A woman obsessed with smell

She is a woman obsessed with smell. As head of a sensory ecology lab, she's spent the past two decades picking apart how seabirds' ability to detect scents is key to their survival. Nevitt had the good fortune to arrive in the field on the heels of a handful of pioneering bird olfaction studies. Yet changing long-held beliefs takes time, and the scientific community is no exception. Dozens of Nevitt's grant proposals have been rejected because of the birds-can't-smell fallacy. A program officer once called to say her application was the worst he'd ever seen. "Your idea that birds can smell is ridiculous,"he said. "This will never be funded, so stop wasting your time."

— Read more at Birds Can Smell, and One Scientist is Leading the Charge to Prove It, an article at Audubon magazine about Gabrielle Nevitt of the University of California-Davis.

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2 Comments

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  1. kindcrow says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. I have not had a chance to finish the article, so I don’t know if they addressed how much the sense of smell prevents seabirds from ingesting plastic. The poor things eat so much of it.

    On a lighter note: What creative use of tampons!

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