Highlights from 2014

Professor Tom Livinghouse and graduate students Bryce Sunsdahl and Adrian Smith published the paper in the Dec. 22 issue of the German chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. The highly technical paper explains how the team in MSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry developed an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to produce carbon-nitrogen and carbon-carbon bonds commonly found in antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals for humans and animals. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (12/26/14)

Paleontologist David Varricchio coauthored a paper published in the journal Science finding that birds definitelydescended from dinosaurs. MSU News (12/11/14), Great Falls Tribune (12/18/14), Billing Gazette (12/22/14)

Article in the Great Falls Tribune about Amaya Garcia Costas’ work in the Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge near the central Montana town of Rapelje. Costas, a environmental microbiologist and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is investigating the role microorganisms can play in reclamation and restoration. Great Falls Tribune (12/10/14)

Laura Burkle, ecology, is quoted in this article in the Science section of The New York Times about research into the worldwide decline in bee populations. The New York Times (11/25/14)

David Parker, political science, had an article published in The Washington Post about the selection of Senator Jon Tester to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The Washington Post (11/20/14)

Terrific story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle about English professor Robert Bennett’s research projects and his new book Deconstructing Brad Pitt. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (11/13/14)

Heart-warming story in The Antarctic Sun about the Weddell seals studied by Jay Rotella and Robert Garrott, Department of Ecology. The Antarctic Sun (11/6/14)

Eric Boyd, microbiology and immunology, is the deputy director of the “Rock-Powered Life” team led by the University of Colorado and funded with a new five-year grant from NASA. Scientists from a variety of disciplines and institutions will work together to understand how rocks and water interact at low temperatures to release energy capable of supporting microbial life. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (10/23/14)

David Parker, political science, is quoted in this Los Angeles Times article about whether being a veteran helps political candidates. Los Angeles Times (10/24/14)

David Parker, political science, is interviewed on local news station KBZK about mailers about the race for Montana’s Supreme Court that were mailed to Montana households. KBZK (10/24/14)

Several L&S faculty members are quoted in this Bozeman Daily Chronicle article about the increase in student numbers, and the impacts more students are having on classroom space, parking, etc. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (8/29/14)

David Parker, political science, provides commentary for this CNN article about Montana’s U.S. Senate race. CNN (8-26-14)

A research project by faculty and students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry on the impacts UV light has on DNA is featured in the Great Falls Tribune article. Professor Bern Kohler is quoted. Great Falls Tribune (8-21-14)

David Parker, political science, is quoted in this article about Amanda Curtis’ chances in the Montana race for the U.S. Senate. Curtis was selected as the democratic candidate after U.S. Senator John Walsh pulled out of the race to keep his seat. Chicago Tribune (8/16/14)

Fantastic article in the New York Times about Scott Creel, ecology, and his work with African wild dogs. New York Times (8/11/14)

David Parker, political science, provides commentary on allegations that U.S. Senator John Walsh’s thesis written for the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages that appear to be taken word-for-word from previously published papers. Billings Gazette (7/23/14), WECT (7/24/14), Missoulian (7/23/14)

MSU will be the lead institution on a new $10 million, four-year project to form a research center focused on innovative energy research. John Peters, chemistry, is the lead principal investigator on the proposal and will direct the center. KXLF.com (7/11/14)

Earth Sciences doctoral candidate John Scannella and three co-authors reveal new insights into the evolution of Triceratops, based on more than 50 specimens that have been collected in recent years from the Hell Creek Formation in Eastern Montana. KPTV (7/1/14), Examiner.com (6/30/14), KWCH (7/1/14), Bozeman Daily Chronicle (7/4/14), Sci-Tech Today (7/3/14)

Seth Walk, assistant professor in microbiology and immunology, was awarded a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Walk will use the grant to develop a new tool to study gastrointestinal tract dysbiosis. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (6/5/14), MSU News (6/4/14)

Ben Poulter, ecology, and colleagues recently had results of a study published in the journal Nature. They found that dryland ecosystems, which include deserts to dry-shrublands, play a more important role in the global carbon cycle than previously thought. Climate News Network (6/1/14)

Bob Garrott and Jay Rotella, ecology, are heading a massive new study to understand why the number of bighorn sheep is so low in Montana. The $1.2 million, six-year collaborative research project will investigate the complex issue from all angles and levels, ranging from the molecular to the ecosystem. Bozeman Daily Chronicle (5/31/14), Helena Independant Record (6/1/14), Bozeman Daily Chronicle (6/1/14)

L.J. Krumenacker, a doctoral student in earth sciences, and MSU paleontologist David Varricchio are part of a research team that discovered the most productive and diverse dinosaur fossil site known in Idaho. KXLF.com (5/21/14), Bozeman Daily Chronicle (5/27/14), Missoulian (6/7/14), Billings Gazette (6/7/14)

Maggie Greene, history, scanned and uploaded vintage ’Star Wars’ comic books to the internet on her blog. Greene purchased the books for roughly one American dollar at a Shanghai book fair while researching her dissertation between 2010 and 2011. South China Morning Post (5/26/14), Rolling Stone (5/28/14), Shanghaiist (6/3/14)

Berk Knighton, chemistry, is interviewed for this article about a BOREALIS high-altitute ballooning project. Knighton is the flight director for the Montana Space Grant Consortium’s BOREALIS program. A team of students successfully designed a valve allowing them to control how long and high to fly the balloon before commanding a tiny tethered dart to pop the latex. KBZK.com (4/26/14)

Research by Vince Smith, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, is mentioned in this Washington Post op-ed by George Will. Washington Post (4/14/14)

Steven Kalinowski, ecology, is quoted in this article about a research project he is involved in examining wildlife crossings spanning the Trans-Canada Highway. Kalinowski and his colleagues have found that the crossings are effective at allowing grizzly and black bears to spread their genes. The results of the study were published in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Billings Gazette (2/23/14)

Article about psychology professor Jessi Smith’s study that found that gender norms about modesty help explain why women don’t feel comfortable bragging about their own accomplishments. TIME (1/20/14), MSU News (1/10/14), Bozeman Daily Chronicle (1/13/14)