News and Events

The latest headlines garnered by CLAS faculty and students in the national and international media.

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Research in the News

Thomas Bianchi, Geological Sciences

Bianchi's team studied the effects of controlled flooding the Colorado River Delta and discovered a potential climate change effect

A mixed response, July 7, 2016, UF News [press release]

Colorado River pulse flow released surge of greenhouse gases, June 29, 2016, Summit County Voice

Controlled Colorado River flooding released stored greenhouse gases, June 27, 2016,

Andrea Dutton, Geological Sciences

Dutton's team used a paleothermometer to address the question of how the dinosaurs died. (UF press release*)

Volcanoes weakened dinosaurs while asteroid dealt knock-out blow, July 6, 2016, Cosmos Magazine

Research: Dinosaurs Done In by One-Two Climate Punch, July 7, 2016, VOANews

Also see Dutton's expert opinion in the news.

Jian Ge, Astronomy

Ge, with postdoc Bo Ma, discovered the first known close binary solar system. (UF press release* re-published on, Astronomy Now, and ScienceDaily)

Giant planet and brown dwarf discovered in a close binary system HD 87646, Aug. 16, 2016,

Is everything we know about the solar system WRONG? Bizarre new star formation leaves scientists baffled, Oct. 20, 2016, Daily Mail

Mike Gil (doctoral student), Biology

As a PhD student at UF, Gil analyzed the ecological effects of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a floating mass of plastic debris. (UF press release re-published on ScienceDaily.)

Barnacles Plus Plastic Trash Make Rafts for Ocean Animals, Feb. 22, 2016, Discover Magazine

Chris A. Johns (PhD student), Biology

Johns studies the endangered leaf miner moths and conversation issues in Hawaii. He also produced a mini-documentary on them.

These Moths Are the Size of Your Eyelash—And in Big Trouble, Nov. 18, 2016,

Micromoths in Huge Trouble: The Dwindling Food Source of Hawaii's Philadoria Species, Nov. 28, 2016, Nature World News

Ibram X. Kendi, History

Reframing Racism [Chronicle review], Dec. 2, 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education

New history clarifies the workings of racism; author Ibram X. Kendi shares his thoughts, Dec. 5, 2016, The Seattle Times

UF LIGO Team, Physics

Gravitational waves found from colliding black holes, June 15, 2016, CNBC

What is Einstein's Theory of Relativity?, Sept. 20, 2016, Wired

Second gravitational wave signal detected, June 15, 2016, ScienceNews

‘Astronomy of the 21st century’: LIGO spots gravitational waves again, June 15, 2016, The Christian Science Monitor

Jingzhe Ma (PhD student), Astronomy

‘Hyper-starburst’ galaxy churns out stars, clues to universe's evolution, Dec. 8, 2016, Chandra X-Ray Press Center [press release]

William H. Marquardt, Archaeology

Archaeologist Bill Marquardt lauded for life's work, Nov. 5, 2016, News-Press/USAToday

Michael McDonald, Political Science

McDonald's voter turnout data is frequently cited in the news.

Should Democrats be concerned over low black voter turnout in Florida? Yes — a little., Nov. 1, 2016, Vox

More Floridians voting by mail; Democrats sense advantage, Oct. 21, 2016, The Sun-Sentinel

Early Voting Could Point to Hillary Clinton Victory Well Before Nov. 8, Oct. 11, 2016, The New York Times

Black women vow to be a powerful voting force again this year, Jan. 16, 2016, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Also see McDonald's expert opinion in the news.

Paulette McFadden, Archaeology

McFadden studies how ancient Floridians dealt with climate change.

What can we learn from early Floridians on sea-level rise?, Apr. 16, 2016, NPR

Connie Mulligan, Anthropology

Mulligan examined the effects of racist discrimination on cardiovascular health and found that having a loved one suffer discrimination may raise your blood pressure. (UF press release)

Knowing Someone Who Faced Discrimination May Affect Blood Pressure, Dec. 21, 2016, NPR

Discrimination against loved ones harms health, too, Dec. 29, 2016, Futurity

Joseph Pfaller (doctoral student), Biology

As a PhD student, Pfaller (also courtesy faculty with the Archie Carr Sea Turtle Research Center) discovered that Pacific crabs change from monogamy to polyamory depending on where they're living.

Oceanic crab found to change its mating habits based on refuge size, Sept. 22, 2016,

Surfing on a turtle's tail makes swinging crabs monogamous, Sept. 21, 2016, New Scientist

Oceanic crabs get promiscuous, if the size of the room is right, Sept. 21, 2016, Popular Science

Ashley Sharpe (doctoral student), Archaeology

Old teeth, new stories, Nov. 18, UF News [press release] (picked up by Newswise)

Brian Silliman, Biology

Silliman discovered that the symbiotic relationship between mussels and marsh grasses could help protect wetlands from climate change-related events.

Biodiversity in salt marshes builds climate resilience, Aug. 19, 2016, National Science Foundation [press release]

Daniel Smith, Political Science

Smith's data analysis of primary and early voters is frequently used by news media.

Donald Trump is not expanding the GOP, May 17, 2016, Politico

Should Democrats be concerned over low black voter turnout in Florida? Yes — a little., Nov. 1, 2016, Vox

Millions of Americans Have Already Voted. So Who's Winning?, Nov. 1, 2016, Slate

Weak early voter turnout among African-Americans hurts Clinton in Florida, Nov. 1, 2016, Politico

As ID Laws Fall, Voters See New Barriers Rise, Oct. 25, 2016, The New York Times

Early Voting Could Point to Hillary Clinton Victory Well Before Nov. 8, Oct. 11, 2016, The New York Times

Democrats Push to Extend Voter Registration in Storm-Damaged Florida, Oct. 8, 2016, The New York Times

High Hispanic Early Voting Numbers Seen as Boost for Hillary Clinton: Experts, Nov. 7, 2016, ABCNews

Pre-Election Day turnout is up on the Treasure Coast, Nov. 8, 2016, TCPalm/USAToday

More votes were cast in 2016 than in 2012 — but that doesn't mean turnout was great, Nov. 15, 2016, The Washington Post

Also see Smith's expert opinion in the news.

Wei David Wei, Chemistry

Wei David Wei discovered a mechanism for plasmonic synthesis of gold nanoparticles. (UF press release* re-published here)

Scientists use gold to grow nanoparticles in crystal formation, July 8, 2016, UPI

Experts in the News

Ken Chitwood (PhD student), Religion

HBO's ‘Westworld’: Robot sex and the nature of the soul, Dec. 2, 2016, Religion News

Andrea Dutton, Geological Sciences

Dutton comments on theories about the extinction of the dinosaurs.

After asteroid hit, a giant cloud of smoke led to dinosaurs’ demise, study says, July 15, 2016, Los Angeles Times

Dutton offers her expertise on tidal flooding, discussing her research in the Florida Keys and the Seychelles.

Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun, Sept. 3, 2016, New York Times

Hurricane Matthew's Destructive Storm Surges Hint At New Normal, Oct. 10, 2016, National Geographic News

Stephen Golant, Geography

Golant discusses new trends in living situations for retirees.

Retirement housing becoming a family affair, Jan. 19, 2016, The Baltimore Sun

Aging parents at a distance who aren't really ‘just fine’, March 30, 2016, U.S. News and World Report

Lillian Guerra, History

Guerra comments on the Cuban Adjustment Act and the immigration politics of South Florida.

Cubans to rush to US amid a swirl of island rumors, Feb. 9, 2016, CNBC

Michael Martinez, Political Science

Florida Voter Turnout Climbs From 2012, Analysis Shows, Dec. 7, 2016, WUFT News

Michael McDonald, Political Science

McDonald is an expert on voter turnout and the creator of the Election Project blog.

Vasudha Narayanan, Religion

Narayanan discusses the implications of the possible appointment of the first Hindu justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What would a Hindu justice mean for the Supreme Court?, March 10, 2016, The Washington Post

Narayanan discusses the significance of tennis player Rajeev Ram's silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.

Hindu American Olympic medal winner says religion taught him control on the court, Aug. 23, 2016, Washington Post

Kate Ratliff, Psychology

Ratliff discusses implicit biases in the context of police aggression.

Law Enforcement Uncover Prejudice With Implicit Bias Training, July 15, 2016, WFSU

Ray Russo, Geological Sciences

Russo comments on the earthquake that wasn't.

Not an Earthquake: U.S. Navy explains vibrations in Florida, July 19, 2016, Christian Science Monitor

Sadie Ryan, Geography

Ryan is working with the Emerging Pathogens Institute to address the Zika crisis.

Why Aedes aegypti are so good at transmitting Zika, and other FAQs, Aug. 14, 2016PBS

Feds approve controversial plan to release mutant mosquitoes to fight Zika, Aug. 6, 2016, PBS

Scientists Tease Out Climate Change's Role in Zika Spread, Aug. 4, 2016, Climate Central

Gov. Rick Scott says Florida is first state with locally transmitted Zika cases, July 29, 2016, Climate Central

Daniel Smith, Political Science

Smith weighs in on voter turnout, gerrymandering, and political maneuvering of voter registration.

*These releases were written by CLAS Communications staff.

Faculty Blogs and Essays

McDonald, Michael. (2016, Oct. 30). Early Voting Stability Despite News Volatility. The Huffington Post

McDonald, Michael. (2016, Nov. 2). Better hope the election's not close. USAToday

McDonald, Michael. (2016, Nov. 7). Early Vote: Election Eve Predictions. The Huffington Post

Smith, Daniel. (2016, Oct. 7). 2-to-1 Registration Advantage For Democrats Among 440K New Hispanic Voters In Florida. The Huffington Post

Smith, Daniel. (2016, Nov. 4). Florida's surge of new voters packs wallop for 2016 vote. Orlando Sentinel

Published by The Conversation

Interviews with Researchers

Democrats fret over low voter turnout in early primaries, March 4, 2016, NPR

Looking for lessons to take from primary turnout so far, March 9, 2016, MSNBC

Michael McDonald interviewed on CNN, Aug. 4, 2016, Media Matters

This Definitive History of Racist Ideas Should Be Required Reading, Dec. 7, 2016, The Root

Calusa Archaeologist Receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Dec. 13, 2016, WGCU Radio


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