A discovery from Xuecai Ge's lab is lending insight as to how erroneous cell signals lead to disease and birth defects.

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Michele Nishiguchi was one of seven women honored by UC Merced's Division of Equity, Justice, & Inclusive Excellence.

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Shahar Sukenik was named a Sloan Research Fellow.

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Kinjal Dasbiswas was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. 

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Matthew Hutchinson's collaborative efforts have provided some of the first real-time evidence that show how different species respond to extreme weather events. 

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UC Merced's Academic Senate Distinguished Faculty and Non Senate Faculty Awards

Four SNS Faculty were recipients this year:

Toni Stone

Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching by a Non Senate Faculty Member

Linda Hirst

Distinguished Graduate Teaching and Mentorship by a Senate Faculty Member

Ajay Gopinathan

Excellence in Faculty Mentorship

Lin Tian

Distinction in Research

Graduate Students

Chemistry alumnus Anthony Alfaro and current Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student Andrew DeMello are recipients of the 2024 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

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Physics graduate student Anuvetha Govindarajan and QSB graduate student Jocelyn Ornelas-Munoz received fellowships from SandboxAQ.

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UC Merced Grad Slam

Three School of Natural Sciences' Graduate students took part in this year's UC Merced Grad Slam competition. Quantitative and Systems Biology student Ambarish Varadan won the chance to compete at the UC Systemwide Grad Slam.

Here are the School of Natural Science students who competed in the local Grad Slam:

Cayce Fylling

Applied Math

Research: Cayce's research focuses on computationally modeling the dynamic motion patterns of swarms or collectives of living agents, with a particular emphasis on bacterial colony behavior.

Pravien Rajaram

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Research:  Pravien's research poject aims to use sunlight to increase the production of medicinal compounds in plants.

Ambarish Varadan

Quantitative and Systems Biology

Research: Ambarish is part of the Grasis Lab, where he is investigating whether and by what mechanism(s) bacteriophages activate human intestinal epithelial cells.

Undergraduate Students

Outstanding Graduating Senior Award Winners

Each semester the School of Natural Sciences recognizes exceptional graduating undergraduate students with ‘Outstanding Graduating Senior Awards’. Students are nominated and selected by the faculty who oversee their major. Awardees are selected based on criteria including academic excellence, achievements in research, service to UC Merced, and community service and outreach. This semester’s winners were recognized during an awards reception on April 29th:


Ronald Map: Applied Mathematics

Alondra Maravilla: Applied Mathematics

Conor Olive: Applied Mathematics

Charles Hu: Biological Sciences

Neel Kaushik: Biological Sciences

Nicholas Chu: Biological Sciences

Angela Lomeli-Flores: Biological Sciences

Sahil Malhi: Biological Sciences

Andrew DeMello: Chemistry

Melissa Rivas Hernandez: Environmental Systems Science

Izaiha Martinez: Physics

Arbor Day Celebraton

SNS staff and faculty participated in UC Merced's Arbor Day Celebration by planting a red maple tree which symbolizes vibrancy and endurance.

Get to Know our SNS Staff

Meet Mel Everett Alexandra: They/them/theirs

Mel Graduated from UC Merced in 2022 with a degree in Applied Mathematical Sciences B.S. Mel is Currently works as the Interdepartmental Program Manager (QSB)

I briefly learned how to crochet when I was 16, but my only project was a giant rectangle attempting to be a blanket. A few years later, I visit my partner’s family for Christmas, and his mom gifted me a blanket crochet kit. I continued on and off again until October 2023, when I bought a crochet kit to relearn the basics – my goal at the time was to say I finished one project. From that kit, I made a little ghost (Figure 1)!  

From there, I was hooked (pun intended)! I made bags, baby onesies, sweaters, book sleeves, blankets, but my main creations are amigurumi (plushies). I recently started documenting my “makes” on Instagram (@everettscrochet), and after running out of space in my home, I made customs for friends and coworkers. Below are some from my collection. 

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