News

1/24/2019

By Laura Wright

 

Regeneration is one of the most enticing areas of biological research. How are some animals able to regrow body parts? Is it possible that humans could do the same? If scientists could unlock the secrets that confer those animals with this remarkable ability, the knowledge could have profound significance in clinical practice down the road.  

Scientists at the University of Kentucky have taken this concept one step closer to reality, announcing today that they have assembled the genome of the axolotl, a salamander whose only native habitat is a lake near Mexico City.

Axolotls have long been prized as models for regeneration, said Randal Voss, a professor in the UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center and a co-PI on the project. 

“It’s hard to

1/17/2019

Professor Grace Jones
January 30, 1951-January 12, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that our friend and colleague, Professor Grace Jones, has passed away peacefully after a prolonged illness. She was a dedicated teacher, scholar and scientist and will be missed by all. She was in the loving embrace of her dedicated husband, Dr. Davy Jones, at the very end.

Dr. Jones was born in Hong Kong. She moved to the United States and studied Biology at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. She then received a Master’s degree from Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala., before moving to Auburn University, where she received an Ed.D. in Science with a specialty in Entomology in 1978. She conducted post-doctoral research at Texas A&M University (1979) and at the University of California at Riverside (1980). She then received

1/14/2019

By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory

 

Sustainability and coal mining don't typically go hand in hand, but a project at the University of Kentucky is offering an opportunity to bring the two together.

At least that is the hope of Jack Groppo and Jim Hower, research professors at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), where they are locating and evaluating rare earth elements (REEs) found in coal and processing coal byproducts.

REEs are a series of 17 elements within the Earth's crust. Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs are essential components of technologies spanning a range of applications, including smartphones, batteries and defense technologies.

They are also used in renewable energy technologies, like wind turbines and solar panels.

"Never in a million years saw that coming, but it'

1/9/2019

By Jenny Wells and Jordan Raddick

A Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of all stars currently in the MaNGA Stellar Library, showing temperature and brightness (luminosity) of stars, along with information on their chemical makeup. Photo courtesy of SDSS collaboration.

Want to learn everything there is to know about a subject? Go to the library. Want to learn everything there is to know about stars? Go to the stellar library.

Renbin Yan, an associate professor of physics and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, along with a team of astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), announced today the opening of a new “stellar library” containing spectra of thousands of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Having access to this library will help

1/8/2019

By Carl Nathe

 

If you need an example of how a broad-based college education can open up your mind to new challenges and opportunities, look no farther than University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Professor of PsychologySuzanne Segerstrom.

Segerstrom majored in music as an undergraduate and initially thought she would make a career in the field. She took an elective course in psychology and enjoyed it so much she took another, then another. Her curiosity developed into a passion and she decided to go to graduate school and focus on psychology. The rest, as they say, is history.

On this week’s episode of “Behind the Blue,” UK Marketing and Strategic Communications' Carl Nathe talks with Segerstrom about

1/4/2019

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Justin Mobley and Dr. Jesse Thompson as Adjunct Faculty at the level of Assistant Professor. 

Dr. Justin Mobley is a native of Kentucky who earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Western Kentucky University.  He graduated from the WKU Honors College, completing a capstone project entitled “Synthetic study of para-substituted 5,6-fused ring pyridazines.”  Dr. Mobley completed his Ph.D. at UKy in 2016 under the guidance of Prof. Mark Crocker at the Center for Applied Energy Research (UK-CAER), where he studied oxidative catalytic lignin depolymerization. He went on to a Post-Doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under Prof. John Ralph where he studied lignin utilization as well as biomass characterization using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy.  In October of 2017, Dr. Mobley joined the Dept. of

12/21/2018

By Madison Dyment

Kerry Gathers’ map detailed the economic impact of the whaling industry throughout the 19th century.

Kerry Gathers, a student in the New Maps Plus online graduate program in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, recently received the national first prize in the Dynamic Map competition at the North American Cartographic Information Society annual meeting.

Gathers’ map detailed the economic impact of the whaling industry throughout the 19th century. To properly map out this information, he drew upon past records of historic American whaling voyages through a database.

“I've been interested in the history of whaling since reading 'Moby Dick,' which inspired me to read more and more

12/21/2018

By Jenny Wells

Thigpen suggests that river erosion may cause parts of the Earth's crust to move more quickly, resulting in large earthquakes far from plate boundaries, such as in Eastern Tennessee, where a 4.4 magnitude earthquake occurred just last week.

Ryan Thigpen, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, has co-authored a paper that describes how river erosion may lead to more earthquakes.

The paper, which published this summer in the Journal of Geophysical Research, was featured in Scientific American this week. 

Working with Sean Gallen from Colorado State University, the geologists suggest that removing so much weight from the crust (

12/21/2018

By Jenny Wells and Sara Shoemaker

Courtesy of Andy Sproles/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Christopher Crawford, an associate professor of physics and astronomy in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, along with many of his current and former students, are contributing co-authors on a groundbreaking experiment that was recently featured as the Editor’s Choice in Physical Review Letters, the American Physical Society's scientific journal.

In an experiment carried out at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, experimental physicists were able for the first time to measure the weak interaction between protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. The project culminates decades of work

12/19/2018

By Lindsey Piercy

UK alumnus Nick Wilson is competing on the season finale of the 37th season of "Survivor."

Will Nick Wilson outwit, outplay and outlast the remaining five competitors on the 37th season of "Survivor"? The UK alumnus is still vying for the title of "Sole Survivor" and the $1 million prize. The long-awaited, three-hour season finale is set to air 8 p.m. tonight (Wednesday), Dec. 19, on CBS.

With Fiji as the backdrop, this edition of "

12/19/2018

By Lindsey Piercy

 

As professors in the Department of Linguistics and Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Kentucky, Andrew and Brenna Byrd are dedicated to understanding how languages work, as well as the interaction between languages and the cultures of the people who speak them. Throughout their successful careers in academia, they have also strived to share their knowledge outside of the university.

Outreach is important due to the obscurity of Indo-European Studies. "Not many people know about this field, and folks only learn about it when they study multiple ancient languages, such as Latin and Greek. As you can imagine, there aren’t many people who do that," Andrew Byrd said.

Most recently, the Byrd's have developed a plan to

12/14/2018

By Ellie Wnek

UK faculty member Lynn Phillips received the 2018 South Eastern Division of the American Association of Geographers (SEDAAG) Excellence in Teaching Award.

University of Kentucky faculty member Lynn Phillips received the 2018 South Eastern Division of the American Association of Geographers (SEDAAG) Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to Phillips, the University of Kentucky Department of Geography sent two other faculty members, Karl Raitz and Matthew Wilson, and six graduate students to the conference Nov. 18-19.

"This is a huge honor for me as it represents acknowledgement by geographers in a 10-state region that my instructional practices have impact beyond the classroom," Phillips said. "It is deeply affirming to

12/10/2018

By Jenny Wells

 

When Kendall Hitch came to the University of Kentucky from Troy, Michigan, as a freshman in 2014, she was nervous about making it "on her own." After all, she was in a different state, a different community and in many ways, a different culture from her home up north. But she says she quickly learned there is no such thing as self-made person.

"We’re all where we are today because of the support of family, friends, mentors and fellow human beings," Hitch said.

Hitch used this knowledge to immediately begin giving back to others — in the UK and Lexington communities and beyond. She spent the next four years advocating for human rights and education, teaching English, and empowering people all around the world.

"Everywhere I have gone I have seen such a huge gap in the desire to learn and the resources present to serve that

12/7/2018

By Jenny Wells

UK's December 2018 Commencement speakers: Kelsey Allmon (left) will deliver the 10 a.m. student address and Kendall Hitch will deliver the 2 p.m. address.

Two student representatives have been selected to speak at the December 2018 University of Kentucky Commencement Ceremonies. The ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Rupp Arena.

Kelsey Allmon and Kendall Hitch were selected by UK President Eli Capilouto to speak on behalf of their fellow graduates. Capilouto will also speak at both ceremonies. 

Kelsey Allmon, from Grove City, Ohio, will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony on Dec. 14. She is graduating with a master's degree from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International

12/7/2018

By Lindsey Piercy

'Tis the season to be merry and bright! But you may be feeling less than joyful during the "most wonderful time of the year." Do you experience stress, anxiety or even depression from November to January? If so, you're not alone.

"It's pretty common. In my clinical and personal experience, I would say most, but not all, people report increased stress around the holidays. However, only a subset of vulnerable people experiences clinical problems, such as depression and anxiety, around these times," Michelle Martel, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, said. 

From impeccable wreaths to the tree surrounded by a mountain of gifts — creating the "perfect" holiday can add to existing stressors. "Including financial strain (from

12/6/2018

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 2018 modern and classical languages/Chinese studies and international studies graduate Bridget Nicholas, of Covington, Kentucky, will receive one of only 30 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships. Nicholas is the second UK student to be awarded the prestigious honor.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, the Pickering Fellowship Program provides graduate students with up to $37,500 annually in financial support for a two-year master's degree in a field related to the Foreign Service, as

12/4/2018

By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory

(Left to right): Marios Chatzikos, an assistant research professor in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy; Maryam Dehghanian, a graduate student in the department; Gary Ferland; and Francisco Guzman, a postdoctoral scholar in the department.

With continuous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA since 1981, Gary Ferland has developed a special computer code to study how light from distant celestial bodies is produced.

"In astronomy, we (have to be) very clever in figuring out ways to analyze the messages that the stars send us, and the light we receive is difficult to interpret; it's not produced in a simple way," said Ferland, who is a professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences'

11/29/2018

 

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons are looking for University of Kentucky students who are interested in being workshop leaders for the 2019 conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 20 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they may not realize the variety of career options and opportunities that exist for women,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Expanding Your Horizons

11/20/2018

By Whitney Hale, Amy Jones-Timoney, and Kody Kiser

 

Hear directly from Hadeel Abdallah what it means to be selected a Rhodes Scholar.

The University of Kentucky is celebrating the announcement that political science and Arabic and Islamic studies senior Hadeel Abdallah, of Lexington, has been named a recipient of the highly prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Abdallah is one of 32 American women and men selected as Rhodes Scholars representing the United States.

She is the first female from the university and the 10th UK student named a Rhodes Scholar, the last being selected in 1955. UK remains home to the largest number of Rhodes Scholars

11/19/2018

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2018) — The University of Kentucky has been named a partner on a $120 million, five-year second phase of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Innovation Hub focused on advancing battery science and technology.

Susan Odom, an associate professor of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator of the UK project. Odom and her team will study solvation of organic redox couples in complex environments, which are relevant to numerous energy storage technologies, including redox flow batteries — a technology of interest for large-scale grid storage.

Susan Odom, an associate professor

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