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Earth Systems Science

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.

Natural Reserve Earns Regents’ Approval

The protected land adjoining the northeast corner of campus is officially part of the UC Natural Reserve System now that the UC Board of Regents gave the proposed reserve final approval today at its January meeting.  

The Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is the 39th reserve in the statewide system, adding more than 6,500 acres to the more than 750,000 acres already being conserved and studied. UC Merced’s reserve, though, is the first one in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first one in the heart of the greater Central Valley.

UC Merced Alumnus’s Rim Fire Map Generates Lots of Attention

As the Rim Fire continues to burn in and around Yosemite National Park, a former UC Merced student’s work related to the fire burned up the Internet this week.

Paul Doherty, the first Yosemite park ranger to complete a doctoral degree at UC Merced, graduated in the spring and now works as a public safety technology specialist for Esri, a company that provides GIS mapping for a variety of applications.

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