Highlights from BYU Colleges: BYU students discover a new lichen species, BYU Financial Services Summit connects students and professionals

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College of Life Sciences

BYU biology student Jacob Henrie and biology professor Steve Leavitt discovered a brand-new species of lichen in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Lake Powell. (College of Life Sciences)

BYU biology student Jacob Henrie and biology professor Steve Leavitt discovered a brand-new species of lichen in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Lake Powell.

The discovery occurred after a 2019 BioBlitz, an event when a group of people identify every living specimen they can to understand biodiversity in important vulnerable areas.

The new lichen species and other specimens showed up on Henrie’s desk and after examining each of the closely-related lichens, he realized none of the DNA sequences matched the new green lichen.

“I think there are probably millions of undeserved species of lichen and other fungi in the world, just because people don’t really care to look,” he said. “Who knows where the next species is waiting to be discovered?”

BYU Marriott School of Business

The BYU finance department hosted its first-ever BYU Career Paths in Financial Services Summit to help students choose a career path in the diverse world of finance.

The event took place at the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center and it created the opportunity for students to attend multiple breakout panels where industry professionals discussed the responsibilities of their jobs.

“I enjoyed meeting incredible professionals from all over the country,” said Rhett Jensen, a finance junior from Syracuse, Utah, who helped run the event. “The summit gave me and my fellow students a taste of the day-to-day responsibilities in different areas of financial services. Understanding these responsibilities is a crucial part of figuring out what I want to do in finance, because the industry is so broad and diverse.”

College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

BYU doctoral student Benjamin Proudfoot and BYU astronomy professor Darin Ragozzine conducted a research which details the creation of the dwarf planet Haumea, solving one of astronomy’s puzzles. (BYU Photo)

BYU doctoral student Benjamin Proudfoot and BYU astronomy professor Darin Ragozzine conducted a research which details the creation of the dwarf planet Haumea, solving one of astronomy’s puzzles.

Before the discovery, scientists had no idea how the dwarf planet came to be, nor why it is one of the fastest spinning objects in the solar system.

“When the solar system first formed, astronomers think that Neptune and Uranus formed much closer to the sun than they currently are,” Proudfoot said. “Beyond this, a large belt of Pluto-sized bodies was slowly forming. Over time, gravity from these bodies pulled Neptune outwards, colliding with the belt and flinging Pluto-sized bodies like Haumea across the solar system. Eventually forming what we see today as the Kuiper belt.”

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