During a public forum, a panel of UA climate experts commented on the latest United Nations report on climate change and explained what the findings likely mean for Arizona and the Southwest. Arizona is warming faster than any of the other lower 48 states and water will become a more pressing issue as precipitation patterns change and conditions become hotter and drier.
Toxicologist and pediatrician Dr. Leslie Boyer, founding director of the UA's VIPER Institute, has been named the 2013 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year by the Arizona Bioindustry Association. Boyer was lead investigator for a scorpion antivenom clinical trials program that resulted in FDA approval of the antivenom Anascorp.
UA aerospace and mechanical engineering professor Erdogan Madenci, working with assistant professor of materials science and engineering Robert Erdmann, will head a new $7.5 million multidisciplinary university research initiative to predict damage and failure of materials used in applications ranging from microchips to spaceships. The project will be based on the emerging theory of peridynamics, which enables modeling of material fracture and failure.
Max Li, a UA doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is testing mechanisms that determine why some plant species dominate in nature while others stably coexist. His research in the Southern Arizona desert could help inform policies to curb the spread of invasive species.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $3.9 million to an international collaboration led by UA ecologists Scott Saleska and Virginia Rich. The researchers are studying how microbes release greenhouse gases as they access nutrients in permafrost soils that are thawing under the influence of a warmer climate.
On a study abroad trip in India, two UA students came up with the idea for a mobile app that makes it faster and easier for people to connect with each other via multiple social media sites simultaneously. SociaLink, developed by Michael Jacobs and Hector Rosales, is now available for download at the Apple Store.
The National Science Foundation has awarded $50 million to a multi-institution collaborative headquartered at the UA's BIO5 Institute to create a national cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences. The renewal grant for the iPlant Collaborative will allow scientists around the world to collaborate and use proven computational tools to analyze and manage massive biological datasets to address questions of scientific, national and global importance.
Rabies cases in humans are rare, but people can still contract the disease. UA undergraduate researcher Robert Clark, who conducted an investigation into animal cases of rabies in Pima County, is now working to enhance public education around rabies prevention. With World Rabies Day approaching, he already has begun informing school nurses and educators about how to protect against the disease.
Researchers in the UA's Eller College of Management have been awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation, totaling $5.4 million, for projects that will address significant cybersecurity research and education challenges facing the U.S. and the world.