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News Archive

Mapping Drought in Tropical Forests

Global climate change may bring more frequent episodes of the kind of extreme heat and dryness experienced during the 1997-98 El Niño. For that reason forest ecologist Jim Kellner and graduate student Carlos Silva studied the long-term impact of that weather pattern on a tropical forest in Costa Rica, using thousands of measurements of the height of the forest canopy over 12 years.

School Violence Lowers Test Scores, Not Grades

School crime and academic achievement:

Violent crime rates in schools have a negative effect on test scores but not on grades, according to a study by Julia Burdick-Will, a postdoctoral research associate in the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Published this month in Sociology of Education, the study analyzed police and school records in Chicago from 2002 to 2010.

Comedy at Trinity Rep by MFA Students

MFA students Sylvia Kates, Tangela Large and Mark Larson star in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, opening on November 21 in the Dowling Theatre. The comedy follows the return home of Masha, a very successful movie star and the sibling rivalry that ensues with her younger brother and sister, Vanya and Sonia. Masha's arrival with her new boyfriend Spike causes a stir in her hometown of Bucks County, PA. More information and tickets at

Sheridan Center Academic Career Series: Life as a Faculty Member

Guest faculty from various institutions will share their experiences as a faculty member and the career paths that led to their academic positions. All sessions are geared for graduate students and postdocs from all disciplines. The first session will be held on October 30 with Erica Haskell, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of New Haven. Additional events will be held in the spring. For more information and to register, please visit

Brain Anatomy and Language in Young Children

Language acquisition and the child brain:

Researchers from Brown University, including doctoral student in Engineering Douglas Dean, and King’s College London have gained surprising new insights into how brain anatomy influences language acquisition in young children. Their study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that the explosion of language acquisition that typically occurs in children between 2 and 4 years old is not reflected in substantial changes in brain asymmetry.

Rafiq Wins Fulbright-Hays Fellowship

Mohamed Yunus Rafiq will pursue a year-long research project in Tanzania, thanks to a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship. “I am grateful that I will be able to fully dedicate my time and efforts to my research on how Muslim religious figures mediate relations between the state and the citizens through public health programs in post-socialist Tanzania,” he says.

MFA Students to Perform at WaterFire

Second-year MFA students from the Brown/Trinity Rep program in Acting and Directing will perform scenes from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night or What You Will Saturday night during WaterFire. Performances will be at 6:00, 6:45, 8:00 and 8:45 pm on Steeple Street in downtown Providence.

Much Ado About Nothing Staring Second-Year MFA Students

The Shakespearean comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, will run October 18-20 in the Pell Chafee Performance Center. MFA student Flordelino Lagundino is directing the show, which also features student actors: Devon Caraway, Uche Elueze, Britt Faulkner, Billy Finn, Shelley Fort, Elise Hudson, Ralph Adriel Johnson, Michael Jennings Mahoney, Ian McNeely, Sophie Netanel, Andrew Polec, Marina Shay, Whitney White and Max Wolkowitz.

Largest, Most Accurate List of RNA Editing Sites

How to spot RNA editing:

Researchers, including doctoral student Georges St. Laurent (Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry), have compiled the largest and most rigorously validated list to date of genetic sites in fruit flies where the RNA transcribed from DNA is then edited by an enzyme to affect a wide variety of fundamental biological functions. The list yielded several biological insights and can aid further research on RNA transcription because flies are a common model in that work.