Lauren M. Nichols

Lauren M. Nichols
North Carolina State University | NCSU · Department of Biological Sciences

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30
Publications
6,980
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720
Citations

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
The evolutionary history of sour taste has been little studied. Through a combination of literature review and trait mapping on the vertebrate phylo-genetic tree, we consider the origin of sour taste, potential cases of the loss of sour taste, and those factors that might have favoured changes in the valence of sour taste-from aversive to appealing...
Article
Full-text available
Many of the choices humans make with regard to infrastructure, urban planning and other phenomena have impacts that will last thousands of years. This can readily be seen in modern cities in which contemporary streets run along street grids that were laid out thousands of years prior or even in which ancient viaducts still play a role. However, rar...
Article
Full-text available
The evolutionary history of sour taste has been little studied. Through a combination of literature review and trait mapping on the vertebrate phylogenetic tree, we consider the origin of sour taste, potential cases of the loss of sour taste, and those factors that might have favoured changes in the valence of sour taste—from aversive to appealing....
Article
Full-text available
Insects represent a particularly interesting habitat in which to search for novel yeasts of value to industry. Insect‐associated yeasts have the potential to have traits relevant to modern food and beverage production due to insect‐yeast interactions, with such traits including diverse carbohydrate metabolisms, high sugar tolerance, and general str...
Article
The control of microbes in food has been as important to human societies as the domestication of plants and animals. The direct or indirect management of microbes has been critical to food safety, ensuring nutrient availability, and developing desired sensory characteristics in food. Fermentation is more universal than is agriculture inasmuch as it...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how different taxa respond to global warming is essential for predicting future changes and elaborating strategies to buffer them. Tardigrades are well known for their ability to survive environmental stressors, such as drying and freezing, by undergoing cryptobiosis and rapidly recovering their metabolic function after stressors ceas...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding variation in host-associated microbial communities is important given the relevance of microbiomes to host physiology and health. Using 560 fecal samples collected from wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) across their range, we assessed how geography, genetics, climate, vegetation, and diet relate to gut microbial community structure (...
Article
Full-text available
The practice of sourdough bread-making is an ancient science that involves the development, maintenance, and use of a diverse and complex starter culture. The sourdough starter culture comes in many different forms and is used in bread-making at both artisanal and commercial scales, in countries all over the world. While there is ample scientific r...
Article
Full-text available
Because ectotherm activity and metabolism are sensitive to temperature, terrestrial arthropods may be especially responsive to ongoing climatic warming. Here, we quantified responses of arthropod abundance to two years of warming in an outdoor temperature manipulation experiment at Duke Forest, North Carolina, USA. Nine open‐top chambers were indiv...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have relied on sourdough starter microbial communities to make leavened bread for thousands of years, but only a small fraction of global sourdough biodiversity has been characterized. Working with a community-scientist network of bread bakers, we determined the microbial diversity of 500 sourdough starters from four continents. In sharp con...
Article
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The social structure of primates has recently been shown to influence the composition of their microbiomes. What is less clear is how primate microbiomes might in turn influence their social behavior, either in general or with particular reference to hominins. Here we use a comparative approach to understand how microbiomes of hominins have, or mig...
Article
Full-text available
Human engineering of the outdoors led to the development of the indoor niche, including home construction. However, it is unlikely that domicile construction mechanics are under direct selection for humans. Nonetheless, our preferences within indoor environments are, or once were, consequential to our fitness. The research of human homes does not u...
Article
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Bacteria thrive in showerheads and throughout household water distribution systems. While most of these bacteria are innocuous, some are potential pathogens, including members of the genus Mycobacterium that can cause nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung infection, an increasing threat to public health. We found that showerheads in households ac...
Article
Synopsis: Few studies have quantified the relative importance of direct effects of climate change on communities versus indirect effects that are mediated thorough species interactions, and the limited evidence is conflicting. Trait-based approaches have been popular in studies of climate change, but can they be used to estimate direct versus indi...
Article
Full-text available
How will ecological communities change in response to climate warming? Direct effects of temperature and indirect cascading effects of species interactions are already altering the structure of local communities, but the dynamics of community change are still poorly understood. We explore the cumulative effects of warming on the dynamics and turnov...
Article
Few biologists have studied the evolutionary processes at work in indoor environments. Yet indoor environments comprise approximately 0.5% of ice-free land area - an area as large as the subtropical coniferous forest biome. Here we review the emerging subfield of 'indoor biome' studies. After defining the indoor biome and tracing its deep history,...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological communities are being reshaped by climatic change. Losses and gains of species will alter community composition and diversity but these effects are likely to vary geographically and may be hard to predict from uncontrolled "natural experiments". In this study, we used open-top warming chambers to simulate a range of warming scenarios for...
Article
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Citizen science can generate data that would not exist otherwise while increasing public scientific literacy. However, the quality and use of citizen science data have been criticized in the recent ecological literature. We need an approach that advances eco-evolutionary understanding, achieves education goals and incorporates public participation...
Article
Full-text available
Many effects of a changing climate for organisms, populations, and ecosystems are already apparent. Less studied are the effects of increases in temperature on species interactions. While warming may potentially alter interactions among species, species interactions may also mediate individual species responses to ongoing climatic change. In this e...
Conference Paper
Citizen science (aka Public Participation in Scientific Research) aims to simultaneously achieve the goals of science researchers and science educators. At best, citizen science projects engage non-scientists in the scientific process, both increasing public scientific literacy and generating scientific data, often on scales larger than a researche...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Shifts toward earlier phenology (the timing of life cycle events) are a hallmark of species’ responses to global climate change. While the majority of species examined to date tend to exhibit shifts toward earlier phenology, there is considerable variation in both the magnitude, and to a lesser degree, the direction of...
Article
Full-text available
The future spread and impact of an introduced species will depend on how it adapts to the abiotic and biotic conditions encountered in its new range, so the potential for rapid evolution subsequent to species introduction is a critical, evolutionary dimension of invasion biology. Using a resurrection approach, we provide a direct test for change ov...
Article
Full-text available
Physiological tolerance of environmental conditions can influence species-level responses to climate change. Here, we used species-specific thermal tolerances to predict the community responses of ant species to experimental forest-floor warming at the northern and southern boundaries of temperate hardwood forests in eastern North America. We then...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods There is little doubt that climate change alters species interactions within communities. However, few experimental studies have provided insights on the effect of rising temperatures on White Oak (Quercus alba) seedling demography, a dominant tree species found in temperate deciduous forests in the eastern US. In this...
Article
Forest responses to climate change will depend on demographic impacts in the context of competition. Current models used to predict species responses, termed climate envelope models (CEMs), are controversial, because (i) calibration and prediction are based on correlations in space (CIS) between species abundance and climate, rather than responses...

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