Eating fish provides important health benefits, but some fish have toxic contaminants; eating too much of these fish has health risks. In the Great Lakes region, women of child-bearing age and urban anglers are groups that are considered particularly at risk from contaminants in fish. We worked with state agencies to develop and test fish consumption guidelines that encourage these groups to eat safer fish.
As climate change continues to affect our region, this work evaluates the management strategies with which forest owners and managers could reduce the susceptibility of forests to the damaging effects of climate change.
We are studying and developing quantitative models for a newly discovered mechanism is used by cells to regulate their activities on the seconds-minutes timescale. Specific activities include cell cycle progression and the control of vaso-dilation and -contraction.
My work focuses on the ecological and social potential of urban rivers, and especially on integrating changing environmental conditions and cultural values through design. I am interested in how landscape architecture, with its history of constructing beloved outdoor places that are also ecologically resilient, can learn from and contribute to the critical issues and possibilities that come together in urban rivers. My geographic focus includes New York state and South America, in part because these two geographies share many characteristics and histories.
Epilepsy affects several million American citizens. Though there is much research done on epilepsy, little is known about how epilepsy develops. This project utilizes Drosophila (the fruit fly) to identify genes that are involved in the development of epilepsy. We have identified a previously unknown gene that leads to seizures. We are currently determining how this gene leads to the development of seizures.
The question, "Is there other life in the Universe?" is one of the "Big Questions" confronting us. In looking for other life, the assumption is often made that, like life on Earth, it must be water based. But is this assumption true? Maybe life can evolve in a wide variety of conditions. We are performing computational simulations to explore this hypothesis, using the hydrocarbon seas of Titan, a large moon of Saturn, as a test case.
This study, funded by NY Sea Grant, will contribute to oyster restoration efforts in the Hudson/Rariton Estuary (HRE) by developing a new strategy for both optimizing restoration design and evaluating restoration success using cutting-edge genomic methods to track larval dispersal patterns. In the second major objective, analysis of the functional genetics related to survival across diverse HRE habitats will be used to adaptively model which brood stock source population(s) will best serve restoration goals under projected climate-change scenarios.
We are continuing to exploit the transgenic A. thaliana SI model to elucidate the self-incompatibility system of the crucifer family.
Small grains provide multiple benefits to organic farms, but are often underutilized because of their relatively low economic value. Our value added grains project has added value in multiple ways to wheat and specialty grain crops to substantially increase their production and enhance the diversity and sustainability of organic farms. By providing the farmer with rotation options the efficiency of production is increased for the farmer and thereby resulting in higher profits. Specialty grains grown organically are environmentally friendly crops and help reduce soil erosion.
Our research group has conceptualized, developed and patented a new, high-pressure extrusion process for generating expanded microcellular food matrices at low temperature and low shear. This has opened up possibilities for creating new generations of foods as well as nonfood materials. The technology also lends itself to continuous manufacturing of leavened dough without yeast fermentation and rice of improved nutritional quality. New developments in reactive supercritical fluid extrusion have produced new directions for research.