CLAS Convocation

2004 Convocation

UF Research Foundation Professors

The University of Florida Research Foundation (UFRF) recently recognized its annual class of 33 UF Research Foundation Professors. The three-year professorships are based on nominations from department chairs, a personal statement and an evaluation of recent research accomplishments as evidenced by publications in scholarly journals, external funding, and honors and awards. This year, six CLAS professors received UFRF awards, which include a $5,000 annual salary supplement and a one-time $3,000 research grant. The professorships are funded from the university’s share of royalty and licensing income on UF-generated products.

Colin Chapman

Colin ChapmanColin Chapman is an associate professor of zoology who has made many important contributions to understanding tropical biology and primate ecology. His research has used experimental and observational approaches to address questions related to how plant communities influence animals and how animals influence their environment. Most of his research has focused on primates, and he has conducted fieldwork in Canada, the Caribbean and Costa Rica, and has established a long-term research and training program in Kibale National Park in Uganda.

Chapman has been at UF since 1993 and has received numerous grants in support of his work from the National Science Foundation, the Leakey Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and has research collaborations with his wife, Lauren Chapman, a fellow zoology professor and 2003-2004 UFRF professor.

David Foster

David FosterDavid Foster is an associate professor of geology, with scholarly achievements primarily in the fields of tectonics and thermochronology. Since arriving at UF in 1997 his research has combined detailed field observations with high precision radioactive dating measurements.

He is one of a select group of geoscientists who has successfully integrated data to lead to a better understanding of the physical, chemical and geodynamic processes that control the evolution of continents and continental fault zones. In particular, Foster's lab is one of a handful in the world that has the capability to characterize the thermal history of rocks from 50 to 500 degrees C. His research has a strong international component, with active projects and research collaborations in Australia, Austria, Nambia and New Zealand.

Arthur Hebard

Arthur HebardArthur Hebard is a professor of physics who specializes in condensed matter. His research focuses on the fabrication and characterization of thin-film structures and the unusual physical phenomena that occur within restricted dimensions.

Much of his work is done through the facilities of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and consists of four key areasÉtransport in thin films, magneto-transport in semimetals, novel interfacial effects in thin-film capacitors and magnetic semiconductors.

He has been issued six US patents for his work and has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation. Hebard came to UF in 1996, after spending most of his professional career as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Laboratories.

Weihong Tan

Weihong TanWeihong Tan is a professor of chemistry, and he specializes in the areas of bioanalytical chemistry, biomedical engineering and biophysics. His work combines molecule manipulation and bioanalytical instrumentation with biochemistry and molecular biology to develop technologies, molecular probes and advanced materials for biomedical problems affecting human health and fundamental biomolecular processes.

He has ten active grants from agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the NSF and the Packard Foundation. Tan came to UF in 1996, and is the associate director of UF's Center for Chemical Research at the Bio/nano Interface.

In 2004, the Pittsburgh Conference recognized his work in biosensors, molecular recognition, molecular engineering and bionanotechnology.

Timothy Vollmer

Timothy VollmerTimothy Vollmer is an associate professor of psychology. His contributions to the field have involved extending research on basic behavioral principles to the application of treatment for both severe and mild behavior disorders displayed by children. In the past five years, this work has been supported by two research grants from the National Institutes of Health and more than $4 million in funding from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Vollmer has taught at UF since 1998. Currently, he is creating laboratory models of common behavioral treatments, as well as evaluating parent-child interactions based upon known principles of behavior and learning. For the DCF, his work involves teaching foster parents basic behavioral parenting skills to be used when interacting with previously abused and neglected children.

Luise White

Luise WhiteLuise White is a professor of history, specializing in eastern and southern Africa. Her work spans, and often integrates, political, social and cultural history, folklore, anthropology and ethnography, gender studies, oral history and the history of medicine.

She has published several books, including The Assassination of Herbert Chipeto in 2003 and Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa in 2000. Her first book, The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi, published in 1990, won the Herskovits Prize of the African Studies Association.

White's current research project is a book-length study of the Rhodesian army as it struggled to defend Rhodesia's renegade independence in the 1960s and 1970s. White came to UF in 1998 and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses.


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