Skip to main content Skip to navigation
CAS in the Media Arts and Sciences Media Headlines

Astrophysics graduate student Marlo Ramo Morales honored as DOE fellow

Computational research at Washington State University is getting a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Marlo Ramo Morales, a physics doctoral student working on developing a greater understanding of black holes and gravitational waves, has been selected to receive a prestigious DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. He’s the first WSU student to receive the four‑year fellowship since it was established in 1991.

Morales’ research is in numerical relativity, which involves creating computer simulations of extreme-gravity events such as the collision and merging of two black holes, to predict the signal in gravitational waves detected by LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory).

“My research at WSU involves improving higher-order boundary conditions in the Spectral Einstein Code,” said Morales. “The improvements are essential to study complex gravitational waves with higher harmonics derived from extreme space-time events.”

Morales chose to pursue his PhD at WSU specifically to work and study alongside astrophysicists working in the field, including Vivienne Baldassare and his doctoral advisor Matt Duez.

Find out more

WSU Insider

Some Lake Erie anglers consider algae blooms helpful — but what are the health implications?

Anglers say fish gather under blooms. Scientists say fish show levels of a liver toxin

Despite often being described as smelly and not nice to look at, algae blooms can be helpful when it comes to catching more fish in Lake Erie.

Rene Shahmohamadloo.

René Shahmohamadloo has published a research paper on how Lake Erie fish are safe to eat despite being afflicted by algal hepatotoxins, but he’s also concerned about the health of the fish.

The ecotoxicologist and postdoctoral scientist said he hopes his work can advocate for a “voiceless” fish population.

“What about the fish themselves who have no choice but to swim in these potentially very toxic baths?” said Shahmohamadloo, who’s dually affiliated with Washington State University’s School of Biological Sciences and the University of Guelph in Ontario.

“I find it fascinating how we can look at this story because it shows how human centric we’ve become … if it’s not an issue to us as a human species, let’s keep life going on.”

After two rounds of sampling, Shahmohamadloo said their study suggests the levels of concentrations would be of concern to fish population growth and development.

Find out more

CBC News
The Weather Network

Heat, flooding and smoke: The U.S. is in the midst of a summer of extremes

This year’s events have yet to be thoroughly analyzed. But scientists see the string of events as a part of a larger, undeniable pattern of extremes that’s intensifying over time.

Scientists determined a June 2021 heat wave in the Pacific Northwest would have been “virtually impossible” if not for the impacts of climate change. A peer-reviewed study found the event would have been at least 150 times less likely if global temperatures had not warmed so much because of human activity.

This year’s events have yet to be so thoroughly analyzed. But scientists see the string of events as a part of a larger, undeniable pattern of extremes that’s intensifying over time.

Deepti Singh.

“The individual drivers of these events — of course we cannot say anything about them right now — but in general, these are consistent with what we would expect,” Deepti Singh, an assistant professor in the School of Environment at Washington State University Vancouver, said of the record-breaking temperatures. “It’s not surprising that we’re seeing these concurrent widespread extreme heat events across multiple regions around the world.”

Find out more

NBC News

Six WSU faculty named new members of Washington State Academy of Sciences

Mechthild Tegeder.
Tahira Probst.
Jan Dasgupta.

Three members of CAS faculty are among six WSU professors recently elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS): Nairanjana Dasgupta, in mathematics and statistics and data analytics; Tahira Probst in psychology; and Mechthild Tegeder in biological sciences.

They are part of the 29-member class of 2023 inductees who join the nonprofit organization with a mission to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington.

“WSAS is proud to elevate these exceptional individuals for the many ways in which they have advanced scientific and engineering excellence,” said John Roll, WSAS president and WSU professor and vice dean of research at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “We look forward to engaging them in addressing complex societal challenges not only for the benefit of the citizens of Washington state but for all citizens of the world.”

Find out more

WSU Insider

Who Can Teach Ethnic Studies Revisited

Carmen Lugo-Lugo.

Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo, cultural studies professor at WSU, further explores its genesis and history, which she divides into three parts.

A few months ago, I published an op-ed titled “Who Can Really Teach Ethnic Studies?” After its publication, I received numerous emails from scholars asking me to reconsider my position, since my main criterion for teaching ethnics studies was training in the field. I realized then that I hadn’t really explained what I meant by “training.” Ironically, the question of needing “training” or not isn’t often asked when dealing with disciplines like English, philosophy, math, chemistry and others.

I am using this opportunity, then, to expand on what I meant by “training” in ethnic studies. In my view, it can mainly be gained in one of two ways: 1) by getting a degree in ethnic studies and 2) by being hired to teach in an ethnic studies program or department (regardless of degree).

But exactly why is training important? What makes ethnic studies different from other disciplines that teach (about) race?

Find out more

Inside Higher Ed