Earth

Earth: Exploring Our Planet

Thirst for the Search

How Brian Coffey’s love for hunting objects unearthed a dinosaur in Durham and led him to a career in the energy sector.

Stephanie Caddell

Stephanie Caddell is a sophomore studying environmental science in the Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies how to connect the needs of humans with the needs of the environment to protect the earth.

Galápagos: A Gateway for Global Research

For more than 10 years, the UNC Center for Galápagos Studies has been a hub of collaborative research activity spanning many disciplines, with the potential to impact the globe. Diego Riveros-Iregui and Amanda Thompson, the center’s new interim co-directors, strive to use their own experiences from the islands to expand its reach and grow its reputation as a world-renowned research institution.

Disassembling Evolution’s Engine

When a research project centered on evolution within spadefoot toads fell through, Emily Harmon shifted her focus to microscopic swimmers called rotifers. The biology PhD student is studying an animal's ability to adapt in one generation, which could inform conservation efforts in the face of climate change.

The Smorgasbord Scientist

Why do some organisms live in groups? What influences their cooperation with one another? How do they choose their mates? PhD student Brian Lerch has a lot of questions about ecology and evolutionary biology — and he strives to answer them using math.

Anna Fraser

Anna Fraser is PhD student in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She designs, synthesizes, and characterizes polymers for water purification.

The Storm that Changed Her

A hurricane in 2010 turned Caela O’Connell’s dissertation plans upside down. It continues to affect her and her research 11 years later as a UNC-Chapel Hill anthropology professor.

A Project of Her Own

Most UNC-Chapel Hill PhD students oversee their own research projects for their dissertations. But Kriddie Whitmore did it in a foreign country — and with the added challenges of a language barrier, bad weather, and limited equipment. This past summer, Whitmore traveled to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, tackling their demands with incredible tenacity and creativity.

Sifting Through Schoolyard Memories

This summer, UNC-Chapel Hill PhD student Colleen Betti and 80 volunteers rushed to uncover a historic schoolyard that was about to be paved over and transformed into a parking lot. Their mission: to illuminate the overlooked, everyday lives of African American school children from the 19th century.

In Hot Water

Warming ocean waters are one of many climate change consequences, and scientists have observed fish migrating to stay within their preferred temperature range. Janet Nye, a UNC-Chapel Hill marine scientist, wants to understand how a warmer environment will affect these animals to help fisheries better prepare for the future.