Ezcurra Elected Fellow of the Ecological Society of America

Exequiel Ezcurra, a professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside and director of the UC Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), has been elected a fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

Exequiel Ezcurra

He is one 27 fellows named this year. He was selected for long-time leadership in bringing together research, outreach, education, management, and policy in the creation of natural protected areas and the development of conservation programs.

Fellows are members of the organization who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields, including those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations, and the broader society. They are elected for life.

Ezcurra studies the ecology and conservation of coastal deserts and drylands with particular emphasis in the Sonoran Desert, Baja California, and the Gulf of California. His main areas of interest include conservation science, the ecology and biogeography of coastal deserts, the evolutionary adaptations of desert plants to rapidly changing environments, land-ocean interactions and their impact on both marine and terrestrial environments, the conservation of islands, mangroves, and seamounts in the Gulf of California, the application of ecological theory in biological conservation, and the management of natural resources in areas under traditional use.

Professor Named Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology

Kathy Borkovich

Katherine Borkovich, a professor and chair of the UC Riverside Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

The academy, the leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, recognizes excellence, originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences. She will be recognized at the annual American Society for Microbiology Conference June 2 in New Orleans.

Borkovich, who is also a professor at UC Riverside’s Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, is focused on functional genomics and the signaling pathways used by filamentous fungi to response to the environment, with the goal of identifying genes that control growth, development and pathogenesis.

She is being honored for her research into environmental sensing by heterotrimeric G proteins in fungi, contributions to fungal genomics, leadership of microbiology undergraduate and graduate programs, and for teaching a research-based laboratory course for the microbiology major at UC Riverside.

Read the full article.

Distinguished Professor Awarded Professorship in the UK

Timothy Lyons, distinguished professor and leader of the Alternative Earths Team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the UCR Astrobiology Center, has been awarded a visiting professorship for this summer at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom.

Timothy Lyons

Lyons will use the opportunity to study the Ries Crater, an ancient meteorite impact structure in Bavaria, southern Germany. The crater filled with an alkaline lake soon after its formation 14 million years ago, thus providing an excellent analog for crater lakes on Mars. Those ancient lakes on Mars, as possible sites of past life, are among Lyons’ astrobiological interests.

The funding comes from the Leverhulme Trust, which funds visiting professorships to UK institutions from overseas to enhance the knowledge and skills of their academic faculty and student body.

Professor of Plant Pathology to Recieve Ruth Allen Award

Hailing Jin, a UC Riverside professor of plant pathology and microbiology and Cy Mouradick Endowed Chair, will receive the Ruth Allen Award from The American Phytopathological Society and its annual meeting in August in San Antonio.

Hailing Jin

The award honors individuals who have made an outstanding, innovative research contribution that has changed, or has the potential to change, the direction of research in any field of plant pathology.

Jin is being recognized for her discovery of cross-kingdom RNAi during plant-pathogen interaction, environmental RNA uptake by fungal cells and the potential use of RNA-based fungicides.

Her lab studies the molecular mechanisms of plant immunity and pathogen virulence, with a goal to develop effective and environmentally friendly strategies to control plant diseases and to ensure sufficient food production.

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