding decades-old DDT and PCB flowing from the Tibetan Plateau

Carrie McDonough

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Beetles exploit bacteria labor to grow their exoskeletons

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New research has revealed a "symbiotic organ" in weevils, showing how tiny organisms shape larger life

Melanie Silvis

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When you smell the roses, do they smell you back?

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Scientists have found that plants like Canada goldenrod deploy defenses against insects on scent

Brittney Borowiec

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