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L.A. County Fair Sept 1-24, 2017

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Cycling for Social Equality

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – It’s a 3,500-mile trip. It’ll take him about 55 days, as he’ll average about 60 miles per day – with rest days in between. But, the University of California, Riverside student doesn’t mind, because it’s all for a good reason. Christian Lugo will cycle from Los Angeles, California, to Washington D.C. – the nation’s capital – this summer to help promote social equality, diversity, and tolerance.

“I just thought to myself, there’s been so much hate the last few years, and you can’t expect people to just flip a switch and end hate, but at least I can do something to get some positive change going,” Lugo said.

Lugo is a second-year student, majoring in Spanish with a concentration in cultural studies. He was inspired to cycle across the country by a few recent experiences. He started cycling in March 2016, and said he immediately took to the sport. Not only did he start cycling as a form of exercise, but he started using it as his mode of transportation—to the grocery store, to school, even as a means of travel and experiencing new things.

In summer 2016, Lugo studied abroad in the Dominican Republic. Inspired by the professors and the people he met there, as well as the 2016 U.S. presidential election, he decided he would give cycle touring a shot. Though Lugo said his trip is not political in nature, he hopes to promote a positive message of cooperation and respect among all people.

“I will ride across the country encouraging people to sign a pledge for social equality, based on five principles,” he said.

For the full news release, please visit: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/47654

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Three UC Riverside Scholars Win Fulbright Grants

RIVERSIDE, California – Three humanities and social science scholars at the University of California, Riverside have been awarded prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowships that will support research on the role of women in 19th century French architecture, the relationships between conservation, law and resource rights in South Africa, and whether increasing socioeconomic development is causing a decline in religiosity in India.

The scholars are Heidi Brevik Zender, associate professor of French and comparative literature; Derick Fay, associate professor of anthropology; and Ajay Verghese, assistant professor of political science.

The Fulbright Program is the leading international education exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries, according to the program’s website. The program, which awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually, was established in 1946 under legislation by Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It operates in more than 150 countries.

Heidi Brevik-Zender will hold the 2017-18 visiting professorship at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where she will do research for a book project exposing the role of women in 19th century French architecture.

Anthropologist Derick Fay will return to South Africa, where he has conducted extensive field studies since 1998, to investigate the relationships between conservation, law, and resource rights represented in the 2012 trial of three fishermen arrested in Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve.

Political scientist Ajay Verghese will spend a year in India to determine if increasing socioeconomic development is causing a decline in religious belief but an increase in religious practice, a form of secularization that is distinct from the Western world.

Read the entire press release online at https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/46514.

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UC Riverside Gets $5.1 Million to Fight Citrus Killer

Research will focus on attacking Huanglongbing, a disease that is destroying Florida’s citrus industry and threatens California

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — A team of scientists, led by a group at the University of California, Riverside, has received a five-year, $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight a disease that is devastating the citrus industry.

The team, led by Caroline Roper, an associate professor of plant pathology, will design and identify bactericides, which are chemicals that kill bacteria, to target Huanglongbing, a bacterial plant disease decimating citrus trees worldwide. They will also focus on better understanding the pathways those bactericides travel inside citrus trees.

Huanglongbing, which has devastated citrus trees in Asia and South America, was detected in Florida in 2005 and has since led to a 75 percent decline in the Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry. Fifteen U.S. States or territories are under full or partial quarantine due to the presence of the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect which feeds on citrus trees and – in doing so – transmits Huanglongbing.

Past research has identified the bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus or CLas) associated with Huanglongbing that is killing citrus trees. But, it has proved difficult to deliver bactericides to the phloem, the part of the citrus tree where the harmful bacteria resides.

The UC Riverside team will analyze phloem transit routes that bactericides take when introduced through common application methods, such as trunk injection or leaf or root applications.

They will also continue to develop a new delivery system for use in field citrus trees. The delivery system targets the branches and petioles, which are the stalk that join a leaf to a stem. The idea is based on previous work that indicates that this is an effective and efficient way to tap into and introduce material into phloem tissue, a tissue that is hard to access.

They will also conduct fluorescent tracer experiments that map phloem transport pathways in citrus and harness that information to predict and test the routes that bactericides take when introduced. This will yield information about the routes bactericides travel when administered through delivery methods used by growers and the branch/petiole feeding technique.

The researchers will develop two classes of bactericides, the first based on mining anti-CLas compounds naturally produced by microbes that inhabit Huanglongbing survivor trees in Florida, and the second based on silver and sulfur nanoparticles.

Finally, the researchers will also undertake an extension and outreach program for citrus growers and non-commercial citrus growers (homeowners and hobbyists). They will also perform an economic cost-benefit analysis for adoption of these treatments in the commercial citrus industry.

In addition to Roper, the following UC Riverside scientists are involved: James Borneman, Philippe Rolshausen, David Jassby, Georgios Vidalakis, and Haizhou Liu. And, the following researchers from other institutions are involved: Robert Turgeon (Cornell University); Katherine Maloney (Point Loma Nazarene University); Pieter Dorrestein (UC San Diego); Greg McCollum (U.S. Department of Agriculture), and Jonathan Kaplan (CA State University, Sacramento).

The grant is one of four given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food (NIFA) and Agriculture to combat Huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

To read press release visit: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/44313

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