Peg Riley and Team have STEM Ambassadors Book Published

Peg Riley, Sonji Johnson-Anderson and Ranjana Lingutlajust had a book published that describes the STEM Ambassador's program created in Biology about 8 years ago. Many of our own student voices are used in the book to help faculty and others understand some of the challenges URM and first generation STEM students face as undergraduates.

The link to the nook is HERE.


Peg Riley Interviewed by David Pakman

Peg Riley was interviewed by David Pakman, and the show is now on YouTube. Their interview occurs at 30 minute into the show, and it focuses on antibiotics, COVID-19, and related health matters.

You can access the interview HERE.


Pallas Appointed Associate Editor

Sarah Pallas has just been appointed as an Associate Editor for the open access journal Frontiers in Neural Circuits.

You can access the journal HERE.


Albertson lab Awarded NSF Grant to Study the Evolution and Genetic Basis of Rest-Activity Patterns in Fishes

Craig Albertson's lab was recently awarded a 3-year NSF grant to study the evolution and genetic basis of rest-activity patterns in fishes. The project investigates a new hypothesis to explain how a high diversity of similar species can coexist in the same environment, that species partition their habitat temporally via divergence in the circadian timing of activity, day vs night.

Read more HERE.


Baskin uses new software tool to investigate root growth

Kannappan Palaniappan, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Missouri, has developed a software tool that could help UMass Biology professor Tobias Baskin give farmers greener thumbs. The tool could help enable farmers develop crop cultivars that are drought resistant, ensuring roots can reach falling water tables, adapt to warmer temperatures and be more resilient to environmental changes.

The video processing tool uses high resolution microscopy imaging to quantify plant root growth at sub-micron scale precision. The biomedical image analysis software is almost fully automated and gives researchers a peek inside the complex processes happening within various zones of a root.

Baskin is using the software to study the impact of temperature on cells within specific zones. The team has been collaborating for more than a decade and recently received a new grant from the National Science Foundation for their work on dynamic zonation in the plant root.

The research could help usher in a second green revolution, allowing farmers and growers to adjust root systems to increase plant yield. The first green revolution, which happened in the 1960s and 1970s, involved selecting for specific properties of plant shoots, specifically breeding lines that grew shorter but stronger without lodging, preventing the large crop losses from fast growing lines that fell over before harvest.

The attached photo is a picture of roots at various temperatures.