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Lorena Anderson

Research Reveals Collective Dynamics of Active Matter Systems

Flocks of starlings producing dazzling patterns across the sky are natural examples of active matter — groups of individual agents coming together to create collective dynamics.

In a study featured on last week’s cover of the journal Science, a team of researchers including a UC Merced theoretical physicist revealed new insights into what happens inside such active systems.

Physicist Found His Path to the Future at UC Merced

When Denzal Martin started his undergraduate work at UC Merced, he wasn’t thinking about a career in physics, interning with NASA or attending graduate school.

The Los Angeles native was studying computer science and engineering. One day, though, he decided to attend a materials science and engineering lecture by visiting NASA scientist Cheol Park.

“It was a very obscure subject to me, but I was interested to learn more,” Martin (’18) said. “The pictures he showed — it seemed like magic how they were fabricating these materials.”

Berhe Named to Endowed Chair in Recognition of Her Work in Soil Sciences

Soil biogeochemistry Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe has been named the Ted and Jan Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology.

“The Falasco family is engaged in construction and development, so they have an intimate connection with and an understanding of the earth beneath our feet,” Berhe said. “Not only are they generous with their hard-earned resources, they are investing in a worthy cause for the Valley. They appreciate how invested we all should be in the land and the Earth.”

Biodiversity Study Indicates Large and Small Organisms React Similarly to Environment

Bacteria and starfish have more in common than people might think.

A new study published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences shows that both single-celled (microbes) and multi-celled organisms (every other living thing) in marine lakes share similar reactions to changes in their environment.

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