Department News


Featured in the UCLA Newsroom :: UCLA Professor Blaire Van Valkenburgh and Colleagues Receive NSF Grant to Enhance Undergraduate Education

$2.4 million grant will help UCLA to make undergrad STEM courses more interactive, more effective

A four-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help UCLA redesign some undergraduate courses to make them more interactive and more interdisciplinary.

The multipronged initiative, which is already underway and under the auspices of UCLA’s division of life sciences, could transform key courses for thousands of UCLA undergraduates. It is part of a campus-wide goal for all science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses to implement teaching methods that have been proven in peer-reviewed studies to help motivate and engage students.
Read More


Professor Greg Grether featured in UCLA Newsroom

For full article, please visit: UCLA Newsroom.


Celebrate Earth Day 2015 with a Lunch & Learn showcasing the Natural Reserve System :: On the Front Lines of Climate Change; Erin Riordan, UCLA & UC Berkeley

UC’s Office of the President will celebrate Earth Day 2015 with a Lunch & Learn showcasing the Natural Reserve System. Plant ecologist Erin Riordan, a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA and UC Berkeley, will give a talk entitled On the front lines of climate change. Read More


Congratulations to Mairin Balisi, Mark Phuong, and Margaret Simon as Recipients of NSF DDIG Awards



Professor Paul Barber Receives an Academic Senate 2015 Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

Please join us in congratulating Professor Paul Barber in Receiving a 2015 Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award! Congratulations! Read More


Congratulations to Professor Michael Alfaro in Receiving a Life Sciences Excellence Award

Please join us in congratulating Professor Michael Alfaro in receiving a Life Sciences Excellence Award for Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion.


Announcing the Recipients of NSF Predocs!

Please join us in congratulating Annabel Beichman (Wayne) and Kelcie Chiquillo (Barber), who have just been notified that they received NSF Predocs. Incoming student Zac Gold (Barber) and one pending student have also received them. In addition, at least one alum from a previous undergraduate class (Niko Hensley) also received one (he’s currently a PhD student at UCSB).

Let us also extend our congratulations to Robert Cooper (Grether/Shaffer) and Sarah Helman (Lloyd-Smith) for making the Honorable Mention group.



Professor Blaire Van Valkenburgh named one of Phi Beta Kappa Society's Visiting Scholars 2015 - 2016

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Selects 13 Visiting Scholars for 2015-2016

(Washington, D.C.) – The Phi Beta Kappa Society is pleased to announce the appointment of 13 Visiting Scholars for 2015-2016.

Since 1956, the Society’s Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.

Each year, members of the Committee on the Visiting Scholar Program select top scholars in the liberal arts and sciences to travel to universities and colleges where Phi Beta Kappa chapters are located. Visiting Scholars spend two days on each campus meeting informally with undergraduates, participating in classroom lectures and seminars, and giving one major address open to the entire academic community and the general public.

The 2015-2016 Visiting Scholars will make 100 visits during the academic year.

Michael Bérubé, Sparks Professor of Literature, Pennsylvania State University
David K. Campbell, Professor of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University
Hazel V. Carby, Dilley Professor of African American Studies and American Studies, Yale University
2015-2016 ɸBK-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar
Carol Greenhouse, Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University
David B. Grusky, Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
Rigoberto Hernandez, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology
Mae Ngai, Professor of History & Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies, Columbia University
Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Larry A. Silver, Farquhar Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania
Harold W. Stanley, Distinguished Chair in American Politics & Political Economy, Southern Methodist University
Richard Sylla, Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets, New York University
Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
Vincent L. Wimbush, Director, Institute for Signifying Scriptures

Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s oldest and most recognized academic honor society. It has chapters at 283 colleges and universities and more than half a million members. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.

Additional information about the Visiting Scholar Program can be found on Phi Beta Kappa’s website (

Addition: Article now featured in the UCLA Newsroom


UCLA Professor Jamie Lloyd-Smith and Postdoc Katie Gostic Featured in UCLA Newsroom - AIrport Screening for Viruses Misses Half of Infected Travelers but Can be Improved

[Jennifer Mitchell | February 24, 2015] In the past decade, the H1N1 virus and Ebola are just two of the diseases whose spread was spurred by international airline travel. Screening passengers at airports, therefore, could be one key method for slowing the global spread of infectious diseases.

And although a team lead by UCLA researchers has found that airport screening misses at least half of infected travelers, the scientists say that rate could be improved. Their research was published in eLife, a highly regarded open-access online science journal. Read More


Paper by UCLA Professor Kirk Lohmueller and Graduate Student Bernard Kim featured in the NYT :: A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia

In 2010, scientists made a startling discovery about our past: About 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of living Europeans and Asians.

Now two teams of researchers have come to another intriguing conclusion: Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of Asians at a second point in history, giving them an extra infusion of Neanderthal DNA. Read More