Nate Bogie won the first-ever GradSLAM competetion held at UC Merced. Nate will represent UC Merced at the University of California wide competetion on May 4, which will be hosted by President Janet Napolitano. At the competition, students are given three minutes and no more than three slides to present their research. Nate’s presentation, entitled “Drinking from the same straw”, focuses on beneficial association between native shrubs of the Sahel region of Africa and food crops. He explained how the shrubs help crops by delivering water from deep soil moisture reserves by a proccess known as “hydraulic lift”. His results to date show that this kind of association can increase crop yield by two to five folds compared to crops grown alone. This practice has a potential of alleviating the already chronic food shortages in the region. Nate showe conclusive evidence for this mechanism of support using isotope tracer experiment he performed in Senegal. Read UC Merced news article about the competetion here.