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Evidence supports ‘hot start’ scenario and early ocean formation on Pluto

The accretion of new material during Pluto’s formation may have generated enough heat to create a liquid ocean that has persisted beneath an icy crust to the present day, despite the dwarf planet’s orbit far from the sun in the cold outer reaches of the solar system.

Original story from UCSC Newscenter.
























In death of dinosaurs, it was all about the asteroid — not volcanoes

New research published in Science argues that environmental impacts from massive volcanic eruptions in India did not play a direct role in the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs. It was all about the impact of an asteroid. The discovery was made by climate scientist James Zachos and earth science alumni Donald Penman, Richard Norris, and Peter Lippert.
Original story from UCSC Newscenter.





Biologist Jordan Ward wins NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award

Jordan Ward, assistant professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his work with undergraduate researchers to investigate the biology of spermatogenesis, the process by which stem cells in the germ line differentiate to become sperm.
Original story from UCSC Newscenter.










Galaxy found to float in a tranquil sea of halo gas

“The signal from the fast radio burst exposed the nature of the magnetic field around the galaxy and the structure of the halo gas. The study proves a new and transformative technique for exploring the nature of galaxy halos,” said J. Xavier Prochaska, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and lead author of a paper on the new findings published online September 26 in Science.



Alumna Stacy Jupiter wins coveted MacArthur Fellowship

UCSC Newscenter — Alumna Stacy Jupiter, a marine scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society who earned her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz in 2006, is among the 26 new MacArthur Fellows for 2019. The prestigious MacArthur fellowships, awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for “extraordinary originality and dedication,” come with a no-strings-attached award of $625,000 over five years.



Physicist David Williams elected Fellow of American Physical Society

UCSC Newscenter — The APS citation for Williams recognizes him “for contributions to the study of gamma rays from extragalactic sources such as gamma-ray bursts and blazars, for using gamma-ray data to test cosmological models of the extragalactic background light, and for leadership in the development of past, present, and future ground-based gamma-ray telescopes.”


Switzer Environmental Fellowship awarded to ecology Ph.D. student Melissa Cronin

UCSC Newscenter — Melissa Cronin, a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, has been awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The prestigious fellowship recognizes promising environmental leaders and provides $15,000 to support their research.
Cronin’s research focuses on threatened manta ray and devil ray populations, which are often caught as bycatch in industrial fishing operations.


Postdoc Hanh Lam awarded prestigious NIH grant

UCSC Newscenter — The grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will support Lam’s ongoing research to develop novel therapeutics to combat infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterial pathogen that is often resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Lam’s work in the lab of METX Professor Victoria Auerbuch Stone uses a combination of experimental and bioinformatic approaches to target this top priority pathogen.


Marine scientist Adina Paytan to receive A.G. Huntsman Medal from Royal Society of Canada

UCSC Newscenter — The 2019 A.G. Huntsman Medal will be awarded to Paytan “in recognition of her discoveries in the paleoceanographic history of important elements used to recreate the geochemical history of the planet, and of outstanding contributions to understanding the biogeochemical links between global earth-ocean-atmosphere nutrient controls on carbon productivity and paleoclimate.”