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Lutcavage's new approach suggests bluefin tuna mature earlier than assumed

Molly Lutcavage, Environmental Conservation and director, Large Pelagics Research Center, using a new approach for determining the age at sexual maturity for wild stocks of western Atlantic bluefin tuna, suggest that these fish mature at a considerably younger age than currently assumed, as published in Nature's Scientific Reports. Fisheries News, Recorder, news release

Kevrekidis and Jackson named APS fellows

Panayotis Kevrekidis (left), Mathematics and Statistics, and Bret E. Jackson, Chemistry, have been named American Physical Society fellows for their exceptional contributions to the field of physics. Kevrekidis was cited for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of localized solutions, of their stability in nonlinear wave equations, and of their relevance to applications from atomic physics, nonlinear optics, and granular crystals. Jackson was cited for outstanding contributions to the elucidation of gas-surface dynamics, including the development of quantum methods for describing reactive scattering and particle-substrate energy transfer, and studies of sticking, dissociative chemisorption and Eley-Rideal reactions.

Staudinger, Jordaan, and Markowitz receive $217,000 for wildlife and climate studies at NECSC

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) is awarding nearly $690,000 to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges, and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change. Michelle Staudinger and Adrian Jordaan, Environmental Conservation, will research changes in coastal fish and wildlife due to climate change, and Staudinger and Ezra Markowitz, also Environmental Conservation, will receive support for early career climate science communication and networking, for a total of $217,018 over the next two years. The Republican, News release

Young, creater of the sunwheel, recognized in stories about the winter solstice celebration at the site

Judith Young, the late astronomy professor who built the sunwheel in 1997, was honored by news stories about the celebration of the winter solstice at the structure. WFXT-TV 25, WSHM-TV 3, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News release

Dumont receives Miller Award from NASBR for her bat research

Betsy Dumont, Biology, and vice provost, Academic Affairs, has received the Gerrit S. Miller Award from North American Society for Bat Research “in recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the field of Chiropteran biology,” placing her among the world’s most influential bat biologists. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and biomechanics of bats’ feeding. Her highly interdisciplinary approach to the topic blends data from anatomy, behavioral field studies, 3D imaging, engineering-based analyses and evolutionary modeling to create a broad perspective on the evolution of these mammals.

iCons students Hession and Eres featured in video about internships at Waters Corp.

iCons students Cindy Hession '14, Biology, and Marco Eres '15, Chemistry, who interned at Waters Corporation in Milford, Mass., were featured in a video about the program's growing relationship with industry. Watch video

Rotello and Ngoc's nanoparticle-based sensor system to test cancer drugs featured on Research Next

The research of Vincent Rotello and doctoral candidate Le Ngoc, Chemistry, offering a multi-channel sensor method using gold nanoparticles that can accurately profile various anti-cancer drugs and their mechanisms in minutes is featured on Research Next.

Pocar awarded tenure

Congratulations to Andrea Pocar, Physics, who has been awarded tenure by the Board of Trustees. News release

Woodruff's research showing kamikazes saved 13th century Japan from Mongols published in Nature

Jonathan D. Woodruff, Geosciences, says he has uncovered evidence that powerful ancient kamikazes, typhoon-strength winds that saved Japan from invading Mongol fleets in the 13th century, actually happened, as published in Nature.

Crosby, co-inventor of Geckskin, named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, has been elected a 2014 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) fellow for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.” Crosby, who joined the UMass Amherst faculty in 2002 and established a research program on nature-inspired materials that has gained a worldwide reputation, has more than a dozen patents awarded or pending and over 100 scientific publications. Crosby is the co-inventor of Geckskin, the new super-adhesive material that can hold up to 700 pounds on a smooth surface.

Tropp writes Psychology Today column about racial anxiety perpetuating racial inequity

Linda R. Tropp, Psychological and Brain Sciences, wrote a column in Psychology Today discussing how racial anxiety can help perpetuate racial inequality and offering empathy as a solution.

Rotello and Ngoc invent fast, accurate nanoparticle-based sensor system to test cancer drugs

Vincent Rotello and doctoral candidate Le Ngoc, both Chemistry, have developed offer a multi-channel sensor method using gold nanoparticles that can accurately profile various anti-cancer drugs and their mechanisms in minutes, rather than the typically time-consuming methods that require special equipment, as reported in Nature Nanotechnology., Science Codex, Laboratory Talk, Nanotech Now, Health Canal, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Controlled Environments, eScience News,, Science 360, News release

Geckskin, Irschick, and Crosby featured in article examining video game's real-world foundations for futuristic weaponry

Geckskin technology and its developers, Duncan Irschick, Biology, and Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, are featured in an article examining the real-world foundations for futuristic weaponry used in the new video game. Business Insider

Scott, Hadley, and Pickron find that naming things between 6 and 9 months lays learning foundation for babies

Lisa Scott and doctoral candidates Hillary Hadley and Charisse Pickron, all Psychological and Brain Sciences, have found that talking to babies in their first year, in particular naming things in their world, can help them make connections between what they see and hear, and these learning benefits can be seen as much as five years later, as reported in Developmental Science., Psych Central, Science Newsline, MedicalXpress, Science Codex,

Fletcher, Harper, and Markowitz awarded Civic Engagement fellowships

Lena Fletcher, Rick Harper, and Ezra Markowitz, all Environmental Conservation, were selected for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Faculty fellowships for 2015, which provide faculty with a forum and support to incorporate service-learning into their courses and help students make significant contributions to the larger community. Environmental Conservation News

Research by Pocar, Cadonati, and Otis named one of "Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2014" by Physics World

Research by Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis, all Physics, and colleagues on the Borexino experiment who reported in Nature this year that they had accomplished the first detection of neutrinos from the main nuclear reaction powering the sun has been named one of the “Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2014” by Physics World magazine.

Bhowmik awarded Crop and Weed Science Society of India's Life Time Award

Prasanta C. Bhowmik, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, received the Crop and Weed Science Society of India's Life Time Award. Bhowmik was recognized for his outstanding contributions to weed science. His research focuses on allopathic plants, invasive weeds, interactions of allelochemicals and soil environment. As author or co-author of numerous refereed articles with extensive citations, he has been a leader of weed science research for the last three decades. Bhowmik also delivered the keynote address at an international seminar on “Integrating Agriculture and Allied Research: Prioritizing Future Potentials for Secure Livelihoods” held during the conference.

Vittum receives 2015 USGA Green Section Award from USGA

Patricia J. Vittum, Stockbridge School of Agriculture and interim director, Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, has received the 2015 USGA Green Section Award from the United States Golf Association (USGA). This award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service to the game of golf through his or her work with turf grass. Vittum has conducted significant research on the biology and management of turf grass insects and the effectiveness of biological-control methods. A recognized industry leader, she is a widely sought-after resource for practical information about turf grass pests.

Cooke and Fattaruso produce new model of Coachella Valley segment of San Andreas Fault

Michele Cooke and Laura Fattaruso, Geosciences, with another colleague, have used new three-dimensional numerical modeling to captures far more geometric complexity of an active fault segment in southern California than any other. They suggest that the overall earthquake hazard for towns on the west side of the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs and Palm Desert may be slightly lower than previously believed, as reported in Geosphere. Innovations Report,, Science Codex, Science Daily, eScience News,, Claims Journal, Red Orbit, NBC News, The Desert Sun, News release

Feldman, Blaustein, and Lovley named AAAS Fellows

Deputy Chancellor Robert S. Feldman and Jeffrey D. Blaustein, both from Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Derek R. Lovley, Microbiology, have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their distinguished efforts to advance science or its application.

Governor-elect Baker tours LSL and ISB; meets with Reinhart, Watkins, and iCons students

Governor-elect Charlie Baker visited UMass Amherst and toured the Life Science Laboratories and Integrated Science Building on Dec. 3. He also met with Peter H. Reinhart, director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, and James J. Watkins, director of the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, as well as students from the Integrated Concentration in Science program, as covered in the Boston Globe, the Republican, and the Daily Hampshire Gazette, WWLP-TV 22.

Zoeller finds strongest evidence to date that endocrine disrupting chemicals can interfere with thyroid in pregnant women

R. Thomas Zoeller, Biology, has provided the strongest evidence to date that endocrine disrupting chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls found in flame retardant cloth, paint, adhesives, and electrical transformers, can interfere with thyroid hormone action in pregnant women and may travel across the placenta to affect the fetus, as reported in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The paper was also honored as one of four extramural papers of the month by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences., Medical Xpress, Science 2.0, Science Daily, Science Codex,,, Hampshire Daily Gazette, news release

Markstein interviewed on radio show about using fruit flies in her cancer research

Michele Markstein, Biology, in a two-part radio interview, discusses why fruit flies are one of the most powerful genetic systems available to scientists today and how she is using them to study cancer and stem cells. Pulse of the Planet (part 1), Pulse of the Planet (part 2)

Arcaro and Sela collaborating with Sturgeon on possible early warning blood test for breast cancer

Kathleen Arcaro, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and David Sela, Food Science, are part of a team led by Susan Sturgeon, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, that has received a two-year, $760,462 National Cancer Institute award to validate a new method for early identification of breast cancer-related changes that could help to identify women at higher risk and lead to new prevention strategies., news release

Kilham profiled in Boston magazine about his worldwide search for natural remedies

Chris Kilham, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was profiled in Boston magazine about his travels around the world looking for herbal and natural remedies.