Riley Named Massachusetts Academy of Sciences Fellow

Biology professor Peg Riley (right) is among the new class of Fellows of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, elected by her peers to its prestigious community of scientists, engineers, research physicians and others who are deeply concerned about science and science education in the Commonwealth.

Riley, president and founder of MAS, announced the academy’s latest fellows:
UMass alumna and astronaut Catherine Coleman, Irving Epstein of Brandeis University, Robert Dorit of Smith College, Ward Watt of Stanford University, Mandana Sassanfar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Junior Academy of Sciences, Megan Rokop of the Broad Institute, and James Hamilton and Paul Trunfio of Boston University.

Riley says, “Each year, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences honors distinguished individuals through its fellowship awards. They join an elite group of professional scientists and science educators who are recognized for extraordinary scientific accomplishments and service to the science community and the public. The academy is thrilled to welcome these stellar individuals to its elite group. They are crucial to the future success of the academy and it is an honor to announce their commitment and involvement.”

Riley’s research interests range from experimental evolution of microbes to developing novel antimicrobials and redefining the microbial species concept.

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Baskin Receives $480,000 NSF Award

Tobias Baskin has received a new, three-year ($480,000) NSF award for a project titled "The nano-mechanics of celluose sythesis". Baskin is the Co-PI on the project, the PI is Lori Golner in Physics. The goal of the project is to use both high resolution imaging of living cells and biochemical analysis of extracts to deepen our understanding of how cellulose, perhaps the most abundant polymer on Earth, is synthesized.

Albertson Talk at Esselon Café 9/10

The Science Café kicks off its Fall series on Monday, September 10th at Esselon Café in Hadley, MA with “How to Build an Organism: a DIY Guide.” Dr. Craig Albertson from UMass will discuss some of his work exploring the design and diversification of the animal body form, proceeding from the genetic blueprint to principles of animal development. The event begins at 5:30pm, with light snacks provided and drinks available for purchase. All Science Café events are free and designed for a public audience.

The Science Café series is organized by graduate students in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB) program at UMass. It is supported by the Society for the Study of Evolution, OEB, and the UMass Natural History Collections. We strive to bring engaging conversations about science to broad audiences by hosting Science Café events throughout the year.

For more info on the OEB program, see their website.

Bio Senior Makes Local News

The August 6, 2012 edition of the Milford Daily News featured a report on Biology major Katelyn Kalutkiewicz and the research that she is working on in the lab of Prof. Wei-lih Lee. Katelyn's work is supported by a $5,000 grant from the American Heart Association, and the news report notes that she says the Heart Association has been "very supportive of my research and promote my development as a young scientist."

To read the entire article click here

Geckskin Team on YouTube


Biology professor Duncan Irschick, along with colleagues Al Crosby from the Polymer Sciences Department, Andrew Croll and doctoral students Michael Bartlett and Daniel King have posted a video to YouTube

The video can be accessed here