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Many species of trees and plants have begun migrating as the climate changes, but some, like California’s giant coastal redwoods, can’t just pick up and move.   The proximity of the ocean, which has unique effects on temperature and climate, makes it challenging to predict what the redwoods’ habitat will look like in the future. By using California’s historical climate data, UC Merced researchers have developed near-term predictions about the coastal habitat for the archetypal redwoods.   The trees will...
UC Merced Professor Miriam Barlow was honored with a major award last month for her role in developing a method to restore the efficacy of antibiotics and help doctors deal with resistant bacteria.   Barlow, a biologist, worked with American University mathematician Kristina Crona on the “Time Machine” software to rewind the evolution of bacteria. For that project, Barlow and Crona were chosen from among five finalists in the Health and Medicine category of the annual World Technology Network awards.   “...
Professor Linda Hirst, with the School of Natural Sciences, has been elected to the executive council of GSOFT, the new Topical Group on Soft Matter in the American Physical Society (APS), the world's largest organization of physicists.   “This is a big honor and is very exciting,” Hirst said. “I wanted to become more involved with the APS, and this is a great way to do it. This will bring a lot more attention to soft-matter physics at UC Merced, too.”   Hirst, an affiliate of the Health Sciences...
Three graduate students from the School of Natural Sciences have been named Dan David Solar Fellows through the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), headquartered at UC Merced.    The fellowship began in 2007 through a generous gift from Sarah R. Kurtz, principal scientist in the National Center for Photovoltaics at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Kurtz established the fellowship in the name of the Dan David Foundation, which awarded her and NREL...
The University of California, Merced, was plotted at the juncture of mountains, fields and urban sprawl with the mission of serving the diverse needs of the San Joaquin Valley region.   Little has changed with that philosophy a decade later as UC Merced flips the switch on a new era in which public and human health sciences will be some of the core subjects for the institution in its teaching, research, faculty recruitment and program development.   As research funding and activity has grown exponentially on campus, studies have...
Almost $2 million in grants will go a long way toward helping Professor Christine Isborn and colleagues at other universities learn more about the molecular processes involved in capturing solar energy, energy storage and telecommunications for the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.   The money will also allow Isborn to further work with upper-division students to help them succeed and stick with their chemistry studies.   “It’s super exciting,” the quantum chemistry professor said. “I was...
The University of California aims to lead the way to a sustainable future in the face of global warming, and UC Merced professors have contributed to a report that offers practical steps to help get there. “Bending the Curve: 10 Scalable Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability,” an intercampus report due out in the spring, presents paths for limiting climate warming to no more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit and preventing the consequences any further warming would cause. An executive summary, released today...
UC Merced undergraduate students can find opportunities to conduct research in a lab as early as their freshman year — what’s less common is getting that research funded.   Fourth-year biology major Adam Fishburn caught the eye of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), which awarded him a $4,000 fellowship to help continue his work with Professor Clarissa Nobile on the study of biofilms, microbial communities that are notoriously resistant to antimicrobial treatments.   “Being chosen as an ASM fellow is an...
Professor Danielle Edwards is part of a team of researchers that made a huge discovery recently about two groups of giant Galapagos tortoises — they are actually two different species. The team’s paper, entitled “Description of a new Galapagos Giant Tortoise Species (Chelonoidis; Testudines: Testudinidae) from Cerro Fatal on Santa Cruz Island,” appears online today in the journal PlosOne. “It’s not every day you can name a new species of major vertebrate,” Edwards said. “...
Professor Roland Winston has been tracking the Sudbury Neutrino Experiment since it began in the 1980s, because he invented the light collectors the scientists built to detect solar neutrinos.   “I just wanted to make sure they worked,” he said. Last week, Winston learned with the rest of the world that the collectors not only worked, but were critical to the experiment that shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. “It’s a very important experiment,” said ...

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