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Faculty in the media, Summer 2014

The summer slows on campus but our faculty have been very busy in the national and international media. A sampling of the active engagement of faculty scholarship and expertise across a braod range of subjects:

When predators vanish, so does the ecosystem – The New York Times reports on a study that shows recreational fishing and crabbing may be responsible for dying salt marshes off the coast of New England.  But “it’s still a leap to connect dieback to recreational overfishing,” said Merryl Alber, director of UGA’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island.

Hypoxia widely accepted as cancer triggerYing Xu, Regents-Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and UGA professor of bioinformatics and computational biology, has co-authored a study that finds low oxygen levels could be a key driver of cancer growth.  Information reported in

New UGA research into biomass conversion engineers microbes for the direct conversion of biomass to ethanol fuel.  The research by genetics professor Janet Westpheling could lead to an economical method of biomass conversion.  Articles in Athens Banner-Herald,, Biofuels Journal, Green Car Congress,, Milling Journal, and Science Daily.

Obama Administration announces new carbon-reduction regulation – Atheectic Association Professor in the Social Sciences professor J. Marshall Shepherd, director of the UGA Atmospheric Sciences Program, comments in news coverage of the issue.

The South is more likely to hand out corporate subsidies, UGA history professor James Cobb says in news coverage of Cobb County’s subsidies for the Atlanta Braves move.

College still makes good sense (and dollars), writes associate professor of history Stephen Mihm in a Bloomberg View column.

Enhancing education through foreign collaboration – “The structure of a successful partnership is heavily dependent on the mission of the institution and the specific goals of the collaboration,” said Kavita Pandit, associate provost for international education, during a recent lecture at a college in Nigeria.

Mississippi Civil Rights Conference concludes – WTOK-TV (Meridian, MS) quotes sociology professor Keith Parker, who spoke at the conference

Martin Kagel, A.G. Steer Professor and head of the department of German and Slavic Studies, was featured as an expert on a documentary broadcast on German television (SAT3/ZDF), the primary German public television channel for arts programming, on the German-Jewish writer George Tabori.

Leonard Pitts: Don’t say we weren’t warned about climate change – Miami Herald (Pitts quotes Marshall Shepherd, director of UGA’s Atmospheric Sciences Program)

Interactive time-lapse map shows how the U.S. took more than 1.5 billion acres from Native Americans –, (map produced by Claudio Saunt, Russell Professor of History)

Young gorillas caught dismantling poacher’s snares – Environmental News Network article quotes Dorothy Fragaszy, professor of psychology and director of the Primate Behavior Laboratory

Stephen Mihm, associate professor of history, takes a look at how American Indian culture became used as marketing tools.  The opinion piece is distributed via Bloomberg News.

Iconic images show pride, patriotism in America – AJC article quotes professor of history Allan Kulikoff

“1776: Not Just the Revolution” – Based on his book “West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776,” UGA’s Richard B. Russell Professor of American History Claudio Saunt writes an article in the Boston Globe for the Independence Day weekend.

She Blinded Me with Science: How do fireworks get their colors? – R&B article quotes Norbert Pienta, chemistry professor

NSF grant to help UGA math department attract, train more students – Thanks to a $2 million National Science Foundation grant, “UGA will continue its efforts to educate math majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” reports

Monroe, Chaplin and Python on board for Summer Classics series at Ciné – ABH article quotes Richard Neupert, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor of theatre and film studies

Questioning Confederate memorials – Two activists say the state of Georgia should “pull the plug on its official support of Confederacy celebrations,” reports Creative Loafing.  “I agree wholeheartedly that neither state-sponsored commemorations of the Confederacy or monuments thereto on state property are appropriate,” said James Cobb, UGA professor of Southern history and culture.

Research challenges fundamental precept of organic

Common Core to replace CRCT, ITBS testing for grades K-12 – R&B article quotes Sybilia Beckman, a UGA Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor of mathematics

Weather Channel’s new “WxGeeks” show to be hosted by UGA’s Marshall Shepherd – The head of UGA’s Atmospheric Sciences Program and immediate past president of the American Meteorological Society is “already a star in the world of weather and climate” but “is now going to be a TV star,” the Athens Banner-Herald reports.

Magnetically controlled nanoparticles enhance stroke treatment – Research led by physics professor Yiping Zhao of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is reported in, University Herald and in Nature World News.

“Another failed war? About 60% of cancers are preventable” – A story in USA Today magazine on the number of Americans who continue to die from what are considered preventable or curable cancers quotes assistant professor of genetics Melissa Davis.

The Washington Post quotes UGA geography professor Andrew Grundstein in a report that “thunderstorms can worsen asthma and allergies.” The article examines the phenomenon of thunderstorm-related asthma, which occurs even among people who otherwise don’t exhibit asthma symptoms.

How to rename six proposed Californians – “Let’s put aside the question of whether it would be wise to carve-up the nation’s most populous, economically-powerful state.  The real issue is: What should we call the six new states?” writes Stephen Mihm, associate history professor- Waco Tribune and Sun Sentiel report. 

NBC meteorologist Raphael Miranda and former President of the American Meteorological Society Marshall Shepherd discuss the latest in weather forecasting, satellites, and dual-pole radar on MSNBC. 

Alien Atmospheres - Methane, CFCs and other signs of smart ETs – Space Daily article quotes Samantha Joye, the UGA Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences in the department of marine sciences

West Bank experienceEd Pavlic, professor of English, writes about his time spent in the West Bank this summer.

Collaboration between east and west produces new Rumi translation – ABH (the 13th century Persian poet’s works have been translated by professor of English emeritus Coleman Barks)




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