Dain Ruiz is a rising sophomore majoring in biology and a Chancellor’s Science Scholar within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies expansion disorders caused by repetitions in DNA — like Huntington’s Disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, and Myotonic Dystrophy — to develop therapeutics to treat them.
Butterflies and moths are indicators of the overall health of an ecosystem. Through fieldwork, lab experiments, and computer modeling, researchers in the Joel Kingsolver Lab strive to understand how changing temperatures are impacting the relationship between certain species and the plants they live on.
As urban regions in the Southeast continue to grow and develop, harmful pollutants enter nearby waterways more frequently. UNC researchers think one of the best solutions to prevent this may be investments in the habitats of the furry neighbors already in our backyards: beavers.
As a UNC graduate student, Greg Dusek’s dissertation was the development of a rip current prediction model for the North Carolina coastline. That was back in 2006. Since then, Dusek and his colleagues have continued to develop that project into what is now part of the most comprehensive and widespread rip current model in the U.S.
Irene Manning is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She develops functional materials that capture PFAS — chemicals created in the production of goods like Teflon, stain-resistant fabrics, and food packaging — and remove them from water.
How can animals travel thousands of miles on a migratory path yet most people need to rely on GPS to get around town? UNC researcher Brian Taylor explores the ability of many animals to use the earth’s magnetic field for navigation in hopes of improving humanmade systems.
About 2 billion years ago, the oceans were green, the land red and rocky, and only 1 percent of Earth’s atmosphere was oxygen. How did the planet become what it is today? UNC geochemist Xiao-Ming Liu collects samples of soil, rocks, and water from places like Hawaii to find the answer.
About 71 percent of Earth is water. Of that water, 96.5 percent is oceans. So why do most air pollution and emissions studies focus on terrestrial research? An interdisciplinary team of researchers traveled to the Galápagos Islands to uncover how emissions released from the ocean impact human health and the earth.
Alan Weakley has spent his career cataloguing the plants of the Southeastern United States. Most recently, he has compiled this work into a digital guide that will aid fellow botanists and citizen scientists alike as they unearth and admire the colorful flora of the South.
The record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season included 30 storms, and while North Carolina managed to dodge the 12 hurricanes that made landfall, that won’t always be the case in the future. A team of interdisciplinary researchers at UNC is combining their expertise in areas like human health, ecology, and urban planning to create a long-term holistic plan helping vulnerable communities prepare for the next generation of extreme weather events.