Current Research News

Christine Beitl on boat in Ecuador

Beitl studies social networks in rural Ecuador

Christine Beitl studied the management system of a fishery in a rural coastal community, Isla Costa Rica, in Ecuador as a doctoral student in 2009-10. A new collaborative, cross-cultural study prompted her return to the small town this summer – 10 years later. The three-year NSF ENDOW (Economic Network Dynamics and the Origins of Wealth) […]

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Maine Medical Arts

New program combines medicine, arts

Some people consider themselves to be a numbers person, more than a creative type. Others feel drawn to the artistic side of life more than the analytical. Since the 1960s, when Nobel-prize winning research painted a picture of a human brain split straight down the middle – it is believed that humans are either right […]

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Group photo of Arctic Futures Workshop participants in Greenland

Team attends ‘Arctic Futures Workshop’ in Greenland

A multi-disciplinary team of 16 University of Maine System researchers and faculty traveled to southwest Greenland June 21-29 to address 21st century challenges throughout the Arctic, North Atlantic and Maine by experiencing the impacted region first-hand. “Just reading about complex issues is not enough to fully grasp and attempt to develop solutions to the challenges […]

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Professional Opioid Workforce Response

New UMaine program addresses opioid epidemic challenges

Addressing the opioid epidemic in the United States requires expanding access to treatment and work to prevent the more than 130 deaths each day from opioid-related drug overdoses nationwide. Maine’s rate of fatal overdoses due to opioids – the class of drugs that include heroin and morphine as well as fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone – […]

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Asli Sezen-Barrie Engineering K-12 Education

Piecing together engineering puzzle for K-12 educators

Children are born with an innate interest in engineering. As they play, they learn how to stack blocks higher into new shapes or structures, or construct race tracks to give their toy cars enough speed to fly through plastic loops. Children enjoy innovating and problem solving, but how can that interest be fostered in the […]

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Corporate Classroom students pose at the Hannaford headquarters in Scarborough

Students, community, industry benefit from collaborative business opportunities

Six Maine Business School students interned this summer at Hannaford Bros. in Scarborough as part of an innovative program designed to address the needs of the state’s economic community and the needs of scholars. The Corporate Classroom is an internship program supported by the Professional Development Center (PDC), which provides consulting services, professional development education […]

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Conversations on Research

Conversations on Research with Chancellor Page and President Ferrini-Mundy

University of Maine System Chancellor James Page and President Joan Ferrini-Mundy discuss how UMaine research and development have evolved during his seven-year tenure. The Chancellor, who will retire June 30, and the President share their perspectives on the impact of research and development on the future of the University of Maine, the state, and beyond. […]

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Dan Sandweiss and Emily Blackwood at the Ostra Collecting Site in Peru.

Sandweiss, team in Peru study possible evidence of ancient human warfare

Nestled on the Peruvian coast, the Ostra Collecting Station (OCS) is part of a complex of archeological sites that provide an amazing glimpse into the lives of the people who lived there approximately 6,000 years ago. OCS is cradled between the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. Odd shells and fish […]

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Kristina Cammen, PI for the Western Passage IURC project

Western Passage project aims to inform future renewable energy development in Maine

Interdisciplinary multi-institution research collaboration, stakeholder engagement through Western Passage project The Western Passage – located between Eastport, Maine and Canada – is a highly turbulent, biologically active, and socially relevant ecosystem in Eastern Maine considered one of the best locations for tidal power nationwide. Kristina Cammen, assistant professor of marine mammal science, works alongside a […]

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Aaron Joy

Joy’s research focuses on finding solutions to complex mathematical problems

Mathematical tools used to create items such as vacuums, cars and skyscrapers, make the design process streamlined, less expensive and safer. However, with advances in modern science increasingly pushing boundaries, these tools need to be adapted in order to keep up – and avoid potentially costly mistakes. The finite element method is a commonly used […]

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Balu Nayack studies seaweed in lab

Eating seaweed is popular, so researchers investigate if it stands up to the hype

Seaweed food products are trending – but do consumers know what they are buying? Search “eating seaweed” on Google and you’ll get pages of headlines promoting health benefits of consuming the ocean-dwelling algae. “Packed full of vitamins!” “Low in fat and full of fiber!” “Seaweed is a superfood!” In its raw state, seaweed does, in […]

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Drifting with the Tides: A New Beginning, project by Gabrielle Hillyer, studying impacts on local clamming

Hillyer studies Medomak river estuary and impacts on clamming community

Graduate Student Spotlight: Gabrielle Hillyer, Diana Davis Spencer Scholar Gabrielle Hillyer is a duel-degree major in oceanography and marine policy. With support from the UMS Research Reinvestment Fund she has focused her research on the Medomak river estuary and its multiple impacts on local clamming. Her innovative research aims to understand the ability of the […]

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Judy walker and students in lab

Cutting-edge speech therapy for rural populations fills need around the world

Judy Walker travels to a lot of places during a typical day: several spots in Maine, Canada and even Fiji. All without leaving her lab. Walker is an associate professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders and coordinator of the University of Maine Speech Therapy Telepractice Program. She oversees services provided by students and faculty to […]

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Nicole McGrath

Faculty-student team develop device to detect imbalance, prevent falls

For older adults, falling can be fatal. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among people 65 and older in the United States. As the number of older adults increases, the problem could continue to worsen. Undergraduate researchers in the University of Maine WiSe-Net […]

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Fayeza Ahmed, associate director MSLS

MSLS celebrates 45 years of data collection, healthcare impacts

In 1974, emeritus professor of Psychology Dr. Merrill (Pete) Elias started the Maine Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) in Syracuse, New York. Though the purpose of the study at its inception was to examine high blood pressure and cognitive function, the scope was later expanded study the additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease (such as diabetes, […]

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Artist Titi de Baccarat with his sculptures

Researcher in Residence Titi de Baccarat brings light as he shares his culture

Artist Titi de Baccarat leaves exhausted but focused after his month-long residency at the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center (IMRC). “This opened up lots of possibilities. I had twenty-four hour access to the facilities without pressure and a collaborative atmosphere,” he explains. De Baccarat hands over a 3D printed set of ears – exact […]

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Students work in Maginnis Lab

Maginnis Lab supports student research through academic careers

Maginnis Lab supports student research from undergraduate through graduate careers More undergraduate students at the University of Maine have the opportunity to take part in innovative research. This experience carries through into their graduate studies and careers. The Maginnis Lab has students who started their research as first-years and continue it as graduate students. Melissa […]

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Klimis-Zacas and Stefano Vendrame in lab

Wild blueberry study publishes unique findings in wound healing

Researchers discover an interesting source of improved wound healing: the wild blueberry. Wild Blueberries are rich in compounds that beneficially affect human health. Two classes of these compounds are anthocyanins and phenolic acids – which have been documented to have beneficial impacts on chronic diseases. Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, professor of clinical nutrition and Panagiotis Tsakiroglou, who […]

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Seyyed Mohammad Hashemi Najafi

UMaine research goes global with support from OIP

International students at the University of Maine add diversity and enrich the learning experience for all students. They come from a multitude of backgrounds and are some of the best resources in campus to understand a foreign land and its culture. International researchers also richly contribute towards the growing global impact of UMaine research. Anwesha […]

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Jonathan Bomar

Graduate Student Spotlight: Jon Bomar puts his heart into cardiac research

Putting heart into cardiac research Jonathan Bomar joined the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (GSBSE) in the fall of 2014 after earning undergraduate degrees in geological sciences and psychology at Michigan State University. From Geological Sciences to Psychology to Biomedical Engineering – it’s safe to say Bomar’s curiosity is vast and diverse. […]

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Great Ideas meet at new faculty orientation

Research possibilities are endless as new faculty collaborate

New faculty find opportunity to collaborate in an interdisciplinary research project. Nishad Jayasundara studies toxic effects of various chemicals at the cellular level, including those commonly found in Maine waterways. Before coming to the University of Maine, he often wondered about the possibilities of creating a model that could predict the outcome of chemical reactions […]

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Susan Smith at the IMRC

Faculty Profile: Susan Smith explains how research resonates through art

Q&A with Susan Smith, assistant director of the Intermedia Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program You are a graduate of the Intermedia MFA program here at UMaine. How does this help you connect with and understand the students’ challenges? My years of graduate studies expanded my view of the world and how I interact with […]

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Word map of keywords: RRF, aging, sensor, ...

UMaine teams with St. Joseph’s, UMM, UMF and Dartmouth

A research project aimed at providing healthcare providers with tools to prevent patients from falling has grown to include the detection of biomarkers associated with diseases such as pancreatic cancer. John Vetelino, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the principal investigator for the RRF (Research Reinvestment Fund) project “Sensor Development/Adaptation to Improve Healthcare: A […]

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muscular dystrophy research bioinformatics plus zebrafish

Muscular dystrophy research aims to understand muscle degeneration

Using bioinformatics to analyze muscular dystrophy. Benjamin King, assistant professor for bioinformatics, has teamed up with Clarissa Henry, associate professor of biological sciences, to study muscular dystrophy, a progressive genetic disorder that affects muscles in the human body. They have developed a unique tool to study the function of a specific muscular dystrophy gene. Researchers […]

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UMS RRF

A look back on the positive impact of the Research Reinvestment Fund (RRF)

As we head into 2019, we look at the impact funding programs have on university research endeavors. The Research Reinvestment Fund (RRF) has been established by the University of Maine System Board of Trustee’s in an effort to grow research, development, and commercialization activities in Maine.  The RRF program has several competitive grant programs, such […]

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Interior of Greenhouse

Developing an app to revolutionize greenhouse farming in Maine

A monitoring app for greenhouse agriculture in Maine. New media undergraduates at UMaine are developing an innovative monitoring app, MAGAPP, to serve local Maine greenhouses for the Sustainable Year Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative by the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society.  Joline Blais, associate professor of new media, and Bill Giordano, SYRA data coordinator, are overseeing research […]

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Nicklaus Carter in clean room

Innovative research uses nanocellulose to heal peripheral nerve injury

Nicklaus Carter has a lot of experience with tubes and pipes from his days working in construction. Now, he creates a different kind of pipe – a nanocellulose conduit – for use in the medical field. Carter, from Franklin, Maine, is a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. His love […]

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UMaine's Mitchell Center featured in "Nature Sustainability"

UMaine’s Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions Featured in “Nature Sustainability”

The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions’ innovative approach to stakeholder-engaged, solutions-driven, interdisciplinary research was recently highlighted in a news feature in Nature Sustainability. The Mitchell Center was one of twenty institutions from six continents invited to a global summit at the National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Maryland. The central […]

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Elizabeth Armstrong in office

Research to bridge the gap between partner abuse and substance use disorders

In the United States, it’s estimated more than 20 million people age 12 and older have a substance use disorder and more than 10 million women and men experience partner violence. While these issues are often addressed separately, studies show most people affected by partner violence or substance abuse also have needs related to the […]

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The NIH toolbox on a tablet

As Maine’s older adult population grows, research on aging is crucial

Maine’s population is the oldest in the nation, and 11 percent of Mainers live at or below the federal poverty level. These factors make Maine an ideal and critical location to study aging. Rebecca MacAulay, assistant professor of psychology, studies tools and technology used to understand brain health in older adults in her Cognition Aging […]

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Moose in field

Studying tick-borne diseases in an iconic native Maine species: Moose

Winter ticks are causing severe illness in Maine’s iconic moose population. A team of University of Maine researchers examine the biophysical and social impacts of ticks in a uniquely collaborative project. Merging two different sciences into one study. Pauline Kamath, an assistant professor of animal health, Sandra De Urioste-Stone, assistant professor of nature-based tourism and […]

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James Elliott in lab

Graduate Student Highlight: James Elliott

James Elliott, a second-year Master of Science student in the School of Forest Resources from Danvers, Massachusetts, enjoys scuba-diving and collecting insects in his free time. “It’s like Pokémon but real,” said Elliott, who worked in the biotech industry before coming to UMaine. Elliott enjoys getting out of his comfort zone. When he had the […]

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field work

Managing the ecosystem of Maine streams

Stream management practices Hamish Greig, an Assistant Professor of Stream Ecology, is collaborating with foresters, economists and watershed scientists from the University of Maine and Maine logging industry leaders to study Riparian Management – When foresters leave trees that shade a stream to protect its ecosystem. “A riparian buffer is the area of forest adjacent […]

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GSBSE 2018 annual meeting

GSBSE annual meeting fosters research collaboration across Maine

“A small program filled with big opportunities” The Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering (GSBSE) held its annual meeting on September 21 at the University of Maine’s Wells Conference Center. The day featured 42 student presentations (including oral and poster presentations and a 3-Minute Thesis® competition), an award ceremony and the opportunity for faculty […]

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Bridie McGreavy and her team of student researchers

McGreavy and collaborators examine media’s coverage of dam decision-making in Maine

UMaine researchers Bridie McGreavy and Darren Ranco; students Tyler Quiring, Brawley Benson, and Nolan Altvater; and partners in the Natural Resources Department in the Penobscot Nation including Jan Paul, Angie Reed and John Banks are investigating an issue that impacts us all: how news media coverage can shape the public understanding about important science issues. […]

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UMaine Alum Ken Akiha in his classroom at Old Town High School

UMaine alum puts his research into practice at Old Town High School

Ken Akiha researched effective teaching styles for his thesis work at the University of Maine to determine how teachers engage their students for entire class periods. Now, as an Earth science and computer science teacher at Old Town High School, he can apply his findings to his own teaching style. Akiha’s research had an important […]

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Emily Haigh and Colin Bosma

Older adults could hold the key to unlocking the ability to regulate sad mood

As people age, it is common to see a degree of decreased physical and cognitive abilities. One ability that improves with age: managing negative emotions. According to Emily Haigh, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Maine, studies show older adults have an enhanced ability to manage their emotions as they age. She […]

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Jacquelyn Gill and Kristy Townsend

NSF CAREER awards recognize UMaine early-career faculty

Jacquelyn Gill and Kristy Townsend inspire students and researchers at the University of Maine with their passion and dedication to education and research. While their fields of research may be vastly different, they enthusiastically embrace being women in STEM careers and serving as academic role models. It is these qualities that make them ideal candidates […]

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Emma Newcomb looking through telescope at ocean

Undergraduates gain hands-on Maine marine experience

Student researchers collaborate between campuses – and beyond The Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Collaborative (IURC) has funded nine projects in 2018. These projects involve teams of two or more faculty members from different disciplines who mentor undergraduate researchers. The goal is to enhance research through collaborative work and to prepare students to become successful professionals and […]

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Farmer's Ingenuity Innovation

DePoy’s passion fuels research about aging Maine farmers

The unique aspects of Elizabeth (Liz) DePoy’s horse farm, Chapter Three Farm, in Newburgh, Maine are not immediately noticeable. Equipment is lined up neatly along the walls. Hay is stacked in convenient locations. There are the usual sounds of shovels cleaning stalls and horses chomping their mid-day meal. DePoy and her husband, Stephen Gilson, exchange […]

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IURC team outside Merrill Hall

Addressing the problem of rural youth leaving the state

An interdisciplinary team of undergraduate researchers investigates the role of the education system in providing rural youth an opportunity for economic stability in Maine. Dominic Gayton has witnessed firsthand how communities reliant on natural resources for economic stability can suffer when youth leave Maine to find stable work. Gayton, from Calais, Maine, has watched many […]

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Improving Maine's Coastal Infrastructure

Preserving Maine’s Coast: UMaine Researchers Tackle Green Slime Issue

For the past few years, residents of southern Maine’s coastal communities have observed green slime growing on their shores during the spring and summer months. The question is: is this slime, known as an algal bloom, the result of population growth or a natural phenomenon? In order to answer this question, one crew at UMaine’s […]

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Karyn Sporer explains how to code tweets

Sporer uses Twitter to research criminological behavior online

Not all research takes place in a lab with petri dishes and microscopes … Karyn Sporer uses Twitter to investigate criminological theory In the modern era of social media, more than 300 million people use Twitter to share news and engage in online conversations. This provides a glimpse into the minds of a diverse public […]

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image depicting UMaine Cooperative Extension's Follow a Researcher program

Follow ME: UMaine Researchers Connect With Classrooms Through Field Research

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s interactive Follow a Researcher® program connects youth with graduate students conducting fieldwork in remote locations around the world. When University of Maine graduate student Charles Rodda was packing for his research trip to Peru in early 2015, there was only one thing that wouldn’t fit into his suitcase: a […]

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adjusting a laser

Summer Undergraduate Student Research is Underway

Students perform research throughout the year at the University of Maine. Recently, 16 undergraduate projects were awarded $3,000 each from the UMaine Office of the Vice President for Research and NASA’s Maine Space Grant Consortium. The 2018 CUGR Summer Fellowship winners will use these funds to actively pursue their research throughout the summer. There is […]

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IURC food waste project team

Supporting Undergraduate Research: Interdisciplinary Team Tackles Food Waste This Summer

University of Maine faculty mentors are supporting a team of undergraduate student researchers from five key disciplines as they collect and analyze data to better understand food and waste systems and identify opportunities for improvement. Deborah Saber is the principal investigator for the project, “Making Maine’s local food system sustainable: Opportunities to address hunger and […]

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Wireless Leak Detector display

Celebrating UMaine’s First NASA Payload: Wireless Leak Detector Now on Display

Impacting Space Travel – And More In December 2016, the University of Maine’s WiSe-Net laboratory sent technology to the International Space Station (ISS), a device developed by Dr. Ali Abedi, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Vincent Caccese, professor of Mechanical Engineering and a team of student researchers. The Wireless Leak Detector (WLD) technology […]

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List of 2018 Summer Faculty Research Fund winners

Six Faculty Awarded 2018 Summer Faculty Research Funds

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School has announced six winners of the 2018 Summer Faculty Research Funds program. These faculty members represent a broad range of disciplines with a variety of research topics. “I am pleased to see that we have a distinguished group of our faculty […]

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Robert Bonefish

UMaine Research Student Spotlight: Impacting fisheries – Robert Boenish

Robert Boenish believes now is the time for fisheries and marine conservation efforts to become more sophisticated – and his research work at the University of Maine will contribute to the future of how we interact with the ocean. Growing up on a small island off the coast of Washington state, Boenish says his marine-related interests […]

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Students at the Symposium

Inaugural Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Collaborative Grant Winners Announced

Inaugural grant program awards $245,000 to interdisciplinary undergraduate research The Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Collaborative has announced nine winners of its inaugural grant program funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School (OVPRDGS) and the UMS Research Reinvestment Fund (RRF). Funded projects involve teams of two or more […]

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Celebrating Scholarship event banner

Five Faculty Mentors Awarded at Celebrating Scholarship Event

The 2018 Maine Impact Week celebrated the breadth and depth of the University of Maine’s research and creative work at multiple events, April 16-20. During the Celebrating Scholarship event, held at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, five faculty members were recognized for their work as outstanding mentors and were awarded the Graduate […]

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