Headlines & Highlights

Making and breaking news

Drawing upon the resources, facilities and academic talent of Rhode Island scholars and researchers, Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR continues to push the boundaries of exploration and collaboration. Here, find a collection of how we are working daily to increase competitiveness in research and development, build a more capable workforce and fuel economic growth in the Ocean State.

• A novel Rhode Island EPSCoR collaboration aims to build shoreline resilience, boost coastal habitat and engage the community.

• RI EPSCoR researcher Susanne Menden-Deuer will receive the Hutner Prize from the International Society of Protistologists during its annual meeting this summer in Moscow.

URI, Salve researchers study harmful seaweed blooms

• Reported in PLOS ONE Feb. 26, 2016, RI NSF EPSCoR research findings detail two, separate life history phases of Ulva compressa and Ulva rigida — two common species of seaweed or sea lettuce in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay — present during harmful bloom episodes. The project was supported by a Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC) collaborative research grant awarded to Carol Thornber, University of Rhode Island associate professor and Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR principal investigator, and JD Swanson, Salve Regina University associate professor. Lead author of the journal article is URI master’s student Elaine Potter.

University of Rhode Island Ph.D. student Erin McLean conducts novel research on juvenile lobsters and shell growth in seawater with different levels of acidity, compelling work that would not have been possible without the Marine Science Research Facility, a RI EPSCoR core facility.

• Associate Professor Rebekah Merson, biology, Rhode Island College, is studying the impact of toxins and climate change on marine environments.

• Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR researchers studied propulsion in the animal kingdom and found a remarkable level of similarity among many species. Whether whale or moth

• STEAM is a movement championed not only by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); it’s also adopted widely by institutions, corporations, and individuals. STEM + Art = STEAM

• Rhode Island School of Design’s Dennis Hlynsky, an artist who works primarily with animation and video, produces time-lapse videos that observe different examples of wildlife, such as birds, ants or fish, in their day-to-day lives. Time-lapse videos forge link between arts and sciences

• Scientists long thought that sponges were our most distant animal relative. But a recent study presents evidence that the comb jelly is our closest ancient relative — First to split off from animal treeFloating to a new evolutionary position

• Kerry Whittaker is one of three graduate students at the University of Rhode Island, and one of 49 nationwide, to be named a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow — Whittaker to work on marine policy issues

CreatureCast — a collaboration between Brown University’s Dr. Casey Dunn and the New York Times  — features animated films that seek to convey the wonder and beauty of science. Follow this link to learn more about the project.

• Following a boom in their population only a few years ago, starfish have since become so scarce that researchers in Rhode Island are even having difficulty collecting enough of them to study an unidentified disease that may be linked to their die-off — Sea star mystery detective storySea stars dying

• Dr. Jameson Chace, Ph.D., Biology Professor at Salve Regina University, is utilizing local wildlife habitats as teaching tools and living laboratories for Salve students engaged in a number of scientific studies and experiments —  Local wildlife habitats as teaching tools and living laboratories

• A Brown University scientist, Dr. Dunn has added animation director to his list of titles over the last four years. In 2009, with money from the National Science Foundation for an audio podcast project, Dr. Dunn was convinced by a student — and a squid — to create animations instead — The mesmerizing beauty of science

• Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR will send three university students to the 25th annual international SuperComputing13 Conference in November — Learning from the best in the world

• A new website, CoresRI.org, lists hundreds of shared research instruments and services at 12 academic and medical institutions around the state — A new resource for Rhode Island

• Vermont scientists will be joined by colleagues from Rhode Island and Delaware in sharing a $6 million grant to install a network of high-tech sensors that will gather data from underwater and transmit it remotely, giving a moment-to-moment portrait of what is happening across selected watersheds in all three states — What’s in our watershed?

• Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Science & Technology Advisory Council (STAC) announced the recipients of the 2014 Rhode Island Research Alliance Collaborative Research Grants — Collaborative grants fuel research capacity

• The Susanne Menden-Deuer lab discovers that phytoplankton respond to predators by swimming away from them. A small sample of the big news:

Scientific American; The Himalayan Times, Yahoo, Rhode Island Public Radio, Marine Science Today, New England Odyssey

National Science Foundation highlights

Removing biofouling from underwater structures: Collaboration, economic development and student training leads to research that will help predict which surfaces lead to biofouling and will help determine an approach to mediate the issue. Biofouling occurs when microorganisms, plants, algae or animals accumulate on wet surfaces.

Shoreline inhabitants demonstrate climate change effects: Seabirds and marine invertebrates offer clues regarding the impact of climate change along the seacoast.

Jetting jellyfish impact food web: Jellyfish populations are expanding worldwide. Their growth, reproduction, respiration and prey catch rates are similar to plankton-eating fish. Combined, their increasing numbers and food web impact make it important to better understand their biology and behavior.

SURFs up for jellyfish and research interns: Rhode Island EPSCoR provides compelling opportunities for summer undergraduate research fellows (SURF) to participate in 10-week mentored research projects.


EPSCoR scientists publish their research in journals around the world.

Year 2 Publications

Year 1 Publications

(Year 3-5 publications coming soon.)


Think Big We Do

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