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Biological Sciences

Campus Voices: Serving Community Brings Benefits to Students

When it came time to apply for college, so many of us scrambled to compile those lists of community service hours to bolster our resumes. Was there enough? Could I explain in my personal statement what this service meant to me? 

From the time we’re young, this idea is engrained in our heads that volunteering is important. There’s probably thousands of variations that we have heard at one time or another of why you have to give back to your community and the impact that service has, but the question remained, why?

Grad Student Researches Biology Behind Political Views

If you’ve ever wondered why people stand where they do on the political spectrum, science might have at least part of the answer: People can be biologically predisposed to certain feelings toward politics and society.

A new paper lead-authored by UC Merced graduate student Chelsea Coe indicates that physiological factors can predict how someone will react when presented with political scenarios — an idea that demonstrates an emerging area of study, the intersection of biology and politics.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations Broaden Archaeology Research

Archaeologists have been asking where high-elevation populations came from for decades; how they are going about answering the question, however, is new.

“Fifty years ago, I would have consulted other archaeologists,” UC Merced Professor Mark Aldenderfer said. “It used to be the one archeologist who led a dig with assistants. It was much more insulated. Now, you can’t answer interesting questions about the past without a team of scientists.”

NSF Grants Will Help Unravel Mysteries of Sea Stars, Jellyfish

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Professor Michael Dawson $900,000 to study some rather mysterious marine phenomena.

Dawson received $700,000 — part of a three-year, $1.2 million grant awarded to Dawson and collaborators at UC Santa Cruz, the University of Georgia and Cornell University — to investigate the repercussions of the 2013 outbreak of sea star wasting disease (SSWD), a marine pandemic that killed 90 percent of ochre sea stars along North America’s Pacific coast.

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