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Research

Innovate to Grow Competition Highlights Student Creativity

MERCED, Calif. — From disposable drones mapping wildfire perimeters to increasing the number of young students interested in science, technology, engineering and math studies, this year’s engineering capstone and Innovate to Grow teams have real, impactful work to show off.

The annual Innovate to Grow competition and expo at UC Merced takes place Friday, May 16, across campus, with a variety of events including demonstrations of each team’s work, plus blue-ribbon panels and cash prizes. The events are free and open to the public.

NSF Early Career Award Honors Professor’s Research and Potential

The National Science Foundation is honoring UC Merced Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe with a Faculty Early Career Development Award to support her examination of how soil helps regulate the climate.

The awards are given to junior faculty members who “who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations,” the NSF said.

Professor’s Passion for Monkey Flower Leads to Genetic Discoveries

The environment affects the way genetic populations move, and similar environments likely play a bigger role in how a species develops than does geographic distance.

Those are just two of the discoveries Professor Jason Sexton has made while studying the monkey flower, a California native that is practically in his back yard, now that he has joined UC Merced.

Professor’s Paper in Nature Communications Indicates Deep Sea Changes

Large, naturally occurring low-oxygen zones in the Pacific appear to be expanding, and there is a sharp change in the number of bacteria that produce and consume different forms of toxic sulfur, according to a UC Merced researcher’s latest paper in Nature Communications.

These expanding deoxygenated zones could also contribute to climate change, which, in turn, appears to contribute to their growth.

McCloskey’s Research Earns Grant from California’s Stem Cell Push

UC Merced Professor Kara McCloskey was recently awarded a highly competitive $500,000 grant to continue tackling significant, unresolved issues in human stem cell biology, as part of an effort to enhance stem-cell research in California.

This past month, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), and its governing board, approved more than $27 million for Basic Biology V Awards, of which McCloskey’s grant is included. The leads for this center include Stanford University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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