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Hilo, HI, United States

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, UHH, or UH Hilo is one of the ten branches of the University of Hawaiʻi system anchored by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, United States. The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is a public and co-educational university with the main campus located at 200 West Kawili Street, Hilo, the county seat for Hawaiʻi County.The University is composed of six colleges, and has received recognition for numerous academic programs including the marine biology, volcanology, astronomy, Hawaiian language, pharmacy, agriculture, computer science, and nursing programs.Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language is the only school in the United States to offer graduate degrees for study in an indigenous language.The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is the only ACPE approved pharmacy school in the State of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands.UH Hilo ranks in the top 10 for having both the most ethnic diversity and the lowest percentage of students with debt at graduation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Wikipedia.

How plants respond to long-term nutrient enrichment can provide insights into physiological and evolutionary constraints in various ecosystems. The present study examined foliar concentrations after fertilization-to determine if nutrient accumulation responses of the most abundant species in a plant community reflect differences in N and P uptake and storage. Using a chronosequence in the Hawaiian Islands that differs in N and P availability, it was shown that after fertilization, plants increase foliar P to a much greater degree than foliar N, as indicated by response ratios. In addition, foliar P responses after fertilization were more variable and largely driving the observed changes in N:P values. Across species, both inorganic and organic P increased but neither form of N increased significantly. This pattern of P accumulation was consistent across 13 species of varying life forms and occurred at both the N-limited and P-limited site, although its magnitude was larger at the P-limited site. Foliar P accumulation after nutrient enrichment may indicate nutrient storage and may have evolved to be a general strategy to deal with uncertainties in P availability. Storage of P complicates interpretations of N:P values and the determination of nutrient limitation. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Carson H.S.,University of Hawaii at Hilo
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2013

One of the primary threats to ocean ecosystems from plastic pollution is ingestion by marine organisms. Well-documented in seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals, ingestion by fish and sharks has received less attention until recently. We suggest that fishes of a variety of sizes attack drifting plastic with high frequency, as evidenced by the apparent bite marks commonly left behind. We examined 5518 plastic items from random plots on Kamilo Point, Hawai'i Island, and found 15.8% to have obvious signs of attack. Extrapolated to the entire amount of debris removed from the 15. km area, over 1.3. tons of plastic is attacked each year. Items with a bottle shape, or those blue or yellow in color, were attacked with a higher frequency. The triangular edges or punctures left by teeth ranged from 1 to 20. mm in width suggesting a variety of species attack plastic items. More research is needed to document the specific fishes and rates of plastic ingestion. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pezzuto J.M.,University of Hawaii at Hilo
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2011

Cancer chemoprevention entails the ingestion of dietary or pharmaceutical agents that can prevent, delay, or reverse the process of carcinogenesis. With support provided by the National Cancer Institute, we have been actively engaged in the systematic discovery and characterization of natural chemopreventive agents. The typical approach involves identifying active crude substances such as extracts derived from terrestrial plants or marine organisms, utilizing in vitro bioassay systems, followed by the isolation of pure active components. As part of this project, an extract obtained from a nonedible Peruvian legume, Cassia quinquangulata Rich. (Leguminosae), was evaluated and found to be active as an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase. The active component was identified as resveratrol. Surprisingly broad spectrum activity was observed, indicative of potential to inhibit carcinogenesis at the stages of initiation, promotion, and progression. This discovery has led to many additional research efforts. There are now around 3,500 papers concerning some aspect of resveratrol action, yet the molecule is unusually promiscuous and specific mechanisms remain elusive. Considering the structural simplicity of this stilbene, the intensity of interest is phenomenal. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

Pillon Y.,University of Hawaii at Hilo
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2012

New Caledonia is well known for its rich and unique flora. Many studies have focused on the biogeographical origins of New Caledonian plants but rates of diversification on the island have scarcely been investigated. Here, dated phylogenetic trees from selected published studies were used to evaluate the time and tempo of diversification in New Caledonia. The 12 plant lineages investigated all appear to have colonized the island <37Mya, when New Caledonia re-emerged after a period of inundation, and the timing of these arrivals is spread across the second half of the Cenozoic. Diversification rates are not particularly high and are negatively correlated with lineage age. The palms have the fastest diversification rates and also the most recent arrival times. The lineage ages of rainforest plants suggest that this ecosystem has been present for at least 6.9Myr. The New Caledonian flora is apparently a relatively old community that may have reached a dynamic equilibrium. Colonization by new immigrants has been possible until relatively recently and diversity-dependent processes may still be affecting the diversification rates of the earlier colonizers. Further studies on the diversification of large plant clades with exhaustive sampling should help to clarify this. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: CENTERS FOR RSCH EXCELL IN S&T | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2014

With National Science Foundation support, the University of Hawaii Hilo (UHH) will further develop the Center for Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) and pursue research focused on enhancing the understanding of biotic response to environmental change in tropical ecosystems through a place-based context. The Center integrates detailed ecological, evolutionary, and genomic research with bioinformatics analysis and Geographic Information Systems modeling. The center will train the next generation of scientists and professionals, particularly from Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, with the interdisciplinary perspective that is required to both study and effectively steward the spectacular yet fragile ecosystems found throughout the region. The Center will become a fully established, self-sustaining locus of research and training and grow a first-of-its-kind Ph.D. program in TCBES fields, capable of advancing state-of-the-art research and training in evolution, ecology and genomics.

Intellectual Merit:
The Center will focus on three synergistic research themes: 1) organismal response to environmental change: this project will examine the short- and long-term responses of key organisms to a range of environmental conditions, both steady and fluctuating, and will incorporate those results into models of landscape-level response to climate change; 2) behavioral responses to environmental change: this project will use emerging genetic and acoustic tools to examine the effect of anthropogenic change on important social behaviors in animals ranging from arthropods to whales; 3) dynamic interactions between symbioses and environment: this project will explore adaptations of the mutualism-pathogenesis-parasitism continuum in multiple symbiotic systems. Integration of next-generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis in each of the research areas will allow unprecedented insight into the molecular basis of biotic responses to environmental change.

Broader Impacts:
This CREST Center project will expand on regional and national partnerships developed by Center faculty in the areas of ecology, evolution, and genetics to generate a diverse, technologically and scientifically literate workforce to meet the growing need for sound management of Hawaiis fragile natural resources. This work is expected to: (1) advance faculty to a nationally competitive level in applying genomic tools to predict organismal responses to climate change and other environmental challenges; (2) produce Ph.D.- level scientists who will be able to apply these concepts and techniques in a culturally relevant context; and (3) elucidate the impacts climate change will have on the geographic ranges and social and symbiotic interactions of species in Hawaii and the broader
Pacific region. Center researchers will launch bioinformatics and bioacoustics laboratories in association with established genetic, analytical and spatial data analysis core research facilities to further enhance Hawaiis capacity to train technologically-proficient scientists who can address the conservation challenges facing the state and Pacific region.

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