Archived Complete Visits

The Institute of Advanced Studies welcomed the following IAS Distinguished Visiting Fellows (DVFs) to Birmingham in 2016. The IAS DVF programme welcomes  outstanding academics from global leading institutions around the world for research collaborations and the enrichment of campus life.


Theresa Blume, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam

TheresaBlume.jpg.1419389Dr Theresa Blume, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (7-18 March & 9-20 May 2016)

Dr Theresa Blume is visiting the University of Birmingham as an Institute of Advanced Studies Distinguished Visiting, and is hosted by Dr Stefan Krause and the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR).

Dr Blume is leading the Hillslope and Ecohydrology research group within the Section of Hydrology at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam. The work of her group has been at the forefront of developing distributed environmental sensor networks for ecohydrological monitoring in particular in forested watersheds. As a leader of the TERENO observatory NorthEast Germany (TERENO is a network of Terrestrial Environmental Observatories in Germany similar to the CZO network in the US) and a PI on the DFG Research Unit on “Catchments As Organized Systems (CAOS)”. With an extensive monitoring network in Luxembourg she is pioneering the design and development of sensor networks and the use of novel sensing approaches that allow us to start understanding the non-linear dynamics in water, solute and energy fluxes and interactions at the interface between aquatic systems and forest ecosystems. This spans from vegetation influences on subsurface storage, to runoff generation processes, connectivity analyses and groundwater-surface water interactions.

Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

herzfeldProfessor Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University (Spring 2016)

Hosted by Professor Mike Robinson, Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH).

Michael Herzfeld was educated at the Universities of Cambridge (B.A. in Archaeology and Anthropology, 1969), Athens (non-degree program in Greek Folklore, 1969-70), Birmingham (M.A., Modern Greek Studies, 1972; D.Litt., 1989); and Oxford (Social Anthropology, D.Phil., 1976). Before moving to Harvard, he taught at Vassar College (1978-80) and Indiana University (1980-91) (where he served as Associate Chair of the Research Center for Language and Semiotic Studies, 1980-85, and as Chair of the Department of Anthropology, 1987-90). Lord Simon Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester in 1994, he has also taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (1995), Paris, at the Università di Padova (1992), the Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (1999-2000), and the University of Melbourne (intermittently since 2004), and has held a visiting research appointments at the Australian National University and the University of Sydney (1985), at the University of Adelaide, and at the Université de Paris-X (Nanterre) (1991).

Major lectures include the inaugural Distinguished Lecture in European Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1996), the Munro Lecture at the University of Edinburgh (1997), the Journal of Anthropological Research Distinguished Lecture at the University of New Mexico (2001), the Einaudi Lecture at Cornell University (2004), the keynote address to the Association of Social Anthropologists of the British Commonwealth (2008), three lectures hosted by the Korea Research Foundation (2009), the Kimon Friar Lecture (Deree College, Athens, 2009), and the Eilert Sundt Lecture (University of Oslo, 2009).

Eóin Killackey, University of Melbourne

killackeyProfessor Eóin Killackey, University of Melbourne (April 2016)

Professor Eóin Killackey is Associate Director, Research and Head of the Functional Recovery Research program at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne. He will be visiting the University of Birmingham as an Institute of Advanced Studies Distinguished Visiting Fellow, hosted by Professor Stephen Wood.

Professor Killackey is widely known for his research in helping young people with mental illness recover well, with a particular focus on physical and vocational outcomes. As part of his visit, he will develop already existing collaborations with Professor Wood concerning the role of social cognition in maximising the success of vocational interventions. Furthermore, he will explore new possibilities around physical health with clinical-facing colleagues at the University of Birmingham.

Said Sidki, Universidade de Brasilia

Sidki 2014Professor Said Sidki, Universidade de Brasilia (April-May 2016)

Following a visit in the Spring 2014 Professor Said Sidki returns to the University of Birmingham in April 2016, hosted by Professor Sergey Shpectorov. Professor Sidki is one of the most prominent Brazilian algebraists, founder of the biannual Escola de Algebra and is a Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

The focus of the proposed research collaboration is on the conjecture that Professor Sidki posed around 1990. He wrote down a series of group presentations, in two integer parameters, and n, generalizing a well-known presentation of the alternating groups, and asked whether the resulting groups are always finite. Sidki himself solved some cases for small m and/or n. A number of additional cases was completed via a computer calculation. The numerical experiments showed a very interesting picture: when n is a power of 2, the resulting group seems always to be a 2-group, while for odd prime powers, the calculation seems to produce an orthogonal group of a type depending on m and n.

Methods employed in this project are interdisciplinary in nature, not restricted to just algebraic considerations. In particular, geometric and topological ideas, related to the theory of buildings, feature prominently. The project has a significant computational component. In this sense, the proposed project cuts across diverse areas of mathematics and connects to the research in high performance computing.

Nile Green, University of California Los Angeles

greenProfessor Nile Green, University of California Los Angeles (June 2016)

Professor Nile Green is the William Andrews Clark Professor of History at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Professor Green joins us at the University of Birmingham as an Institute of Advanced Studies' Distinguished Visiting Fellow, hosted by Dr Simon Jackson.

A world-renowned historian of global and colonial South Asia, Islam and the Middle East, Professor Green is distinguished both by his ability to straddle early modern and modern history, and by the way his work is informed both by anthropological approaches and global networked approaches, notably to Muslim diaspora.

Green is author of seven monographs, most recently The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen's London (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2015), and Terrains of Exchange: Religious Economies of Global Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), a double publication suggestive of the reach of his scholarship and interest in interdisciplinary exchange with cognate disciplines such as comparative literature and theology. He has also written articles in the leading journals of his fields: American Historical Review, Past & Present, the Journal of Global History, Comparative Studies in Society and History,and the International Journal of Middle East Studies, among many others. He is director of the UCLA Program on Central Asia; serves on the Association of Asian Studies' South Asia Council (from March 2015); on the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies; and on the editorial boards of the South Asia Across the Disciplines book series and, formerly, the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Martin Grossmann, University of São Paulo

martin-grossmanProfessor Martin Grossmann, University of São Paulo (IEA USP) (June 2016)

Professor Martin Grossmann is visiting the University of Birmingham in June 2016, having visited previously in December 2015.

Professor Grossmann is the Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo (IEA USP) and full Professor of the School of Communication and Arts at USP. He was the director of Centro Cultural São Paulo from August 2006 to May 2010 and deputy director of USP’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) from 1998 to 2002. He is the creator and coordinator of Fórum Permanente: Between Public and Private, a mediation and cultural action platform. Martin has a degree in Fine Arts from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) and holds a Master’s from USP’s School of Communication and Arts (ECA) and a PhD from the University of Liverpool. He is the creator and coordinator of the first USP website (USP Online, 1995–1998). Grossmann’s research discusses the transition of material culture to a culture in virtuality, the relationship between contemporary art, its agents and institutions, the processes of artistic and cultural mediation and the development and maintenance of information systems for art and culture.

During his visits here Martin will be developing his current research project ‘Stranger's Guide to the Paradoxical Museum’ and developing synergies and research collaborations with The Barber Institute; Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage; The History of Medicine Unit; University Cultural Collections and colleagues in the Centre for the Study of Cultural Modernity and the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies.

Martin presented his current research, The Stranger's Guide to the Paradoxical Museum’ at a seminar on 10 December 2015.

I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School

GCProfessor I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School (22 - 29 June 2016)

Professor Cohen will be hosted by Professor Jean McHale of the Birmingham Law School and the Centre for Health Law Science and Policy.

Professor I. Glenn Cohen is a full professor of Harvard Law School who while still being a young scholar has blazed a trail in the area of health law and bioethics. Professor Cohen works at the cutting edge of health law and bioethics and has engagement with a range of issues which are critical to national and international priorities and cross disciplinary boundaries in relation to the interface between law, bioethics and health and social care.

During the week Professor Cohen is with us he will deliver a public lecture showcasing some of his recent research and will also participate in a day long workshop involving other speakers from inside and outside Birmingham. 'Patient Mobility and Globalisation' on 24th June 2016.

Steven D. Kawaler, Iowa State University

stevenProfessor Steven D. Kawaler, Iowa State University (17 October - 17 December 2016)

Professor Steven D. Kawaler, from Iowa State University will be hosted by Professor William Chaplin, School of Physics and Astronomy.

Professor Kawaler is one of the world’s leading experts on the rotation of stars and the study of more advanced stages of stellar evolution. He is an editor of the leading international journal for refereed astrophysics papers, The Astrophysical Journal. He has also recently served as the President of Division V (Variable Stars) of the International Astronomical Union, and as an elected member of the Council of the American Astronomical Society, the main professional body for astronomers in the US.

A new generation of space telescopes, led by the NASA Kepler Mission, has revolutionized the study of stars by observation of their natural oscillations, the field of asteroseismology , and Professor Kawaler has been in the vanguard of this work. During this visit colleagues will develop and pursue novel analysis techniques that will utilize Kepler data to study “red-giant” stars, which offer a window on the future of the Sun. Professors Kawaler and Chaplin are both on the Board of the TESS Asteroseismic Science Consortium, which will oversee and coordinate the international asteroseismology community’s work on upcoming NASA TESS Mission.