Faculty News and Notes

Ayres Hall

Emily Ward Bivens, an associate professor in the School of Art, was recently featured in the newsletter of the National Performance Network and Visual Arts Network. The national organizations support the work of artists working in visual and performing arts. Bivens is director of foundations in the School of Art and a member of a four-person art collaborative called the Bridge Club.

Ernest Freeberg, professor and head of the Department of History, spoke at the Decatur Book Festival in Atlanta last month about his new book, The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America. This history of the social and cultural impact of electric light was published this year, and Freeberg has been sharing his findings with audiences across the country. The Washington Post has called the book “a captivating intellectual adventure that offers long-forgotten stories of the birth pangs of the electrical age that are amusing, surprising and tragic.” His talk in Atlanta was part of a series of talks on science and technology.

Joshua Fu, a civil and environmental engineering professor, has received a certificate and award from publisher Elsevier Limited for his manuscript about Beijing air quality published in a 2007 edition of Atmospheric Environment. From 2007 to 2012, the paper, entitled “Air quality during the 2008 Beijing Olympic games” is ranked in the top three most cited articles in the journal, which is one of top journals in air quality and climate change.

The Geological Society of America’s Penrose Conference will be held in honor of Distinguished Scientist and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Bob Hatcher. The event is March 30 to April 4, 2014, in Asheville, North Carolina. The topic for the upcoming conference is continental collision mountain building processes and focuses on a region of the southern Appalachians that, to quote the society, “represents the primary study locale of Bob Hatcher’s seminal career.” For more information, visit the society’s website.

Darrin Hulsey, an assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology, has a paper published in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society. The study cast doubt on the old hypothesis that cichlids, a freshwater fish spanning a rainbow of colors and a myriad of shapes reached multiple continents by swimming in place while an ancient supercontinent split up. Instead, Hulsey and his colleagues say the freshwater fish must have undertaken death-defying dispersals by paddling across the salty seas.

Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Micah Jessup is the Structural Geology and Tectonics Division of the Geological Society of America’s featured essayist for this month. The society invited twelve scientists to submit scientific essays to celebrate its 125th anniversary. One essay is published each month on the society’s website during the anniversary year. To read Jessup’s essay, “Mid-crustal processes in the Himalaya”, visit the society’s website.

Sandra Mixer, an assistant professor of nursing, is the 2013 recipient of the Transcultural Nursing Society Award. The mission of the society is to enhance the quality of culturally congruent, competent, and equitable care that results in improved health and well-being for people worldwide. Mixer will be honored at its 39th conference in October in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mariano Rodriguez-Cabal, a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has had his dissertation accepted by the journal PNAS. His work demonstrates for the first time that the addition of novel species (exotic invasive species) and the resulting loss of a keystone species leads to the node-by-node disassembly of an interaction web in Patagonia resulting in a cascade of local extinctions. Together, the results demonstrate that simultaneous gains and losses of species are both consequences and drivers of global change that can lead to under-appreciated cascading co-extinctions.

Jered Sprecher, an associate professor in the School of Art, spent two months this summer as the artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum. The residency concluded with an exhibition of his work at the Chinati Foundation Locker Plant.

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