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August 5, 2019

OU Microbiologists Provide Framework for Assessing Ecological Diversity

Jizhong Zhou

A University of Oklahoma team of microbiologists have developed a mathematical framework for quantitatively assessing ecological diversity in an ecological community whether deterministic or stochastic. A recent study by the team published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the mechanisms controlling biological diversity and provides guidance for use of the null-model-based approaches for examining processes within the community.

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August 1, 2019

OU Professor Recipient of DOE Early Career Research Program Funding


A University of Oklahoma assistant professor, Bin Wang, is the recipient of a five-year, $750,869 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science as part of the DOE Early Career Research Program.

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July 29, 2019

OU-led study shows improved estimates of tropical forest area and loss in the Brazilian Amazon in 2000-2017


A University of Oklahoma-led study generated improved annual maps of tropical forest cover in the Brazilian Amazon in 2000-2017 and provided better characterization on the spatio-temporal dynamics of forest area, loss and gain in this region. The Amazon basin has the largest tropical forests in the world. 

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July 23, 2019

A case study in happy extremophiles: The touchy science behind achieving a pure, thriving culture of methanotrophs

Petri plate with colonies of a methanotrophic microorganism. Photo courtesy Christopher Abin

If asked to describe your ideal environment, the odds are you wouldn’t opt for somewhere exceedingly salty, with an acidic pH or a dense supply of methane. However, some organisms (with fewer cells and vastly different standards than you and me) would say that sounds just about perfect. 

Read full article on Sanford Lab

July 15, 2019

OU Research Team Developing New Methodology and Smart Wellbore Materials for Geothermal Drilling


A University of Oklahoma research team is developing smart lost circulation materials that use shape memory polymers activated by geothermal temperatures to prevent the loss of fluid in fractured rocks near the wellbore. These materials expand within the fractures to reduce non-drilling time and strengthen the wellbore in high-temperature drilling operations.

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July 9, 2019

OU’s Radar Team Developing Automated Calibration System for Driverless Automobiles


A University of Oklahoma Advanced Radar Research Center team is collaborating with Metawave, a California company, to develop a newly-designed radar that has the potential to serve as one of the most important sensors in the future of the automotive industry. The OU team assisted with the automation of the calibration system used to electronically steer antennas when making critical driving decisions quickly, safely and smoothly.

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June 24, 2019

OU Study Explores ‘Rainbow Wave’ and Identity Gaps in LGBTQ Liberal Political Perspectives

Catalysis

A University of Oklahoma study explores the so-called ‘rainbow wave’ of LGBTQ voters that emerged during the Trump presidency. Specifically, the study examines sexual, gender and queer identity gaps in liberalism among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults collected by Survey Sampling International after the November 2018 polls. The OU study works toward a deeper understanding of the political motivations of LGBTQ people.

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June 19, 2019

OU Physicists Shed Light on Novel Mott State Observed in Twisted Graphene Bilayers at the 'Magic Angle'

Catalysis

A University of Oklahoma physics group sheds light on a novel Mott state observed in twisted graphene bilayers at the ‘magic angle’ in a recent study just published in Physical Review Letters. OU physicists show the Mott state in graphene bilayers favors ferromagnetic alignment of the electron spins, a phenomenon unheard of in conventional Mott insulators, and a new concept on the novel insulating state observed in twisted graphene bilayers.

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May 13, 2019

OU-Led Study Expands Understanding of Bacterial Communities for Global Next-Generation Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Systems

Catalysis

A University of Oklahoma-led interdisciplinary global study expands the understanding of activated sludge microbiomes for next-generation wastewater treatment and reuse systems enhanced by microbiome engineering. Wastewater treatment and reuse are critical to global health and sustaining a world population predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050.

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May 2, 2019

OU Study on Explosive Volcanism as Driver of Earth’s Ice Age Provides Lessons for Today’s Rising CO2 Levels

Catalysis

A University of Oklahoma-led study recently found that explosive volcanic eruptions were at least 3-8 times more frequent during the peak of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age (~360 to 260 million years ago). Aerosols produced by explosive volcanism helped keep large ice sheets stable, even when CO2 levels increased, by blocking sunlight. But the volcanic emissions also may have started a cascade of effects on the climate system that resulted in additional CO2 removal from the atmosphere.

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April 24, 2019

SBIR Road Tour - Small technology firms and innovators, America's largest seed fun is coming to Oklahoma City.

Catalysis

The 2019 SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies to the country’s largest source of early stage funding – the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs provide over $3 billion in funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas.

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April 1, 2019

OU Engineers Discover Novel Role of Water in Production of Renewable Fuels

Catalysis

University of Oklahoma engineers in collaboration with the University of Tulsa have discovered a novel approach for the water-assisted upgrading of the renewable chemical, furfural, doubling or tripling the rate of conversion.

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March 25, 2019

OU Study Finds Climate Warming Accelerates Tallgrass Prairie Biodiversity

Tall prairie experiment

A University of Oklahoma study on climate warming in an Oklahoma tallgrass prairie has implications for understanding and predicting ecological consequences of climate change and ecosystem management strategies. More rapid changes in biodiversity are expected in a warmer world. In addition, ecosystem functions and services may become more vulnerable as the structure of an ecosystem is linked to the functions it performs, which may provide positive or negative feedback to climate warming.

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March 22, 2019

Citizen Science Programs Provide Valuable Data on Intermittent Rivers in Southwestern United States

Citizen Scientists

A University of Oklahoma-led project is showing how citizen science programs provide valuable data on rivers in southwestern United States. The datasets of ecological and hydrological data obtained from intermittent rivers (rivers that dry at some point in space or time) in Arizona are input into a nationwide network. Trained citizen scientists are mapping three rivers in Arizona: the San Pedro River, Cienega Creek and Agua Fria River.

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March 12, 2019

OU Neuroscientists Find Brain Pathway Supporting an Intersection of Taste and Pain

Chilli Peppers

University of Oklahoma neuroscientists have found a pathway in the brain where taste and pain intersect in a new study that originally was designed to look at the intersection of taste and food temperature. This study was the first time researchers have shown that taste and pain signals come together in the brain and use the same circuitry. OU neuroscientists received a five-year, $1.6 million National Institutes of Health grant to study this concept.

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March 8, 2019

OU Leading $2.3 Million NOAA Grant to Build Resilience to Weather and Climate Extremes in South Central U.S. Communities

ISS-52 Hurricane Harvey 28 August 2017

The University of Oklahoma-led Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, a multi—institutional stakeholder driven research team, is the recipient of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant totaling $2.3 million over three years. SCIPP was established in 2008 to help south central U.S. communities build resilience to weather and climate extremes. 

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February 6, 2019

OU Study Finds Insects Crave Salt and Search Grasslands for the Limiting Nutrient

Grasslands

A University of Oklahoma team from the Geographical Ecology Group has published a new study in the journal Ecology on the nutritional preferences of diverse insect communities from Texas to Minnesota. The OU team conducted 54 experiments in both grazed and ungrazed grasslands to determine the salt cravings of insects and the types of insects that crave salt. The OU team found that insects not only crave salt, but will search for it in their grassland habitats.

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February 4, 2019

OU Astrophysicist Modeling the Early Stages of Solar Systems

Rendering of early solar system

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist, Nathan Kaib, is modeling the early stages of the formation of the solar system with a new algorithm that will allow computer simulations to run on graphic processing units at the OU Supercomputing Center for Education and Research. Also, Kaib is modeling early stages of planets within binary star systems to understand how these planets are affected by nearby stellar neighbors.

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February 1, 2019

OU Researcher Developing New Approach for Early Intervention of Lupus

Si Wu

A University of Oklahoma researcher, Si Wu, and collaborators from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Indiana University, are developing new strategies leading to diagnosis and early intervention of Lupus, an autoimmune disease that may affect up to 1.5 million Americans. The National Institutes of Health is funding the OU research with a $2 million grant over a five-year period.

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January 29, 2019

OU & Smithsonian Address Challenges of Curating Ancient Biomolecules

Smithsonian Collection

University of Oklahoma researchers, led by Courtney Hofman and Rita Austin, in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, are addressing the challenges of curating ancient biomolecules and working toward the development and dissemination of best practices.

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January 25, 2019

OU Postdoctoral Researcher Wins Society for Freshwater Science Hynes Award

Daniel Nelson

A University of Oklahoma postdoctoral research fellow, Daniel Nelson, is the 2019 winner of the Hynes Award from the Society for Freshwater Science. Nelson, an early career researcher in the OU Biology Department, served as senior author on a recent outstanding publication and is being honored with this distinguished award at the society’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City in May.

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January 8, 2019

Young Planets Orbiting Red Dwarfs May Lack Ingredients for Life

Young Planets Orbiting Red Dwarfs May Lack Ingredients for Life

Rocky planets orbiting red dwarf stars may be bone dry and lifeless, according to a new study using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Water and organic compounds, essential for life as we know it, may get blown away before they can reach the surface of young planets.

Read Article on Hubblesite.org

December 19, 2018

OU Classified as 2018 Carnegie Institution Top Tier Research University

OU's Cecil Lewis in the lab.

The University of Oklahoma announced today that it has achieved the 2018 Carnegie Institution’s Very High Research Activity classification. With this designation, OU is among the nation’s top 120 doctoral-degree granting institutions in the 2018 top research category. OU made history in 2010 as the first public institution in Oklahoma to receive the Carnegie top tier research university classification and was classified again as a top tier research institution in 2015.
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November 27, 2018

OU Biologist and Director of Environmental Studies Elected AAAS Fellow


A University of Oklahoma biologist and director of environmental studies, K. David Hambright, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in the field of freshwater plankton biology, particularly for contributions to understanding food web structure and function across multiple trophic levels
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November 07, 2018

OU's K20 Center Receives $68M in GEAR UP Funding

K20 Gear Up Kids

2018 GEAR UP partnership awards, totaling more than $68 million in funding over the course of seven years. With these awards, the K20 Center has an opportunity to make a significant impact on the quality of education in 46 schools and more than 12,000 students across Oklahoma, many of which have been deeply affected by issues such as poverty and teacher shortages.
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October 26, 2018

OU Professors to Lead Global Research on Bluegreen Algae in Freshwaters

Scooping up algae

University of Oklahoma professors, Karl D. Hambright and Lee R. Krumholz, will lead a global research team to study one of the most common environmental problems—freshwater toxic cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) blooms, which threaten freshwater lakes and pose substantial health risks to humans, pets, livestock and wildlife. The group will address the fundamental interactions between cyanobacteria and other bacteria co-occurring with the blooms.
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October 23, 2018

New Study Examines Attitudes Toward LGT Individuals

Worthen

OU sociologist examines how measures of social contact and social distancing relate to attitudes toward lesbian, gay and transgender individuals.

A University of Oklahoma sociologist, Meredith G. F. Worthen, examines how measures of social contact and social distancing relate to attitudes toward lesbian, gay and transgender individuals in a new study.
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October 3, 2018

OU Radar Team Developing Testbed


The University of Oklahoma Advanced Radar Research Center is developing an all-digital polarimetric phased array mobile radar testbed with a $5.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research, to address significant near-term obstacles and fulfill many operational missions.
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September 26, 2018

OU's SMART-R Team Data Reveals Threats During Hurricane Florence Landfall

Alord Operating Radar

The University of Oklahoma Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching radar team set up a mobile C-band radar on the shoulder of I-140 on the Cape Fear River bridge west of Wilmington, North Carolina, during Hurricane Florence landfall. Four OU and Purdue University portable integrated precipitation systems were placed in open fields southwest of Wilmington to measure raindrop sizes, winds, temperature, humidity and pressure.
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September 10, 2018

OU IT Team Receives NSF Instrumentation Grant for Research Data Archiving

Sooner Bassue

A University of Oklahoma team is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant in the amount of $967,755 for a new academic research data storage instrument—a massive tape archive known as the OU and Regional Research Store, which will serve as a national model for affordable, large-scale, multi-institutional storage.
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April 13, 2018

Oklahoma Researchers Tapped to Study Antarctic Glacier and Its Impact on Rising Sea Levels

Walter and Nakata

Oklahoma Geological Survey State Seismologist Jake Walter and University of Oklahoma Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Assistant Professor Nori Nakata have been selected to take part in a $25 million research collaboration to study a remote Antarctic glacier and how its collapse could significantly affect global sea levels.
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November 4, 2017

6 ways climate change and disease helped topple the Roman Empire

Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_Destruction_1836

Americans have always loved to compare themselves to the ancient Romans. Our political language and ideology are suffused with Latin influences like “capitol,” “forum,” and “senate”; the neoclassical style is our federal architecture; our very model of a constitutional republic is deeply indebted to Rome’s example.
Read article on Vox.com