UMBC’s Mejdulene B. Shomali receives Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship for research on gender and sexuality in transnational Arab culture

“Most people don’t know there are twenty-two countries in the Arab league. These countries share Arabic as the primary national language. Many are Muslim-majority nations,” shares Shomali. “Many, but not all.” She notes, “There is great linguistic, cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity within the Arab world.” Continue reading UMBC’s Mejdulene B. Shomali receives Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship for research on gender and sexuality in transnational Arab culture

(L to R): Steiner, Mallinson,  Don Engel, assistant vice president for research, and Casper.

UMBC convenes research forum on immigration and mobility in higher education

“The research results showed that for each undocumented student that graduates from a four-year college, who would not have gone otherwise, the net benefits to the state were $350,000,” explains Gindling. “Providing access to higher education and financial aid to undocumented youth is a good investment for the individual, for the state, and for the government as a whole.” Continue reading UMBC convenes research forum on immigration and mobility in higher education

UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

With this new NIH grant, Jeff Leips says, “Ideally, I want to understand the mechanisms—what goes wrong with age and immunity? Once we know that, the next question is whether we can find ways to try to ameliorate the effects of aging on those traits.” Continue reading UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

Sequencing spider glue genes is like, “picking a needle from a haystack,” says UMBC postdoc Sarah Stellwagen. She is the lead author of a new G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics article on sequencing two spider glue genes for the first time. They’re massive — the largest has a coding sequence over 42,000 bases long. Continue reading UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

UMBC’s Glenn Wolfe develops new method to gauge atmosphere’s ability to clear methane, a potent greenhouse gas

“Hydroxyl radicals control the lifetime of nearly every reactive gas,” including methane, explains Glenn Wolfe. However, “globally, we don’t have a way to directly measure them.” His new research puts scientists on the path to changing that, and toward improving global climate models. Continue reading UMBC’s Glenn Wolfe develops new method to gauge atmosphere’s ability to clear methane, a potent greenhouse gas

UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

When students come to UMBC, they bring with them life experiences that shape the program they choose, the mentors they find, the research questions they ask, and the communities they build on campus. Here, five UMBC students earning their degrees this month share experiences that shaped their paths. Continue reading UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

Whether wading in a cold stream or in the lab, mentors who foster independent thinking balanced with guidance—for research and for life—make the difference for UMBC graduate students on the national and international stage. A close-knit graduate student community adds a level of support that helps students succeed. Continue reading Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

UMBC ranks #3 among U.S. universities in global social and economic impact

“The new Times Higher Education impact rankings are distinct from other university rankings in that they are a measure of the difference UMBC is making in the world,” says UMBC’s Katharine H. Cole. “It is not surprising that UMBC is ranked so highly as it is this type of societal and economic impact that is at the very core of UMBC’s mission and values.” Continue reading UMBC ranks #3 among U.S. universities in global social and economic impact

UMBC’s Bradley Arnold develops laser-based technology to safely and quickly detect IEDs and other hazards in combat zones

You’re a U.S. soldier, motoring across the desert at 60 miles an hour in an Army truck. Suddenly, a red light flashes on your dashboard—an instrument has detected traces of explosive material on the road surface ahead. You divert around the hazard and continue safely toward your destination. “There is currently nothing available to do this at this speed,” says Bradley Arnold. But that could soon change. Continue reading UMBC’s Bradley Arnold develops laser-based technology to safely and quickly detect IEDs and other hazards in combat zones

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, 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