Brett co-authored a paper that appeared in the Journal of Applied Ecology. According to paper’s other co-author, Rufus Isaacs, theirs is the first paper that demonstrates an economic advantage for farmers when they create wild bee habitat next to cultivated fields. The two entomologists planted marginal land surrounding blueberry fields with a mix of native perennial wildflowers. Even though the fields were pollinated by honey bees trucked in for the purpose, Brett discovered that, after a period of two years, the rising population of wild bees increased blueberry yields by 10 to 20 percent. That increase more than offset the costs of making the marginal land attractive to wild bee populations. Brett was the lead author on the paper. The K biology major completed his Ph.D. at Michigan State University under Isaacs and is now working at Rutgers University.
Danny is extending his involvement with his activities advancing biotech in a future area of recent interest in dairy: food production to meet nutritional needs for protein with biotechnology using the new genetic engineering of genome editing. Genome editing, Danny says, offers opportunities for improved feeds, crops and digestive manipulation as well as food proteins with potential medicinal properties. He continues his work to seek funding through public sourcing in order to transfer information between academe and industry and also to the public. He welcomes any feedback or comments on his research communications at his e-mail.
Jane died on July 31, 2014. At the time of her passing, she was professor and director of the Program in Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Medicine, Ohio State University. A highly regarded educator, Jane was co-editor and author of a widely adopted textbook: Occupational Therapy with Children, now in its sixth edition. At Kalamazoo College she majored in psychology and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany. she earned her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Western Michigan University and her doctorate from the University of Georgia. Jane was considered one of the nation’s foremost experts in pediatric occupational therapy and rehabilitation. She was a respected clinical scientist and grant reviewer. At the time of her death she was principal investigator on two NIH-funded studies. She won many awards and was named a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association in 1997. She is survived by her husband and their two sons.
Rob gave an interview on WUNC 91.5, North Carolina Public Radio, on May 18. He talked with radio host Frank Stasio about science in general and Rob’s latest book, The Man Who Touched His Own Heart. An article on Rob will appear in the December issue of LuxEsto.
Professor Emerita of English Gail Griffin is a fan of Kate, a chemistry major who, Gail writes, “took on an English major very late in her career.” Kate’s putting both majors to work as a science writer, and Gail spotted one of Kate’s stories in a recent Atlantic Magazine online. “How Ancient Coral Revealed the changing Length of a Year” describes how coral layers (a byproduct of the organism’s daily living that marks a year’s growing seasons and days in a process somewhat akin to tree rings) show that the number of days that composed an earth year was much higher eons ago–420 days rather than today’s 365-6. She accounts for the difference in the dynamics of gravity, oceans and the moon’s distance from the earth, a gap growing incrementally and infinitesimally. Turns out Shakespeare’s Juliet had it right in more ways than she might have guessed when she implored Romeo to “swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, / That monthly changes in her circled orb.” The circled orb grows imperceptibly more distant, a centimeter or so a year. (Eventually–in several million years–the moon will be too distant to cause a solar eclipse.) With her two majors, Kate is more likely to know the science in the literary reference. Kate’s K experience also included study abroad in Scotland.
Nancy is the Scientist in Residency Fellow for the month of September at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Nancy is a professor in the biology department and the director of the ecology center at Utah State University (Logan). She also chairs the committee that administers Science Unwrapped, the USU College of Science public engagement program. She earned her B.A. in biology at K and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. Since 2004 she has studied the human ecology of the northern Gulf of Alaska region. Her interests in Alaska are particularly in landscape legacies, food webs, and sustainable resource use.
Jacob recently completed his Ph.D. at Colorado State University. He has been conducting research on new approaches to control disease-carrying mosquitoes. His research was described in a paper–“Mosquitocidal properties of IgG targeting the glutamate-gated chloride channel in three mosquito disease vectors (Diptera: Culicidae)”–that was published in the May issue of Journal for Experimental Biology. And his paper was highlighted as the “Editor’s Choice” for that issue of the journal. Despite the fact that malaria mortality rates have fallen steadily since 2000, the disease threatens half the human population and kills one child every minute. Moreover, resistance in mosquitoes to the primary pesticide used to control them is increasing. A new mosquitocidal candidate has arisen in an old drug, ivermectin, which has been successfully used against parasitic worms that cause diseases such as onchocerciasis (River Blindness). However, little was known about the process by which ivermectin worked against mosquitoes. Jacob’s research elucidated the site (called the glutamate-gated chloride channel, part of the insect’s nervous system) and the mechanism of action at that site which were responsible for ivermectin’s effectiveness. Based on what was learned from that discovery, Jacob tested a new strategy, essentially substituting for ivermectin an antibody to the glutamate gated chloride channel. His preliminary tests confirmed the antibody insecticide’s effectiveness against the mosquito that transmits malaria. In two other disease-carrying mosquitoes (yellow fever and West Nile virus) the antibody did not pass across the gut, which prevented any insecticidal effect. The next step is to immunize cattle with the antibody. Cattle are a major source of blood meals for mosquitoes. It is hoped that malaria-bearing mosquitoes that consume cattle blood carrying the toxic antibodies during the malaria parasite’s incubation period would die, disrupting transmission of the disease. A new antibody insecticide may offer hope for a malaria-free future.
Jacob is married to classmate Alyssa Brayshaw ’08. This year Alyssa was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support her doctoral work. She will begin work in the fall on her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University. She plans to focus her research in the field of wildlife disease ecology, concentrating on Chagus Disease, which threatens to cross the Texas-Mexico border. Jacob was offered and accepted a post-doctoral position at Texas A&M in the lab of a population geneticist studying mosquito populations on Bioko Island and other field sites in West Africa. Jacob majored in chemistry at K. Alyssa majored in biology and studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ed is the author of the recently released book A Historical Perspective on Evidence-Based Immunology. The book highlights the evidence supporting immunology concepts commonly taken for granted, including results of hypothesis-driven controlled scientific experiments. Ed is professor and chair of basic medical sciences at the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Mesa, Ariz.). His book was released on December 18, “the same day that ’Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ opened in theaters,” he wrote. “It is only coincidence that the figure on the cover looks like the Death Star.”
Dennis was named chief executive officer of enCore Energy Corporation. Dennis has more than 40 years of experience and leadership in the uranium industry. Until his retirement in 2011, he served as executive vice president of Americas for Uranium One, Inc. He earned his B.A. in chemistry at K and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. An author of numerous papers regarding in-situ uranium recovery, Dennis has co-authored three International Atomic Energy Agency guidebooks and manuals related to both acidic and alkaline uranium in-situ leach (ISL) technology. He is the author of six United States patents concerning various aspect of in-situ recovery of uranium and reservoir restoration.
Douglas has been named to lead a new office at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In this new position, which Douglas began on June 1, he will identify and create strategic partnering opportunities between PNNL, research universities, and other scientific research institutions. For the last 10 years Douglas has overseen PNNL’s fundamental science research portfolio. PNNL is a national laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy. Douglas majored in physics at K.