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Academic Minute

The Academic Minute for 10.27-10.31

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Monday, October 27
Alex Müller - University of Cape Town   
Health Care and LGBT Discrimination
Dr. Alexandra Müller is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Health and Human Rights Division at the University of Cape Town. She qualified as a physician and also received her Dr.med. (PhD equivalent) in Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. Dr Müller’s research centers broadly on sexual and gender minority health and health rights of other vulnerable groups in South Africa, where she has lived for the last several years. More specifically, her research explores the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the South African public health system, and pioneers pedagogical approaches to integrating critical theory into the curricula of South African medical schools and nursing colleges. Her interdisciplinary research has been published in various academic journals. She has also authored numerous publications aimed at the general public, including the first South African sexual and reproductive health guides for transgender people and their primary care providers. Dr Müller’s aim is to improve health care for LGBT and other vulnerable people in South Africa and beyond, through applied research and partnerships with civil society organisations, academics and government representatives...

Tuesday, October 28
Andrew Gallup - SUNY Oneonta    
Yawns are Cool
Dr. Andrew Gallup is an evolutionary psychologist who has diverse interests in evolution and behavior. His research utilizes both humans and animal models to approach basic and applied questions in ethology and evolutionary psychology. He teaches courses in introductory and biological psychology. Andrew holds a BA in Psychology with Honors from the University at Albany and his PhD in Biological Sciences (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) with a Graduate Certificate in Evolutionary Studies from Binghamton University. Before coming to Oneonta, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University.

Wednesday, October 29
Heidi Appel & Rex Cocroft - University of Missouri
Plants Can Hear
Dr. Rex Cocroft is a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at The University of Missouri. The Cocroft Lab studies the evolution of communication and its role in divergence, speciation and social behavior. Their study animals are plant-feeding insects. Social and ecological interactions among herbivorous insects often involve substrate-borne vibrations, so they also investigate the important features of this widespread but under-studied form of communication. Furthermore, because mechanical vibrations provide information about the activity of plant-dwelling arthropods, they have recently begun investigating the plant’s ability to perceive herbivore-generated vibrations and respond adaptively to them.

Dr. Heidi Appel has a research appointment and co-directs the Schultz-Appel Chemical Ecology Lab. Motivated by a desire to explain patterns seen in nature by their underlying mechanisms, her main research interests are to understand how plants recognize and respond to insect herbivores with chemical defenses, how responses to insects are modified by demands from other stresses, and how well those defenses work. This requires a multidisciplinary approach including ecology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, and she studies Arabidopsis, poplar, and grape because of their genetic advantages for gene expression work. Her current research is focused in three areas: 1) dynamic “induced” responses by plants to attack by insects, 2) how some insects mask their attack or even manipulate plant defenses, 3) how plant responses to insect herbivores influences their responses to other stresses. She co-teaches a graduate seminar on Molecular Ecology of Plant Herbivore Interactions.

Thursday, October 30
Gary Kwiecinski - University of Scranton
Save the Bats
Dr. Gary Kwiecinski is a professor of biology at the University of Scranton. Faculty often serve as a resource to the community as well. For example, Dr. Gary Kwiecinski serves as an authority on bat biology for locals as well as for the scientific community.  Articles in the media on the mysterious decline of bats featured Dr. Kwiecinski’s expert opinions. He also served as one of the organizers for the 38th North American Symposium on Bat Research (NASBR) held in Scranton.

Friday, October 31
Richard Veit - Monmouth University               
A Cultural History of Cemeteries
Richard Veit is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the History and Anthropology Department at Monmouth University. Dr. Veit received his BA from Drew University in 1990, his MA in Historical Archaeology from the College of William and Mary in 1991, and his PhD. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. In 2007 he was the recipient of Monmouth University’s Distinguished Teacher Award and in 2012 he received Monmouth University’s Donald Warnecke Award for outstanding university service. At Monmouth he teaches courses on archaeology, historical archaeology, New Jersey history, Native Americans, and historic preservation.

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