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Nectar Research Leads to Sweet Breakthrough

Mengyuan Jia, IBS graduate student, removes nectar from flowers of a plant.

Alexie Larson, biology major, prepares nectar samples for analysis.

Clay Carter, associate professor in the Department of Biology, along with his graduate and undergraduate students, study the genes of nectar yielding plants (Brassicaceae, the mustards and cabbage plant family) to find out how nectar is produced. The group determined that SWEET9 transports sucrose, a sugar used to make nectar. "What that means," Carter explained, "is that the SWEET9 gene is needed by the nectaries for nectar production. When the genes governing SWEET9 were turned off, sugar couldn't move. It built up in the plant stems." Read full article by Zach Lunderberg, External Relations.

Sharp and Goodge Receive Chancellor's Teaching and Research Awards

Angela Sharp, Mathematics and John Goodge, Geology have received the Chancellor's Teaching, Research, and Service awards for 2013-2014. Dr. Sharp received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Dr. Goodge was received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Research.

Women Encouraged to Consider STEM Fields

UMD Faculty, administrators, and even students have been trying new tactics to increase the number of women and minorities interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields.

"One of the biggest issues for UMD is finding women role models," said Penny Morton, SCSE associate dean. "We have been trying to hire more female faculty to help support female students who are looking at careers in STEM fields." Senior electrical engineering student Kayla Wilson thinks adding women faculty is the right thing to do. "So far, I haven't had one female professor," she said. "That adds some extra stress to my classes." Read more in article by UMD External Relations staff Erin Lehman with Cheryl Reitan

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