David S. Strait, PhD, joins the anthropology department as professor. His research focuses on three main areas: 1) The evolution of feeding biomechanics, diet, and dietary adaptations in extant primates and fossil hominins; 2) hominin phylogeny and the evolutionary inferences that can be drawn from phylogenetic patterns; and 3) paleoanthropological fieldwork focusing on biogeographic questions. In 1998, he received his doctorate from State University of New York at Stony Brook in anthropological sciences. Most recently, he served as director of human biology and professor of anthropology at the University of Albany.
Carlos Botero, PhD, joins the biology department as assistant professor. Botero received his doctorate from Cornell University in 2007. Since 2012, he has served as a distinguished postdoctoral fellow with the North Carolina State University Initiative for Biological Complexity. Botero’s laboratory at Washington University uses a variety of tools from ecology and evolutionary biology to explore how life, from bacteria to humans, copes with and adapts to repeated environmental change. He is particularly interested in cultural evolution, experimental evolution, and eco-evolutionary dynamics of extreme environments. His most recent publications appear in Ecology Letters and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
Richard David Vierstra, PhD, joins the biology department as the George and Charmaine Mallinckrodt Professor. Vierstra’s research interests include: (1) Pathways used by plant and animals to selectively degrade intracellular proteins, which are central to many human diseases and important contributors to the genetic engineering of plants with increased agricultural productivity; (2) post-translational modifications involved in plant stress defense; and (3) mechanisms used by plants to perceive their light environment. He received his doctorate from Michigan State University in 1980 and most recently served as the Stanley J. Peloquin Professor of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin –Madison. There, his research team recently won an Alumni Research Foundation award for work with light sensing phytochromes, which are the main photoswitches that enable plants to germinate, become photosynthetic, respond to shade, and flower.
Tom Keeline, PhD, joins the classics department as assistant professor. His current book project explores the reception of Cicero in the centuries immediately following his death, and his other academic interests include Latin literature, textual criticism, lexicography, metrics, and the history of classical scholarship and education from antiquity to the present. Keeline received his doctorate from Harvard University in 2014 and was previously an assistant professor at Western Washington University. He is also a St. Louis native and received his master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009.
Luis Alejandro Salas, PhD, joins the classics department as assistant professor. His research interests focus on Greek and Roman medicine and philosophy, and, more broadly, Greco-Roman intellectual history. His work considers the ways philosophical ideas and polemics influence medicine in the Greco-Roman world from the Hellenistic period through the second century CE. In 2013, he received his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in the Joint Program in Ancient Philosophy. He is the associate editor of APEIRON, an international journal for the history of science and philosophy, and is currently working on a book about Galenic polemics.
Ebony Duncan, PhD, joins the education department as assistant professor. Her research interests focus on the intersections of social change and social inequality in school and community contexts. Particularly, she considers questions about how schools and school policies shape racial differences in educational access, experiences, and outcomes. Her current research examines the racial implications of charter schools, and has been funded by the American Educational Research Association and Vanderbilt University, where she received her doctorate in sociology.
Long Le-Khac, PhD, joins the English department as assistant professor. His most recent research investigates the prominence of short-story cycles and multi-plot forms in contemporary Asian American and Latina/o fiction, arguing that this form’s narrative tensions echo the social tensions with which these communities grapple. His broader research interests include Asian American, Latina/o, and 20th- and 21st-century American literature and the digital humanities. He received his doctorate from Stanford University in 2015, where he was a dissertation fellow at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
Monique Bedasse, PhD, joins the history department as assistant professor. Her research interests include Modern Caribbean history, the African diaspora, Modern Africa and transnational history. She received her doctorate from the University of Miami, and she most recently served as assistant professor of history at Connecticut College.
Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
Aria Nakissa, JD, PhD, joins the department of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures as an assistant professor in Islamic studies. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School, an MA in Islamic law from the International Islamic University in Malaysia, and a joint-PhD (2012) in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University. He is interested in anthropological approaches to law in Muslim societies, covering both the premodern and modern periods, with a regional focus on the Arab world and Muslim Southeast Asia. In particular, his research focuses on the history of Islamic legal theory, the relationship between Islamic law and social practice, and more recent interactions between the Islamic and liberal legal traditions, including the reception of human rights in different Muslim societies.
Wushi Goldring, PhD, joins the mathematics department as assistant professor. Goldring’s research interests include number theory and algebraic geometry. He earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 2011 on Galois representations associated to holomorphic limits of discrete series. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, the University of Paris, and, most recently, a lecturer at the University of Zurich.
José Figueroa-López, PhD, joins the mathematics department as associate professor. Figueroa-López’s research interests include mathematical finance, probability and stochastic processes, statistics, and information and coding theory. He earned his doctorate in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004 and most recently served as associate professor at Purdue University. In 2012, Figueroa-López was awarded an NSF CAREER grant for “Bridging High-Frequency Data Analysis and Continuous-time Features of Lévy Models.” In 2014, he was named a Purdue Faculty Scholar, which recognizes "outstanding accomplishments by faculty mid-way through their academic career.”
Brett D. Wick, PhD, joins the mathematics department as associate professor. His research interests include harmonic analysis, several complex variables, function theory, and operator theory. He received his doctorate from Brown University in 2005 and then held postdoctoral positions at Vanderbilt University, the Fields Institute in Canada, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Most recently he held the position of associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2010, Wick was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER grant for "An Integrated Proposal on the Corona Problem." He is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and a former recipient of fellowships from both the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Fields Institute for research in the mathematical sciences.
Ryan Ogliore, PhD, joins the physics department as assistant professor. Ogliore’s current research focuses on analysis of comet samples from NASA’s Stardust mission. In order to learn more about the formation of comets and, in turn, about the origins of the solar system, he uses secondary ion mass spectrometry to measure isotopes in tiny cometary grains. Ogliore’s other research interests include investigating surface processes on airless bodies through analyses of asteroidal and lunar regolith, measuring the elemental and isotopic composition of the solar wind, and cosmic ray physics. He received his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in 2007 and most recently served as assistant researcher at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
David Cunningham, PhD, joins the sociology department as professor. With support from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Cunningham focuses his current scholarly work on the scope, organization, and legacy of racial contention. His past work centers on the Ku Klux Klan, in particular the complex roles that the Klan played in various communities throughout the 1960s, and the enduring impacts of KKK activity. Cunningham most recently served as professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University, where he had been a faculty member since 1999. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Jake Rosenfeld, PhD, joins the sociology department as associate professor. After receiving his PhD from Princeton University in 2007, Rosenfeld joined the faculty of the University of Washington (Seattle), where he served as associate professor until 2015. His research and teaching focus on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the United States and other advanced democracies. Recognitions for Rosenfeld's work include the 2013 John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award, given by the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). His most recent book, What Unions No Longer Do, shows in detail the consequences of labor’s decline.
Adia Harvey Wingfield, PhD, joins the sociology department as professor. Wingfield received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and served on the faculty of Georgia State University from 2006-15. She specializes in research that examines the ways intersections of race, gender, and class affect social processes at work. In particular, she is an expert on the workplace experiences of minority workers in predominantly white professional settings, and specifically on black male professionals in occupations where they are in the minority. She is the author of several books, most recently the award-winning No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men's Work.