0 comments Monday, 31 December 2012

1. Emeritus Professor Peter Higgs will grow a beard.
2. Dr Karen H. Beard will find ecological significance in the bearded clam.
3. Professor Slavoj Žižek will discover Grecian 2000.

4. Young Beard of November 2012, Dr Alan Goddard, will enjoy his new appointment at the University of Lincoln.

5. Professor Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Oxford Professor of Poetry Geoffrey Hill will finally get to fight it out in a poetry competition atop Mount Doom.

0 comments Sunday, 23 December 2012


0 comments Thursday, 13 December 2012

Professor Keith Beven and his splendid beard have been awarded the prestigious Robert E. Horton Medal by the American Geophysical Union. Established in 1974, the Horton Medal is named in honor of Robert E. Horton, who made significant contributions to the study of the hydrologic cycle. The Horton Medal is awarded not more than once annually to an individual “for outstanding contributions to hydrology.” You may recognise Professor Beven from his previous exposure on Academic Beards, his visage used as an icon on Academic Beards on Twitter, and his starring role in Academic Beards: Some Say Academic Beards. You might be able to tell we have a soft spot for Professor Keith Beven's beard. We don't entirely understand what it is he does because it's a little modern for our academic tastes, but clearly the Earth and Space Science community think very highly of him. Congratulations on your recent honour Prof Keith from all the committee at Academic Beards.  


0 comments Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dr. William G. Fahrenholtz, professor of ceramic engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T), has been named Curators' Professor of ceramic engineering. Fahrenholtz will be officially recognised during commencement ceremonies at S&T on Saturday, Dec. 15. We think he would be recognised wherever he goes - the tonal variations in whiskers and mane are most distinctive.

0 comments Sunday, 9 December 2012

Dr Michael Kasumovic is an evolutionary biologist and part of the Ecology & Evolution Research group in the School of BEES at the University of New South Wales.

His research generally explores the innate differences between males and females and how the environment, both social and ecological, modifies these differences. He's also interested in how individuals maximize fitness in what seems to be a chaotic and unpredictable world. He's fascinated by how individuals use the information available during development to best make allocation decisions across suites of traits to best succeed in a future environment.


0 comments Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Academic Beards is bemused by Professor John Boyer, a senior instructor in Virginia Tech's geography department. Boyer's alter-ego is a cartoon character called The Plaid Avenger, who features in a series of lecture videos and a text book. Doting students can also purchase a range of merchandise including stickers, comic books or a pint glass to remind themselves of Professor Boyer's prowess in the lecture hall.

Professor Boyer says:

I have been teaching in the Department of Geography since 1998, actually teaching my first course (World Regional Geography) as I was finishing up my Master's degree research. At the time, the course had an enrollment of 50 students and was one of the biggest offered in our small department. In the last decade, I have grown that course to an enrollment of 575, offered every semester, and am teaching it to 2700 students this Fall...the third time I will be breaking a record for the largest class offered at Virginia Tech. This one will be incorporating elements of on-line video and on-line student interaction, as I continue to push the envelope incorporating new technologies into the learning environment.

What does Academic Beards think about all this? We are undecided.

See for yourself: http://thejohnboyer.com/

0 comments Friday, 2 November 2012

Dr Alan Goddard, Postdoctoral Researcher, Oxford University Biomembrane Structure Unit

Goddard is interested in how G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) come together to form dimers and how this influences, and is influenced by, ligand binding and G protein activation. He uses a variety of techniques including ensemble FRET and single molecule fluorescence approaches in collaboration with Dr Mark Wallace's group in the Department of Chemistry.


0 comments Sunday, 7 October 2012

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, University of Verona.

Ricercatore, Dipartimento di Informatica, Ex Facoltà di appartenenza Scienze matematiche fisiche e naturali, Università degli studi di Verona.

Research Area: Calculus of variations and optimal control; optimization. Viscosity solutions for Hamilton–Jacobi equations. Optimal transport problems. Nonsmooth Analysis and applications to Optimal Control Theory.


0 comments Friday, 28 September 2012

This photograph appears in 'Dr John Clifford, C.H. Life, Letters and Reminiscences' by Sir James Marchant, LL.D., first published in 1924, opposite page 218. Dr John Clifford was born at Sawley on 16 October 1836. John Clifford rose from a twelve hour per day child apprenticeship in a large factory through university exams in arts, science, and law to outstanding leadership in the Baptist Christian community. Among his fellow Baptists he was considered a progressive influence theologically. Socially, he frequently sided with radical movements, as evidenced by his membership in the Fabian Society. Politically, he exercised great influence on several pieces of legislation relating to education; he was a known supporter of David Lloyd George. In many ways, Clifford was the father of social Christianity among Free Churchmen in Great Britain. He used his Baptist conviction of religious liberty to advance his feeling that the message of Christ should be interpreted in light of growing knowledge and experience. He opposed, for instance the 'living-in' system of apprentices and later the atrocities perpetuated by the Belgians upon the Congo peoples. In 1885 his church established a home for unemployed women, and for more than thirty years he led in the temperance crusade to close public houses where neighborhood sentiment was in strong opposition. Clifford's attitude about the new interpretations of the Bible soon put him into conflict with Charles H. Spurgeon. The pastor at Praed Street had long urged attention to Darwin's work and German higher criticism, two issues Spurgeon saw as symptomatic of the 'down-grade' of Baptist life and thought. Eventually, Spurgeon withdrew from the Baptist Union in 1887, and Clifford was subsequently elected its president. In his inaugural address in 1891 he addressed the topic 'The Coming Theology'; he argued for the increase in the unity of humanity and a greater appreciation for Christianity. To Clifford's credit, he became the symbol of global Baptist leadership moving into the twentieth century. His openness led to significant positions in both the Baptist World Alliance and the Evangelical Free Churches in Great Britain. It was the issue of church-related primary and secondary education which made Clifford a powerful influence in the making of public policy. In the 1870s he welcomed legislation that created religious education in private schools. Clifford reasoned that the 'conscience clause' deprived schools where such instruction was offered of the right to public revenues. For this reason, in 1902 when a second Education Bill provided increased support for religious education in public schools, Clifford protested loudly and led a large-scale 'passive resistance' to the legislation. The preacher, who was largely credited with overturning the bill, had planned to protest with all his might against teaching a set of dogmatic theological opinions. He wished theological dogma to be taught, but by the churches, and at the expense of the churches. Clifford's literary output was remarkable. He penned ninety-nine books or pamphlets, edited denominational newspapers, and carried on a voluminous correspondence. His contributions were honored by heads of government and institutions; in 1883 Freewill Baptist Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, conferred on him in absentia an honorary doctorate. Sensitive to British opposition to 'bogus American degrees,' Clifford gracefully declined, preferring to be known as 'the pastor of Praed Street, Paddington'. (information from the 'generalbaptist' website)

0 comments Sunday, 16 September 2012

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, professor of English at Allahabad University, had hoped to be the first Indian in 300 years to be elected Oxford Professor of Poetry when a successor to Christopher Ricks was chosen in 2010. But alas, he was pipped at the post by Geoffrey Hill who won the position and its “lousy” salary (£6,901 a year).


0 comments Saturday, 15 September 2012

Professor Hill was elected as Oxford’s 44th Professor of Poetry in June 2010. A graduate of Oxford, Hill read English at Keble College and his prolific and much honoured career as a poet has been accompanied by a series of academic posts at Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge and Boston University. While at Boston he was, with outgoing Professor of Poetry Christopher Ricks, a founding co-director of the university’s Editorial Institute. Geoffrey Hill gives a rare interview on Newsnight:


0 comments Thursday, 6 September 2012

I am a lecturer in Sustainable Heritage at the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage. I graduated in Physics from the University of Ferrara, Italy, with a dissertation on technical imaging applied to easel paintings and I completed my PhD at the same institution with a dissertation on Nuclear Activation Analysis.
Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, where I studied prehistoric flint tools using a particle accelerator, I collaborated with the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, US, on a project entitled Organic Materials in Wall Paintings. This project aimed to deepen our present understanding of the use of organic materials in wall paintings by means of scientific investigations.

While working on this project, I became interested in conservation-related issues.  I decided to study for a Masters in Conservation of Wall Paintings at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I completed the course in 2007 and in the same year I was appointed a Mellon Fellow at the British Museum, where I developed multispectral imaging in the conservation of artistic and archaeological materials. Special attention was given to the development and implementation of visible-induced luminescence digital photography, a novel technology for the non-invasive identification of Egyptian and Han blue pigments. Using visible-induced luminescence imaging, it was possible to prove, for the first time, that the frieze and the pedimental sculptures of the Parthenon at the British Museum were originally painted using Egyptian blue.

I applied the same imaging technique on several artworks, including the sarcophagus of Seti I at the Sir John Soane’s Museum; the wall paintings in the Tomb of Tutankhamen, as part of a project coordinated by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Egyptian Antiquity Authority; the tomb paintings of Nebamum; the Mausoleum at Halykarnassos and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos at the British Museum.


0 comments Saturday, 25 August 2012

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have devotedly followed your website and facebook page ever since your 'champion' academic beard was that of my beloved PhD supervisor, Prof Keith Beven. Whilst I can never claim to ever rival his 'bearded' excellence, I do have a beard of my own - would it be possible to be cited in your journal of academic facial pubes?  It would mean a lot to both myself and my folically-challenged students... (two, albeit weak, ginger beard photos attached)

I did send a similar email to the Royal Society on my non-beard related excellence - they suggested that I go and procreate... You are truly my last hope of achieving any distinguished recognition in my field.

Best wishes, Stewart

A/Prof Stewart W. Franks

School of Engineering
University of Newcastle

Our Reply:

Dear A/Prof Stewart W. Franks,

Sorted. Say 'hi' to Prof Keith next time you see him. We've never met him, but he feels like an old friend by now (he's still our Twitter beard of choice).

Can we ask for a small service from you in return, which will benefit the whole community? Can you put in a request that your university media office includes releases from http://academicbeards.blogspot.co.uk/ in its media reports. We fear that press officers fail to understand the full gravity of our attention.

Academic Beards

0 comments Thursday, 9 August 2012

Andrew Le Sueur

Andrew is the Director of Studies at the Institute of Law, Jersey. He is Professor of Public Law at Queen Mary, University of London (since May 2006), where he is Director of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Law. He previously held academic posts in the University of Birmingham (as Barber Professor of Jurisprudence, 2001-2006) and UCL (Lecturer, then Reader in Laws, 1988-2000). He is a qualified Barrister in England and Wales and a 'bencher' of Middle Temple. His research and teaching is in the field of constitutional and administrative law and he is editor of the journal Public Law.


0 comments Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Professor Róbert R. Spanó, Dean of Faculty, Faculty of Law, The University of Iceland

Professional Career: 
  • Acting Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland from 1 January 2009. 
  • Professor of Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation from 1 November 2006 (tenured position) (On leave from 1 January 2009). 
  • Associate Professor of Law, University of Iceland, from 1 August 2004 (tenured position). 
  • District Court Judge (provisional appointment) from 1 April 2004 to 15 May 2004. 
  • Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland from 1 January 2002 to 31 July 2004. 
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Iceland, from 1 September 2000 to 30 June 2002 (part-time).
  • Assistant Professor of Law, University of Iceland, from 1 July 2002 to 31 July 2004 (part-time). 
  • Legal Adviser, Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, from 15 August 1998 to 31 December 2000. On leave from 15 September 1999 to 10 August 2000. 
  • Assistant District Court Judge from 15 September 1997 to 1 July 1998. 
  • Legal Adviser, Office of the Directorate for Tax Investigations, from 14 May 1997 to 14 September 1997.
  • Lecturer on law, University of Iceland, from 1 February 1997 to 31 August 2000.
  • Elected Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Iceland, From 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2012. 
  • Acting Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Iceland, from 1 January 2008 – 30 June 2008. 
  • Elected Vice-Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Iceland from 30 August 2007. 
  • Appointed by the Minister of Justice as Acting District Judge in Case No. E-1939/2006: Guðjón St. Marteinsson vs. The Icelandic State. 
  • Editor-in-Chief. Review of the Lawyer’s Association of Iceland from 2005.

0 comments Saturday, 21 July 2012

Wales' early modern medical historian Dr Alun Withey (we believe this is not him) writes on 'Beards, Moustaches and Facial Hair in History'. Alun Withey is an academic historian of early modern medicine and social history, with a particular interest in Welsh medical history. From the 1st September 2012 he’ll be a research fellow at the University of Exeter, working on  the Wellcome-Trust funded project “The medical world of early modern England, Wales and Ireland, c. 1500-1715″.


0 comments Friday, 20 July 2012

Alexander Egan, Graduate Student, Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota.

My interests in entomology include population ecology, geographic range, and use of indicator species for resource protection or remediation efforts. I am currently working to identify invertebrate communities utilizing coastal rock pools at several national parks of Lake Superior, recognize rare or alpine-arctic disjunct invertebrate taxa, and assist the parks in long term management strategies for protecting coastal habitats. Because international shipping lanes pass near or through the parks, an important use of these data will be for geographic triage during spill response, and shoreline habitat restoration in the event of oil or fuel spills.


0 comments Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jessica Beard is a 6th year doctoral candidate in the Literature department at UCSC. She attended SUNY Buffalo in 2003-2004 where she received an MA in the Poetics program and began her work on Emily Dickinson. She is currently working on a dissertation on reading and editing Dickinson’s manuscripts entitled, “’Bound—A—Trouble’: the Archive, the Canon and the Classroom.” The dissertation argues that in Dickinson’s work each poem contains multiple iterations that must be read and understood together. Such work demands that we actually read multiply. This project will include a chapter discussing the merits and difficulties of using digitized literary works to represent such multiplicity as scholars as well as teachers. It will also include a digital edition of a set of Dickinson’s poems in multiple forms and editions using the SOPHIE e-book program from USC. Jessica also co-organizes the Poetry and Politics research cluster at UCSC, bringing contemporary poets and scholars to campus for readings, lectures, workshops, and conferences.

0 comments Saturday, 12 May 2012

They used to be seen as highly attractive and a symbol of masculinity, but new research has found the beard may have fallen out of favour.

Wellington anthropologist Barnaby Dixson has published his doctoral thesis on the significance of the beard, and whether old theories about their evolution still hold true.

Charles Darwin said that men evolved beards as a result of sexual selection - theorising that women chose a partner based on a man's facial fur.

But Dixson found that the ability of a beard to attract women and scare off rivals may not be as strong in the 21st century.

The findings may be unwelcome reading for famous beardies like Brad Pitt, Piri Weepu, Willie Apiata, Liam Finn, Daniel Vettori, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Connelly and the Christchurch wizard.

Dixson's study tested the responses of 200 modern women from different ethnic backgrounds to pictures of a group of men with beards, and the same men without beards.

The women said that they found the men more attractive when they were clean shaven, but the findings also revealed bearded men were thought of as more socially dominant.

Both men and women looking at the photos also said faces with full beards looked older and angrier.
Dixson said the result stacks up against traditional theories about beards, as it shows facial hair can make people look more aggressive - a trait which would have traditionally been attractive to partners.

Published: 9:19PM Wednesday March 07, 2012 Source: ONE News


Dr. Kyle Barrett
Post-doctoral Associate
D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
The University of Georgia

  • Impacts of climate change on animals and their habitats
  • Land-use alteration of habitats, especially as it relates to urbanization
  • Environmental stressors that drive stream occupancy in vertebrates
  • Conservation biology, especially as it relates to reptiles and amphibians

0 comments Friday, 6 April 2012

Dr. Richard Ramsey
School of Psychology
Bangor University

In broad terms, Richard Ramsey's research examines how the human brain processes dynamic social information from the environment, such as other people's actions, eye-gaze, knowledge and beliefs in order to coordinate behaviour. To do so, he uses a variety of methods, which include behavioural measures of performance (e.g., reaction times and error rates) and state-of-the-art functional brain imaging techniques (e.g., repetition suppression, multi-voxel pattern analysis and connectivity analysis). Recent lines of investigation have focussed on a number of different questions, which aim to examine the cognitive and brain systems that underpin our ability to understand the actions and mental states of other people. These include: How does the identity or knowledge-state of another person shape the perception of their actions? How are the actions of human and non-human agents (e.g., robots and animated shapes) processed in the brain? What cognitive and brain systems are involved in taking another person's perspective? How is the perception of other people's eye-gaze coordinated in the brain and how does another person's gaze-direction influence one's own imitative behaviour?


0 comments Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Professor David Vocadlo
Canada Research Chair Tier II
Canada Research Chair in Chemical Glycobiology
Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellow
Department of Chemistry
Simon Fraser University

The Laboratory of Chemical Glycobiology

Glycobiology is the study of the structures and roles of carbohydrates in biology. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not simply energy sources but play many essential roles in cell and organismal biology. Various different types of carbohydrate building blocks are known and these can be linked together in various ways by carbohydrate processing enzymes. The resulting carbohydrate structures are attached to other molecules found in cells including proteins and lipids. The carbohydrate structures present on the resulting glycoconjugates continue to be uncovered as important factors in health and disease.

The laboratory for chemical glycobiology headed by Dr. Vocadlo is engaged in the study of; (i) carbohydrate processing enzymes that act on glycoconjugates, (ii) the development of chemical tools to both perturb the action of these enzymes as well as to monitor glycoconjugates, (iii) and the use of these chemical tools to gain new understanding as to how these enzymes and glycoconjugates mediate biological processes. To realize these aims we study the structures of glycoconjugates using various analytical approaches. We also synthesize substrates to study the specificities of carbohydrate processing enzymes and use the methods of physical organic chemistry and biochemistry to understand how they work to process glycoconjugates. Insights gained through such studies are used to design chemical probes of these enzymes, with a focus on enzyme inhibitors. These probes are validated in vitro, in cells, and in vivo as appropriate. A central objective is to create selective probes of carbohydrate processing enzymes that can be used to evaluate the roles of carbohydrate structures of interest in health and disease.


0 comments Saturday, 4 February 2012

0 comments Thursday, 2 February 2012

Dr Adam C Algar, Lecturer
School of Geography, University of Nottingham

I did my PhD at the University of Ottawa in Canada, on how climate influences the evolution and diversity of regional species assemblages. I then did a post-doc at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, USA in the laboratory of Jonathan Losos, where I worked on island-mainland biogeography of Anolis lizards. I took up a lectureship at the University of Nottingham in February, 2011.

0 comments Sunday, 29 January 2012

Rarely does one find YouTube videos of such quality. Well done Dr Beardy Man.

0 comments Saturday, 21 January 2012

Academic Beards wonders why The Guardian uses the name Robert Lambert when reporting on the words of Co-Director of the European Muslim Research Centre at the University of Exeter and Bob Lambert when reporting on the deeds of an undercover policeman. Are they not the same beard?

0 comments Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Lee J Stemkoski
Assistant Professor
Mathematics and Computer Science
Adelphi University

0 comments Friday, 13 January 2012

Dr Sivia worked in the maths department at St John's college in Oxford
The wife of an Oxford University professor found dead at the home of a fellow academic said she believes his death was a 'tragic accident'.

Professor Steven Rawlings, 50, was found at the home of his best friend of more than 30 years, maths lecturer Dr Devinder Sivia, 49, on Wednesday.

Dr Sivia, from Southmoor, Oxfordshire, was arrested on suspicion of murder and released on police bail until April 18.

Today Prof Rawling's wife Linda Rawlings believed her husband's death was a 'tragic accident'.

The professor's older sister Linda Davey, 64, said: 'We can't think that there was any kind of fight. We can only assume that it was a terrible accident.'

Police confirmed this afternoon that a post-mortem had proved inconclusive and the matter might be a matter for a Coroner's inquest rather than a criminal court.

Police discovered the professor’s body after they were called about an ‘incident’ at Dr Sivia’s bungalow.

Further tests will be carried out over the next few weeks to discover the cause of death.

Det Supt Rob Mason, from Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Unit, said: 'A substantial amount of information is already in the public domain and we can confirm that the two individuals involved have been friends for over thirty years.

'I would emphasise that the police are investigating all potential circumstances that could have led to his death.

'We are mindful that ultimately the death may be a matter for a Coroner’s inquest rather than a criminal court and I would ask for patience from both the media and the public while we continue our investigation.

'Due to the post-mortem examination results proving inconclusive and further examinations being required, this has necessitated a lengthy bail date.'

A neighbour is said to have tried to save the dying man’s life by desperately pumping his chest. But minutes after officers arrived, Dr Sivia – who was dressed all in white – was led away in handcuffs after being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2085873/Oxford-don-Dr-Devinder-Singh-quizzed-death-professor-Steven-Rawlings.html#ixzz1jNPfwTpt

0 comments Sunday, 8 January 2012

Is this man an academic or a tramp? Professor or hobo? Hot or not? If you think you know the answer then take the University of Toronto quiz Prof or Hobo? and prove your academic beard sensing prowess.

0 comments Thursday, 5 January 2012

Dr Giacomo Vivanti
Research Fellow
Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering
School of Psychological Science
Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre
Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, Margot Prior Wing - La Trobe University Community Children’s Centre, Melbourne (Bundoora)
Dr Giacomo Vivanti received his PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of Siena, Italy, in 2008. He joined the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) at La Trobe University, in August 2010. After completing a visiting fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University, and a clinical internship at the University Hospital of Siena, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis under the mentorship of Professor Sally Rogers, Professor Sally Ozonoff, and Professor Peter Mundy. His current research is focused on the cognitive processes underlying action understanding, imitation, and social learning in Autism, and the impact of early intensive treatment on the outcomes of young children with Autism. Dr Vivanti is a member of the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia of Autism and Related Disorders and a member of the Italian Department of the Health Committee to establish evidence-based guidelines for Autism treatment in Italy. In addition he is a consultant for University programs, scientific institutions, advocacy groups, scientific journals, and service providers across Europe, U.S.A., and Australia. He is the author of two books, several book chapters and numerous research papers published in leading peer-reviewed Psychology journals.