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Whitaker '05 wins Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship and returns to UMass Amherst

Kate Whitaker '05 has been awarded the prestigious NASA’s Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship—one of the world's most competitive fellowships in astronomy—and will be coming back to her alma mater this summer. A Commonwealth Honors College student majoring in physics and astronomy, Whitaker was awarded numerous scholarships and prizes while at UMass Amherst. She has a doctorate in astronomy from Yale University and is currently a James Webb Space Telescope Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Riley to partner with Chinese to create new drug platform; will open institute in Amherst area

Margaret Riley, Biology, announced that she is partnering with a Chinese scientist to develop a new drug platform, pheromonicins. The Chinese government is committing $400 million per year to support the newly created Pheromonicin Institute of Beijing. Riley plans to open a sister institute in the Amherst area. WGGB-TV 40, News-Medical.net, Infection Control Today, Business West, New England Public Radio, News release

UMass Amherst one of 17 Amazing Green College Campuses, says the Mother Nature Network

UMass Amherst has been chosen as one 17 Amazing Green College Campuses by the Mother Nature Network, which says, “Sustainability is a big deal on this campus,” with its 25 undergraduate majors related to sustainability, new graduate programs, and its first-place win in the Annual White House College Champions of Change competition, among other accomplishments. Mother Nature Network

Rotello interviewed by New England Public Radio about the public's ability to recognize and recall license plate numbers

Caren M. Rotello, Psychological and Brain Sciences, discussed research on factors involved in the public’s ability to recognize and recall vehicle license plates, including the use of symbols in addition to numbers and letters on New England Public Radio, News release

Riley interviewed by International Business Times about bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics

Margaret A. Riley, Biology, was interviewed about bacteria that are becoming more resistant to treatment because they are developing immunity to common antibiotics. She says the government has cut funding in this area and private companies have backed off because they thought the problems were solved. International Business Times

Riley interviewed by WGGB-TV about bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics

Margaret A. Riley, Biology, and graduate students in her laboratory were interviewed about bacteria that are becoming more resistant to treatment because they are developing immunity to common antibiotics. WGGB-TV 40

Adler, Leonard, Regan, and Anthony find that floral nectar reduces parasite infections in bumblebees

Lynn Adler, Biology, along with former Darwin Scholar Anne Leonard, undergraduates Karly Regan and Winston Anthony, and colleagues from Dartmouth College studying the interaction between plants, pollinators, and parasites have found that bees infected with a common intestinal parasite had reduced parasite levels in their guts after seven days if the bees also consumed natural toxins present in plant nectar, as reported in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The Independent, Phys.org, ChinaTopix.com, Science Newsline, Entomology Today, UPI.com, Pioneer News, International Business Times, Mother Nature Network, News release

Offner's model predictions of the forming of two- and three-star systems is supported by new Nature study

The model predictions of Stella Offner, Astronomy, about how two- and three-star systems form have been supported by her new research published in Nature. Webindia123.com, Businessinsider.com, The Japan Times, Pioneer News, Techie News, Science World Report, News Maine, UPI.com, France 24, Australian Broadcast Corporation, eScience News, Yahoo.com, Fin24.com, Scitechdaily.com, Space Daily, Nature World News, Sci-News.com, Sen.com, News release

Rawlins tells WWLP-TV that injecting sulfur into the air to offset pollution is a bad idea

Michael A. Rawlins, Geosciences and manager, the Climate System Research Center, said the idea of injecting sulfur pollution into the air to help offset global warming could have dangerous and unknown side effects, in an interview with WWLP-TV 22.

Woodruff finds the eastern U.S. was pounded with intense frequent hurricanes 800-1700 years ago

Jonathan D. Woodruff and WHOI researcher Dana MacDonald, currently a visiting scholar, and colleagues have found that a warmer climate was associated with more intensity and frequent hurricanes on the U.S. east and gulf coasts hundreds of years ago. They present a new record of sediment deposits in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Terra Daily, Phys.org, Innovations Report, Tech Times, Kansas City Infozine, The Weather Network, News release

Bradley and her study of native and non-native plant distribution is featured on the front page of the Gazette

Bethany Bradley, Environmental conservation, and her new study—the first comprehensive assessment of native versus non-native plant distribution in the continental United States—that found non-native plant species are much more widespread than native plants was featured on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. News release

Harper wins Mass. Tree Wardens’ and Forests’ Association’s President’s Award

Richard W. Harper, Environmental Conservation, has been awarded the Massachusetts Tree Wardens’ and Forests’ Association’s President’s Award for outstanding service to the organization and the president. Read more

Rawlins tells New England Public Radio that climate change makes more frequent heavy snowstorms likely

Michael A. Rawlins, Geosciences and manager, the Climate System Research Center, says heavy snow is common at this time of year but as the climate changes, more frequent heavy snowstorms are likely to hit this region. New England Public Radio

Crosby profiled in Gazette for upcoming induction into National Academy of Inventors

Alfred J. Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, who is soon to be inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for co-inventing Geckskin with Duncan Irschick, Biology, was profiled on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. News release

Rotello and Cohen report on their license plate recall research to task force chaired by state RMV registrar

Caren M. Rotello and Andrew Lind Cohen, Psychological and Brain Sciences, appeared before a task force chaired by Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles Celia Blue and delivered a report on factors involved in the public’s ability to recognize and recall vehicle license plates, including the use of symbols in addition to numbers and letters. Their recent research in Psychology, Public Policy, and Law found no memory benefit of adding such symbols. News release

Park's ground-breaking research on the benefits of CLA is featured on Research Next

Yeonhwa Park, Food Science, was featured in Research Next about her seminal research on the benefits of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) nearly 25 years ago that placed her in Thomson Reuters’ “Highly Cited Researchers 2014” list with seven other UMass Amherst researchers. Research Next

Staudinger featured in Popular Science as having one of the "Top 10 Worst Jobs in Science"

Michelle Staudinger, Environmental Conservation, was featured in “The Top 10 Worst Jobs in Science” for her work gutting fish to get the stomach content for her research. Popular Science

Zilberstein featured in story about using semi-autonomous robots to do laundry

Shlomo Zilberstein, School of Computer Science, and colleagues, are featured in a story about their work using semi-autonomous robots to do laundry. Innovations Report, Gizmodo India

Griffin is co-PI on new $357,920 REU about offshore wind

Curtice Griffin, Environmental Conservation, is co-PI, with PI Erin Baker, Engineering, on a new National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) that will annually support 10 undergraduates interested in exploring research in a wide range of offshore wind-energy topics, including engineering, wildlife ecology, and policy. The $357,920 program is called “Offshore Wind Energy: Solving the Engineering, Environmental & Socio-Economic Challenges.” Griffin is also co-PI with Baker, the PI, on an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) project titled “Offshore Wind Energy Engineering, Environmental Impacts, and Policy" that will be integrated with the REU. News release

Riley featured in International Business Times story about the difficulties in developing new antibiotics

Margaret Riley, Biology, was featured in a story about the difficulty researchers encounter trying to develop new antibiotics and ways to battle antibiotic-resistant bacteria. She says she was unable to get the help she needed from the U.S. government or from private pharmaceutical companies and eventually had to work with a company in China that is supported by the Chinese government. International Business Times

Markstein featured in The Academic Minute public radio show about using fruit flies in her cancer research

Michele Markstein, Biology, was featured on "The Academic Minute,” discussing how she uses genetically engineered Drosophila, or fruit flies, with human genes, causing them to grow tumors for study. WAMC, Northeast Public Radio

Hallock interviewed by Gazette about underinflated footballs

Robert B. Hallock, Physics, is featured in a Daily Hampshire Gazette story about underinflated footballs, saying the advantage of one is minimal.

Whitbourne featured in story about controversy over Patriots use of deflated footballs

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, was featured in a story about the public’s reaction to the ongoing controversy surrounding the use of deflated footballs by the NFL’s New England Patriots during their recent AFC Championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Republican

Dasgupta, Rawlins, Spencer, and Tyson named 2015 Public Engagement Faculty fellows

Nilanjana (Buju) Dasgupta, Psychological and Brain Sciences and director, Faculty Equity and Inclusion; Michael A. Rawlins, Geosciences and manager, the Climate System Research Center; Rebecca Spencer, Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Julian Tyson, Chemistry, have been named 2015 Public Engagement Faculty Fellows. Faculty fellows chosen by the university's Public Engagement Project (PEP) receive a stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences. PEP is supported in part by the College of Natural Sciences. Public Engagement Project

Undergraduate Commencement 2015 - Save the date!

This year the CNS Senior Celebration will be held in the Mullins Center on Saturday, May, 9, at 5:00 p.m. Each graduating senior is presented with a UMass medallion, and a student from each department makes a very brief speech. Family and friends are invited. Seniors are also urged to attend the University Commencement on Friday, May 8, and their department receptions. Watch for updates on the CNS undergraduate commencement page.