All posts by: Sarah Hansen, M.S. '15


Building exterior; mostly glass with concrete protrusion labeled in blue with "IMET: Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology" and a logo of an abstract fish

Underwater cameras facilitate large-scale study of oyster reef habitat in Chesapeake Bay

The research team collected data at about 50 sties in each of 12 tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. With an array of management practices in use and a wide range of salinity and other environmental conditions, “We’re really fortunate that Chesapeake Bay is such a great place to do this research,” says UMBC’s Allison Tracy. Continue Reading Underwater cameras facilitate large-scale study of oyster reef habitat in Chesapeake Bay

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Ph.D. candidate Jessica Novak to study biofuels at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

With a Department of Energy fellowship, Jessica Novak will pursue better understanding of Cellvibrio japonicus, a bacterium with biofuels potential. Novak’s time at NREL “will also train me in some of the biochemical analyses that I’m going to do back at UMBC,” she says. “I think the results we’re going to get from this fellowship will spark new ideas.” Continue Reading Ph.D. candidate Jessica Novak to study biofuels at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

a glass vial with fruit flies inside and about a dozen eppendorf flasks on a black countertop; many more vials in a red plastic holder in the background, and more eppendorf flasks in a teal container.

First Roth Research Award recipient broadens horizons after summer research experience

Inioluwa Oluseyi has wanted to be a neurosurgeon as long as she can remember. She didn’t anticipate how much fly husbandry would play a role in her reaching her goal. Summer research with Fernando Vonhoff, funded by a new scholarship, has given her opportunities to excel. Continue Reading First Roth Research Award recipient broadens horizons after summer research experience

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Justin Webster receives NSF grant to study mathematical models behind oscillation of plane wings, bridges, energy harvesters

Although objects like bridges, buildings, and airplane wings may seem quite rigid, by design they are capable of a surprising deal of bending. This elasticity allows them to deform safely and temporarily in windy conditions. However, very rarely, “Elastic systems like bridges, buildings, and planes can become oscillatory or unstable in the presence of everyday wind, with potential for the oscillations to become damaging,” Justin Webster says. “Understanding this has big implications for fields like civil engineering or alternative energy.” Continue Reading Justin Webster receives NSF grant to study mathematical models behind oscillation of plane wings, bridges, energy harvesters

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Deepak Koirala to explore how RNA viruses hijack cellular machinery, with eye to future drug treatments

RNA viruses cause many human diseases, but understanding of how they do it is poorly understood. Deepak Koirala is pursuing new research to figure out how they trick their host cells into making viral proteins. “It could be a new biological mechanism we’ve never seen before,” Koirala says. Continue Reading Deepak Koirala to explore how RNA viruses hijack cellular machinery, with eye to future drug treatments

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UMBC’s Steve Freeland co-leads $1.8 million research grant to predict the biochemical foundations of life beyond Earth

Every living thing on Earth uses the same set of 20 amino acids to build all of its proteins. But why that particular set of 20? And how might we recognize life beyond Earth based on different molecules? Now Stephen Freeland and colleagues are taking this work from theory to the laboratory for the first time. “Nobody knows what will happen,” Freeland says. “This is a first.” Continue Reading UMBC’s Steve Freeland co-leads $1.8 million research grant to predict the biochemical foundations of life beyond Earth

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STEM BUILD interns shine at UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest

Summer Undergraduate Research Fest gives students early in their research careers a chance to feel like part of a scholarly community. In mentoring students completing summer research, “Our main goal is to help them see and feel that they belong in science and that they can be future leaders in this field,” Maria Cambraia says. Continue Reading STEM BUILD interns shine at UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest

two people in lab coats, one sitting, one standing, having a conversation at a lab bench.

NEXUS Institute for Quantitative Biology celebrates student success, community college partnerships

In 2018, faculty at UMBC and four of its top-sending community colleges embarked on a project to improve students’ quantitative biology skills and eliminate the achievement gap between transfer and direct-entry students in courses requiring these skills. This summer, they reported significant positive outcomes and committed to continue the work. Continue Reading NEXUS Institute for Quantitative Biology celebrates student success, community college partnerships

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UMBC’s Achuth Padmanabhan to pursue promising ovarian cancer research with $1.5 million in grants

Achuth Padmanabhan’s research group, which includes graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, is revealing new potential treatment options by expanding understanding of the basic biology of ovarian cancer. Overall, “our goal is to eliminate ovarian cancer mortality,” he says. Continue Reading UMBC’s Achuth Padmanabhan to pursue promising ovarian cancer research with $1.5 million in grants

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Sustainability Fellow Isabel Dastvan ’22 grows her career and invasive species management at UMBC

Throughout the 2022 – 2023 academic year, Isabel Dastvan completed on-the-ground surveys, created maps of invasive species on campus, identified the most urgent invasive threats, and determined the best ways to combat their spread. The end result is a 187-page, comprehensive Invasive Species Management Plan for UMBC. Continue Reading Sustainability Fellow Isabel Dastvan ’22 grows her career and invasive species management at UMBC

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