Steve Hackley

Steven Hackley determined that ancient neural circuits responsible for moving the ears, still may be responsive to sounds that attract our attention. Neuroscientists studying auditory function could use these ancient muscles to study positive emotions and infant hearing deficits.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Vestigial organs, such as the wisdom teeth in humans, are those that have become functionless through the course of evolution. Now, a psychologist at the University of Missouri studying vestigial muscles behind the ears in humans has determined that ancient neural circuits responsible for moving the ears, still may be responsive to sounds that attract our attention.

2015 Hall of Fame class photo

(l-r) Mark Wilkins, Robert Fulstone, Maj. Lindsey Decker, Col. Nelson McCouch III, Lt. Col.  Richard Wheeler, Lt. Col. Frederick Selby, Col. Gary Bridgewater, Col. Stephen Green.

The University of Missouri’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) honored 10 alumni by inducting them into the ROTC Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Crowder Hall October 3.

Jonathan Bradley

For roughly a decade, the U.S. Census Bureau has been publishing the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides timely information on a number of key demographics. The ACS, which replaced the Census Bureau’s long-form decennial census, is published in one-year, three-year and five-year period estimates. This information is used by city planners, demographers, and researchers for a variety of applications such as understanding how a particular community changes over time.

Page Quinton

Researchers at the University of Missouri hope that gaining an understanding of major changes in the Earth’s climate in the distant past can improve climate modeling to better predict the future direction of climate change. Fourth-year geologic sciences doctoral student Page Quinton, whose area of expertise is paleoclimatology, has been studying carbon and oxygen isotopes in rocks from the Ordovician Period.


The Faculty-Alumni Awards, begun in 1968, recognize the achievements of faculty and alumni. Faculty are considered for their work as teachers, administrators and researchers. Alumni are considered for their professional accomplishments and service to Mizzou.

Bombus sylvicola

Bombus sylvicola is one of two bumblebee species in the central Rocky Mountains that has responded to a decline in flowering in alpine habitats by evolving a shorter tongue, an adaptation that favors generalist feeding. (Image courtesy: N. Miller-Struttmann)

A new study shows that two alpine bumblebee species have responded to a decline in flowering due to warming temperatures by evolving shorter tongues. The results suggest that some bumblebee species may be able to adapt to environmental challenges caused by climate change.

Frances Dickey

When members of the T.S. Eliot Society gather in St. Louis this weekend for the group’s annual meeting, they will be greeted with a new collection of the famous poet’s essays.

Brick Johnstone

Brick Johnstone found individuals’ health is worse when they believe they are ill because they have done something wrong and God is punishing them. Photo by Rob Hill.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Individuals who blame karma for their poor health have more pain and worse physical and mental health, according to a new study from University of Missouri researchers. Targeted interventions to counteract negative spiritual beliefs could help some individuals decrease pain and improve their overall health, the researchers said.

Col. Steve Marks

Col. Steve Marks, BA ’92, has been commanding troops for 22 years, but his latest assignment promises to test his leadership abilities. In late August, Marks was named garrison commander of United States Army Garrison Italy, where he will be responsible for the execution of all base-support operations, enhancing quality of life for over 15,000 soldiers, family members, civilians, and local workers.  Marks says his new position is analogous to being a city manager.

Karen Piper

When Karen Piper was just seven years old, her parents packed up the family car and moved a thousand miles from Seattle, Washington, to China Lake, California. Piper’s father, an aerospace engineer for Boeing, was laid off by the company in the late 1960s and had been unemployed for six months when he received an offer from the Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake. Piper says the job was a godsend to her family, but the new living arrangements would present many challenges.

Ilyana Karthas

Ilyana Karthas says her fellow historians and other academics have not considered the important influence of ballet on French culture, national identity, and modern aesthetics. She hopes to correct that oversight with the release of her book, When Ballet Became French: Modern Ballet and the Cultural Politics of France, 1909–1939 from McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal.

Steven Watts

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

By Sheena Rice

the columns

Ruthie Angelovici

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Ruthie Angelovici

Meera Chandrasekhar

Meera Chandrasekhar and her team developed a hands-on physics course for ninth graders designed to give them a better chance at being successful in higher-level high school and college-level science.

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Usually high school students take biology and chemistry before taking physics; yet, only 36 percent of students end up in physics courses, according to the American Institute of Physics. Meera Chandrasekhar, a professor of physics at the University of Missouri, received a $5 million multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to address this challenge.


Male treehoppers make their abdomens thrum like tuning forks to transmit very particular vibrating signals that travel down their legs and along leaf stems to other bugs — male and female.

Courtesy of Robert Oelman

University of Missouri biologist Rex Cocroft has spent much of his career listening closely to treehoppers. Discover what he found by clicking the following link:


COLUMBIA, Mo. – More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations that combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to release natural gas from underground rock. Scientific studies still are inconclusive on the potential long-term effects on human development. Now, Susan C. Nagel and Christopher D.

Dr. Laura Scherer

Laura Scherer found a significant divide can exist between patients and physicians about the same terminology-- especially when it comes to discussing "pink eye," a particular flashpoint in childcare.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Few things are more stressful than dealing with a sick child. From discussing treatment with a pediatrician to complying with day care policies, a parent must consider many factors when making a decision about their child’s health.

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Today, the University of Missouri opened its doors for the fall semester, welcoming the largest student body and the fourth-largest freshman class in the history of the university. Among the highlights of the 2015-16 school year are a record number of high-achieving students — those students who scored a 30 or higher on the ACT — a record retention rate, and the most diverse student body in MU’s history.

Stephen Christ

After a day at work, you are in the mood for Mexican food, but you want something authentic—not the Americanized Tex-Mex food that’s ubiquitous throughout the Midwest. But how do you determine which restaurant offers the most authentic Mexican culinary experience?

In his book, David Geary recommends that by better assessing sex, age, and species specific vulnerabilities, future studies can assess whether biological traits are more sensitive to social stressors, disease and poor nutrition.

In his book, David Geary recommends that by better assessing sex, age, and species specific vulnerabilities, future studies can assess whether biological traits are more sensitive to social stressors, disease and poor nutrition.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Historically, males have been considered the vulnerable sex, sometimes called “male vulnerability.” Charles Darwin noted that boys are more likely to die in infancy than girls and have a higher risk of premature death throughout their lifetimes.


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