November 2014

Fisheries Biologist Awarded Grant to Study Crayfish

Dan Magoulick, center, collects fish and crayfish with three U of A students on Wildcat Creek in the Ozark National Forest. The students were learning various fish sampling techniques and some fish identification.

As an ecologist and fisheries biologist, Dan Magoulick is interested in the factors affecting the population and community dynamics of freshwater fish and invertebrates.

“My main focus is population and community ecology, but I really work within the whole spectrum, from individual physiological ecology and behavioral ecology, up to ecosystems,” Magoulick said.

He is a research professor and assistant unit leader in the Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, housed in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Magoulick’s recent research includes, among other things, studying the classification of Arkansas flow regimes and developing ecological-flow response relationships and environmental flows assessment for the Ozark region; effects of drought on stream fish and invertebrate population and community dynamics; and distribution, population genetics and factors affecting the imperiled coldwater crayfish.

In September, Magoulick was awarded an $80,208 grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to study the population status and genetics of the Mammoth Spring crayfish and the coldwater crayfish in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas and Missouri. Both crayfish are candidates for being listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We were doing work in the mid-1990s on crayfish related to conservation biology and we found some introduced species in the Ozark and Missouri Highlands,” Magoulick said.

“The invader in this case is Orconectes neglectus, the ringed crayfish, which is native to the White River drainage but not native to the Spring River drainage. It has displaced two of the native species, the Hubbs’ crayfish and coldwater crayfish. It is a unique opportunity to study these populations. We don’t see a lot of these local invasions, mainly because we haven’t looked for them that much.”

The results of the study will provide information on crayfish population dynamics and invasion status for the state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which are all responsible for managing the freshwater resources in the Ozarks. It will also include a genetic study of the Mammoth Spring crayfish, which will determine whether it is a single species or multiple species.

“This will provide them information on what this invader is doing and whether it is displacing the native species and how fast it is reaching a certain area,” Magoulick said. “The agencies probably aren’t going to be able to eliminate introduced species but in many cases they can hold its population down, so it will be worthwhile information.”


Millett to Lead Nuclear Reactor Study


Paul Millett

The University of Arkansas is the lead institution for a new $786,407 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to investigate strategies to minimize volumetric swelling in metallic nuclear fuels.

The research has the potential to increase the safety and efficiency of nuclear reactors for power generation.

 “Almost all current nuclear energy reactors operate with ceramic fuels,” said Paul Millett, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “But as an alternative, metallic fuels have generated significant interest because they have much higher thermal conductivity, meaning the temperatures in the reactor are far lower than with ceramic fuels.”

Fuels in metallic form, however, have a tendency to swell significantly during operation, which limits the efficiency of power generation. The swelling is a caused by gas elements such as helium and xenon that are produced by the atomic fission process and cluster to form gas-filled bubbles within the fuel.

As principal investigator, Millett will work with researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and the Idaho National Laboratory.

They will use advanced computer simulations and experiments to get a better understanding of the micro-scale processes that lead to volumetric swelling in metallic fuels. Most importantly, the researchers will explore how to design fuels that are resistant to swelling.

Learn More

Analysis of ARTP Shows $522 Million Impact on State

Phillip Stafford

The Arkansas Research and Technology Park has had an economic impact of more than a half-billion dollars since construction on the park began in 2003, according to a new economic impact analysis conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas.

University officials unveiled the report on Oct. 30 while “Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation,” a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Arkansas Research and Technology Park. The Innovation Center at the research park was dedicated on Oct. 15, 2004.

“From the vantage of 10 years, it’s clear that the Arkansas Research and Technology Park has been an unqualified success, and its anniversary is well worth taking some time to celebrate,” Chancellor G. David Gearhart told a crowd that gathered in the Innovation Center atrium.

The research park, managed by the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation, includes several facilities that support university research and technology-based economic development.

“By concentrating leading-edge facilities together with a rich pool of talent and innovative ideas, our plan for the ARTP is not only being realized but is having a measurable impact on the local and state economy,” said Phillip Stafford, president of the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation, which manages the park.

Learn More

Nine Professors Receive SEC Faculty Travel Grants


For the second consecutive year, the U of A awarded travel grants to faculty who conduct research at other institutions in the Southeastern Conference.

The SEC Visiting Faculty Travel Grant Program is intended to enhance faculty collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives among the conference’s 14 member universities.

It gives faculty from one SEC university the opportunity to travel to another SEC campus to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, and conduct research.

The travel grants — funded by the SECU academic initiative — are available to each university for visiting faculty to use during an appropriate period, such as a sabbatical leave, the summer or a designated university break.

The visiting faculty member may consult with faculty and/or students, offer lectures or symposia, or engage in whatever activities are productive for the visitor and host campus.

All areas of research and scholarly activity were eligible for support.

The U of A faculty selected for travel grants are: Caree Banton, history; Kameri Christy, social work; Jamie Hestekin, chemical engineering; Angie Maxwell, political science; Roy McCann, electrical engineering; Xuan Shi, geosciences; Joshua Smith, English; Peter Ungar, anthropology; and Lia M. Uribe, music.

Learn More


Fisheries Biologist Awarded Grant to Study Crayfish Species

Millett to Lead Nuclear Reactor Study

Analysis of ARTP Shows $522 Million Impact on State

Nine Professors Receive SEC Faculty Travel Grants


Paradise in Petra: U of A Professor Leads Research for PBS Documentary

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Picasolar $800,000 to Increase Efficiency of Solar Cells

Doctoral Candidate Explores Martian Soil Composition


The Arkansas Catalyst
Sign up for Listserv information on the following topics: arts and humanities, high-performance computing, DNA sequencing, energy and environment, food safety, health, nanotechnology, NASA-related research, RazorGrant, STEM education and sustainability

Grant Award Winners

The following is a sampling of the top grants awarded to faculty in October, with the principal investigator, the award amount and the sponsor. An asterisk (*) indicates the continuation of a previous award.
• W. Dan Hendrix, $597,117, U.S. Economic Development Administration
• Fiona Goggin, $389,799, National Science Foundation
• Ralph Henry, Gisela F. Erf and Greg Salamo, $306,914.57, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
• Eun Koh, $225,000, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
• Santiago Perez, $133,500, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art


Follow us on twitter

Stay updated on Facebook

Watch research videos on YouTube

Contact us

Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development
205 Administration Building
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

email us


You're receiving this newsletter because you signed up for the The Arkansas Catalyst newsletter.

unsubscribe now

The Arkansas Catalyst is an initiative of the office of the vice provost for research and economic development with support from the office of university relations & information technology services.