News and Commentary on research by Peter Wilf and colleagues

This Green Earth, KPCW (NPR: Park City, Utah), hosts Chris Cherniak and Nell Larson, 14 June 2022.

talkSport radio: Extra Time with Paul Ross (London), 7 April 2021. (starts 9:38 in)

Fossil evidence confirms persistence of prehistoric forests in Brunei. By John Cannon, Mongabay, 31 May 2022.

Fossils of leaves in Borneo reveal an ancient 4 million-year-old forest. By David Nield, ScienceAlert 1 May 2022.

A forest and its history, threatened. By Kevin Sliman, Penn State News, 6 April 2020.

A forgotten forest of ancient trees was devastated by bushfires. By Maddie Stone, The Atlantic, 25 February 2020.

Fossilized nuts on the wrong side of the world. Science with Jonathan Webb, Radio National Breakfast (Australia), 6 June 2019.

Prehistoric tree is first of its kind found below the Equator. By Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic news, 6 June 2019.

Fossil nuts from ancient Gondwanan beech tree challenge plant evolution. By Anna Salleh, ABC (Australia), 6 June 2019.

Encuentran restos de Castanopsis en la Patagonia de 52 millones de años. By Miguel Faigón, CONICET news, 6 June 2019.

Wilf named Paleontological Society Fellow for commitment to research, students. By David Kubarek, PSU Live, 18 January 2018.

Secrets of leaf size revealed. By Karl Gruber, Australian Geographic, 1 September 2017.

Scientists discover hidden mystery of leaf size in world's first study. By Will Koulouris, Xinhua, 1 September 2017.

Why are leaves so big in the tropics? By Tim Wallace, Cosmos, 1 September 2017.

Why some plants have huge leaves and others have tiny ones. By Kelsey Kennedy, Atlas Obscura, 31 August 2017.

Clues to why leaves come in many sizes. By Helen Briggs, BBC News, 31 August 2017.

New research unlocks the mystery of leaf size. By Ian Wright, The Conversation, 31 August 2017.

We may finally understand why tropical plants have huge leaves. By Alice Klein, New Scientist, 31 August 2017.

Tomatillo fossils, 52 million years old, are discovered in Patagonia. By Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, 9 January 2017.

Ancient tomato ancestors found in 52-million-year-old Patagonian stone. By Ben Guarino, Washington Post, 6 Jan 2017

'Rare and exquisite' 52-million-year-old fossil fruits discovered with papery skins still intact. By Martha Henriques, International Business Times (UK), 5 Jan 2017.

Tomato ancestor evolved 50 million years ago near Antarctica. Video by Science/AAAS, 05 Jan 2017.

Researchers uncover fossils of 52-million-year-old tomatillos. By Danny Lewis, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Jan 2017

When did tomatillos start wearing papery jackets? By Josh Kenworthy, Christian Science Monitor, 6 Jan 2017.

Tomatillo fossil is oldest nightshade plant. By Meghan Rosen, Science News, 5 Jan 2017.

Deadly (and delicious!) nightshades much older than thought. By Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 05 Jan 2017.

How did potatoes, tomatoes evolve? Let a 52-million-year-old berry fossil explain! Zee News (India), 9 Jan 2017.

Tosolini, A.-M. 2017. Palaeoecology: north–south recovery divide. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, Article 33 (News and Views on Donovan et al. 2016).

Ancient insect bites provide mass extinction insight. Nature Asia Research Highlight, 8 November 2016

How long did it take for life to rebound after the death of the dinosaurs? By Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, 7 November 2016.

Southern hemisphere faster to recover after killer asteroid, study suggests. By Nicola Davis, The Guardian, 7 November 2016.

After dinosaur extinction, some insects recovered more quickly. By Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times “Trilobites” column, 7 November 2016.

Massensterben im Spiegel fossiler Fraßschäden. By Martin Vieweg,, 7 November 2016.

L'hémisphère Sud a mieux récupéré de la catastrophe qui a causé l'extinction des dinosaures. By Joël Ignasse, Sciences et Avenir, 11 November 2016.

I morsi degli insetti illuminano l'estinzione del Cretaceo. La Scienze (Italy), 7 November 2016.

Ancient insect bite sheds light on mass extinction event that killed dinosaurs. By Léa Surugue, International Business Times UK, 7 Novembetr 2016.

Southern Hemisphere recovered quicker from devastating asteroid strike. Eurasia Review, 11 November 2016.

Los insectos le ganaron la batalla al meteorito que mató a los dinosaurios. By Nuño Domínguez, El Pais, 7 November 2016.

Southern Hemisphere bouced back TWICE as fast as the North from the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. By Abigail Beall, Daily Mail UK, 7 November 2016.

Was South America a refuge during the dino-killing mass extinction? By Eva Botkin-Kowacki, Christian Science Monitor, 7 November 2016.

After dino-killing collision, species down south bounced back fastest. By Chris Butler, Cosmos Magazine, 8 November 2016.

Marcas fósiles de insectos aportan una nueva visión sobre extinciones masivas. By Ari Iglesias, for CONICET, 11 July 2016.

Leaf mines say Southern Hemisphere recovered faster from asteroid. By Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American “Artful Amoeba” column, 7 November 2016.

Southern Hemisphere recovered faster from dino strike. By Helen Briggs, BBC News 7 November 2016.

Una mega-extinción vista desde los fósiles de hojas en Argentina. By Ari Iglesias, ANBariloche, 23 December 2016.

Peter Wilf - Computer Vision Cracks the Leaf Code. Video by Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. 6 June 2016.

Radio New Zealand interview on This Way Up with Richard Scott, 16 April 2016.

Seeing the invisible history of leaves. By Lance Farrell, Science Node, 13 April 2016.

Το μεγάλο των φύλλων σχολείο (The big school of leaves). By Lalina Fafouti, To Vima (Athens), 7 April 2016.

Earth’s history through tree leaves. By Shelley Littin, NSF-CyVerse, 25 March 2016.

A computer with a great eye is about to transform botany. By Margaret Rhodes, Wired, 17 March 2016.

Computer program solves mysteries of fossilized leaves. By Megan Treacy, Treehugger, 15 March 2016.

Computer vision can help classify leaves. By David Orenstein (Brown Univ. press release), 7 March 2016.

Sugden, A.M. 2015. Origins of the Southern Hemisphere flora. Science 347: 39-40 (Editors’ Choice on Wilf & Escapa 2015).

In Cina, le pesche arrivarono prima dell'uomo. By Elisabetta Intini, Focus, 7 December 2015.

Peach dates back 2.6 mln years. Xinhua, Shanghai Daily, and People’s Daily 5 December 2015.

China had peaches before it had humans. Science Now (AAAS), 2 December 2015.

World’s oldest peach found in China, presumably no longer delicious. By Rachel Feltman, Washington Post, 2 December 2015.

World's oldest peach pits found in China at 2.5 million years old. By Ana Verayo, China Topix, 2 December 2015.

Fossilized peach pits look identical to modern varieties of the fruit. By Natalia Hall, Northern Californian 1 December 2015.

World's oldest peach pits shed light on the evolution of the fruit. By Rogelio Estrada, Seating Chair, 2 December 2015.

Fossilized peach pits were discovered in China. By Lori Martinez, Regal Tribune, 2 December 2015.

The Paleo Peach: First fossil peaches discovered in China reveal ancient snack. By Catherine Griffin, Science World Report, 2 December 2015.

2.5-Million-Year-Old Fossilized Peaches Found in China. By Natali Anderson,, 2 December 2015

Scientists uncover the world’s oldest peach pits in China. By Sam Catherman, BABW News, 2 December 2015.

Paleo Peaches? First fossil peaches discovered In China. By Samantha Mathewson, Nature World News, 2 December 2015.

World’s oldest peach pit reveals juicy secrets: 2.5 million-year-old fruit originated in China BEFORE the arrival of humans. By Cheyenne MacDonald, Daily Mail, 2 December 2015.

Paleo peach pits: Was the sweet, juicy fruit in China before humans? By Eva Botkin-Kowacki, Christian Science Monitor, 2 December 2015.

Scientists find world's oldest peach pits near Chinese bus stop. By Brooks Hays, UPI, 2 December 2015.

Oldest peach pits found In China shed light on evolution of the fruit. By Katrina Pascual, Tech Times 2 December 2015.

The amazing, bizarre history of the Peach — uncovered at last. By Dan Taylor, Morning Ticker, 2 December 2015.

World’s oldest peach pits shed light on the evolution of the fruit. By Hira Bashir, I4U News, 2 December 2015.

Oldest peach remains were found in China. By Denise Ehrlich, Capital Berg, 2 December 2015.

Fossilized peach pits from 2.5 million years ago have been found. By Brian Galloway, Capital Wired, 2 December 2015.

Fossilized peachs dated 2.5 million years old discovered in China. Dipatch Tribunal, 2 December 2015.

New fossils prove Peach’s mother soil is China. By Ray Courtney, Albany Daily Star. 2 December 2015.

Earliest peach fossils found in Yunnan. Chinese Academy of Sciences news, 1 December 2015.

Oldest peach pits found in China. By Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News, 1 December 2015.

World’s oldest peach pits reveal juicy secrets. By Megan Gannon., 1 December 2015.

2.5 million year old peach fossils found in China. By Subodh Varma, The Times of India 1 December 2015.

Evolution: peaches appear earlier than humans in southwest China. Nature Asia Research Highlight, 27 November 2015.

The land where life has turned to stone. By Michelle Douglass, BBC Earth, 8 October 2015.

Zahn, L.M. 2014. Ancient leaves tattle on insects. Science 344: 985 (Editors’ Choice on Carvalho et al. 2014).

People Behind the Science (podcast interview), 7 July 2014.

WAMC Albany, Academic Minute, Orangutans and Patagonian Plant Fossils. March 24, 2014.

KPCC Los Angeles (NPR station), Take Two, interview by Megan Larson on fossil tomatillo from Laguna del Hunco, November 5, 2013.

Fossils of ancient Australasian trees found in Patagonia. By Megan Gannon,, 10 January 2014.

What America’s forests looked like before Europeans arrived. By Becky Oskin,, 13 November 2013 (syndicated to Scientific American, NBC, Discovery News,, more).

Buried Fossil Leaves Reveal Precolonial US Forests: Guiding Stream Restoration. By Catherine Griffin, Science World Report, 14 November, 2013.

Research Allows Reconstruction of Pre-colonial Landscape in Eastern U.S. Popular Archaeology, November 13, 2013.

Leaves tell the real story of Lancaster County. By Ad Crable, Lancaster Intelligencer, 21 November 2013.

First accurate forest description before European’s were in America presented. By Paul Hamaker, November 14, 2013.

New World's oldest tomatillo discovered. By Becky Oskin,,, 4 November 2013.

Bugs in Patagonia survived dinosaur-killing impact. By Becky Oskin,, 4 November 2013.

Un écart de datation de 100 millions d’années. By Suzanne Herzog, National Geographic France, January 9, 2012.

Study predicts increase in insect herbivore damage with climate change. Press release, Miami University of Ohio, December 1, 2010.

State College couple are creative collaboration, by Natalya Stanko. Centre Daily Times (page 1), April 26, 2010.

Research Unplugged discussion series: ancient biodiversity in Patagonia, writeup by Erin Dugan. Research Penn State, April 13, 2010.

No Leaves Unturned. Research Penn State book review of Manual of Leaf Architecture, by Melissa Beattie-Moss, February 23, 2010.

Picturing the Past. The Art of Paleo-Illustrator Rebecca Horwitt. Research Penn State multimedia presentation on YouTube by Melissa Beattie-Moss and Sara Brennen, February 10, 2010.

CNN, January 26, 2010, 10 AM. Interview on Argentina NSF stimulus grant by TJ Holmes and Kyra Phillips.

More Faces of Recovery. The President’s Voice (White House Blog), January 27, 2010. By Liz Oxhorn, Recovery Act Communications Director.

Cressler, W.L. III. 2009. Manual of Leaf Architecture (Book Review). Choice Reviews Online, American Library Association, November 2009 issue, article 47-1416.

New fossil plant discovery links Patagonia to New Guinea in a warmer past. Science Daily (press release from American Journal of Botany), November 10, 2009.

Fósiles confirman que la Patagonia fue un vergel. By Bruno Geller, Argenpress / Agencia CYTA, December 28, 2009.

Post-human Earth: How the planet will recover from us. By Bob Holmes, New Scientist issue 2729, September 30, 2009.

World’s biggest snake lived in 1st “modern” rain forest. By Ker Than, National Geographic News, October 13, 2009.

Evidence found of neotropical rainforest. UPI, October 13, 2009.

Prehistoric titanic-snake jungles laughed at global warming. By Lewis Page, The Register, October 13, 2009.

El primer bosque húmedo neotropical fue el hogar de la titanoboa. OTR/PRESS, Europapress (Spain), October 13, 2009.

Where in the world is Peter Wilf? By Jen Golding,, September 29, 2009.

Mega-Einschlag hatte kaum Auswirkungen auf Europa (Mega-impact had little impact on Europe). Spiegel Online (chs/AP), October 29, 2009.

Mass extinction event spared Europe (mostly). By Michael Reilly, Discovery Channel News/, September 23, 2009.

Hadly, E. Faculty of 1000 Recommendation (on Crisp et al. 2009), Faculty of 1000 Biology, 27 April 2009.

Plants on death row in changing world. By Deborah Smith, Sydney Morning Herald, February 19, 2009.

Plants are nature’s niche conservatives. By Kate McDonald, Australian Life Scientist, February 16, 2009.

Las raíces no sirven para huir. By Emilio de Benito, El País (Spain), February 16, 2009.

Clarke, A. 2008. Faculty of 1000 Recommendation (on Wilf 2008), Faculty of 1000 Biology, 20 May 2008.

Bones are not the only fossils. By Olivia Judson, New York Times, March 4, 2008.

Meridian’s Red Hot fossil spot. By Jennifer Jacob, The Meridian Star, Feb. 10, 2008.

DeLucia, E.H., C.L. Casteel, P.D. Nabity, B.F. O’Neill. 2008. Insects take a bigger bite out of plants in a warmer, higher carbon dioxide world. PNAS 105: 1781-1782. (Commentary on Currano et al. 2008).

Ancient global warming gave bugs the munchies. By John Roach, National Geographic News, February 11, 2008.

Insects ravaged more plants in ancient hot period. By Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters, February 12, 2008.

Warming could trigger food frenzy by insects. By Andrea Thompson, LiveScience/, Feb. 11, 2008.

Insect explosion 'a threat to food crops'. By Steve Connor, The Independent, February 12, 2008.

Study observes_insects_to_explain climate change . By Samantha Van Vynck, Penn State Daily Collegian, February 26, 2008.

Nasty, brutish, and short. Editors' Choice, Science 318: 1218 (for Royer et al. 2007).

Massasukupuutosta toipuminen on hidasta. By Suvi Viranta-Kovanen, Suomen Luonto (Finland), December, 2006.

Warm swarms. By Anna Barnett, Nature Reports Climate Change, 21 February 2008.

Crafting the pieces of the diversity jigsaw puzzle. R.L. Kitching, 2006, Science 313: 1055-1057 (Perspective on Wilf et al. 2006).

The land that insects forgot. By Erik Ness, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, October 2006, p. 397.

Insectes et plantes: chacun pour soi. By Philippe Pajot, Pour la Science, “Actualités” feature, October 2006.

Turning over an old leaf. By Stacy Tibbetts, Research Penn State feature story, Sept. 5, 2006.

Fossils suggest chaotic recovery from mass extinction. By Andrea Thompson, Live Science, Sept. 1, 2006.

Leaves leave more questions than answers about post-destruction biodiversity. By Eric Jackson, The Panama News, August 6-19, 2006.

Leaves with pointy edges explained. by Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, February 17, 2006.

52 millones de años de pura variedad. By Ramiro Velásquez Gómez, El Colombiano, Medellin, Colombia, August 12, 2005.

Floral diversity preserved in fossils. By Cathy Lundmark, 2005, Bioscience 55: 544 (“BioBrief” on Wilf et al. 2005, Am. Nat.).

Ancient Roots of South American plant-insect ecodiversity. PNAS 102: 8789 (“In this Issue” highlight on Wilf et al. 2005, PNAS).

Turning over a new leaf. Editor's Choice, Science September 10, 2004 (for Wilf and Johnson 2004).

Importante hallazgo cientifico en la Patagonia: hallan en el Sur sitios con fósiles de flora únicos en el mundo. Clarin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 27, 2005.

Paleobotany Highlights. by Dr. Brian Axsmith, Geotimes, July, 2004.

Trove of leaf fossils raises new questions about ancient plant life. by Byron Spice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 7, 2003.

Refuting refugia? by Sandra Knapp and James Mallet. Science April 4, 2003 (Perspective on Wilf et al. 2003).

Estudos atacam teoria sobre biodiversidade (Studies attack biodiversity theory). Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 4, 2003.

La diversidad vegetal americana no es reciente (The diversity of American vegetation is not recent). La Nacion, Argentina, April 4, 2003.

La diversidad de vegetación en América del Sur existe desde hace 52 millones de años (The diversity of South American vegetation has existed for 52 million years). El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia, April 11, 2003.

Plants got roots. Geological Society UK, News, April 8, 2003.

Wyoming fossils change theories about extinction. by Dan Whipple, Casper Star-Tribune, March 16, 2003.

Report: Climate change didn't kill dinosaurs. by Dan Lewerenz, AP, January 16, 2003.

Asteroid theory gains ground. by Katy Human, Daily Camera, January 16, 2003.

Paleobotany Highlights. by Drs. Melanie Devore and Kathleen Pigg, Geotimes, July 2002.

Leaving their mark. by Linda Rowan. Editors' Choice, Science, March 1, 2002 (for Labandeira et al. 2002).

Old leaves reveal a bug's life. by Jim Erickson, Rocky Mountain News, February 22, 2002.

Prehistoric bugs also fell victim to impact. Cosmiverse Science News, February 25, 2002.

Global climate change: a glance in the rear view mirror. by Dr. Matt Huber, Geotimes, December 2001.

Ancient insect-plant relationship persists through time. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Highlight, October, 2000.

Chewed leaves reveal ancient relationship. by Elizabeth Pennisi, Science News of the Week.

Biting beetle gives away secrets. by Jonathan Amos, BBC News Online, July 16, 2000.

Beetle bites reveal ancient alliance. by Michael Milstein, News,July 18, 2000.

Beetle bites. Natural History 109 (9):79, November, 2000

Warmer climate spurred ancient plant pests. by Richard Monastersky, Science News, June 26, 1999.

Hungry herbivores seek a warmer world. by Dr. Phyllis D. Coley, Science, June 25, 1999 (Perspective on Wilf and Labandeira 1999).

Warming climate made a buzz.  by Liese Greensfelder, ScienceNOW, June25, 1999.

All Things Considered. Interview with John Nielsen, National Public Radio  June 24, 1999 (Real Audio sound file).

Warm times mean more bugs: Fossils show insects thrive in heat. by Susan Conova,, June 25, 1999.

What likes it hot? Plants and bugs: Study takes a new look at climate's effects. By Mark Jaffe, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 25, 1999.

Hotter Climate Is Linked to Insect Attacks. By Lee Siegel, Salt Lake City Tribune, June 25, 1999.

Insects, plants, and climate change. Interview with Rob Sivak, Voice of America Radio, June 25, 1999.

Nibbling insects signal global warming. BBC News Online, June 24, 1999.

Global warming 55 million years ago caused migration to North America. By Byron Spice, Pittburgh Post-Gazette, February 8, 1999.


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