Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Appointments

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Appointments

Article excerpt

University of California, Berkeley

Geoff Marcy

A pioneering planet hunter has been appointed to the Watson and Marilyn Alberts chair in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley. Geoff Marcy, who is currently professor of astronomy at Berkeley, said it was "an extremely exciting time" to be working in the field. "The discovery of extrasolar planets has spawned the search for Earth-like, habitable worlds and for life in the Universe," he said. "Our recent discoveries will inevitably lead us to more related work as we find increasing numbers of potentially habitable planets." Professor Marcy studied for his undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles and went on to the University of California, Santa Cruz to study for his doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics. He then took up a Carnegie fellowship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington before moving to San Francisco State University, where he was professor of physics and astronomy and subsequently distinguished university professor. He joined Berkeley in 1999. Professor Marcy, who is co-investigator on Nasa's Kepler team, said he "couldn't be more pleased" with his appointment. "As we continue to search for habitable planets, we will also seek methods to detect signals from extraterrestrial intelligence," he said. "This appointment will assist me in developing that research and allow me to support and involve dynamic emerging astronomers, who will continue this work long into the future."

University of Aberdeen

Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst, professor of production geoscience at the University of Aberdeen, has received the Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for his "distinguished and outstanding contributions" to the field. Professor Hurst received his undergraduate degree from Aberdeen and his PhD from the University of Reading. He went on to work in industry, where he stayed for 12 years before moving to his current role in 1992. He is the founding editor of the journal Petroleum Geoscience and served on the AAPG's publication committee from 2005 to 2008. As well as his scholarly work in the field of petroleum geology, Professor Hurst is the founder and chairman of Fabric of the Land, an annual exhibition that aims to bridge the gap between science and art. He said that he was delighted to be recognised for his work, but stressed that he saw his achievements as a team effort. "To receive the Grover E. Murray Award is a huge and surprising honour for one who has a substantial debt to many ever- supportive and patient academic colleagues," he said. "Any award is flattering, and to receive this award for doing a job I love is great. If one cannot inspire students about a science as wonderful as geology, what a failure that would be."

Brown University

Julio Ortega

The Mexican government has bestowed its highest honour for foreign citizens - the Order of the Aztec Eagle - on Julio Ortega, professor of Hispanic studies at Brown University and a noted playwright, poet and novelist. Professor Ortega received a master's degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a doctorate at the National University of Santa before leaving to work in the US, first at the University of Texas at Austin, then at Brandeis University. …

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