May 26, 2011 | Research Alert

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Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]

Aerospace Engineering Professor Elected to United Kingdom's Royal Society

Thomas HughesFaculty member Thomas J. R. Hughes has been elected as a Foreign Member of The Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of science and the oldest known scientific society in the world.

Hughes, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, was among 44 Fellows and eight Foreign Members whose induction was announced May 20.

“It is a huge honor to join such a prestigious and respected scientific academy,” Hughes said. “I share the academy’s mission to expand the frontiers of knowledge with science, engineering, medicine and mathematics, and I’m deeply moved to be included in such an outstanding group of scientists.”

News and Information

Laude Named Interim Dean of College of Natural Sciences

David LaudeDavid A. Laude, senior associate dean for academic affairs and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, has been appointed interim dean of the university's College of Natural Sciences.

Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, dean of the college for 17 years, announced recently that she was leaving to lead the National Math and Science Initiative.

Provost Steven W. Leslie said Laude, whose appointment begins Aug. 1, would provide effective guidance and leadership for the college while a national search is conducted to permanently fill the position. Laude was associate dean for undergraduate education from 1997 until 2010, then senior associate dean for academic affairs until his appointment as interim dean.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Wired Science
May 23, 2011
HEADLINE: Crazy Sex Trick Fuels All-Male Clam Species

David Hillis (In an article about a research paper from David Hillis, a professor in the Section of Integrative Biology, and Shannon Hedtke, a research fellow in the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Wired Science quotes Hillis on the creativity of nature.)

“There are all kinds of interesting questions now about asexual systems. A lot of them we don’t know much about, and biologists never even spent any time thinking about them,” said Hillis. “When it comes to sexual systems, almost anything you can imagine, and a lot of things we never imagined, happen somewhere in nature. ”

Research Opportunities

Important University Research Deadlines

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The University of Texas at Austin Stimulus Package Web page is online.

Funding Sources

Department of Agriculture

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Food Safety Initiative
Deadline: June 27, 2011

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Water Quality Program
Deadline: July 15, 2011

Department of Defense

Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Deadline: Open

FY12 Defense Medical Research and Development Program
Clinical Trial Award - Regenerative Medicine, Pain, Sensory System (PDF)
Deadline: Pre-Application, June 1, 2011; Invitation to Submit an Application, June 2011; Application, Aug. 25, 2011

Department of Energy

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (PDF)
Deadline: Sept. 12, 2011

National Institutes of Health

Integrating Multi-Dimensional Data to Explore Mechanisms Underlying Mental Disorders
Deadline: Letter of Intent, June 20, 2011; Application, July 20, 2011

NIDCD Research On Hearing Health Care
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Sept. 30, 2011; Application, Oct. 31, 2011

National Science Foundation

Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Planned Topic Areas for FY 2012 (PDF)

Deadline: July 15, 2011

Social Psychology
Deadline: July 15, 2011

Cultural Anthropology
Deadlines: Aug. 15 and 16, 2011

Arts, Humanities and Culture

National Archives
Publishing Historical Records
Deadline: July 7, 2011 (a May 1 deadline for a draft proposal was optional)

American Institute of Indian Studies
Research fellowship programs
Deadline: July 1, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

2011 Awards in Antibacterial Research: Basic and Translational Research
Deadline: June 15, 2011

MRSA Clinical Research in Specific Patient Populations and Infection Types
Deadline: June 30, 2011

Greenwall Foundation
Kornfeld Program in Bioethics and Patient Care
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2011

Research Project

African Monsoon Systems: Basic Dynamics and Applications to Interannual and Decadal Prediction

Edward VizyKerry CookRESEARCHERS: Kerry Cook, left, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, principal investigator; Edward Vizy,right, research engineering and scientist associate, Institute for Geophysics, co-principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $457,282

Research conducted in this project will address the basic dynamics of monsoon systems in Africa, focusing on West Africa, the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA), and the influence of "cold surges" moving across North Africa from the Mediterranean.

In West Africa, the research will focus on the role of inertial instability in producing the often abrupt "jump" of the monsoon rains from the Guinea coast to the Sahel. In the GHA, the focus is on understanding the relationship between rainfall distribution and Somali jet, a low-level air current which forms in two distinct stages with are associated with the onset of monsoon rains in their respective subregions. The cold surges are important for rains in the Sahel, as they appear to be linked to the occurrence of break periods during the monsoon season when the rains are suppressed. Much of the work is carried out with a regional climate system model, which is capable of representing the weather and climate of the region, the upper layer of the adjacent oceans, and the land surface and its vegetation. The research seeks to identify the relevant physical mechanisms in present-day climate, and additional experiments will explore the possible effects of anthropogenic global warming on the African monsoon systems. The broader impacts of the work lie in the potential for a better understanding of the dynamics of the African monsoon systems to lead to skill in predicting monsoon variations, and to anticipate the effects of global warming. The principal investigator notes that the populations of the regions considered in this study are extremely vulnerable to climate variability and change, for reasons including food and water security, health risks, and political stability.

The Research Alert is an electronic publication from the Office of the Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin. It includes news of research honors and awards, news of research programs and deadlines, researchers quoted in news media, a listing of funding opportunities and a look at a current research project. It is available by e-mail and on the Web.

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