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News Article | April 17, 2017

DoubleTree by Hilton Milwaukee Downtown has again earned Hilton Worldwide's esteemed Pride Award. This award designates the hotel as a top performer within DoubleTree by Hilton brand for 2016. The Pride Award is awarded to the top ten performing hotels out of the 345 currently operating in the Americas. Guest survey satisfaction scores as well as the condition and cleanliness of the hotel rank the DoubleTree properties amongst their competition within the brand. “This is our 9th Pride Award, and it is just as special as our first," said Jeff Welk, General Manager. "We compete with spectacular hotels all over the country for this award, and are proud to have a team of employees that embrace our culture of genuine hospitality to help us continually make us a top choice for guests visiting Milwaukee." Located at 611 West Wisconsin Avenue, the DoubleTree by Hilton Milwaukee Downtown is situated near the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Marquette University, Milwaukee Public Museum, Wisconsin Center, and many more downtown attractions. Featuring brand new upscale sleeping rooms, the DoubleTree by Hilton provides every guest with award-winning service and complimentary Internet, in addition to ample valet parking and meeting space. The hotel also features the Avenue Bar & Grill, serving delightful American classics and a seasonal outdoor sundeck. The hotel is owned by local investors Dean Fitzgerald and Ann Neviaser. For more information, please visit us at or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

McGhee Jr. G.R.,Rutgers University | Sheehan P.M.,Milwaukee Public Museum | Bottjer D.J.,University of Southern California | Droser M.L.,University of California at Riverside
Geology | Year: 2012

We propose a new ecological ranking of the major Phanerozoic biodiversity crises in which the Serpukhovian biodiversity crisis is ranked fifth in ecological impact, lesser than the Late Devonian but greater than the end-Ordovician, and the end-Ordovician mass extinction is ranked sixth. It is interesting that both the end-Ordovician mass extinction and the Serpukhovian biodiversity crisis were triggered by glaciations. Other than that common trigger, the two events were very different. Glaciation in the Ordovician triggered an enormous jump in the extinction rate of marine organisms and was taxonomically very severe, yet the ecological impact of those extinctions was minimal. Glaciation in the Serpukhovian triggered a precipitous drop in the speciation rate but only moderate diversity losses, yet the ecological impact of those diversity losses and ecosystem restructuring was an ecological level of magnitude larger than that seen in the end-Ordovician mass extinction. © 2012 Geological Society of America.

McGhee G.R.,Rutgers University | Clapham M.E.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Sheehan P.M.,Milwaukee Public Museum | Bottjer D.J.,University of Southern California | Droser M.L.,University of California at Riverside
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2013

A new ecological-severity ranking of the major Phanerozoic biodiversity crises is proposed in which the Capitanian crisis is ranked lesser than the Frasnian (Late Devonian) but greater than the Serpukhovian (end-Mississippian), and the Famennian (end-Devonian) crisis is ranked as equal in ecological impact to the Hirnantian (end-Ordovician). Two new decouplings between taxonomic severity and ecological severity are revealed in these analyses, the Capitanian and Famennian crises, in which the ecological impact of the biodiversity loss was markedly different from the magnitude of the biodiversity loss. These analyses also reveal that the "Great Devonian Interchange" (GDI) invasive-species event in the Givetian biodiversity crisis may provide an important palaeoecological analog for the study of present-day extinction and homogenization in ecosystems produced by modern invasive species. © 2012.

Colston T.J.,University of Oklahoma | Grazziotin F.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Shepard D.B.,University of Minnesota | Vitt L.J.,University of Oklahoma | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Inferring the evolutionary and biogeographic history of taxa occurring in a particular region is one way to determine the processes by which the biodiversity of that region originated. Tree boas of the genus Corallus are an ancient clade and occur throughout Central and South America and the Lesser Antilles, making it an excellent group for investigating Neotropical biogeography. Using sequenced portions of two mitochondrial and three nuclear loci for individuals of all recognized species of Corallus, we infer phylogenetic relationships, present the first molecular analysis of the phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic C. cropanii, develop a time-calibrated phylogeny, and explore the biogeographic history of the genus. We found that Corallus diversified within mainland South America, via over-water dispersals to the Lesser Antilles and Central America, and via the traditionally recognized Panamanian land bridge. Divergence time estimates reject the South American Caribbean-Track as a general biogeographic model for Corallus and implicate a role for events during the Oligocene and Miocene in diversification such as marine incursions and the uplift of the Andes. Our findings also suggest that recognition of the island endemic species, C. grenadensis and C. cookii, is questionable as they are nested within the widely distributed species, C. hortulanus. Our results highlight the importance of using widespread taxa when forming and testing biogeographic hypotheses in complex regions and further illustrate the difficulty of forming broadly applicable hypotheses regarding patterns of diversification in the Neotropical region. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Jin J.,University of Western Ontario | Harper D.A.T.,Durham University | Cocks L.R.M.,Natural History Museum in London | McCausland P.J.A.,University of Western Ontario | And 2 more authors.
Geology | Year: 2013

The Late Ordovician equatorial zone, like the zone today, had few hurricane-grade storms within 10o of the equator, as emphasized by the preservation of massive-bedded Thalassinoides ichnofacies in a trans-Laurentian belt more than 6000 km long, from the southwestern United States to North Greenland. That belt also includes nonamalgamated shell beds dominated by the brachiopod Proconchidium, which would not have been preserved after hurricane-grade storms. The belt lacks such storm-related sedimentary features as rip-up clasts, hummocky cross-stratification, or large channels. In contrast, other contemporaneous Laurentian Thalassinoides facies and shell beds on either side of the belt have been disturbed by severe storms below fair-weather wave base. The position of the biofacies-defined equatorial belt coincides with the Late Ordovician equator deduced from paleomagnetic data from Laurentia, thus providing both a high-precision equatorial location and an independent test of the geocentric axial dipole hypothesis for that time. © 2013 Geological Society of America.

Pauers M.J.,Milwaukee Public Museum | Kapfer J.M.,Elon University | Doehler K.,Elon University | Todd Lee J.,Elon University | Berg C.S.,Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens
Ecology of Freshwater Fish | Year: 2012

The role of male colouration in the behavioural interactions of haplochromine cichlids has received much attention. Previous studies supported the role played by visual signals during interactions of rock-dwelling cichlids, or mbuna, from Lake Malawi. It has largely been assumed that hue, and not pattern, is the primary signal encoded in male colouration; thus, the role of colour pattern has received less attention. We explored the use of visual signals during aggression in Labeotropheus fuelleborni by using identically and differently coloured opponents and by offering these opponents under coloured illumination. We presented two simultaneous opponents to males and found that the focal male's responses depended upon opponent colour pattern; similarly patterned opponents received more aggression, even if presented under a hue-obscuring light source. These results support findings that gross colour pattern may be more important than hue in interactions among the mbuna and further support an important role for visual communication in these fishes. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Adults of two species of cicadas, Proarna sallei Stål, 1864 and Pacarina championi (Distant, 1881) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), were observed and counted at a cluster of three electric lights on the wall of a cacao storage building at La Lola. La Lola is an experimental cocoa farm, near Matina, Costa Rica, Central America. Observations were taken intermittently from 1980 to 1986. All individuals at the lights for both species were females. Of the total 19 individuals of Pa. championi counted, 94.7% occurred during the wetter periods. Eighty-eight percent of the 25 Pr. sallei individuals occurred during the wetter periods. Although not as biased as the Costa Rican site, females made up 70% of the total 530 specimens of Pr. insignis Distant, 1881 collected at various types of light traps in the Department of French Guiana, South America. Similar female bias is also reported for Pr. grisea (Fabricius, 1775) and Pr. guttulosa (Walker, 1858) also collected in South America. Previous studies show the sex ratio of Proarna and other genera of cicadas in Costa Rica is 1:1 at adult eclosion. The data are discussed in terms of possible behavioral differences between the sexes in the attraction to lights. © New York Entomological Society.

Jin J.,University of Western Ontario | Harper D.A.T.,Copenhagen University | Rasmussen J.A.,Copenhagen University | Sheehan P.M.,Milwaukee Public Museum
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2012

Massive-bedded Thalassinoides ichnofacies occurs pervasively in widely separated areas on the vast Upper Ordovician carbonate platforms along the palaeoequator of Laurentia, from the Børglum River Formation in North Greenland, through the Red River Formation and Bighorn Dolomite of the Williston Basin (Manitoba, Canada to Wyoming, USA), to the Ely Springs Dolomite and equivalent strata of the eastern Great Basin (Utah and Nevada, USA). The Late Ordovician Thalassinoides is characterised by complex, three-dimensional, anastomosing or multi-level galleries that are consistent in size, pattern and density, with preserved depth of 1. m or greater. In addition to the similar Thalassinoides burrows, the ichnofacies across the palaeocontinent also contains typical taxa of the Red River biota, such as the soccer-ball sized receptaculitid Fisherites, large-shelled, diverse and abundant nautiloids, the distinctively planispiral gastropod Maclurina, as well as diverse tabulate and rugose corals. The consistent characteristics of the Red River biofacies and Thalassinoides ichnofacies suggest a palaeogeographically homogeneous and temporally stable depositional environment along the palaeoequatorial belt of Laurentia during the pre-Hirnatian Late Ordovician. The Thalassinoides ichnofacies marked the first phase of mega-scale invasion of burrowers into relatively deep-water platform and shelf environments by successively creating a well-oxygenated deep burrow system for protection and deposit feeding. Such substrate tiering expansion constituted an important aspect of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Robertson D.S.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Lewis W.M.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Sheehan P.M.,Milwaukee Public Museum | Toon O.B.,University of Colorado at Boulder
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Year: 2013

The Chicxulub asteroid impact produced massive extinction in terrestrial environments most likely through an intense heat pulse and subsequent widespread fires. Aquatic environments were shielded from this heat and fire but nevertheless showed massive extinction in marine environments and, for reasons unexplained, far less extinction in freshwater environments. Extinction in marine environments resulted from the effects of an "impact winter" caused by dust and smoke in the atmosphere that extinguished sunlight at the Earth's surface for a period of months to years. The resulting cessation of photosynthesis caused a globally extensive extinction of phytoplankton taxa. Because aquatic ecosystems, unlike terrestrial environments, are strongly dependent on daily photosynthetic output by autotrophs, loss of phytoplankton likely caused catastrophic mortality and extinction in aquatic ecosystems. Other potential causes of mortality in aquatic ecosystems include lower ambient temperatures and anoxia due to the lack of photosynthetic oxygen. Inland waters, although probably subject to high mortality, showed lower proportionate extinction than marine environments probably because of the greater potential among the freshwater taxa for dormancy, the greater efficiency of reaeration by rapid flow to offset oxygen demand, abundant thermal refugia fed by groundwater at moderate temperatures, and preadaptation of freshwater taxa to a great degree of environmental variability. In addition, detrital feeders appear to have had low extinction rates in either marine or freshwater environments, but again freshwater taxa would have been favored by higher renewal rates of detrital organic matter as a result of their direct hydrologic contact with soil. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Robertson D.S.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Lewis W.M.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Sheehan P.M.,Milwaukee Public Museum | Toon O.B.,University of Colorado at Boulder
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Year: 2013

The global debris layer created by the end-Cretaceous impact at Chicxulub contained enough soot to indicate that the entire terrestrial biosphere had burned. Preliminary modeling showed that the reentry of ejecta would have caused a global infrared (IR) pulse sufficient to ignite global fires within a few hours of the Chicxulub impact. This heat pulse and subsequent fires explain the terrestrial survival patterns in the earliest Paleocene, because all the surviving species were plausibly able to take shelter from heat and fire underground or in water. However, new models of the global IR heat pulse as well as the absence of charcoal and the presence of noncharred organic matter have been said to be inconsistent with the idea of global fires that could have caused the extinctions. It was suggested that the soot in the debris layer originated from the impact site itself because the morphology of the soot, the chain length of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and the presence of carbon cenospheres were said to be inconsistent with burning the terrestrial biosphere. These assertions either are incorrect or have alternate explanations that are consistent with global firestorms. We show that the apparent charcoal depletion in the Cretaceous-Paleogene layer has been misinterpreted due to the failure to correct properly for sediment deposition rates. We also show that the mass of soot potentially released from the impact site is far too low to supply the observed soot. However, global firestorms are consistent with both data and physical modeling. Key Points A global heat pulse and fires from Chicxulub ejecta caused the K-Pg extinctionThis idea is consistent with all extant K-Pg data and physical modelingRecent claims of contrary evidence are either false or can be reinterpreted ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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