Alex Krejci finalist in national research competition

A University of Kansas senior’s research related to understanding patterns of mass extinction on Earth earned him a finalist berth in a national competition for undergraduates doing original research in physics. Alexander J. Krejci (pronounced CRAY-chee) from Lawrence was one of five finalists for the 2008 Vanderbilt Prize for Undergraduate Research in Physics and Astronomy. The finalists received their awards Aug. 15, 2008 in a ceremony at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Krejci, majoring in physics at KU, was selected for his project “A Code to Compute High Energy Cosmic Ray Effects on Terrestrial Atmospheric Chemistry.” Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy, who has advised Krejci’s undergraduate projects, noted that Krejci has worked specifically on computations to help determine the effects of increases in the high-energy cosmic ray flux on the Earth’s atmosphere and ecology. Krejci’s research contributions are included in two papers on astrobiophysics in scientific journals. He received a $500 cash prize from Vanderbilt University, where he is now a graduate student in physics.