UMBC scientists tackle persistent hurdles in the aquaculture industry with new NOAA grant

The grant will support efforts to optimize an innovative procedure for growing fish that can’t reproduce. “Everybody has been looking for another way to develop reproductively sterile fish,” Yonathan Zohar says. Sterile fish produce higher-quality meat and can’t breed with local populations if they escape from net pens. Continue reading UMBC scientists tackle persistent hurdles in the aquaculture industry with new NOAA grant

UMBC’s Ivan Erill finds resistance to modern drug in ancient bacteria

“The drug you design ten years from now may already be obsolete,” Ivan Erill says. In a new study in Frontiers in Microbiology, Erill and colleagues describe how bacteria that existed hundreds of millions of years ago were already resistant to an antibacterial drug not invented until the 1930s. Continue reading UMBC’s Ivan Erill finds resistance to modern drug in ancient bacteria

UMBC’s Colleen Burge helps show oyster aquaculture can limit disease in wild oysters

“Oyster aquaculture is growing in Maryland,” says Colleen Burge. As long as growers employ proper management techniques, “This paper suggests this growing aquaculture industry could actually support restoration efforts and also the wild fisheries.” Continue reading UMBC’s Colleen Burge helps show oyster aquaculture can limit disease in wild oysters

UMBC ranks among top 150 U.S. universities in federal research funding

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released its latest Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, including UMBC among the top 150 U.S. universities in federal research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2017. Continue reading UMBC ranks among top 150 U.S. universities in federal research funding

Three generations, thousands of miles: Scientists unlock the mystery of a dragonfly’s migration

“We know that a lot of insects migrate, but we have full life history and full migration data for only a couple. This is the first dragonfly in the Western Hemisphere for which we know this,” says Colin Studds. “We’ve solved the first piece of a big mystery.” Continue reading Three generations, thousands of miles: Scientists unlock the mystery of a dragonfly’s migration

Bahama Oriole Project team awarded NSF grant to offer more UMBC undergrads international research experiences

“Being on the Bahama Oriole Project was my first hands-on glimpse at international research,” Matthew Kane ’19 says. “It was the first time I had seen scientists from two different countries collaborating on a conservation project on this scale.” Continue reading Bahama Oriole Project team awarded NSF grant to offer more UMBC undergrads international research experiences

New UMBC research suggests need to rethink goals of global reforestation efforts

Forests store carbon, clean water, prevent soil erosion, and provide habitat for a wide range of species, “but all those benefits start kicking in when forests are older,” says Matthew Fagan. Based on their new research, Fagan and colleagues argue that nations would do better to take the long view when committing to forest restoration. Continue reading New UMBC research suggests need to rethink goals of global reforestation efforts

UMBC researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

“We’re really hoping this new method is going to address some issues with what kinds of data get published,” says Evangeline Rose, first author on a new paper. This paper “is part of an amazing drumbeat that’s building up in the scientific community,” Kevin Omland says. “There’s a broader problem with the scientific method that’s being increasingly acknowledged, and the test we’ve developed can at least play a small role, and I hope a big role, in addressing it.” Continue reading UMBC researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner receives FQXi support for pioneering work to define laws of the universe

On the heels of a pioneering paper earlier this year, Deffner is off and running to help generate “a better, more concise understanding of the universe,” he says. He recognizes, however, that the journey will be a marathon, not a sprint. While it may take decades to complete this work, Deffner says, “Sometimes you have to take a risk and follow the dream.” Continue reading UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner receives FQXi support for pioneering work to define laws of the universe

UMBC physicist Can Ataca developing quicker, cheaper way to create novel, one-atom-thick materials

“We can predict a material’s properties before experimentalists can even synthesize it,” says Can Ataca. The new methods his lab is developing will make those predictions many times more accurate, supporting other scientists in their efforts to develop materials for applications from solar cells to gas masks. Continue reading UMBC physicist Can Ataca developing quicker, cheaper way to create novel, one-atom-thick materials

UMBC’s Rachel Brewster investigates cellular survival to improve the preservation of organs for transplant

Following clue after clue, Brewster’s lab is on a mission to enable new methods that would allow organs to last longer and travel farther to those in need. NIH has rewarded the lab’s noteworthy progress toward that end with a $400,000, two-year Exploratory Research Award to continue the work. Continue reading UMBC’s Rachel Brewster investigates cellular survival to improve the preservation of organs for transplant

UMBC, NASA, and partners mount intensive Chesapeake Bay air-quality study

“My favorite part of this project is giving the students hands-on experience,” says Ruben Delgado. “They get to contribute to the process from start to finish.” Delgado is the UMBC lead on the project, in partnership with the NASA lead John Sullivan, Ph.D. ’15, atmospheric physics. Continue reading UMBC, NASA, and partners mount intensive Chesapeake Bay air-quality study

UMBC’s Matthew Baker teams up with Chesapeake Conservancy to create detailed stream maps

“If we want to understand how what we do on the landscape influences stream integrity and downstream health in places like the Chesapeake Bay,” says Matthew Baker, “then being able to map the connections between human activities on the land and the circulatory waters system that delivers their effects to the Bay is paramount.” Continue reading UMBC’s Matthew Baker teams up with Chesapeake Conservancy to create detailed stream maps

UMBC education policy expert Jane Arnold Lincove helps launch national center for research on school choice

“Researching school choice is challenging because there are so many stakeholders that are for and against it. But in the end,” she says, “looking at research across the United States allows us to identify what is working and help inform policy to help schools systems create equitable, successful, and safe learning environments.” Continue reading UMBC education policy expert Jane Arnold Lincove helps launch national center for research on school choice

UMBC astronomer Kenji Hamaguchi confirms binary star system produces cosmic rays

Producing cosmic rays, which also happens following a supernova, requires that particles be accelerated nearly to the speed of light. “We found that the accelerated particles are really energetic, which is much more than we expected from this star,” says Kenji Hamaguchi, the lead author on the study. Continue reading UMBC astronomer Kenji Hamaguchi confirms binary star system produces cosmic rays

New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship

UMBC’s Office of the Provost has launched a university-wide initiative to celebrate faculty who go above and beyond as educators, scholars, and leaders on campus and in their fields. This initiative strives to highlight tenure-track junior faculty, lecturers, and adjunct, research, and clinical faculty whose work is essential to UMBC’s success. Continue reading New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship

When did humans start to transform Earth? UMBC’s Erle Ellis introduces the Anthropocene.

“We are changing Earth’s climate faster than at any time since the fall of the dinosaurs,” says Ellis. For scientists, he notes, “What’s controversial…is when did this begin? […] When did humans literally become the global shaper of the earth?” Continue reading When did humans start to transform Earth? UMBC’s Erle Ellis introduces the Anthropocene.

UMBC’s Eileen Meyer explains how big data is changing astronomy research

Recent research discovered thousands of black holes near the center of the Milky Way “by digging through old, long-archived data,” writes Eileen Meyer. “Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day—so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives.” Continue reading UMBC’s Eileen Meyer explains how big data is changing astronomy research

UMBC’s Songon An discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer cell metastasis

For the first time, An and his students have determined a function of a particular signaling pathway associated with metastasis. “Looking at this metabolic switch—which pathways are in use during metastasis versus when the cell is attached—may be where our research goes in the future,” says An. Continue reading UMBC’s Songon An discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer cell metastasis

UMBC launches Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics to tackle data-intensive challenges from disease tracking to online privacy

UMBC will launch the Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics (CARTA) through a five-year grant from the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program, receiving $150,000 in support for each of the next five years. Continue reading UMBC launches Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics to tackle data-intensive challenges from disease tracking to online privacy

UMBC’s 40th Graduate Research Conference to focus on communication and collaboration

“GRC gives graduate students training on how to ace professional conferences in the field, and by participating, students practice how to communicate their research in an accessible way,” says Morgan Bunting, a gerontology Ph.D. student and member of the GRC planning committee. “It’s also just a wonderful way to engage the community and learn what amazing work is going on in the Graduate School.” Continue reading UMBC’s 40th Graduate Research Conference to focus on communication and collaboration

UMBC physicist Sebastian Deffner lays groundwork to better understand birth of the universe

Sebastian Deffner and co-author Anthony Bartolotta are extending thermodynamics, a fundamental pillar of physics, into uncharted territory by developing a way to describe microscopic systems with extremely high energy—just like the universe at the start of the Big Bang—for the first time. “There’s a lot we have to do next,” says Deffner. Continue reading UMBC physicist Sebastian Deffner lays groundwork to better understand birth of the universe

UMBC’s Chris Swan featured in The Atlantic for transforming vacant lots in Baltimore

While working in the city comes with challenges, Chris Swan hopes to discover a Goldilocks concoction of plants that tolerate the poor soil found in vacant lots, attract native pollinators, and reduce runoff of contaminant-laced water into the Chesapeake Bay. Continue reading UMBC’s Chris Swan featured in The Atlantic for transforming vacant lots in Baltimore

UMBC physicists develop cost-saving tech for detecting gravitational waves and other applications

Thomas Smith and Yanhua Shih are hoping their new research will bring about a sea change in the physics community, and encourage even the most traditional physicists that quantum interference applies in optics experiments using non-laser light. “It should change the whole picture,” says Shih. The work has implications for both fundamental physics and immediate applications. Continue reading UMBC physicists develop cost-saving tech for detecting gravitational waves and other applications

UMBC scientist opens a “new chapter for biochemistry” with $1.5 million NIH grant to study sugar metabolism

“I’m hoping that in the future many people will be working in this area of cellular biochemistry, studying many metabolic enzymes in living cells,” says Songon An, whose work is on the leading edge of “the next stage in biochemistry.” Continue reading UMBC scientist opens a “new chapter for biochemistry” with $1.5 million NIH grant to study sugar metabolism