College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Chemistry

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In particular, I plan to attend a talk by Alak Kumar Patra of India, who will be presenting on multi-walled carbon nanotubes, a field with direct translation to my research in nanoparticles. Additionally, I am excited to gain insights from ICNBE researchers such as Dr. Pennafort of Brazil, Cerdan of France, and Abulyazied of Egypt who will be sharing their scientific and professional experiences. This opportunity will allow me to network with international researchers and build professional a global professional network. Furthermore, ICNBE 2015 offers a smaller and more intimate form relative to major United States conferences. " After returning from my trip, I will provide a summary of my experiences to GSC to be posted for the student body to review. Additionally, I will share my experiences with colleagues in my lab and department at our weekly lab meetings, departmental activities, and unstructured personal interactions. I am also required to TA during my graduate curriculum and will incorporate my knowledge gained from this trip into my teaching, and will also share it with my undergraduate laboratory assistants. Furthermore, I participate in Engineers Week (E-Week) on a yearly basis, where I will be able to share my experiences with elementary and high school students as a Global Gator, inspiring our young students to consider future exploration in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Agronomy

Integrated Agricultural Systems for Sweet Sorghum Production Nitrogen fertilizer is currently the most frequently and heavily applied fertilizer in agricultural production globally. The rise in use of nitrogen fertilizers after World War II was a major driver in increased food production globally over the last 60 years. However, nitrogen fertilizers are energy intensive to produce, consume limited fossil fuels, and have the potential to release greenhouse gasses and cause unintentional environmental problems. This research focused on meeting crop nitrogen demands for a summer cash crop of sweet sorghum, which can be used for animal feed, human food production, or bio-energy, by growing winter crops in rotation with sorghum. Some of these cash crops have the potential to scavenge residual nitrogen from the soil over the winter and return it to a sorghum crop over the summer after the winter crop is added back to the soil, while other crops have the ability to take nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into a plant available form, which is then released to the sorghum in the summer. The research was conducted for 3 years at the UF research farm in Citra, FL, using clover (a nitrogen fixing winter crop), rye (a nitrogen scavenging crop), sugar beet (a nitrogen rich crop), and camelina (a nitrogen poor crop) as rotations with sweet sorghum. The data showed that both sugar beet and clover had the ability to provide nitrogen to a sorghum crop, but that clover could provide more total nitrogen. However, the availability of nitrogen to the the sorghum was strongly influenced by the time period between rotation crops being turned into the soil and sorghum planting. A longer period between turning in and planting decreased the ability of clover to supply nitrogen to sorghum relative to a shorter interval. These results have practical implications, as the ability of clover to supply nitrogen to sorghum may reduce farmer reliance on chemical fertilizers and mitigate environmental impacts, and may increasing farmer profitability. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 18.5)


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - History

Women and weapons in early Anglo-Saxon burial practices

What was the role of women in society in the middle ages? This question is hard enough to answer in periods for which textual sources survive, but it is especially challenging to answer in the early middle ages from which few historical sources of any kind survive. To understand womens' social roles in early medieval England, historians have relied primarily on archaeological evidence, the majority of which comes from burial practices. In early medieval England, many people were buried with grave goods - jewelry, or weapons - and the types of objects people were buried with frequently correspond to the biological sex of the bones they accompany. Male bones were usually buried with weapons, and female bones with jewelry. This evidence has led many to argue that Anglo-Saxon society possessed a strong division between these two genders: men were active warriors, and women were ornamental home makers. Recently, however, this strong gender dichotomy has been called into question by new archaeological discoveries. Many women, it is now clear, were buried with weapons, and it is clear that historians and archaeologists need to reconsider whether the evidence actually shows such clear gender differences as has previously been assumed. My paper, which surveys data from 40 cemeteries over the past 20 years, challenges this idea of strong gender divisions in the early middle ages, and suggests that gender roles were more flexible and dynamic than has previously been assumed. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 17.4) 12264

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Anthropology What’s in your ancient chicha?: Ethnoarchaeology and organic residue analysis My dissertation is centered on understanding the interplay between domestic economy and the emergence of empire. My focus is on the Ancient Wari of Peru (AD 600-1100). One of the largest known pre-Columbian nations, it fueled its socio-politcal interests with the copious redistribution of beer.This leg of my research links archaeological experimentation to ethnographic experience. I have conducted experiments guided by native Aymara brewing experts in the south of Peru in order to characterize a biomarker that will lead to the identification of ancient organic residues and earthenware brewing vessels. In this way I hope to discover the intangible properties involved in the brewing process such as ritual behavior and community participation. The amalgamation of this research will allow me to better understand the material traces left behind by ancient brewers and how the manipulation of the domestic enterprise of beer-brewing may have led to the formation of one of the largest prehistoric American Empires. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 16.1)


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Political Science

New States, Territorial Claims, and Democratization: Assessing the Substantive Impact of Pre-Independence Violence

Contemporary International Relations' research has by and large ignored the effects of state emergence on the probability of international conflict. For all intents and purposes, IR scholars unintentionally impose a massive ceteris paribus assumption: it is assumed that France and South Sudan will express the same behavior given similar external stimuli. Previous work (Ziogas, forthcoming) has established however that not only new states behave differently than their older counterparts, but that the process and means of their emergence is a robust predictor of their demeanor. In this study I expand on my previous work (I attempt to bridge it theoretically and empirically with the "territorial peace" thesis) by focusing on territorial (border) claims and democratization. My argument has as follows: peacefully emerged states have settled borders with their neighbors; therefore said borders are less likely to be disputed. As such, these new states - free from external threats and the need to maintain large standing armies that can be used as tools of oppression in times of peace - are more likely to experience rapid democratization. Conversely, violent state births promote and propagate a mentality of violence and militarization (since violence led them to "success"/independence). As such it is expected that a violent state birth will lead to both more boundary disputes and an increased level of domestic oppression (i.e. autocratization). My results confirm my expectations. For the past 200 years violent state births have been tightly correlated with autocratization, while peaceful state births have led to rapid democratization. These results can therefore explain why peaceful state creations and democracies cluster in time and space. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 15.4)


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Religion

Conceptions of Devotion in Contemporary Sanskrit Writings

"Historically, Hindu traditions have subscribed to a definition of devotion provided in the Bhagavata Purana, a ninth century Sanskrit text. The Bhagavata Purana explains that there are nine ways of offering devotion to the divine such as listening to spiritual discourses, singing devotional songs, and lovingly serving the divine. My paper looks at the Swaminarayan Sampraday, a Hindu tradition founded in the nineteenth century in Gujarat, India. In particular, I look at one contemporary Sanskrit text, the Aksarapurushottam Mahatmyam, published by this tradition in March 2013. My analysis of this text suggests that the Swaminarayan Sampraday is expanding 'traditional' definitions of devotion. Accordingly, my paper not only looks at how this tradition is redefining devotion but also the consequences of this redefinition. In other words, I am trying to understand how the Swaminarayan Sampraday is changing the ways in which devotion is defined in Hindu traditions and how it is affecting the study of religion at large.

By attending this conference, I will be able to develop contacts with leading Sanskritists in the field, speak to Sanskritists and Religious Studies scholars about the work that we are doing at the University of Florida. The conference occurs once every 3-5 years. I am grateful for having been accepted to present my research. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 14)"


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Political Science

Some Register to Vote Better than Others? Assessing the Variation in Voter Registration Rates in Florida

Scholars and legislators argue that registration drives performed by third parties (3PVROs) account for a significant portion of new voter registrations, implying that state-imposed restrictions have questionable motives with respect to regulating voter registration drives. This paper is explicitly assessing this claim, namely that 3PVROs are regulated regardless of, rather than because of their capacity to -successfully- register voters. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 21.1)


College of Engineering - Civil Engineering

"The biennial conference of the European Asphalt Technology Association (EATA) is the leading conference on asphalt pavements in Europe and one of the most prestigious conferences across the globe. Experts from around the world meet for three days to discuss different topics of interest not only for the research community, but also for public agencies and the industry. As a member of the UF, I truly believe that a broader vision of a particular problem and exchange of ideas are the basis for higher education and, particularly, excellence in research. Having a strong research group at UF is a unique experience, but, sometimes, we may limit our point of view to the particular conditions of the United States, without realizing that experts from other countries may be addressing the same problems from a completely different perspective. Conference attendance will provide me the opportunity to be exposed to different points of view, exchange ideas with my peers, discuss topics with a different crowd, improve my understanding of asphalt pavements and, consequently, it will help me better develop as a professional.

Last but not least, I would like to point out that I may wind up being the presenter of the UF contribution to the conference if my group mate Yu Yan happens not to receive funding. In this case, the attendance will bring the added benefit of improving my oral presentation skills.

" The contribution that the UF is presenting at EATA is the use of a new test (developed at the UF) to evaluate the potential performance of asphalt binders, specifically in terms of cracking. Cracking is a major pavement distress not only here in Florida or the United States, but pretty much in every single country. The benefit of this travel to the Gator Nation is to make a statement in an international arena regarding how we should be evaluating asphalt binders. Also note that the UF is known in the pavement community for the extensive work conducted on asphalt mixtures and this conference will be an opportunity to present the Gator Nation as a leading research center also on asphalt binders. As for the student body, it is anticipated that many binder manufacturers will attend this conference: Nynas from Sweden, Shell from the Netherlands, Cepsa from France, Repsol from Spain, and so on. Presentation of the work conducted at the UF is expected to engage asphalt manufactures who may potentially fund research at the UF. This may lead to scholarships for UF graduate students.


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Geography

Detecting correlations between land surface processes and rainfall timing of landfalling Tropical Cyclones in United States from 1998 to 2010

"Tropical Cyclone (TC, also known as Hurricane) is one of the most devastating natural hazards around the world. In spite of its significant damage to the infrastructures because of strong wind, extensive freshwater flooding associated with TCs is actually the major threat to human life and social economy. In the recent decades, more than one-half of the deaths in the United States related to TCs are a result of freshwater flooding. Therefore, it is important to understand the rainfall patterns of TCs, which has a direct causation with freshwater flooding. Even though there are plenty research elucidating the influence of atmospheric factors on rainfall patterns, few study delineated the relationship between land-surface processes and rainfall timing of inland TCs.

Our study focused on detecting the correlations between land surface conditions and extensive rainfall timing in the Southeast United States. The analysis included 28 TCs that passed within 100 km radius of flux tower sites from 1998 to 2010. Results from time series analysis showed a lag positive correlation of 6 hour between latent heat flux (mainly related to soil moisture) and precipitation for 20 out of the 28 TCs. Among other variables related with land surface processes, outgoing longwave radiation (related to diurnal cycle) have showed the most significance rise before the extensive rainfall starts which is consistent with previous study. This study showed the correlation between land surface processes and extensive rainfall timing of TCs, which can be important information incorporating to the current rainfall prediction models to improve the accuracy of forecasting the timing of extensive freshwater flooding of TCs.

(Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 15.5)"


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Political Science

Do ‘Stubborn Voters’ make Uninformed Decisions?: Assessing the Political Knowledge of 'Convenience' Voters

The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the capacity of early voters (absentee and in-person) to cast an informed vote. In other words, do early voters, who are the people that vote before the Election Day by mail or in person at a polling station, have the needed political knowledge to vote before the Election Day or are they missing important information by rushing to the vote at an early stage of the campaign? Several political actors have claimed that early voters have less political knowledge compared to Election Day voters because they pay less attention to the campaign by voting early. To test the hypothesis if early voters are less politically informed compared to Election Day voters we use survey data. The results of this study indicate that the allegations that early voters are less politically knowledgeable compared to Election Day voters do not hold. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 17.3)


College of Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmaceutics)

Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) Gene and Stem Cell Based Therapies for the Treatment of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a serious public health problem affecting millions of Americans, is characterized by loss of bone mass. Fracture occurs due to loss of bone mass which decreases the quality of life. Inflammation can play a vital role in the development of osteoporosis. Therefore, anti-inflammatory strategy holds great potential for the prevention and treatment of this disease. In our study, we used an anti-inflammatory protein, alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) to find out whether AAT has any therapeutic effect on the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. We used well established osteoporotic mouse model for our investigation. We deliver AAT protein to mouse by using virus vector (Adeno Associated Virus) or cell (Stem cell) based approach. Our in vitro and in vivo studies showed that both virus and cell based approaches improved bone mass (Bone Volume Density) in osteoporotic mouse models. Therefore, AAT has therapeutic potential for the treatment of osteoporosis which could be a new strategy in treating this disease. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 13.7)


College of Health and Human Performance - Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Changes in the Structure of Variability in Kinematic Data Between Normal Treadmill and Split-Belt Treadmill Walking

Split-belt walking has been studied as both a rehabilitation tool for individuals with walking dysfunction.The split-belt treadmill has two laterally separated belts whose speeds may be controlled independently. Current literature has focused on spatiotemporal, kinematic, and kinetic data of the adaptation process with little attention paid to the variability of these data over time. This research looks specifically at the differences in variability between walking on a normal treadmill and walking on a split belt treadmill. Differences in the amount and structure of this variability can demonstrate that walking on a split belt challenges the walking system and might be helpful in rehabilitating people how are rigid when they walking. The split belt could help them become more flexible and adaptive. For this study we had healthy adults walk both in the normal treadmill condition and with the belt speeds at a two to one ratio. We recorded the motion of their body with 3D motion capture while they performed these walking tasks. We hypothesized that their motion would be more unpredictable in the split belt condition. The results confirm our hypothesis as our measures of variability at the ankle joint motion we higher for the split belt condition than the normal walking condition. These results suggest that the split belt might be a good way to challenge the walking ability in people who are rigid in their movements. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 13.7)


College of Health and Human Performance - Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Title: Does language formulation benefit concurrent cycling in people with Parkinson

Dual-task behavior, performing two tasks simultaneously, typically results in a decline in performance of one or both tasks. Surprising recent research showed a benefit to concurrent cycling during a battery of cognitive tests. These results also indicated the difficulty of the concurrent task predicted cycling performance. Our purpose was to determine if a complex, yet well practiced, language formulation task would also benefit from concurrent cycling. We analyzed cycling performance during a picture description task in healthy older adults and patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD). The results suggest that although the benefit to cycling was greater in healthy older adults than those with PD, both groups did benefit from the facilitation of cycling through the concurrent task. However, the complexity of the concurrent task had no influence. We concluded that the language formulation task did benefit motor performance, but the complexity of the language task did not influence the affect. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 14.5)


College of Health and Human Performance - Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Can Individuals with ACLR detect imposed Asymmetry and Symmetry during Walking?

"Changes in walking continue after an ligament tear even after people have surgery and do physical therapy. Sensory changes at the knee from this injury may cause long term gait changes. Past studies have only tested sensory injury by using tests that do not copy walking. Using a test that is similar to walking will give doctors and researchers information about the actual changes in people with ACLR. The goal of this study was to measure the ability of people with ACLR to sense when their legs walked the same or not the same. To test this, 20 people with ACLR walked on a treadmill made with two belts. The two belts can move at different speeds at the same time.

Scores for step length and timing during walking tasks, in which the belt speeds were the same or not the same over time were recorded. To know if step length or timing was used to select when speed was the same or not the same we related the ratio of speeds at detection to the scores for step length and timing. Selecting when belts were the same or not the same was not different in people with ACLR compared to healthy people. But people with ACLR use different step length and timing. This study found that even though people with ACLR do not walk well this is not due to poor sensory function. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.7)"


College of Health and Human Performance - Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Single Step Negotiation Time Differences in Parkinson's Disease

The ability to maneuver over obstacles without loss of balance is essential for maintaining an independent lifestyle. Physical changes which occur during aging contribute to an increase in fall risk and may impede independence; these changes are worsened in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD). A few studies have focused on stepping onto an elevated surface in healthy people, however it is unknown what differences may exist in PD stepping. The purpose of this study was to assess differences between healthy older adults and individuals with PD while stepping up onto an elevated surface. Data of 12 participants with PD and 12 healthy older adults were collected using a motion capture system while stepping up onto a single step. Step time was broken into three phases for analysis: 1) when their first foot left the floor to when it touched the step; 2) when the first foot touched the step to when the second foot left the floor; and 3) when the second foot left the floor to when it touched the step. Total step time was greater in PD than healthy older adults; specifically, PD had the greatest impairment during phase 1. No statistical differences were found between the two groups in the other two phases. Persons with PD took longer to step up onto a step, specifically during phase 1 of stepping. Spending more time in phase 1 when only one foot is on the ground decreases stability and increases fall risk. This study is one of few to look at differences in step time between healthy older adults and PD. Persons with PD spend a greater amount of time with one foot on the ground, thereby increasing their time in an unstable condition which may be a contributing factor in fall risk. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 12.3)


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Anthropology

The Practice of Maya Customary Law: Contestation of the nation-state’s hegemony.

"Human groups have customs which give rise to rules and laws. These rules and laws are enforced by religious councils, courts, and rural communities. In Southern Belize Maya customary law has existed and has been practiced orally by the alcalde system, a traditional community council. For a long time the government did not place much interest in the traditional practice of Maya customary law by the communities. It is argued that Maya customary law exists today because the government was not present in the communities of Southern Belize before the 1800s. This gave a lot of “freedom” to the communities to practice their traditions, including their law. Today, Maya customary law is widely practiced and respected in almost all Maya communities of Southern Belize. However, its practice has challenged the government’s rule.

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