Matthew Powers

A National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Microbiology doctoral candidate, Matthew Powers is working to identify new treatments for the antibiotic resistant Gram-negative bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii.

Unlike single-membrane Gram-positive bacteria which are susceptible to antibiotics, double-membraned Gram-negative bacteria are unaffected by many treatments due to the impermeability of the second, outer membrane.

“The cell membrane is a critical barrier for cells to protect themselves from the environment, including toxic compounds,” Powers explains.

“If [a drug] can’t get to its target inside the bacterial cell, it is useless.”

Gram-negative bacteria are found in virtually all environments on Earth that support … read more

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Emily Horton

Small-scale fisheries supply over half of the world’s wild-caught seafood, providing food and employment for millions.

In response to recent international fish stock declines, thousands of marine protected areas have been created around the globe.

In Brazil, a type of co-managed marine protected areas called Marine Extractive Reserves (MERs) represents one of the most significant measures taken by the Brazilian federal government to protect the common pool resources of small-scale fisheries.

A doctoral candidate in the Anthropology and Integrative Conservation (ICON) program advised by Dr. Don Nelson, Emily Horton investigates the performance of MERs and their ability … read more

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Martin Ward

A doctoral candidate in the Romance Languages department, Martin Ward examines how literature is helping LGBTQ men in Chile and Argentina see themselves as men and valuable members in their society.

“Through these mediums,” Ward explains, “they are opening up discussions about masculinity and how its definitions can be multi-faceted.”

Often marginalized for their sexuality and gender identification, LGBTQ men in Chile and Argentina are challenging the notion that there is one strict way for men to express their identify.

“My research is not only analyzing these artistic productions of queer masculinity but also studies from sociology, psychology, anthropology, and other … read more

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Cristina Echezarreta

Cristina Echezarreta at Arrendale prison with Julia Mahood painting decorating bee boxes (as part of the bee prison project)

Artist Cristina Echezarreta focuses on two very non-traditional subjects – prison populations and honeybees – for her research as a master’s student in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.

With a post-graduation goal of working in a science museum, Echezarreta chose this graduate program to facilitate her creative approach to communicating scientific information.

“I was searching for a school with an excelling Master of Fine Arts program along with strong, flourishing agricultural disciplines,” she explains.

Echezarreta knew found the right graduate program when she … read more

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Sarah Vaughn

For Sarah Vaughn, a dual Ph.D./D.V.M. student, choosing to attend the University of Georgia was an easy decision.

A native Georgian, Vaughn includes the brand-new veterinary teaching hospital with its cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities- including a covered equine area- in her list of reasons to study at the University.

However, perhaps the most important factor for Vaughn is the faculty.

“The people I’ve met here truly care about my development as a person, both in and out of the lab. [Completing a] Ph.D. can be a long, stressful, and isolating experience. I knew I wanted to find people … read more

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Jihoon Kim

Imagine virtually experiencing the beaches of Turks and Caicos before booking a trip to visit the destination in reality.

Interactive marketing using virtual reality (VR) might one day help you decide your next vacation destination.

That is, if Jihoon Kim has anything to say about it.

A doctoral student in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kim studies how virtual experiences have the potential to transform marketing communication.

Kim is advised by Dr. Grace Ahn, director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab (GAVEL) in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

An interdisciplinary research facility, GAVEL takes a human-centered approach to investigate virtual … read more

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Marcus Hill

Marcus Hill, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, uses complex grammar rules to predict the underlying relationships in ribonucleic acid (RNA) structures.

Yes, you read that correctly!

RNA is a biological molecule essential for all living beings. More specifically, RNA utilizes the genetic information stored in DNA to create proteins.

Under the supervision of his advisor Dr. Liming Cai, Hill is working on ways to model these RNA strands using “formal language theory.”

The theory consists of studying the syntactical structure of a language- only in this case the language is RNA.

RNA can be thought of as a language whose alphabet … read more

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Anuradhi Liyanapathiranage

Did you know that the shirt you’re wearing right now took three years of drinking water (roughly 2,700 liters) to make?

Current textile dyeing and washing processes consume massive quantities of water and release large amounts of dye into the environment. Conventional dyeing methods also involve a dye bath that contains dissolved forms of reactive dye and dye auxiliaries.

However, this method does not ensure stable fixation of the dye, with approximately 20 to 30 percent rinsing off during the washing process. Unsurprisingly, this results in large amounts of contaminated water.

Anuradhi Liyanapathiranage, a doctoral student in the Department of Textiles, … read more

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Corina Mihaela Beleaua

Which classes are most useful to pre-med students?

The likelihood is that a common science class- biology, chemistry, or anatomy- would be your first thought.

Corina Mihaela Beleaua, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, would like you to consider adding a literature class to that list.

Advised by Dr. Mihai Spariosu, a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, Beleaua’s dissertation focuses on how literature texts can increase a student’s empathy.

Among other literature classes at the University, Beleaua teaches the undergraduate class, “Literature and Medicine.”

The class’ readings include texts that address the challenges physicians face in their daily … read more

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Maite Ghazaleh Bucher

Would you be surprised to know that coral polyps- the tiny animals responsible for building reef structures- are clear? The brilliant colors you see are actually produced by tiny algae (zooxanthellae) which live inside the coral tissue.

In addition to the zooxanthellae, bacteria and viruses also live in coral and collectively form the coral microbiome.

Acting as a foundation species, healthy corals sustain entire reef ecosystems that are believed to have the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet- even more than a tropical rainforest.

Like all animals though, corals can be affected by disease.

A 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow … read more

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