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Steve ScarpaAugust 1, 20226min
Almost every scientist has an origin story, the moment they knew a life of scientific inquiry and research was something they wanted. “All of the faculty have that story,” said Seth Redfield, professor of astronomy, at the annual poster session held at Exley Science Center on July 28. “Almost all of them involve an experience like this one.” About 200 students representing all of the University’s scientific disciplines shared the fruits of a summer spent doing research. The summer research program is hosted by the College of Integrative Sciences. Students and faculty milled around the lobby of Exley, talking to…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 15, 20225min
Enoila Shokunbi, a fifth grader at McDonough School in Middletown, knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. “President,” she said quickly. “But I might want to be a singer first.” Enoila explains that someone like Taylor Swift would likely get more votes for president because of her pop stardom, so that might be the route she wants to emulate. After her visit to Wesleyan University’s IDEAS Lab on July 14, Enoila might be able to add scientist to her list of career aspirations. Enoila is part of the STEM GEMS camp run by STEAM Train, a non-profit…

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Rachel Wachman '24December 3, 20216min
Haley Brumberger BA/MA ’21 captured an image through a microscope of tiny crustaceans called ostracods in sediments of a volcanic lake in Oregon during the 2019 program for Wesleyan Summer Research in the Sciences, which she participated in as a summer research fellow through the College of Integrative Sciences. The image first won the Summer Research in the Sciences Image Competition for 2019 before winning this year’s image competition for The Micropalaeontological Society (TMS). They announced her win on Twitter, as well as through the RedBubble merchandise they’re selling of the image. Brumberger, who majored in earth and environmental sciences…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 24, 20213min
At first glance, a viewer sees a single image of pink-tinted cubes, resembling a bacteria culture from high school biology. But upon closer examination, the viewer begins to see a series of other shapes—triangles to hexahedrons to tetahexahedraons (cubes with four-sided pyramids on each face). "If you stare at this image for a while, you can see that it's actually a series of five images in the top row, and five images on the bottom row, and each of these images show us nanoparticles that are made of gold and copper," said Brian Northrop, professor of chemistry. "It's intriguing, captivating,…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 2, 202118min
Scientists have already discovered more than 3,500 exoplanetary systems (planets orbiting around stars) in the universe, with the number continually expanding. By using Wesleyan's new 24-inch telescope, Kyle McGregor '24 is on the hunt for more, specifically systems involving two planets. To find them, he measures the light from stars over time, noting that the light will decrease when an exoplanet passes in front of a star, blocking the radiated light to Earth. "The measuring of this change in light, known as the 'transit method,' allows us to detect the presence of these distant worlds and to study their properties,"…

Olivia DrakeMay 4, 20213min
Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, is the co-author of five scientific papers. All are part of the output of international collaborations of which her Wesleyan-based research was a part, funded by the National Science Foundation over the last three years. “All the studies look at different aspects of the behavior of microscopic organisms in the oceans under past environmental stress, whether caused by the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, or past episodes of global warming or cooling, and at the effect of different rates of environmental change on these life forms," she said.…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 26, 20202min
Ellen Thomas, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Integrative Sciences, Smith Curator of Paleontology of the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History, and University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, is the recipient of the 2020 Joseph A. Cushman Award for Excellence in Foraminiferal Research. At Wesleyan, Thomas investigates oceanic benthic foraminifera (eukaryotic unicellular organisms) as proxies for the impact of changes in environment and climate on living organisms on various time scales. This fall, she's teaching the courses Research Frontiers in the Sciences and Mass Extinctions in the Oceans. Brian Huber, president of the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 6, 20207min
Several faculty have recently authored or co-authored books, book chapters, and articles that appear in prestigious academic journals. BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS Eric Charry, professor of music, is the author of A New and Concise History of Rock and R&B through the Early 1990s (Wesleyan University Press, 2020). Robert "Bo" Conn, professor of Spanish, is the author of Bolívar’s Afterlife in the Americas: Biography, Ideology, and the Public Sphere (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Anthony Ryan Hatch, associate professor of science in society, is the author of three book chapters: “The Artificial Pancreas in Cyborg Bodies,” published in The Oxford Handbook of…

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Himeka CurielJuly 5, 20202min
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to shine a light on the Black experience in America, one Wesleyan student is doing his part to foster better understanding for students of color in STEM fields. On July 2, Fitzroy "Pablo" Wickham '21 participated in a panel discussion on "Black Lives Matter and Neuroscience: Why This Moment Matters." The event, hosted by the Society for Neuroscience and moderated by Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, provided a forum to discuss hurdles faced by Black students and faculty in STEM and ways to enhance recruitment, mentoring, and retention in STEM fields. Wickham, a…

Olivia DrakeJune 30, 20203min
As part of the University's efforts to "activate campus," a third prehistoric creature has taken up residence at Wesleyan. The new Mosasaur exhibit is on permanent display inside Olin Library and is a collaboration of faculty, student, and staff efforts. Mosasaurus hoffmannii Mantell (Mosasaur), a marine lizard, lived in the oceans during the Late Cretaceous period (66 to 68 million years ago) when the last dinosaurs walked the Earth. Mosasaurs had long, snake-like bodies with paddle-like limbs and flattened tails. Some specimens grew to be more than 50 feet long. In 1871, chemist Orange Judd of the Wesleyan Class of…

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Olivia DrakeApril 6, 20202min
To help medical personnel safeguard themselves during the coronavirus outbreak, two makerspace labs on campus are manufacturing much-needed protective masks using 3D printers. On April 1, Wesleyan donated its first set of 100 face shields to medical personnel at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, and others to Wesleyan staff who must work on campus to support the remaining students. The mask, which offers a barrier from the spray of liquids, can be used with or without additional medical masks that cover the nose and mouth. "Our 3D printers have been running at full speed," said Francis Starr, professor of physics and…

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Olivia DrakeApril 5, 20202min
Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, is honored for being among the "Top 35 Women in Higher Education" in the March 20 issue of Diverse. Taylor joined the Wesleyan faculty in 2007 and teaches courses in the areas of organic chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, and bio-medicinal chemistry, among others. She's also associate professor, environmental studies, and associate professor, integrative sciences, and takes a multidisciplinary approach to investigating problems at the biological chemistry interface. Diverse acknowledged Taylor for "striv(ing) to find ways to exploit enzymes found in nature to perform reactions that can help advance the fields of chemistry and medicine."…