Art History Grad Students to Take Part in Exchange Program with FAU-Erlangen

Ten graduate students in art history will visit Germany this summer as part of a developing exchange program with the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU-Erlangen). It is the first time art history students from UCR will have made an excursion to Europe, an activity that Jeanette Kohl, associate professor of art history, hopes will be the first of many.

“It’s important for our students to start early in their career to network internationally,” Kohl said. “I hope our students will keep the transcontinental connections they make throughout their careers. It can be a very formative experience.”

It also will provide students an opportunity to improve their German language skills, a requirement of UCR graduate students in art history.

The 10-day trip in June will be the first to Europe for most, if not all, of the students, Kohl said, and would not be possible without funding for airfare and hotels provided by Michael Pazzani, vice chancellor for research; Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; and Dallas Rabenstein, executive vice chancellor and provost.

Erlangen became a Riverside Sister City in 2011, and the following year UCR signed a memorandum of understanding with FAU-Erlangen to exchange scholars, researchers, and students.

Twelve art history graduate students from FAU-Erlangen visited UCR in October 2013 for a workshop in which M.A. and Ph.D. students from both universities presented their research.

In Germany, UCR students will participate in a one-day workshop in Erlangen, and will visit the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg, the capital of German Renaissance Art as well as historical sites in the cities of Bamberg, Wuerzburg and Frankfurt. Kohl and Kristoffer Neville, assistant professor of art history, will present a public lecture at the German-American Institute in Nuremberg.

The excursion is meant to be the beginning of an ongoing exchange between both departments and their students, Kohl explained, and may also involve the exchange of individual graduate students studying at FAU-Erlangen for a semester or two. Faculty from both universities also are discussing a collaborative project that may focus on the arts and culture of Southern California, perhaps with a focus on photography that would involve the UCR/California Museum of Photography, she added.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do since I came to UCR five years ago,” Kohl said. “It makes a real difference to be able to be in a museum and see a painting. You see it with different eyes. You see the brush strokes, you see the labor involved. It creates new points of discussion.”

Third-hand Smoke Shown to Cause Health Problems

Researchers at UCR has conducted the first animal study on the effects of third-hand smoke, which is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects, ages over time and becomes progressively more toxic.

The team led by Manuela Martins-Green, professor of cell biology, found that the mice exposed to third-hand smoke in the lab had significant lung and liver damage and hyperactivity. And furthermore, the wounds in these mice took longer to heal.

Study results appear in PLOS ONE. The research was funded by a grant to Martins-Green from the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program.

The results of the study provide a basis for studies on the toxic effects of third-hand smoke in humans and serve to inform potential regulatory policies aimed at preventing involuntary exposure to third-hand smoke.

How Safe Is the Enemy of a Citrus-threatening Pest?

A UCR study shows Tamarixia radiata, a natural enemy of the Asian citrus psyllid, poses negligible environmental risk.

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) spreads the lethal and incurable citrus disease known as huanglongbing (HLB) that threatens the multi-billion dollar global citrus industry.

In 2011, for the first time UCR entomologists releasedTamarixia radiata in a citrus grove in Riverside to help control the psyllid.

Results from Federally mandated tests performed at UCR now show thatTamarixia radiata is indeed safe for the environment and poses no undue risk to other insects, humans or pets.

“Our work demonstrates that Tamarixia radiata is very specific to the target it is being released to kill — the nymphs of the Asian citrus psyllid in this case,” said Mark Hoddle, the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research, whose lab performed the tests.

Study results appear in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Hoddle was joined in the study by Raju Pandey, a former postdoctoral researcher in his lab and working now with the Citrus Research Board.

The research was supported by a California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crops Grant and a Citrus Research Board grant.

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