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Thursday, September 22 2011


Stanley Harpole

Stanley Harpole

New approach challenges old ideas about plant species and biomass

It is no longer hump day, according to new research in the current issue of the journal Science. Research that included Stanley Harpole of Iowa State University challenges a widely-accepted idea from the 1970s showing as plant biomass produced in a system increased, so did the number of plant species, to a point. After that point, the number of plant species is thought to decline. When plotted on a graph, the result is a hump shape, with maximum species richness occurring at the point of intermediate productivity. But, now it's time to get over the hump.

News release.

Babcock named Iowa State’s Cargill Chair and leader of the Biobased Industry Center

Bruce Babcock will be Iowa State's next Cargill Endowed Chair in Energy Economics and director of the university's Biobased Industry Center. Babcock has been with Iowa State's economics department since 1990 and has directed the university's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development since 1998.

World Food Prize laureate to kick off new ISU One Health lecture series

The Iowa State University-based international One Health Commission will sponsor a lecture with ISU by 2010 World Food Prize Laureate David Beckmann. "One Health: World Health Through Collaboration," will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Des Moines Marriott, Salon D, 700 Grand Ave.
News release.

'Piled Higher and Deeper' comic author to screen film adaptation and speak Sept. 27

Jorge Cham will screen the film adaptation of his popular online comic strip about life in academia and speak at Iowa State on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The film, "Piled Higher and Deeper: The Ph.D. Movie," will begin at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Cham's talk will follow the 67-minute film. Cham has been called the Dilbert of academia for his comic strip. Appearing in numerous university newspapers, it chronicles the struggles and humor of the lives of graduate students and stressed out academics.
News release.

Gov. Branstad will speak at Biorenewables Complex groundbreaking, phase two

The groundbreaking ceremony for phase two of ISU's Biorenewables Complex is set for Friday, Sept. 30, at 3:30 p.m. Gov. Terry Branstad will speak. Phase two includes Virgil B. Elings Hall and a second agricultural and biosystems engineering building, funded through $60.4 million in state appropriations and $14.1 million in private support.

ISU Foundation news release.

Two finalists for ISU presidency announced

Two finalists for the presidency of Iowa State University have been announced by the presidential search committee. Steven Leath and Kumble Subbaswamy will be on campus later this week.

News release.

Presidential search website.

Newspaper columnist Rekha Basu to speak at Iowa State Sept. 26

Longtime Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu will present the keynote address for the 35th anniversary of the women and gender studies program at Iowa State on Monday, Sept. 26. Her talk, "How the Media Looks at Women," will be at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It is free and open to the public. The Women's and Gender Studies Program will host a reception following the talk.
News release.

ISU's Wells leads study finding sequential photos more accurate for eyewitness IDs

A study led by Gary Wells, an ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology, that gathered data from police criminal investigations from four cities has found that sequential photo lineups -- those in which witnesses view one suspect photograph at a time -- produce fewer mistaken eyewitness identifications than simultaneous photo lineups.

Iowa State expands its role in economic development

Iowa State University has been recognized as a national leader in research, technology transfer and entrepreneurship. Now, ISU is launching new initiatives designed to build partnerships across the state to increase the number of university startups and connect the university's extensive research capabilities to Iowa companies.

News release.

Iowa State astronomer: ‘Beware of the wildlife, even in apparently quiet galaxies’

Iowa State's Curtis Struck wrote a News & Views commentary -- "Astrophysics: Rough times in the Galactic countryside" -- published in the Sept. 15 issue of the journal Nature. Struck's paper provided context and color to a study that suggests the Milky Way's past may not have been as peaceful as astronomers thought.
News release.

Iowa State chemists help astronauts make sure their drinking water is clean

Researchers from Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have developed chemistry and procedures that astronauts can use to test the quality of their drinking water at the International Space Station. The testing technology is now considered operational hardware at the space station. Astronauts will begin using refinements to the tests in late September.
News release.