College News 2019

April 17, 2019

CNAS Dean Kathryn UhrichDean Kathryn Uhrich highlighted in magazine

The University of North Dakota Alumni Review wrote a cover story titled "When inspiration strikes -- curiosity sparks aha moment for UND alumna Kathryn Uhrich" on Dean Uhrich for their spring 2019 issue.

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April 16, 2019

Researcher Sam Ying
Fulbright sends UCR soil scientist to dam disaster site

UCR researcher Samantha Ying has won a Fulbright Award to understand the environmental effects of the 2015 Fundão dam disaster, widely considered the worst in Brazilian history. The dam break killed 19 people and sent more than 14.5 billion gallons of toxic metals rushing toward the Atlantic Ocean. The Fulbright award enables Ying to head to São Paulo, Brazil in 2020 to examine the long-term effects of the Fundão mine tailings on a protected coastal estuary.

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April 9, 2019

Nasa program for STEM K-12JUUL e-cigarettes linked to cellular damage

With high nicotine concentrations, JUUL products, which are highly popular among adolescents, have been found to have negative effects on living cells. A research team led by Prue Talbot, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of California, Riverside, and James F. Pankow, a professor of chemistry as well as civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University, Oregon, has now found that nicotine concentrations are higher in JUUL electronic cigarettes than in any of the hundreds of other electronic cigarette products the team analyzed.

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April 8, 2019

Nasa program for STEM K-12New NASA-funded program to train K-12 students in STEM fields

NASA has awarded the University of California, Riverside a grant of $320,000 to launch a research and training program in STEM fields aimed at enhancing K-12 students’ experiences outside school hours. Titled “Launch Pad from High School to NASA: A Research and Training Program in STEM Fields,” the program has received funding for two years. Its goal is to advance STEM education at high schools and beyond by developing a workforce pipeline and working collaboratively with other agencies and universities to train students and teachers in disciplines of interest to NASA.

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April 8, 2019

Prof. Holly BikPioneering worm research wins award
UCR nematology professor Holly Bik is pioneering the use of microscopic worms as indicators of pollution and environmental change in marine environments. For this effort, Bik has won California Sea Grant’s 2019 Special Focus Award, one of only four such awards handed out in the entire state. The award provides her lab with $70,000 to evaluate the health of an estuary near the now-defunct San Onofre nuclear power plant. Bik says the worms offer valuable data about whether the estuary is as healthy as it should be.

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April 1, 2019

Citrus greening diseasePlant pathologist leads research to stop spread of citrus-destroying disease

“HLB has no cure so far,” said Jin, a professor of microbiology and plant pathology, who holds the Cy Mouradick Endowed Chair at UCR and is a member of the university’s Institute for Integrative Genome Biology. “We have already identified a novel class of peptides by studying HLB-tolerant close relatives and hybrids of citrus. These peptides can directly kill the HLB bacteria and inhibit their spread in HLB-affected trees. They can also induce plant immune responses to protect trees from future HLB infection.”

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March 28, 2019

Amir HaghverdiIrrigation specialist receives USDA New Investigator Award

Amir Haghverdi, an assistant cooperative extension specialist of irrigation and water management in the environmental sciences department, has been awarded a nearly $500,000 Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement New Investigator grant by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture. National Institute of Food and Agriculture Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement Grants are highly competitive funds awarded to researchers at the beginning their career, with less than five years postgraduate career-track experience.

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March 27, 2019

Kangaroo RatHigh-speed video reveals amazing skills: kangaroo rat vs. snake, rat wins

Research by a student-led team from UC Riverside, San Diego State University, and UC Davis shows that desert kangaroo rats frequently foil snakes through a combination of fast reaction times, powerful evasive leaps, and mid-air, ninja-style kicks. Timothy Higham, an associate professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at UCR, is a coauthor on two papers published today in Functional Ecology and the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society that present detailed analyses of the behaviors and biomechanics of both kangaroo rats and rattlesnakes.

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March 19, 2019


Study finds natural selection favors cheaters

A team of biologists at UCR has now found strong evidence of this cheating. Focusing on the interaction between nitrogen-fixing bacteria, or rhizobia, and their legume hosts spanning about 530 miles of California habitat, the researchers found that natural selection in their study populations favors cheating rhizobia. “Our data show that natural selection favors cheating rhizobia, and support predictions that rhizobia can often subvert plant defenses and evolve to exploit hosts,” said Joel Sachs, a professor of biology in the Department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology, who led the research team.

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March 18, 2019

Proxima Centauri
Carbon monoxide detectors could warn of extraterrestrial life

In a study published today in The Astrophysical Journal, UCR's Edward Schwieterman, a postdoctoral researcher in the Earth Sciences department, and his team used computer models of chemistry in the biosphere and atmosphere to identify two intriguing scenarios in which carbon monoxide readily accumulates in the atmospheres of living planets.

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March 13, 2019

Coastal ecosystems suffer from upriver hydroelectric dams

Researchers at UC Riverside and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found that inland river dams can have highly destructive effects on the stability and productivity of coastline and estuarine habitats.

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February 28, 2019

Vibrating Universe
Research identifies mechanism that helps plants fight bacterial infectionc

Hailing Jin, professor of microbiology and plant pathology, leads a team of researchers in regulating Argonaute protein to fight bacterial infection in plants.

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February 26, 2019

Vibrating Universe
When life gives you sour lemons, use genetics to find out why

A group of researchers (with two from UC Riverside) have discovered the genes that give many citrus fruits its sour taste.

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February 22, 2019

Vibrating Universe
Assistant professor Hoori Ajami holds NIFA conference

Ajami holds a NIFA conference in regards of various environmental issues. 

February 21, 2019

Vibrating Universe
UCR student researcher takes smoking personally

Careen Khachatoorian, a sixth-year Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology graduate student, studies the dangers that come with smoking e-cigarettes and the residue left behind by it. 

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February 15, 2019

Vibrating UniverseNew NASA research consortium to tackle life's origins

NASA's new Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Earth Environments works to identify planetary conditions that might give rise to life's chemistry and find other habitable worlds.

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February 15, 2019

Vibrating Universe
Scientists image conducting edges in a promising 2-D material

Researchers from UCR and the University of Washington image "edge conduction" for the first time in monolayer tungsten ditelluride , which can be used to build energy-efficient electronic devices. 

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February 5, 2019

Vibrating UniverseThe "Vibrating Universe"

Since 2015, Gillian Wilson, senior associate vice chancellor for research and economic development and a professor of physics and astronomy at UCR, and Mario De Leo-Winkler, director of the National System of Researchers of Mexico and a former postdoctoral scholar at UCR, have developed astronomy outreach activities  – astronomy photography competitions, traveling astronomy exhibitions, K12 workshops, interdisciplinary honors thesis projects, hands-on undergraduate astrophotography – that have touched 40,000 people.

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February 4, 2019

electronsUC Riverside physicists create exotic electron liquid

Associate Professor of Physics Nathaniel Gabor, who directs the UCR Quantum Materials Optoelectronics Lab, and his colleagues at UCR have created the first “electron liquid” at room temperature by bombarding an ultrathin semiconductor sandwich with powerful laser pulses.

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February 4, 2019

PlasmodiumGenome structure of malaria parasites linked to virulence

Co-lead researcher Karine Le Roch, a professor in the UCR Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology stated that novel intervention strategies targeting the genome structure could mark a breakthrough for both vaccine and drug development against malaria.

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February 4, 2019

California smogA warming world increases air pollution

Climate change is warming the ocean, but it’s warming land faster and that’s really bad news for air quality all over the world, says a new University of California, Riverside study (first author is Robert Allen, an associate professor in the UCR Earth Sciences department).

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January 17, 2019

mollie veliferaSize matters  to livebearer fish, big fins are a big deal

In a new paper, biologists from the UC Riverside studied the evolution of 40 molly and Limia species, and concluded dorsal fin displays arose first for males to compete with other males, only later being used in courtship displays to females. These changes in fin function went hand in hand with enlargement of the male dorsal fin. The fins reached extreme sizes in a few species and appear to be associated with rapid evolution, especially in mollies. 

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January 11, 2019

MRB ribbon cuttingUCR opens largest research facility on campus

UC Riverside is celebrating the completion of the $150 million Multidisciplinary Research Building, or MRB, which will provide an innovative and collaborative approach to conducting research. Campus leaders held a dedication ceremony Friday for the five-story, 179,000-square-foot building that now stands as the largest and most sophisticated research facility on campus. Located on 2 acres near the intersection of Aberdeen and North Campus drives, the project took three-and-half years to complete.

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January 11, 2019

plant    UCR scientists identify how plants sense temperature

Meng Chen, associate professor of cell biology at the University of California, Riverside, is leading a team to explore the role of phytochrome B, a molecular signaling pathway that may play a pivotal role in how plants respond to temperature. With a temperature sensor in hand, researchers can engineer crops that produce yields in warmer climates. Read the article "Daytime temperature is sensed by phytochrome B in Arabidopsis through a transcriptional activator HEMERA" published in Nature on January 11th, 2019.

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January 9, 2019

Varroa Mite
Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators

A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside, performed a study on the Big Island and found viruses associated with the mite have spilled over into the western yellowjacket, a honeybee predator and honey raider. The result is a hidden, yet remarkable, change in the genetic diversity of viruses associated with the larger pathogen community of the mite and wasp, with repercussions yet to be understood.

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