Please note that Odis Johnson, PhD, will join the education department as associate professor in spring 2015.
Talia Dan-Cohen, PhD, joins the anthropology department as an assistant professor in sociocultural anthropology. Her research centers around the anthropology of knowledge, science and technology studies, social theory and epistemology. Currently, her research examines how the life sciences are being reshaped by new approaches to the study and manipulation of living beings. She is also revising a book manuscript based on this research, titled Shelf Life: Knowledge and Nature through Synthetic Biology.
Xinyi Liu, PhD, joins the anthropology department as assistant professor. He received his
doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 2010. Most recently he has held an appointment as postdoctoral researcher at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He is currently conducting research that includes stable isotope studies, archaeobotany and ethno-archaeology to establish when and how the early globalization of staple foodstuffs happened. In order to understand the pathways of movement across the continent, he is collaborating on excavations in Romania, Kazakhstan and three regions that fall within the territory of modern China: Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet.
Amanda Melin, PhD, joins the anthropology department as an assistant professor in physical
anthropology. Her research focuses on biological anthropology and evolutionary ecology, with a special interest in the relationships between sensory and foraging ecology and their roles in human and nonhuman primate evolution and adaptation. Her current projects include variation in primate sensory genetics and links with behavioral ecology; the roles of diet, habitat and the senses in primate origins and adaptive radiation; and the effects of seasonality on foraging ecology, nutrition, and ecological intelligence. In 2011, she received her doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Calgary in Canada.
Joshua Blodgett, PhD, joins the biology department as assistant professor. Most recently, Blodgett served as associate director of microbiology at Warp Drive Bio, LLC, which deploys state-of the-art technologies to access powerful drugs hidden within microbes. Before joining Warp Drive Bio, Blodgett earned his PhD in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School. He specializes in the genetics of Streptomyces and other bacteria, biosynthesis, molecular biology, natural products discovery, and heterologous expression.
Arpita Bose, PhD, joins the biology department as assistant professor. Arpita is a microbiologist by training. Her general interests are microbial physiology, microbial ecology, biogeochemical cycling, gene regulation, microbial metal respiration and Earth history. During her graduate work and post-doctoral research, she used an interdisciplinary approach to understand microbial metabolism. Her post-doctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Harvard University focused on the discovery of unknown metabolic capabilities of anoxygenic phototrophic and sulfate-reducing microbes, which are key players in global biogeochemical cycles. For her PhD research she studied methanogenesis performed by the poorly understood archaea at the University of Illinois at Urbana. She was a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow from 2010 to 2013 and L’Oreal USA fellow in 2013. Her research has been published in Nature Communications, Molecular Microbiology and Journal of Bacteriology.
Julio M. D'Arcy, PhD, joins the chemistry department as an assistant professor. His research focuses on functional nanoarchitectures of organic and inorganic electronics. His areas of expertise are the synthesis and applications of organic semiconductors for energy storage applications, optoelectronics, and sensors. Previously, he was awarded the MLK scholar postdoctoral fellowship by MIT to work for Paula T. Hammond at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of California in Los Angeles. His advisor was Richard B. Kaner in the Department of Chemistry at UCLA.
Bryce Sadtler, PhD, joins the chemistry department as an assistant professor. Sadtler received
his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009 where he developed chemical transformations in colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals. He was a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology until 2014 where he studied the light-driven growth of inorganic nanostructures. His research specializations include nanoscience, materials chemistry, and physical chemistry, with projects that focus on developing new materials for solar energy conversion and storage.
Earth and Planetary Sciences
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Christian Schneider, PhD, joins the Germanic Languages and Literatures department as
assistant professor. He received his PhD in 2007 from Heidelberg University after transitioning from a study of law to history and German languages and literature. Most recently he held the position of Assistant Professor in Medieval German Literature at Heidelberg University. His research and teaching interests are in medieval narrative theory, late medieval courtly culture, pre-modern intellectual history, and textual criticism. He is the author of a monograph on the function of courtly ideals within the literary life of the Habsburg and the Salzburg courts in the 14th century.
Anika Walke, PhD, joins the department of History as assistant professor. Anika was educated
at the University of Oldenburg, Germany and the State University of St. Petersburg, Russia, and completed her doctorate at the University of California. She was a Research Fellows at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 and recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in International and Area Studies at Washington University. Her research and teaching interests include war memory, migration, and nationality policies in the (former) Soviet Union and Europe. Her forthcoming book, Pioneers and Partisans: Soviet Jewish Youth Confront the Nazi-Genocide (Oxford University Press, 2015), weaves together oral histories, video testimonies, and memoirs to show how the first generation of Soviet Jews experienced the Nazi genocide and how
they remember it after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
Todd Kuffner, PhD, joins the Mathematics department as assistant professor. His research
interests include likelihood and asymptotics, objective Bayes, applications of differential geometry to statistics, empirical likelihood, bootstrap, lasso, and econometrics. Todd completed his doctorate at Imperial College London.
Christopher Stark, DMA, joins the music department as an assistant professor in composition.
He was the recipient of the coveted Underwood Commission from the American Composers Orchestra and winner of the prix de composition from the Orléans International Piano Competition. Most recently, he was awarded a Fromm Foundation Commission and was one of three winners of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Commission Project. His music has been performed in concert venues around the world. He earned his doctorate from Cornell University.
Casey O'Callaghan, PhD, joins the philosophy department and philosophy-neuroscience-
psychology program as associate professor. O'Callaghan specializes in metaphysics and philosophy of mind and perception. His research and teaching focuses in part on sound, auditory perception, and multi-modal perception. His work challenges claims that knowledge about perception gained by studying vision can be directly applied to other sense modalities, such as hearing, smell, and taste. O'Callaghan regularly speaks at national and international events and conferences. He earned his PhD from Princeton University and has served as a member of the faculty at Rice University since 2008.
Julia Staffel, PhD, joins the Philosophy department as assistant professor. Julia specializes
in formal and traditional epistemology, and her work also relates to issues in philosophical logic and the philosophy of science. Her other philosophical interests include philosophy of language and linguistics, and philosophy of mind. Julia completed her doctorate at the University of Southern California.
Kater Murch, PhD, joins the physics department as assistant professor. He previously served as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his PhD in 2008. In his doctoral work, Murch focused on general problems in quantum measurement and performed some of the first studies of position measurement quantum backaction. Murch's research group at Washington University conducts research at the interface of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) and condensed matter physics. He and his colleagues use nanofabrication techniques to construct superconducting quantum circuits that allow them to probe fundamental questions in quantum mechanics. His recent publications include articles in Nature and the Physical Review.
Daniel Butler, PhD, joins the political science department as associate professor. His research
uses experiments to study issues of representation. This research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and other journals. His book Representing the Advantaged: How Politicians Reinforce Inequality was published in July 2014 by Cambridge University Press. He received his doctorate from Stanford University in 2007. Most recently he held an appointment as associate professor at Yale University.
Heike Winterheld, PhD, joins the psychology department as assistant professor. After receiving her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 2008, Winterheld served as assistant professor at California State University, East Bay. Her research examines how personality-related characteristics shape interpersonal dynamics in dating or married couples. She is also interested in understanding how these dynamics undermine or promote psychological and physical health. She uses multiple research methods (e.g., behavioral observation, surveys, and experimental methods), and most of her research takes a dyadic approach, i.e., she examines how characteristics of both partners contribute to the outcomes of the interactions between them.
John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics
Lerone Martin, PhD, joins the faculty of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics
as an assistant professor of religion and politics after a one-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Center. He earned his doctorate at Emory University in 2011, and from 2010-2013, he taught courses in American religious history at Eden Theological Seminary. He was recently selected for the national Young Scholars in American Religion 2014-2016 cohort as one of the top ten pre-tenure scholars in American religion by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. He currently chairs the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Committee on Teaching and Learning and serves on the AAR Afro-American Religious History Group as well. His first book project, Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion (New York University Press, 2014) will be released in the fall.
Mark Valeri, PhD, joins the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics as the Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics. Valeri’s areas of research and teaching include religion and social thought in America; Reformation theology and the political history of Calvinism; Puritanism; and enlightenment moral philosophy. Valeri comes to Washington University from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where he served on the faculty since 1996. He received his PhD from Princeton University. His latest book, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America, received the 2011 Philip Schaff Prize from the American Society of Church History.