Faculty Success - Spring 2020

The Meat(Less) of the Matter

Will going vegan help fight climate change? Well, it depends on who you ask.

Americans eat four times more meat than the global average, and the UN predicts that worldwide consumption of animal-based food will rise 80 percent in the next few decades. This rise in global meat-eating threatens to increase deforestation in the Amazon and other parts of the world, with the expansion of land needed for pasture, corn, and soybeans.

Scientists on both sides of the debate agree on one thing: the industrial livestock system that produces 95% of the world’s meat is a major source of hydrocarbon methane, a potent greenhouse gas emitted by cows. While not as long-lived as carbon in the atmosphere, methane heats the climate faster—at a time when we need to slow warming.

“With the current rise of plant-based meat, new ways of livestock production, and how both address climate change, it’s important to bring people together to talk about these different paths to the future of protein consumption,” says E. Melanie Dupuis, PhD, professor and chairperson of the Department of Environmental Studies and Science.

Dupuis played a major role in bringing together scientists, farmers, ethicists, activists, and industry experts to discuss and debate these very questions at the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment’s fourth Resilience Summit on “The Future of Meat?” This year’s Summit was co-sponsored by Dartmouth College.

Educating Students and Teachers

School of Education Associate Professor Christine Clayton, EdD, was selected as a 2020 Clinical Fellow for the Association of Teacher Educators. Clayton was chosen based on her deep commitment to clinical practice in teacher education.

Under the Microscope

Dyson Assistant Biology Professor Sally Marik, PhD, alongside her colleagues Nancy Krucher, PhDSergey Kazakov, PhD; and Aaron Steiner, PhD, was recently awarded a $372,304 grant from the National Science Foundation through the Major Research Instrumentation program. 

The grant has allowed them to purchase an automated high-resolution fluorescence imaging system—think a hi-tech microscope—that will bolster Pace’s neuroscience, developmental biology, and cancer biology research potential. 

What makes this microscope so special? For one, fluorescence microscopy is highly sensitive, specific, reliable, and extensively used by scientists to observe the localization of molecules within cells, and of cells within tissues. Secondly, it is an exceedingly rare instrument. 

“We plan to use the system to collect data on diverse topics such as neuroscience, inheritance patterns, signaling pathways, and novel drug delivery systems,” said Marik.