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Earth Systems Science

Rare Flower Variant Discovered by Professor Offers Insight into Evolution

The discovery of a new, rare species of monkey flower by Professor Jason Sexton provides clues as to how new species are born.

Sexton, who researches the monkey flowers that grow wild throughout California, and are especially prolific in the Sierra Nevada, conducted this work with researchers Kathleen G. Ferris and John H. Willis, both from Duke University.

Climate Change Influencing Freshwater Mountain Runoff, Research Shows

As the climate warms, sources of the water so critical to life everywhere on Earth are drying up.

By the end of this century, communities dependent on freshwater from mountain-fed rivers could see significantly less water, according to a new climate model recently released by University of California researchers.

For example, people who get freshwater from the Kings River could see a 26 percent decrease in river flow.

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.

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