News & Announcements

Three OEB Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to Eve Beaury, Alison Fowler, and Rachel Bell, who were among nine UMass students to win the 2019 competition for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Barbara Krauthamer, dean of the Graduate School, says these are some of the most prestigious and competitive awards available to students. (Read more...)

Marine Protected Reserves Do More Than Restore Fish
News on the need to protect and restore biodiversity in our oceans

Scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewin) aggregation near Darwin Island in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Photo courtesy of UMass Amherst/Brian Cheng.

Analyzing field experiments from across the globe, Brian Cheng and collaborators at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida say their findings reveal that marine reserves increase predation rates by protecting predators that were once heavily fished by humans, allowing their numbers to thrive. Their study appears online in the current issue of Ecology, the flagship journal of the Ecological Society of America. Read More

Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez wins Ford Foundation Fellowship
4 OEB students awarded grants from the Natural History Collections

Congratulations to Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez on being awarded the highly competitive and prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship. Woohoo! Way to go, Mariamar! In addition, 4 students were awarded grants this year from the Natural History Collections: Rachel Bell, Kadambari Devarajan, Chaise Gilbert, and Carolina Muñoz-Agudelo. We are excited to celebrate all these successes - be sure to share yours with us!

Three Minutes of Genius: UMass Amherst grad students present their high-caliber research in an exciting timed competition

Organized by the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development, the annual three-week-long contest tests the research communication skills of 40 doctoral and master’s students by challenging them to explain the significance of their academic projects in accessible and compelling presentations of three minutes or less. Ten students advanced to the 2019 final. OEB student Lian Guo was a finalist in the competition.  Read More

Image Created by Chaise Gilbert to be Featured in Prestigious "Images from Science 3" Exhibition

dasyatis_sabina_mcgilbert2019

The work of OEB student Chaise GIlbert will be showcased as part of Images From Science 3, an exhibition organized to showcase the world's best and most compelling images originally made to document, reveal or discover aspects of research, treatment, or scientific discovery. At its core mission, the project seeks to explore the interface of science, technology, art, design, and communication. Science images, unlike most other genres of images, rarely find their way into art museums. This prestigious exhibition is comprised of entries from all around the world and judged by an international panel of doctors, scientists, and imaging experts. Chaise's work will be showcased as part of this exhibition at the RIT’s City Space in downtown Rochester NY. It will then travel to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore MD, and from there it will go on international tour. Later this year, RIT Press will reproduce the exhibition in print. (Read more)

Two OEB Students Awarded 1st and 2nd Place in the 8th annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium

Alison Fowler won first place and John Swenson won second place for their oral presentations in the 8th annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium on November 30. Alison presented her research on the effects of sunflower pollen on wild bumble bee health and reproduction. John, who is a first year student, presented his Master's research research into the evolution and development of cephalic lobes aka the 'horns' of the devil ray. (Link to associated paper) 

Chaise Gilbert selected as a winner in FASEB's 2018 BioArt competition

OEB student Michael Chaise Gilbert was selected as one of the winners of this year's BioArt competition at the Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB). His "Zebrafish Skeletal Image Showing Bone and Cartilage" image won in the Anatomy category. The image of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) shows the bone (green) and the cartilage (red) that comprises the skeleton. Researchers are using this image, and ones like it, to better identify how a mutation in the primary cilia can affect skeletal development, structure, and morphology.(Read more...)

Ragweed may follow climate change northward

Professor Kristina Stinson

A new predictive model suggests that climate change may allow common ragweed to extend its growing range northward and into major northeast metro areas, worsening conditions for millions of people with hay fever and asthma. 

Plant ecologist Kristina Stinson, Environmental Conservation, who leads a research team that has been studying this plant for over a decade – particularly how it responds to elevated CO2 levels – worked with climate modeler and corresponding author Michael Case at University of Washington on this project. Details appear online in the journal PLOS One, and were also featured in The Daily Hampshire Gazette, as well as University of Washington News. Read more

Eyes on the prize: What jumping spiders do with eight eyes

jumping_spider_Jakob

Using a specially designed eye-tracker for use with spiders, biologists Elizabeth Jakob, OEB Alumna Skye Long and Adam Porter at UMass, along with colleagues in New York and New Zealand, report in a new paper that their tests in jumping spiders show a secondary set of eyes is crucial to the principal eyes’ ability to track moving stimuli. Read more

Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez wins Best Student Presentation Award at the 2018 National Diversity in STEM Conference

OEB PhD student Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez won the Best Student Presentation Award at the annual Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) meeting which was held in San Antonio, TX in October 2018.  Her work “Evaluating the Impact of Overnight En Route Weather over the Gulf of Mexico on Lean Mass of Spring Migrants” investigates direct impacts of temperature and humidity on the body condition of migratory birds after flying non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico, a minimum distance of almost 1000 km.  Mariamar captured songbirds during spring migration on a barrier island off the coast of Florida and measured body condition using Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Body Composition Analysis, and investigated the climatic variables that explained arrival lean body mass. Mariamar is a fourth year PhD candidate in Dr. Alexander Gerson’s lab. 

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