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New faculty members join COSAM

Published: 08/24/2015

By: Lindsay Miles

Several new faculty members join the departments within the College of Sciences and Mathematics. 

The Department of Biological Sciences welcomes three new assistant professors, Tonia SchwartzDan Warner and Laurie Stevison.

Schwartz spent four years working in Australia researching population genetics in fisheries, the evolution of metabolic proteins in birds and crocodiles, and sexual selection in lizards. She received her Ph.D. from Iowa State University, and as the James S. McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellow in Complexity Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she studied the evolution of molecular networks and transgenerational effects of stress. At Auburn, her laboratory will study how stress responses affect reproduction and aging, and how these molecular stress responses can evolve across populations and across species.

Warner conducted his Ph.D. research at the University of Sydney where his work focused on the evolutionary ecology of temperature-dependent sex determination in an Australian lizard. In 2012 he joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an assistant professor. With his recent move to Auburn University, his laboratory intends to continue research aimed at understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape organismal responses to their environments across all life stages, from embryos to adults.

Stevison received her Ph.D. from Duke University. Her research is focused on which evolutionary forces drive species formation and what consequences speciation has on population genetic variation. Her current work attempts to estimate variation in recombination and hybridization in a comparative genomics context and identify parts of the genome where hybridization is restricted between species.

The Department of Geosciences adds Carmen Brysch, geography lecturer. She received her Ph.D. from Texas State University in 2014. Prior to joining the department, she taught geography and social studies at the K-12 level, served as the Grosvenor Scholar in National Geographic Society's Education Foundation, and in her role as research assistant and grant coordinator in the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education at Texas State, she was involved in a variety of NSF and USDA grant-funded projects.

Hans-Werner van Wyk joins the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as an assistant professor. He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and was most recently a postdoctoral researcher at Florida State University in the Department of Scientific Computing.

Guillaume Laurent received his Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics from the University of Caen (France) in 2004. Prior to joining the Department of Physics at Auburn, he held positions as research associate and senior research associate at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain and Kansas State University. For the last two years, he worked as a research scientist in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests span a wide range of topics in fundamental and applied physics, including ion/molecule collision, gas/surface reactivity, laser/matter interaction and attosecond science. At Auburn, his research will be devoted to the real-time observation of electron dynamics in matter at the attosecond timescale, the femtosecond control of molecular fragmentation, and the generation and characterization of attosecond pulse of light.

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