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Science Lecture Series Archive

The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences proudly presents the annual Science Lecture Series at UC Riverside every spring quarter. Since its inception, CNAS scientists have shared their knowledge and research with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. Each Science Lecture Series topic tackles some of the most pressing issues we face as a local, national, and global community. 

The archive of Science Lecture Series presentations offers those that are curious about the sciences the ability to watch past lectures. We hope you enjoy watching our archive of past Science Lecture Series presentations. You can also find the video playlist of all the Science Lecture Series on YouTube.

 

  • Spring 2021 Lectures
    2021 Spring Science Lecture Series flier header

     

     

    Responding to the pandemic: How UC Riverside scientists created a COVID-19 testing lab for students

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5 p.m.

    Shortly after UC Riverside closed to protect its community from the spread of COVID-19, the campus began discussions to create its own testing lab to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Led by UCR scientists Katherine Borkovich and Isgouhi Kaloshian, in collaboration with partners across the university, the campus coronavirus testing lab opened in August 2020 and began providing UCR with on-site testing and rapid turnaround of results. However, the experience of creating a clinical COVID-19 testing lab from scratch during a global pandemic came with great challenges and also unexpected rewards. Join us on April 6 at 5 p.m. to learn how Drs. Borkovich and Kaloshian tackled challenges and experienced rewards when they created the COVID-19 testing lab at UC Riverside.
     
    Guest Speaker: Katherine Borkovich
    , Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
    Guest Speaker: Isgouhi Kaloshian, Professor and Chair, Department of Nematology
    Moderator: Timothy Paine, Divisional Dean Agricultural & Natural Resources, Distinguished Professor, Department of Entomology

     

     

    COVID vaccines and beyond

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5 p.m.

    Our health and safety, as well as our ability to return to our pre-pandemic lives are conversations that are taking place all across the world — and vaccines are at the center of those conversations. The Science Lecture Series presentation on Vaccines and Beyond will highlight the work of two leading UCR scientists with expertise in virology and the development of vaccines.  

    Dr. Juliet Morrison’s research on viruses will help us understand the immune system’s response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection and how immunity is generated; how COVID vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2; and why COVID vaccines still offer protection against the new variants of concern.

    The three major COVID vaccines that obtained emergency use authorization from the FDA are based on two vaccine platforms, mRNA and adenovirus. Dr. Rong Hai will share how the mRNA and adenovirus vaccines platforms were selected to fight SARS2 viruses and the composition of these vaccines. He will also introduce a vaccine project that his lab is currently working on to engineer a vaccine candidate with dual specificity: influenza and COVID.

    Be sure to tune into the Science Lecture Series on Vaccines and Beyond on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5 p.m.

    Guest Speaker: Rong Hai, Assistant Professor of Virology, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
    Guest Speaker: Juliet Morrison, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
    Moderator: Frances SladekDivisional Dean Life Sciences, Professor of Cell Biology, and Toxicologist

     

     

    Understanding coronavirus assembly: A crucial step towards destroying the enemy

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 5 p.m.

    The ancient saying “know thy enemy” is just as true today as the world faces the deadly novel coronavirus. To understand how COVID-19 assembles itself into a viable virus, experts at the University of California, Riverside will share how their research, experiments and computer simulations, which has never before been performed on the coronavirus, will help propel the development of drug therapies that slow or destroy the virus.

    Guest Speaker: Thomas Edward Kuhlman, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
    Guest Speaker: Roya Zandi, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
    ModeratorUmar Mohideen, Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

     

  • Spring 2019 Lectures
    Science Lecture Series

     

    April 3: "Gravitational Waves: From Einstein to a New Science"

    Barry C. Barish, Nobel Laureate and Distinguished Professor of Physics; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
    watch Video 

    April 10: "Between Battles: From Civil War to Combatting Plant Disease"

    Isgouhi Kaloshian, Professor of Nematology and Chair, Department of Nematology; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

    watch video

    April 17: "It’s About I: Invention, Innovation, and Inspiration"

    Kathryn Uhrich, Professor of Chemistry and Dean; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

    watch video

    April 24: "Metathesis: A Change-Your-Partner Dance of Carbon-Carbon Bonds"

    Richard Schrock, Nobel Laureate, UCR Alumnus, and Distinguished Professor, George K. Helmkamp Founder’s Chair of Chemistry; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

    watch video

     

  • Spring 2018 Lectures
    Gene Editing: Are we playing God?

     

    April 5: "The Hope and Threat of Human Gene Editing"

    Martin Garcia-Castro, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences; UC Riverside School of Medicine
    watch Video 

    April 12: "Feeding the World: From Mendel to CISPR"

    Carolyn Rasmussen, Assistant Professor of Plant Cell Biology; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
    watch Video 

    April 19: "LEGO, Language, and the Life of Bacteria"

    Ansel Hsiao, Assistant Professor of Plant Cell Biology; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
    Watch Video 

    May 10: "Implications of Genetic Modifications in Humans and Other Organisms"

    Carl Cranor, Distinguished Professor in Philosophy; UC Riverside College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences
    Watch Video 

     

  • Spring 2017 Lectures
    Are We Alone?

     

    December 8: "Our Cosmic Origins: Stars, Galaxies, and the Stuff of Life"

    Bahram Mobasher, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Associate Director of Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center - UC Riverside
    Watch Video

    January 12: "Alternative Earths: How Earth's Past Guides NASA's Search for Life"

    Tim Lyons, Distinguished Professor of Biogeochemistry, Director of Alternative Earth's Astrobiology Center- UC Riverside
    Watch Video 

    February 1: "Ocean Worlds: Missions to Icy Moons and Dwarf Planets"

    Kevin Hand, Deputy Project Scientist, Solar System Exploration Directorate, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory  
    Watch Video 

    March 23: "Mars 2020 & Beyond: Will We Find Life on the Red Planet?"

    Ken Williford, Deputy Project Scientist, Mars 2020 Mission and Director, Astrobiogeochemistry Laboratory, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Watch Video 

    April 13: "Alien Planets: Are There Other Earths Lurking in Our Galaxy?"

    Antigona Segura Peralta, Professor of Astrobiology, National Autonomous University of Mexico  
    Watch Video 

     

  • Spring 2016 Lectures
    The Future of Earth, Life and Humanity
    April 7: "Earth Under Fire: How and Why our Climate is Changing"

    Robert Allen, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences
    Watch Video        Lecture Slides       Lecture Photos

    April 14: "Canaries in a Coal Mine: Why Pollinators are Sensitive to Global Change and How You Can Help Them"

    S. Hollis Woodard, Assistant Professor of Entomology
    Watch Video        Lecture Slides        Lecture Photos

    April 21: "Change is Only Constant: 10,000 Years of Climate Variability in California and What it Means for Our Water Supply"

    James Sickman, Professor of Hydrology and Chair, Department of Environmental Sciences
    Watch Video       Lecture Slides        Lecture Photos

    April 28: "Catching Rays: Solar Energy for Today and Tomorrow"

    Christopher Bardeen, Professor of Chemistry
    Watch Video       Lecture Slides      Lecture Photos

     

  • Spring 2015 Lectures
    Science of Food and Health
    April 9: Feeding Botswana: From Field to Lab to Vaccine

    Larry Grill ('79 Ph.D. Plant Pathology), Dean of Research, and Director, Vaccine Research Center, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, CA 
    Watch Video        Lecture Slides 

    April 23: Food Security for Africa: The Cowpea Story from Lab to Plate

    Phil Roberts, UCR Professor of Nematology; Timothy Close, UCR Professor of Genetics; and Jeff Ehlers, plant geneticist, and Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Watch Video       Lecture Slides       Sellyna Ehlers' Afro-Indian Blackeye Beans Recipe

    May 7: Seeds of Change: UCR's Healthy and Sustainable Food Initiative

    Cheryl Garner, Executive Director of UCR Dining, Conference and Catering Services; and Neal Malik, Registered Dietician, UCR Dining Services
    Watch Video      Lecture Slides  

    May 21: What You Eat Is How You Feel: Nutrition and Its Impact on Immunity and Health

    Ilhem Messaoudi Powers, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, UCR School of Medicine
    Watch Video      Lecture Slides  

  • Winter and Spring 2014 Lectures

    The 2014 series was held January 22 - May 7

    January 22: HAIR: The History of Animals Using Isotope Records

    Thure Cerling, University of Utah
    Watch Video     Lecture Slides 

    March 5: The Deep History of Life

    Andrew Knoll, Harvard University
    Watch Video     Lecture Slides 

    April 2: What's for Dinner? Molecular Signatures of Plants, Animals, and Water in Early Human Habitats

    Kate Freeman, Pennsylvania State University
    Watch Video

    April 9: How Fracking Impacts Our Water: The Pennsylvania Experience

    Sue Brantley, Pennsylvania State University
    Watch Video     Lecture Slides 

    April 23: Global Warming 36 Million Years Ago: What It Means for Us

    Scott Wing, Smithsonian Institution
    Watch Video     Lecture Slides 

    May 7: Beyond Seismology: Studying Earthquakes and Faults From Space

    Gareth Funning, University of California, Riverside
    Watch Video      Lecture Slides 

     

  • Spring 2013 Lectures

    THE SCIENCE OF DISEASE

    The 2013 series was held April 18 - May 30 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the University of California, Riverside, Extension Center.

    April 18: Drinking water: How safe is safe enough?

    Marylynn V. Yates, Dean of the College and Professor of Environmental Microbiology
    Introduced by Murrieta Valley Unified School District teacher Dean Nielsen

    May 2: Friends and enemies: Dynamic interactions of plants and insects

    Linda Walling, Professor of Genetics, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences
    Introduced by Riverside Unified School District teacher Derrrick Sergeant

    May 16: Curing cancer: How do anticancer drugs work?

    Yinsheng Wang, Professor of Chemistry
    Introduced by Moreno Valley Unified School District teacher Aurora Johnson

    May 30: The promise of stem cells: Hope or hype?

    Nicole zur Nieden, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience
    Introduced by Murrieta Unified School District teacher Jack Jones

     

  • Spring 2012 Lectures

    EARTH 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE ON OUR PLANET

    The 2012 series was held March 29 - May 10, 6:00-7:00 p.m., in the University of California, Riverside, Extension Center.

    Earth 101: Too Many People

    Rich Cardullo, Professor of Biology
    Introduced by Riverside Unified School District teacher Jeremy Standerfer

    PDF study guide Watch video

    Earth 101: What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Our Planet

    Jodie, Holt, Professor of Plant Physiology
    Introduced by Moreno Valley Unified School District teacher Aurora Johnson

    PDF study guide Watch video

    Earth 101: What's Your Carbon Footprint?

    Lou Santiago, Professor of Physiological Ecology
    Introduced by Riverside Unified School District teacher John Robertson

    Watch video

    Earth 101: Where Does Your Water Come From?

    Dan Schlenk, Professor of Aquatic Toxicology
    Introduced by Murrieta Unified School District teacher Dean Nielsen

    PDF study guide Watch video

    UCTV

    The videos appeared on UCTV, the University of California's television station, according to the following schedule:

    • Earth 101: Too Many People?  • Monday, September 3, 2012 • 2:00-3:00 p.m.
    • Earth 101: What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Our Planet • Monday, September 10, 2012 • 2:00-3:00 p.m.
    • Earth 101:What's Your Carbon Footprint? • Monday, September 17, 2012 • 2:00-3:00 p.m.
    • Earth 101:Where Does Your Water Come From? • Monday, September 24, 2012 • 2:00-3:00 p.m.


    Learn more

     

  • Spring 2011 Lectures

    The 2011 series was held April 14 - May 19

    April 14: The Dynamic Genome: Unintelligent Design

    Marylynn V. Yates, Dean of the College and Professor of Environmental Microbiology
    Introduced by Murrieta Valley Unified School District teacher Dean Nielsen
    Watch Video

    April 28: What's In Your Garden? Protecting California from Invasive Species

    Mark Hoddle, Extension Specialist and Director of the Center for Invasive Species Research
    Watch Video

    May 5: Designs from Nature: A New Spin on High-Performance Materials

    Professor of Biology Cheryl Hayashi
    Watch Video

    May 19: Size Matters: Nanotechnology & Other Wonders in Carbon Flatland

    Associate Professor of Physics Jeanie Lau
    Watch Video

     

  • Spring 2010 Lectures

    The Spring 2010 series was held April 8 - June 3

    April 8: What Awaits Us in the Greenhouse World

    Professor of Geology Martin Kennedy

    April 22: Climate's Control of California Landscapes

    Professor of Geography Richard Minnich
    Watch Video

    May 6: In the Crosshairs: California's Environment

    Professor of Plant Pathology Michael Allen
    Watch Video

    May 20: Tipping the Scales? Pest Insects, Agriculture, & Health

    Professor of Entomology Peter Atkinson
    Watch Video

    June 3: The Food Challenge: Waterproof Rice & Other Solutions

    Professor of Genetics Julia Bailey-Serres
    Watch Video

     

  • Spring 2009 Lectures

    The Spring 2009 series was held April 2 - May 28

    April 2: The Dance of the Genes: How Biological Evolution Works

    Norman Ellstrand, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences
    Watch Video

    April 16: Evolution and Medicine: Why Doctors Need Darwin

    Marlene Zuk, Department of Biology
    Watch Video

    April 30: The Evolution of Evolution: Darwin Then and Now

    David Reznick, Department of Biology
    Watch Video

    May 14: Life's Rocky Road: The History of Life on Earth

    Nigel Hughes, Department of Earth Sciences
    Watch Video

    May 28: Let There Be Light: The First Billion Years

    Bahram Mobasher, Department of Physics and Astronomy
    Watch Video

     

  • Fall 2009 Lectures

    The Fall 2009 series was held October 15 - November 12

    October 15: The Battle Within: Our Evolutionary Struggle with Cancer

    Leonard Nunney, Department of Biology
    Watch Video

    October 29: Born to Run: Evolution of Hyperactivity in Mice

    Theodore Garland, Department of Biology
    Watch Video

    November 12: The Silent Majority: How Symbiotic Bacteria Evolve to Help and Hurt

    Joel Sachs, Department of Biology
    Watch Video

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