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Elizabeth (Betsy) Dumont
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Tom Peterson announced on Monday the appointment of Elizabeth (Betsy) Dumont as the third Dean of the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced effective August 1, 2017. Dr. Dumont is currently the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  In his announcement to the campus community, Provost Peterson stated, "Dr. Dumont brings a distinguished and varied track record of leadership in higher education to UC Merced, as well as a strong...
Beginnings Statue
We would like to welcome three new senate faculty that will be joining the UC Merced and the School of Natural Science faculty on July 1, 2017.  Son Nguyen joins the Chemistry & Chemical Biology unit as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Nguyen comes to UC Merced from UC Berkeley, where he was a postdoctoral scholar working in the C.B. Harris research group. Dr. Nguyen's research is focused on understanding and expanding the applications of nanoparticle photocatalyst to novel green synthesis and solar energy harvesting. These nanometer...
As the academic year comes to an end, we look to celebrate the success of another year. On May 1, 2017, we recognized the dedication and accomplishment of graduating undergraduate students at the school’s outstanding student award reception. This annual award ceremony began back in 2009 to recognize the contributions of the school’s graduating students. Fourteen students were nominated by the faculty in all undergraduate majors for their strong academic success and involvement in research. The ceremony was also a time to...
Dean Meza
School of Natural Sciences Dean Juan Meza was recently elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Committee on Council Affairs. His selection became official during this year’s annual AAAS conference in Boston in late February. His term lasts two years, and he is one of eight members of this executive committee who will help guide the AAAS annual conferences and other efforts. Meza is a passionate advocate for science and science education, and said he looks forward to working with his...
The cake pans were hung on poles to gather dust samples.
But dust from as near as the Central Valley and as far away as the Gobi Desert in Asia provides more nutrients — especially critical phosphorus — than previously thought to sustain the vegetation in the Sierra Nevada, a team of scientists has found. A new study released in the journal Nature Communications Opens a New Window. this week indicates it’s important to understand how dust helps vegetation thrive, especially in light of the changing climate and land-use intensification. It is well known...
Professor Jessica Blois and colleagues examine the role of the fossil record in understanding future global changes.
The rapid pace of global change has large impacts on nature, and on the work conservation biologists will have before them, too. From here on out, experts say, the fossil record is going to be critical to guide nature into the future. A new paper in the journal Science Opens a New Window., co-authored by UC Merced paleoecology Professor Jessica Blois, contends that rather than holding ecosystems to an idealized past, preserving and maintaining vibrant ecosystems requires new approaches. That includes using Earth...
Amy Moffat, Student and Program Assessment Manager was the recipient of the UC Merced’s Outstanding Women award. This annual award recognizes the those faculty, post docs, staff, and students who identify as women at UC Merced who enriched the campus community through notable leadership, sustained dedication, outstanding service, and inspiring achievements that directly impact women. The award is provided by Women’s Programs out of the Office of Student Life. Amy is actively engaged in the campus serving as the secretary and...
Professor Andy LiWang shows his 3-D-printed model of the proteins that drive cyanobacterial circadian clocks.
In finding a way to see assemblies of the proteins that direct cyanobacterial circadian rhythms, or biological clocks, UC Merced biochemistry Professor Andy LiWang and his colleagues have done what no one else has been able to, despite more than 15 years of trying. A new paper released in the prestigious journal Science today Opens a New Window.explains how the labs of LiWang and his colleagues — Professor Carrie Partch in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz and Professor Susan Golden...
The National Cancer Institute’s “cancer moonshot” tasks researchers with, among advancing other new biotechnologies, delving into immunotherapy and genomic analysis. UC Merced Professor Fabian V. Filipp is doing his part, further developing his work on precision targeting of cancers and personalized medicine. Filipp has already mapped the genetic landscape of melanoma Opens a New Window.and found a drug that could be effective in battling the deadly skin cancer Opens a New Window., and has now...
Professor Shilpa Khatri
If you want to know what the ocean really smells like, you’ll have to ask a crab. Yes, crabs have a sense of smell. In humans, chemicals in the air flow into our nasal cavities toward specialized sensory cells. Olfaction occurs when odorant molecules bind to specific sites on the olfactory receptors, or chemosensors. But crabs don’t have closed-in nasal cavities like humans do, of course. Like all crustaceans, they have arrays of hair-like chemosensors called aesthetascs that pick up chemical cues flowing past...

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