By Sarah Geegan

English professor Erik Reece and Biology professor James Krupa recently released a book that brings to life the history and ecology of one of Kentucky's most important natural landscapes —the Robinson Forest in eastern Kentucky.

"The Embattled Wilderness" depicts the fourteen thousand acres of diverse forest region-- a haven of biological richness-- as endangered by the ever-expanding desert created by mountaintop removal mining. The authors, alternating chapters that focus on the natural and cultural history of the forest, combine their professional knowledge of the area to persuasively appeal for its protection.

Erik Reece, an environmental writer,  explains

Sarah Whelan at NCUR 2013.

By Jenny Wells. Video by Reveal Research Media.

The UK Office of Undergraduate Research, along with SPUR (the Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research), and the UK Student Government Association, will host the eighth annual Showcase for Undergraduate Scholars 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the ballrooms of the UK Student Center. 

Each year, the showcase brings together undergraduates from all disciplines, their faculty mentors, and members of the community to learn about the various types of research being done by undergraduate students at UK. This occasion provides these students the opportunity to demonstrate and discuss their specific projects and the professional advancements the projects helped

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has chosen 12 outstanding undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

By Whitney Hale, Breanna Shelton

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has chosen 12 outstanding undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of a student's junior and senior years, or for the last two years of a five-year program; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK's 12

Biology Professor Catherine Linnen was recently published in the prestigious journal Science for her work with deer mice. Photo courtesy of Catherine Linnen.

By Sarah Geegan

Biology Professor Catherine Linnen recently helped paint a clearer picture of a big evolutionary question, using very small subjects.

Linnen was recently published in the prestigious journal Science for her work with deer mice. These critters provided key insight into understanding how underlying molecular and evolutionary mechanisms function as an organism adapts to new environments.

"In the more than 150 years since the publication of Charles Darwin’s 'Origin of Species,' in which the idea that small, incremental changes can over great distances of time evolve new forms, more modern thought and modern technologies have only reinforced and augmented  Darwin’s grand and dangerous idea,"

UK Biology professor Jeramiah Smith was recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics for his work with genome sequence of the sea lamprey.
By Sarah Geegan

UK Biology professor Jeramiah Smith, collaborating with scientists from 35 other institutions worldwide, was recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics for his work with genome sequence of the sea lamprey.

Lampreys are representatives of an ancient vertebrate lineage that diverged from our own, approximately 500 million years ago.  By virtue of this deeply shared ancestry, the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) genome is uniquely poised to provide insight into the ancestry of vertebrate genomes and fundamentals of vertebrate biology.

"The reason that lampreys are interesting is that they are vertebrates, but are more distantly related from

Basuray and Rogers-Carpenter discuss the course in this podcast.

By Sarah Geegan

A new hybrid course in the College of Arts and Sciences will bridge the gap between to seemingly unrelated areas: art and epidemics.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course will focus on five different diseases: alcoholism, tuberculosis, AIDS, cancer and the plague, through both scientific and humanities approaches. Students will explore opposite ways of conceptualizing, expressing and writing about this common theme. This 3-credit course will be available in the fall 2013 semester, and is open to all students majoring in the humanities or the sciences.

The course is titled, "UKC 310: Art and Epidemics."

Instructors Katherine Rogers-Carpenter and Rita Basuray structured the course to cover the science

Morgan achieved international fame as an experimental zoologist before he devoted his full attention to heredity, the field in which he won his greatest recognition. Morgan discovered the basic mechanisms of heredity and was a pioneering geneticist, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933. Photo courtesy of UK Special Collections.

By Whitney Hale

In celebration of the University of Kentucky's upcoming sesquicentennial in 2015, the 44th of 150 weekly installments remembers early alumnus Thomas Hunt Morgan, a world renowned experimental zoologist and pioneering geneticist.

Thomas Hunt Morgan was born in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 25, 1866. He attended the Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) College of Kentucky (now UK) during the 1880s. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1886 and received a master's degree two years later. Morgan briefly taught natural history at A&M before going east. 

Morgan was a nephew of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan. As a student at A&M, Morgan continued to live at his birthplace, Hopemont, the home of his famous family. The house, on


by Jay Blanton

video by UK Public Relations and Marketing.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto Thursday praised the partnership of Gov. Steve Beshear and legislative leaders who are strongly supporting UK's self-financing of a dramatic $275 million transformation of the campus.

"We are here this morning because of your leadership and your willingness to partner with us, as educational institutions, united to provide Kentucky with the best education, research and service," Capilouto said at a Frankfort news conference with the governor and legislative leaders who are supporting UK's proposal. "In offering your support for us to self-finance facilities that will help dramatically improve and transform our campuses, you are voicing your faith in Kentucky's future as well


by Abby Shields and Casey Jackson

  Schoolwork can get overwhelming for college students, and they need an outlet for fun. For brothers Terren and Skylar Trott, a combination of medical school and research opportunities led them to establish their own extracurricular activity on campus — water polo.   Terren, 26, is a fourth-year medical student at UK, with an interest in pursuing emergency medicine. He completed his bachelor's degree in biological sciences at the University of California at Davis, with a minor in studio art.     "I first was interested in pursuing a doctorate and worked in research labs in undergrad. However, I realized I'd rather be in a field that works with people. Medicine is a good balance of science, research and personally helping

by Derrick Meads & Whitney Hale

Five University of Kentucky students have been awarded scholarships administered by the Institute of International Education to support their study abroad goals.

Four of the students received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship; a congressionally funded scholarship sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

The scholarship supports students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and


by Jenny Wells & Danica Kubly

The University of Kentucky Office for Undergraduate Research recognized and awarded 19 students this week with the Oswald Research and Creativity Program awards.  Diane Snow, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Ben Withers, interim associate provost for Undergraduate Education, were on hand to congratulate the winners and distribute the awards. 

Established in 1964 by then-UK President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Program encourages research and creative activities by undergraduate students at UK. The objectives of the program are to stimulate creative work by undergraduate students, and to


By Sarah Geegan & Tess Perica

University of Kentucky Biology professor Robin Cooper recently won an award from the Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS), commending his excellence in teaching.

The KAS Outstanding College/University Teacher award is not awarded every year, but rather only when the organization sees fit to recognize a particularly excellent professor.

To qualify for the award, recipients must have made some significant contribution primarily to science teaching, but also to research at the university level in Kentucky.

These contributions are interpreted broadly to mean contribution directly to the Commonwealth, or the



by Sarah Geegan and Courtney Quinn

The University of Kentucky will host a regional Global Health Conference, uniting faculty and other professionals, medical residents, students and community members from various disciplines, to reflect the expanding field of global health, on Oct. 26, from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. in the Student Center Addition.

Along with UK's emphasis on internationalization, the conference responds to a very strong student interest in global health from a wide spectrum of disciplines. While UK has participated in various global health related activities in past years, and many faculty have conducted important research and teaching in areas related to global health, this will be UK's first conference highlighting these achievements.


by Sarah Geegan


The University of Kentucky Department of Philosophy and the UK Program for Bioethics will present the latest component in the Research Ethics Lecture Series Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Dr. Jeffrey Bishop, director and Tenet Chair of Health Care Ethics at the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, will present "Neuroscience and Other Sociopolitical Schemes." The lecture will focus upon neuroscience research on locating morality or virtue within


by Sarah Geegan

Biology Professor Ann Morris' lab contains approximately 200 individual fish tanks, but only one type of fish.

Having recently secured a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Morris will continue investigating zebrafish and the insight they offer in regard to solutions for human retinal degeneration. The NIH grant, titled, “The role of insm1 in vertebrate photoreceptor differentiation,” will be funded over five years and focuses on zebrafish to better understand genetic pathways that control the development of the retina.

"Mammals cannot regenerate photoreceptors, because the retina is part of the central nervous system, and like other neurons in


by Whitney Hale

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) has selected University of Kentucky student Brandon Kulengowski, of Lagrange, Ky., as one of this year's 28 recipients of the prestigious $10,000 scholarship. The ASF Scholarship is presented annually to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math.

Astronaut Scholars exhibit motivation, imagination and intellectual daring, as well as exceptional performance, both in and outside the classroom. The foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships to date, including $131,000 in scholarships to UK students alone.

Brandon Kulengowski, the son of Debbie and Timothy Kulengowski, attended Oldham County High School before coming to UK. At the university, he is pursuing a doctoral



by Sarah Geegan 

Three University of Kentucky faculty have lead the effort in establishing an important statewide initiative in the field of physiology. Robin Cooper from the Department of Biology, along with Michael Reid and Francisco H. Andrade, both from the Department of Physiology, have brought together physiologists from across the Commonwealth to form the Kentucky Chapter of the American Physiological Society (APS).

The APS is an international


by Kathy Johnson

WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell.  Today's program features two UK students who excel in both the classroom and on the field. Freshman soccer midfielder Cailin Harris and sophomore decathlete Daniel Buckles are also in the UK Honors Program.

To listen to the podcast interview, from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, click here.

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.


by Whitney Hale

Last spring, Teach for America selected 27 recent graduates of the University of Kentucky to serve in America's inner cities and rural communities. The UK group, the largest in school history, is among 5,800 new corps members selected for Teach for America, a national program in which outstanding college graduates commit to teach for two years in disadvantaged urban and rural public schools.

Teach for America places its recruits in the nation's highest-need elementary and secondary schools in many of the country's lowest income communities, both rural and urban, in an effort to close the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children.

This year’s corps is the largest in Teach for America’s history.

Jennifer Osterhage (


First photo: Jennifer Osterhage crosses the finish line as the women's winner of the 2011 Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon.
Second photo: As the winner, Jennifer was asked to hold the women's finish line tape at the summer 2012 Louisville Ironman (standing right). 

Jennifer Osterhage is a lecturer in the Department of Biology at UK that specializes in molecular biology, phylogenetics, and biology education. In addition to teaching an introductory biology course (BIO 148) and coordinating the Genetics laboratories, she is continuing a collaboration with other geneticists and ecologists at other institutions investigating the evolutionary relationships among the Homalopsidae, rear-fanged water snakes found throughout Southeast Asia.

Outside of all her


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