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Arts & Sciences congratulates the 16 faculty members promoted to associate professor. The promotions will be effective July 1.

Elizabeth Coppock, Linguistics, specializes in formal semantics. She has made foundational contributions in relation to phenomena including reference, subjectivity, and measurement. Languages she has worked on include Hungarian, Swedish, Elfdalian, Kathmandu Newari, Turoyo, and Mandinka; she also led a 100-language fieldwork project funded by the Swedish Research Council. She has published 19 articles in top-tier journals, including Language, Natural Language Semantics, Journal of Semantics, Linguistics and Philosophy, Semantics and Pragmatics, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, and Glossa, and has made 42 contributions to edited volumes. She also served for eight years as Associate Editor for Semantics and Pragmatics.

Sarah W. Davies, Biology, is an integrative biologist. Supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, her lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying symbiosis establishment, maintenance and loss in reef-building corals and how coral genetic diversity is shaped by climate change. Her research aims to provide real-world solutions to the grand challenges of the coral reef crisis. She is a past National Academies of Sciences Early Career Fellow and was recently awarded both the International Coral Reef Society (ICRS) Early Career Award and became an ICRS Fellow. She has published 66 articles in scientific journals, including articles related to equity and mentorship.     

Zeynep Demiragli, Physics, is an experimental particle physicist working at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider located at CERN, Switzerland. Her recent work focuses on searching for dark matter particles at the particle colliders at the forefront of a newly emerging synthesis of Cosmology and Particle Physics. A winner of the CMS Young Researcher Prize, her research is supported by grants from the DOE and NSF, including a CAREER award. Additionally, she chairs multiple international and national commissions on searching for beyond the standard model physics and advancing detector development in high-energy particle physics experiments. She is an editor the Particle Physics Data Book and has well over a dozen publications in top-tier journals, including Nature. 

Cédric Fichot, Earth & Environment, is an aquatic biogeochemist and remote sensing specialist who seeks to understand the impacts of human- and climate-driven change on aquatic environments. His research blends field work, laboratory analyses, remote sensing, and modeling to address fundamental questions about carbon cycling, coastal resilience, and water quality. His work has been supported by multiple grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He recently published a review in Earth Sciences Reviews and has dozens of publications in top-tier environmental-science journals, such as Remote Sensing of Environment, Environmental Science and Technology, and Geophysical Research Letters.

Jeffrey Geddes, Earth & Environment, is an atmospheric chemist who studies the role of the biosphere on atmospheric composition. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (including a CAREER award), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (including a New Investigator award), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As a Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellow, he explored climate- and land use-driven trends in atmospheric nitrogen cycling. He is also interested in satellite observations of air pollution, contributing algorithms and science related to new geostationary observations of air quality over North America. He has published numerous articles in leading atmospheric chemistry journals, and is an editor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics.

Neha Gondal, Sociology, is a mathematical sociologist researching the role of social networks and culture in the exacerbation of status-based inequalities. She is a founding member of BU’s Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences and Core Faculty at Pardee’s Human Capital Initiative. Funded by several NIH grants and other fellowships, she has published sixteen articles and three book chapters in leading journals including Social Forces, Social Networks, and Socio-Economic Review. She has been an elected representative at three American Sociological Association sections and served on the editorial board of five flagship sociology journals including American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Social Forces. She is currently deputy editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Victor Kumar, Philosophy, specializes in ethics, cognitive science, and evolutionary theory. He has written about moral reasoning, moral learning, and moral disgust. His current work focuses on the psychological and cultural underpinnings of progressive and regressive social change. Victor’s 2022 book A Better Ape (Oxford University Press), co-authored with Richmond Campbell, is about the evolution of morality and moral progress. He is also Director of BU’s interdisciplinary Mind and Morality Lab.

Xi Ling, Chemistry, is an experimental physical and materials chemist whose research focuses on the synthesis science and physical properties of two-dimensional materials for electrical, optical and quantum devices. She is a lead or co-PI on multiple major grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and American Chemistry Society (ACS). Her contribution to the discovery and development of graphene enhanced Raman scattering (GERS) has been recognized through the prestigious NSF CAREER award. She is a past recipient of the University’s Provost Career Development award. She has published a book chapter and over 90 articles in top-tire scientific journals including Nature, Nature Materials, Journal of American Society of Chemistry (JACS), Science Advances and Advanced Materials.

Renato Mancuso, Computer Science, specializes in embedded and real-time systems, focusing on reconfigurable hardware platforms and multicore resource management for high-performance, safety-critical, and cyber-physical systems. Supported by industry leaders like Red Hat, Bosch, Cisco, and the NSF (including a CAREER award), his work enhances timeliness and safety in autonomous systems like unmanned aerial vehicles and driverless cars. He has published over 75 peer-reviewed papers, receiving several best paper awards at top conferences, and garnering over 2300 citations. Renato also received the Gitner Family Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology.

Michaela McSweeney, Philosophy, is an expert in metaphysics, epistemology, and logic. Many of her papers explore fundamental problems in the philosophy of logic and metaphysics. Her more recent work develops a systematic account of understanding and uses it to explore topics in epistemology, moral philosophy, the philosophy of mental illness, and social philosophy. She has published numerous articles in leading journals. She is currently working on a monograph about the metaphysics and epistemology of abstract reality, as well as several papers that expand upon her work on understanding.

Christoph Nolte, Earth & Environment, studies land conservation decisions and the effectiveness of environmental policies. His research draws on geography, economics, and data science to infer causal effects of land conservation, estimate conservation costs, and value environmental amenities and risks. He leads and co-leads several grants from NASA and NSF that combine satellite and social data to estimate effects of public conservation finance, develop cost-effective strategies for long-term conservation, and track changes to lake water quality amenities. He published over 50 articles in leading interdisciplinary journals, including PNAS, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Conservation Letters, and Land Economics. 

Steve Ramirez, Psychological and Brain Sciences, is a systems neuroscientist studying the mechanisms of learning and memory. He received his B.A. in neuroscience from Boston University and began researching learning and memory in the laboratory of Howard Eichenbaum. Steve went on to receive his Ph.D. in neuroscience in the laboratory of Susumu Tonegawa at MIT, where his work focused on artificially modulating memories in the rodent brain, and continued this work at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow. His lab’s current work focuses on manipulating memories to understand their causal role in cognition and behavior, as well as to leverage this manipulations and alleviate symptoms associated with pathologies of the brain. Steve has received an NIH DP5 award and an NIH Transformative Award, the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity award, National Geographic’s Breakthrough Explorer prize, Forbes and Technology Review’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35 award, the Chan-Zuckerberg Science Diversity Leadership award, a Pew Foundation award, and has given two TED talks.

Mickey Salins, Mathematics & Statistics, is a leading young mathematician working in probability, stochastic partial differential equations, and infinite dimensional stochastic dynamical systems. Stochastic analysis governs the evolution in time and space of a vast array of models that consider the presence of randomness, an inherent component in models throughout the physical and engineering sciences.  In a series of single-authored papers in the very top journals of his field, Professor Salins has made deep and impactful contributions, several of which resolved longstanding open questions, thus deepening our understanding of the role of noise in the behavior of such systems.

Christopher Schmitt, Anthropology, is a biological anthropologist studying the evolutionary genomics of adaptations to ecological extremes in wild non-human primates. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, The Leakey Foundation, and the National Geographic Society. He was the 2023 recipient of the BU Undergraduate Academic Advising Award, and 2022 recipient of the CAS Susan K. Jackson Award for Excellence in Service to the College for his efforts at queer community-building in STEM fields, and just ended his term as President of the American Association for Anthropological Genetics. He has published 32 peer-reviewed articles, 15 non-peer reviewed articles or book chapters, and the book Savanna Monkeys: The Genus Chlorocebus, with Oxford University Press.

Jessica Simes, Sociology, studies the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in U.S. communities, with a focus on structural racism and health. Her more recent work examines exposure to policing and harsh prison conditions as drivers of social inequality. Supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and Arnold Ventures, she is also a recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award. She is the author of Punishing Places: The Geography of Mass Imprisonment (University of California Press, 2021), winner of the Robert E. Park Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association. Her 19 peer-reviewed articles have appeared in a wide range of outlets, including Science Advances, Annual Review of Sociology, Criminology, JAMA Network Open, and PLoS ONE.

Indara Suarez, Physics, is an experimental particle physicist whose research focuses on searching for new phenomena to help us understand the characteristics of the Higgs boson and the nature of dark matter.  To make this possible, she has developed novel computational tools using artificial intelligence for data analysis and next-generation detector electronics.  Professor Suarez is an exemplary mentor who aims to increase the participation of traditionally under-represented groups and women in science.  For her excellence in research, she has won a DOE CAREER award and is supported by several other NSF and DOE grants, establishing her as a leader in her field.