The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science February 2012  
Welcome to the February 2012 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newsletter provides information about College of Science events involving students, alumni, faculty and staff. To contribute items for inclusion, please send an email to If possible, please include a high-resolution headshot photo of those mentioned in your items.
College of Science receives record gift of $4.4 million in petroleum industry software    

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
The Dr. Andy Baum
Memorial Fund

Andrew Baum
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Andrew Baum, professor of Psychology and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Nov. 22, 2010. Donations to the fund may be mailed to: UTA College of Science/Dr. Andy Baum Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 19047
Arlington, TX 76019

Calendar of events

Friday, March 2
Calculus Bowl
1:30-6:30 p.m.
Pickard Hall 110

The 12th Annual Calculus Bowl will match teams of students from area high schools against each other in a lively contest which tests students' knowledge of calculus, with prizes for the winning team. More info here.

March 12-16
Spring Break
March 22-23, 2012
ACES symposium
at UT Arlington

The Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium is a university-wide, daylong event that showcases the best of our students' research and creativity. Undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty mentors in their disciplines to write and submit abstracts for the competition. The research symposium is March 22 and the keynote address, by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will be Friday, March 23. For more info, click here
Thursday, March 29
Health Professions Day 12-2 p.m., College Park Cente
Medical schools and institutions from around the state and country will be on hand to hand out info and answer questions about admissions for students.
May 11-14
Final exams for Spring 2012 semester
Sunday, May 13
College of Science Spring 2012

4:30 p.m. at College Park Center. Guest speaker will be alumnus Thaddeus Arroyo (Mathematics '86).
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

Have you been to a show at the planetarium lately? The facility, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in planetarium software. Check out all the exciting shows in the Spring 2012 schedule here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science is now here
The Fall 2011 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is now available! The magazine has the latest College of Science news and features about faculty, students and alumni. Free print versions are available in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 109. You can also check out the online version here.
COS T-Shirt
College of Science
T-shirts are here

Support the College of Science by wearing one of our COS T-shirts! They're short-sleeve, 100% cotton, with a small College of Science UT Arlington logo on the front and a full color logo on the back. They’re only $10 each! Available in S, M, L and XL sizes. Buy them in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) or in Life Sciences Room 109.
Follow the COS on Facebook and Twitter
Facebook LogoKeep up with the College of Science on the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter, and stay in-formed Twitter Logoabout what's going on and upcom-ing events in the College of Science.
Maverick Science
E-Newsletter Archives
     Global information and analytics provider IHS has granted a software license worth an estimated $4.4 million over three years to UT Arlington's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, giving students and professors access to the latest in petroleum industry technology.
     The grant represents the largest in-kind gift ever to the College of Science.
     The IHS KINGDOM software is widely used in the petroleum and natural gas industry for seismic interpretation related to exploration and production. The UT Arlington Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences will benefit greatly from the company's gift, said Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science.
     "UT Arlington geoscience students, especially those in our petroleum-focused Master of Science program, are the real winners here," Jansma said. "This is a great tool, and IHS's generosity will insure they'll be experienced in using this criti-cal software when they graduate."
     Read more on this story here.
Chemistry and Biochemistry Society makes $10,000 donation toward COS scholarship
Group Photo
Dean Pamela Jansma, center, and associate professor Kevin Schug, far right, accept the check from group members on Jan. 30, including chapter president Chris Parikh, third from left, and treasurer Catrina Campbell, second from left.
     The UT Arlington Chemistry and Biochemistry Society has established an Excellence Award, to be given to a junior or senior who intends to pursue chemistry or biochemistry as a career.
     Members of the group presented Dean of Science Pamela Jansma with a $10,000 check toward the fund during the group's January 30 meeting, and the group will add $3,750 a year for the next four years to the total.
    When the fund reaches $25,000, it will be matched by the University through the Maverick Match program.
    The group also recognized the winners of the fall poster symposium. Cynthia Griffith, a senior, earned first place and an all-expenses-paid trip to the American Chemical Society's national meeting, March 25-29 in San Diego. Second place went to chemistry teaching assistant Pinaki Bose.
Students to present research at 2012 ACES symposium; Jeb Bush to deliver keynote
Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush
    Students from around the University will present their research during the daylong Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium on Thursday, March 22 in the E.H. Hereford University Center.
    The event gives students the opportunity to showcase their hard work in poster and oral presentations and compete for awards and prizes in a variety of categories. Undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty mentors in their disciplines to write and submit abstracts for the competition. The approved abstracts are then turned into oral presentations or posters to be presented at the symposium.
    At 8 p.m. on Friday, March 23, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will deliver the ACES keynote address in the brand-new College Park Center. Tickets are free but are required to attend.
    For more information about ACES, click
UT Metroplex Day sets record for number
of participants, research poster entries
Metroplex Day Poster
Students displayed their research posters, which were judged by a panel, and explained their work to Metroplex Day attendees.
    The sixth annual UT Metroplex Day was bigger and better than ever before, with a record number of attendees and research posters entered in the daylong event.
    This year's Metroplex Day, held February 4 at UT Arlington's E.H. Hereford University Center, brought together students and faculty from UT Arlington, UT Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas for a day of lectures and camaraderie, and gave students a chance to show off their research and explore opportunities for collaboration with those from the other institutions.
    "Relative to the previous Metroplex Days, we had a record number of registrants, with 335, and poster submissions, with 135, for this one," said Robert Gatchel, UT Arlington distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. "This event was another testimony to the increase in the cutting-edge in-terdisciplinary research and collaboration among the three major UT universities in North Texas."
    For more on Metroplex Day, click here.
McMahon keeping close tabs on North Texas lakes to check for spread of zebra mussels
    Robert McMahon, professor emeritus in biology, has been monitoring 14 North Texas reservoirs for the presence of zebra mussels, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on January 30 issued a press release relating McMahon's findings that DNA analysis picked up the weak presence of zebra mussel larvae in six of 10 monitored lakes previously thought to be uninfested during Fall 2011.
    Only Lake Texoma is known to be infested with the invasive aquatic species. McMahon suspects that boats being transported from Lake Texoma to other lakes are the source of the DNA found in the six lakes. The best way to prevent the spread of zebra mussels is for boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats before taking them to a different lake.
    Read the full TPWD press release here.
Panchal earns scholarship to present research at Human Pathogens on Plants
    Shweta Panchal, a graduate student in biology under the guidance of assistant professor Maeli Melotto, has been selected to receive a scholarship from the American Phytopathological Society-Public Policy Board (APS-PPB) and USDA-National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA) to present her research on February 13-15 at the 2012 Human Pathogens on Plants: A Multidisciplinary Strategy for Research Conference, in Hyattsville, Maryland.
    Panchal was selected for the honor after a nationwide competition based on students' scientific contribution and academic achievement.
    Panchal presented her research on the unique interaction between Arabidopsis plants and the human pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. She discovered that unlike Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella is able to subvert plant immunity and penetrate the leaf tissue through stomata. Her work has major impli-cations on food safety, as internalized human pathogens may escape current procedures for produce sanitation, Melotto said.
    For more on the conference, click here.
Levine speaks at CBCS Interdisciplinary Conference on Decision Making in India
    Daniel Levine, professor of psychology, was an invited speaker at the Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Science (CBCS) Interdisciplinary Conference on Decision Making in Allahabad, India from December 10-12. His talk was titled "An Attentional Theory of Emotional Influences on Risky Decisions." For more on the conference click here.
    Levine and William Ickes, professor of psychology, were both quoted in an article on intuition for the October 24 edition of Oprah magazine, entitled "When Your Gut Sends Mixed Signals."
    Levine explained that intuition "could be described as signals that come from lots of different places, below the threshold of consciousness," while Ickes related how a coin flip, and his reaction to the coin flip, helped him decide on which grad school to attend.
Read the Oprah magazine article here.
Rowe helps with study that finds deadliest mass extinction was not a sudden event
    Harold Rowe, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, contributed research to a high-resolution analysis of a Permian-Triassic boundary section on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. The study found that the deadliest mass extinction of all took a long time to kill 90 percent of Earth's marine life, and it killed in stages.
It shows that mass extinctions need not be sudden events.
    The report, published in the most recent Geological Society of America Bulletin, provides strong evidence that Earth's biggest mass extinction phased in over hundreds of thousands of years.
    Read the National Science Foundation press release on the report here.
UT Arlington research team magnetizes carbon nanoparticles for cancer research
Koymen Mohanty
Koymen Mohanty
    A team of physics researchers have developed a method that uses magnetic carbon nanoparticles to target and destroy cancer cells through laser therapy - a treatment they believe could be effective in cases of skin and other cancers without damaging surrounding healthy cells.
    A paper about the work by Ali R. Koymen, professor of physics, and Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics, was published in January's edition of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.
    Ling Gu and Vijayalakshmi Vardarajan, two post-doctoral researchers in Mohanty's lab, were co-authors on the paper, titled "Magnetic-field-assisted photo-thermal therapy of cancer cells using Fe-doped carbon nanoparticles."
    For more on this story, click here.
    Members of the UT Arlington Biophysics and Physiology Lab participated in the Photonics West conference January 21-26 in San Francisco.
    Mohanty presented talks on "Shining new light on Optogenetics," "Raman spectroscopy of fiber-optically manipulated cells," and "Enhancement and probing of neuronal growth using optical tweezers." He also chaired a session in the "Photons and Neurons" conference. Doctoral student Bryan Black presented a talk on "Rotation of microscopic objects in fiber optic trap." Undergraduate student Nelson Cardenas presented a talk on "Tunable near-Infrared dispersive quantitative phase microscopy." Undergraduate student Alex Villalobos received an SPIE travel award to attend the conference and gave a talk on "All-optical control of neuronal function via optical delivery of light-sensitive proteins and optogenetic stimula-tion."
    The Photonics magazine website highlighted Mohanty as one of the experts in the field of biomedical optics and singled out papers from the Biophysics group at the conference.
    For more, click here.
Six College of Science students among new cohort of McNair Scholars Program students
    The McNair Scholars Program at the University of Texas at Arlington has announced its new cohort of Scholars. The cohort includes six College of Science students: Darrelle Colinot, Biology; Norma Ghanem, Mathematics/Linguistics; Cezanne Narcisse, Physics; Jean-Luc Nshimiyimana, Biochemistry/French; Bailey Sayles, Biology/Biomedical Engineering; Khanh Vu, Biology.
    The McNair Scholars Program is designed to prepare qualified UT Arlington undergraduates for graduate study culminating in the Ph.D. The program thus provides many benefits to assist scholars to become more competitive in the graduate school application process, leading to their admission to top-ranked programs and facilitating a smooth integration into graduate-level work.
    For more on the McNair Scholars Program, click here.
Gurdemir comments on Fox 4 news about bright meteor in North Texas sky on Feb. 1

    Levent Gurdemir, director of The Planetarium at UT Arlington, commented on KDFW's Fox 4 News at 5 and Fox 4 News at 9 on February 1 about the very bright meteor that lit up the North Texas sky that night.
    Gurdemir said he believes the meteor, which was seen as far north as Kansas and as far south as San Antonio, was caused by space debris entering Earth's atmosphere and streaking through the sky. He noted that such occurrences are common on Earth, but most meteors aren't seen because they occur over oceans.
    See the TV news story here.

NPR website features Scotese animation of 850 million years of continental drifting
    An animation by Christopher Scotese, recently retired professor of earth and environmental sciences at UT Arlington, was featured on the National Public Radio website. The animation accompanied a story about a Yale researcher's theory about the next big supercontinent, Amasia.
    Scotese's illustration demonstrates 850 million years of continent movement in just over one minute.
    See the animation and accompanying story here.
Physics Department holds workshop on nanotechnology for radiation detection

    The UT Arlington Department of Physics hosted a Homeland Security Workshop on February 1 in the Planetarium at UT Arlington. The workshop focused on Nanotechnology for Radiation Detection, a project being funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Home Security's Academic Research Initiative program.
    Wei Chen, associate professor of physics, is principal investigator of the five-year, $1.3 million project. During the workshop, he delivered an overview of the project titled, "Energy Transfer Based Nanomaterials for Radiation Detection."
    Keynote speakers were Dr. Edward McKigney, Dr. Markus Hehlen and Dr. Nickolaus Smith, all of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.

Chemists publish study on fitness, wellness
and obesity in Journal of Chromatography

    Chemistry and Biochemistry Department faculty members Haixiao Qiu, Eranda Wanigasekara, Ying Zhang, Tran Tran and Daniel Armstrong recently published findings from an obesity, fitness and wellness study in the Journal of Chromatography.
    The study, "Development and evaluation of new zwitterionic Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography stationary phases based on 3-P, P-diphenylphosphonium propylsulfonate," appeared in the November 4, 2011 edition.
    "The analytes examined included: β-blockers, nucleic acid bases and nucleosides, salicylic acid and its analogues, and water soluble vitamins," Qiu and his colleagues wrote.
    For more on the study, click here.