VIDEO AND STORY: SHARK RESEARCH LEADS BIOLOGISTS to CREATE BEASTCAM

When biologist Duncan J. Irschick worked with sharks in Florida last spring, he longed for a simple, quick tool for creating 3-dimensional models of them, as well as the geckos he studies. So, he and colleagues developed a multi-armed platform that integrates several cameras plus a computer system to produce 3-D images. They call it the “Beastcam.”

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JIPB WORKSHOP ON SCIENTIFIC WRITING LED BY TOBIAS BASKIN

Tobias Baskin led the eighth Workshop on Scientific Writing sponsored by the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, and held this year on Dec. 8-9, 2015 at the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Guangzhou, China.

Scientific papers, which act as the central means of communication for researchers in connection with their community, are essential for the progress of scientific development. Indeed, the value of clear and effective communication within the scientific community through the dialogue of scientific journals has never been more apparent as local Chinese research and publications are increasingly cited on an international scale. However, in considering research aimed at international journals, reviewers are also becoming more and more concerned with not only the high quality of the submission's scientific content, but also the quality of its writing. As the competition increases, to secure publication in a high-ranking journal only the most succinct, language-sufficient, and logically crafted articles will suffice.

To match the demand, the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology (JIPB) and Agro-biological Gene Research Center of Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GDAAS) jointly held a workshop on scientific writing as a part of a series of workshops held by JIPB. Baskin outlined the guidelines for scientific writing and helped the audience to gain insight into the lengthy process of scientific paper writing, and help teach students how to plan and prepare accordingly.

The workshop was attended by more than 100 young scientists, from all over China.

ORETT BURKE, JR, BIOLOGY STUDENT FEATURED IN UMASS PROFILE SERIES

A talented basketball player at his former college, Orett transferred to study biological sciences in hope of one day becoming a doctor.
Even if you're not a science major, there's so many things out here for you. There's probably one class that would change your mind, just like me in high school. I'm not sure how many schools in America where you're able to do research on what you want to do and be with someone you want to be inspired to be in 10 years. And I think that's one of the greatest advantages about UMass. My name is Orett Burke Jr, class of 2017. I stand for dream-chasing and I stand for UMass.

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JENNIFER OLINS, JUNIOR BIOLOGY STUDENT NAMED A RISING RESEARCHER

Jennifer Olins '17 Junior biology major Jennifer Olins has been a research assistant in Associate Professor Samuel Hazen’s regulatory genomics lab since she enrolled at the University in September 2013. She is one of a few talented students admitted into the campus’s competitive First-Year Research Experience program and the Biology Talent Advanced Program (BioTAP). Since joining the Hazen group, Olins has been awarded two competitive Commonwealth College Research Assistant Fellowships and received honorable mention for her application to the American Society of Plant Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program.

During her time in lab, Olins has become an independent scientist executing her own experiments. Highly skilled at the bench, she has mastered a number of scientific techniques including polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gel electrophoresis, and yeast and bacteria genetic transformation. When Olins expressed a strong desire to learn microscopy, Hazen had her do so by having her conduct an experiment he needed for an article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. “The outcome was excellent,” says Hazen, “and because of her contribution Jenny is now recognized as a co-author on the article.”

Hazen was also impressed with Olins when the student that was performing many of the laboratory managerial duties recently departed for graduate school and Olins stepped in to fill the void. “Jenny is a clear leader within my group and a dedicated and thoughtful scientist,” says Hazen. “Her academic performance is also extraordinary.”

Olins, will be honored for her achievements at a spring luncheon with the Chancellor.

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