Faculty research gaining notice

The Office of Research Programs and Services celebrates New College faculty’s research endeavors:


Associate Professor of Biology Emily Saarinen’s article on mixing rates in weakly differentiated stocks of greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) in the Gulf of Mexico was accepted and published by the journal Genetica. In addition, Dr. Saarinen’s article on a long-term survey of spring monarch butterflies in North-Central Florida was accepted and published in the Journal of Natural History. This manuscript was completed with nine other top butterfly researchers and is the last publication of Dr. Saarinen’s friend and world’s leading monarch expert, Dr. Lincoln Brower, who passed away this summer. The article represents one of the longest term field studies on any butterfly.

Awards, Grants and Contracts Secured

Professor of Biology and Marine Science Sandra Gilchrist secured a grant from the HDR Foundation to address microplastic pollution in nearshore waters. Her project will give an annual baseline of microplastics in water and sediment that can be added to state and 5 gyres databases, providing information for a reduction/clean-up strategy. Dr. Gilchrist expects to engage at least 120 college students and 30 teachers in her project and will continue to process and collect samples as part of class work and senior projects with New College students.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Christopher Kottke achieved a multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation for his project entitled “RUI: Analysis on HyperKahler Moduli Spaces.” Dr. Kottke will collaborate with national and international colleagues to contribute to the body of work on moduli spaces, which are important objects of study in geometry. This work will complement Dr. Kottke’s classroom teaching, supervising of original undergraduate research, mentoring student-led project-based independent study projects, and an ongoing initiative to improve diversity and gender parity in the math major.

Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies David Brain secured additional funding from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology School of Architecture and the Built Environment to continue his and New College students’ work on Public Space and Urbanism Research Database Development. Through this work, Dr. Brain and students will continue to identify and review available research in the social sciences for inclusion in the Center’s database. Dr. Brain also secured new funding from KTH to perform his work on Civic Urbanism: Configuring the New Urban Commons.

Proposals Prepared and Submitted

Associate Professor of Anthropology Erin Dean, in collaboration with a colleague at Emory University, resubmitted to NSF’s Cultural Anthropology program a proposal on Collaborative Research: Anthropological Perspectives on Renewable Energy, Infrastructure, and Gender in Tanzania. If funded, the researchers will focus on the East African country of Tanzania, using ethnographic methods to examine how people understand, use and experience renewable energy technologies in a resource-poor and postcolonial context.

Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center Jayne Gardiner submitted to the Save Our Seas Foundation Keystone Grant her proposal on “River Rivals: Elasmobranch Habitat Partitioning in an Estuarine Nursery Area.” If funded, Dr. Gardiner will employ acoustic tagging and tracking of juvenile sharks and rays to examine fine-scale details of habitat usage in the Manatee River. The project will examine how multiple species may partition the habitat, potentially shifting to areas that fall outside of their preferred environmental parameters, in order to share the same nursery area simultaneously. The project will also provide opportunities for undergraduate and public school students to be mentored by female leaders in the field while engaging in elasmobranch field research and advanced tagging techniques.

For more information on ORPS and the services we provide, visit our webpage, drop in at our offices at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library rooms 130 and 129, give us a call at ext. 4649 and 4650, or write us at orps@ncf.edu.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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