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Research News

March 30, 2020

In New Book, OU Professor Presents New Theory on LGBTQ Stigma

Merideth Worthen

In a new book, Meredith G. F. Worthen, professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma, presents a groundbreaking theory of LGBTQ stigma – the first-ever theory about stigma that is both testable and well-positioned in existing stigma scholarship. 

In Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies: An Intersectional Examination of LGBTQ Stigma, Worthen introduces Norm-Centered Stigma Theory, which stresses the importance of the interplay between social norms, norm violations and social power. 

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March 30, 2020

COVID-19-Related Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals due April 6


The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) at the OU-Norman Campus, in close partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research at OUHSC, is accepting applications for an unprecedented Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 6, 2020.

Read the full memo

March 19, 2020

Unprecedented Preservation of Fossil Feces from the La Brea Tar Pits: A 50,000-year-old Snapshot of Los Angeles Trapped in Asphalt

La Brea Tar Pit

While Rancho La Brea, commonly known as the La Brea Tar Pits, is famous for its thousands of bones of large extinct mammals, big insights are coming from small fossils, thanks to new excavation and chemical techniques.

Today, a team of researchers from La Brea Tar Pits, the University of Oklahoma and the University of California Irvine report the first coprolites – or fossil feces – ever discovered in an asphaltic – or tar pit – context. These hundreds of fossilized rodent pellets were found during the excavation of a parking garage for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Hancock Park in 2016, which had also yielded the more traditional La Brea fossils, such as extinct mammoths, dire wolves and saber-toothed cats.

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March 10, 2020

Why Taller Grass Can Be Bad News For Grasshoppers


In northeastern Kansas, there's an open-air ecological laboratory called Konza Prairie. Scientists like Ellen Welti go there to study plants, insects, and big animals. "In the spring it has a lot of beautiful flowers, it has bison; everybody should go visit and check it out for themselves," says Welti, who is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oklahoma.

In this landscape, grasshoppers play a crucial role. They eat the grass; birds eat them.

Welti and her colleagues noticed that data collected over the past two decades showed the number of grasshoppers declining. Yet it wasn't for lack of food. The amount of grass on this prairie actually has been increasing, which Welti found "kind of interesting."

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February 20, 2020

A Sub-Neptune Sized Planet Validated with the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder


A multi-university team of researchers has validated that a candidate planet signal originally detected by the Kepler space telescope is an exoplanet—a planet orbiting a star outside of our solar system. The planet, called G 9-40b, is about twice the size of the Earth and orbits its low mass host star (an M dwarf star) only 100 light years away, making it the second-closest transiting planet discovered by the K2 mission to date.

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February 6, 2020

OU Researchers Awarded NASA Grant to Study Emerging Disease Threats, Including the New Coronavirus


An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $730,000 grant from NASA to better understand emerging infectious disease threats in the region of Central Asia, including the 2019 novel coronavirus that is spreading from China. 

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January 31, 2020

OU Study Finds the Fingerprint of Paddy Rice in Atmospheric Methane Concentration Dynamics

Aerial photo of rice terraces

A University of Oklahoma-led study shows that paddy rice (both area and plant growth) is significantly related to the spatial-temporal dynamics of atmospheric methane concentration in monsoon Asia, where 87% of paddy rice fields are situated in the world. Methane is one of the major greenhouse gases. It has a lifetime of 12.4 years and its global warming potential is approximately 86 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

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January 31, 2020

Weather Radar Records Drastic Drop in Mayfly Populations


At the beginning of each summer, mayfly larvae emerge from bodies of water and shed their skin to become full-fledged mayflies, similar to how caterpillars become butterflies. Then, all at once, a swarm of these insects simultaneously takes flight to reproduce, acting as an important component in the food chain for birds. 

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January 14, 2020

OU Launches $9 Million Research Collaboration with Peruvian University

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia

The University of Oklahoma has entered an agreement to develop a $9 million program of joint research with Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, one of Peru’s largest and oldest public research universities. 

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January 14, 2020

U.S. HUPO Honors OU Researcher with New Investigator Award

Professor Si Wu

University of Oklahoma researcher Si Wu has been selected as a winner of the Robert J. Cotter New Investigator Award, presented by the U.S. Human Proteome Organization. 

The award is presented to individuals early in their careers in recognition of significant achievements in proteomics, or the large-scale study of proteins. 

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January 11, 2020

University of Oklahoma Research Team Helps Weather-Weary Ag Industry

summer storm clouds over wheat field

You don’t have to look far to find news, opinions and studies about our world’s changing climate and its effects on humans. But what is less accessible is how a changing climate impacts beef cattle production. A team of scientists and researchers from across the region set out to answer this and other questions during the Great Plains Grazing project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

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January 8, 2020

Cancer Researcher Receives OU’s First National Institutes of Health MERIT (R37) Award to Develop Precision Radiation Delivery Tool

cancer cells

The quest to conquer cancer is motivating a team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma to develop a 3D scanner capable of guiding the radiation treatment, dispensing just the right amount of radiation to just the precise location, making real-time adjustments as treatment is delivered. 

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