2017 Graduate Assistant Awardees

Optimizing stand composition and forest regeneration strategies by improving understanding of important biological controls

Principal Investigator: Alessio Mortelliti (UMaine, Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology) Partners: Joseph Zydlewski (US Geological Survey), Brian Roth (UMaine, Center for Research on Sustainable Forests) Aaron Weiskittel (UMaine, School of Forest Resources), and Laura Kenefic (US Forest Service) Abstract: Forests and forest products play a major role in Maine’s economy and 97% of the forest […]

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SmilePartners: Oral Health as an Economic Development Strategy

Principal Investigator: Alireza Geshnizjani (UMF, Community Heath Education Program) Partners: Clyde Mitchell (UMF, Business Economics) and Becca Matusovich (USM, Muskie School of Public Service, Cutler Institute) Abstract: Preventable dental disease is a major cause of lost school and work days, and one of Maine’s leading causes of avoidable emergency room visits for pain and infection, especially […]

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Assessing Novel Helical Anchor Design Capacity in Soils for Marine Renewable Energy and Aquaculture Applications

Principal Investigator: Melissa Landon (Civil & Environmental Engineering, UMaine) Partner: Aaron Gallant (Civil & Environmental Engineering, UMaine), Richard Akers (Maine Marine Composites), Krish Thiagarajan (Mechanical Engineering, UMaine), Andrew Goupee (Mechanical Engineering, UMaine) Abstract: This project aims to assess a novel composite helical anchor for marine renewable energy and aquaculture applications by partnering with a Maine-based company, Maine Marine Composites […]

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3D Printed Microfluidics for Directing Cardiomyogenesis on Chip

Principal Investigator: Rosemary Smith (Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, UMaine) Partners: Douglas Sawyer, MD (Maine Medical Center), Scott D. Collins (LASST and Chemistry, UMaine) Abstract: This Graduate RA project will explore the application of 3D printing technology to realize microfluidic control of the chemical environment of pluripotent cell cultures, with application to directing cardiomyogenesis in vitro. This […]

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Biobased Lubricants and Fuels: Integration of Chemical Catalysis with Mixed Culture Fermentation

Principal Investigator: Thomas Schwartz (Chemical and Biological Engineering, UMaine) Partners: Peter van Walsum (Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, UMaine), Scott J. Eaton (Maine Maritime Academy) Abstract: Motivated by a shale-gas-driven shift to lighter (C1-C3) petroleum feedstocks, we propose to demonstrate that biomass is a suitable alternative for the production of high-carbon-number, value-added chemicals. In particular, we […]

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Graduate student support to continue UM’s lead role in the Dragonfly Mercury Project across US National Parks

Principal Investigator: Sarah Nelson (School of Forest Resources, UMaine) Partners:  Hamish Greig (School of Biology and Ecology, UMaine), Amanda Klemmer (Ecology and Environmental Sciences and School of Biology and Ecology, UMaine), Collin Eagles-Smith (U.S. Geological Survey), Colleen Flanagan Pritz (National Park Service) Abstract: The Dragonfly Mercury Project (DMP) engages citizen scientists in monitoring mercury contamination […]

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Variable Porosity Nanocellulose Solid Forms for Biomedical Applications

Principal Investigator: Michael Mason (Chemical and Biological Engineering, UMaine) Partners: Douglas Bousfield (CHEME, UMaine), Ian Dickey (Colorado Limb Consultants) Abstract: Biomedical and material scientists and engineers are constantly seeking to develop new materials or new applications of existing materials, that address existing and emerging challenges in human health. Dehydrated cellulose Nano-fiber (CNF), produced here at UMaine, is […]

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Vascularized Polymers for Spatially and Temporally Controlled Cell Stimulus

Principal Investigator: Caitlin Howell (Chemical and Biological Engineering, UMaine) Partners: Sandra Rieger (MDI Biological Laboratory), Douglas Currie (USM) Abstract: Nature uses vascular systems to facilitate and control many adaptable and dynamic responses of living tissue surfaces. In this work, we will use a new approach to create polymer surfaces designed to control cell stimuli both spatially […]

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Norbornene functionalized carboxymethyl cellulose hydrogels for organotypic cochlear culture

Principal Investigator: William Gramlich (Chemistry, UMaine) Partners: Basile Tarchini (The Jackson Laboratory) Abstract: Biomedical researchers studying cochlear development desire 3D cell and organ culture materials that mimic the spatiotemporal nature of the native extracellular matrix (ECM). In the proposed work, norbornene functionalized carboxymethyl cellulose (NorCMC) hydrogels will be investigated to retain the structure and viability […]

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An Integrated Approach to Realizing the Value of Maine’s Forest Resources

Principal Investigator: Adam Daigneault (School of Forest Resources, UMaine) Partners: Ryan D. Wallace (Maine Center for Business and Economic Research) Mindy Crandall (School of Forest Resources, UMaine) Abstract: Forests provide many critical ecosystem services, including production of fiber resources, carbon sequestration, protection of freshwater, and preservation of cultural values. In Maine, the economy depends heavily on the resource, […]

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