New faculty further campus scholarship, research

CPEVC Tromp speaks to new faculty members
Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Marlene Tromp welcomed new faculty members during a reception Friday. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

UC Santa Cruz is welcoming more than 30 new faculty members this year, bringing the campus total to 600.

The new professors and lecturers with security of employment, spread across all five divisions, further build on campus strengths in many key areas.

Below is a list of the senate faculty members who were hired for this academic year, as well as research summaries.

Sara Abrahamsson, assistant professor
Electrical engineering

Joshua Arribere, assistant professor
Molecular, cell, and developmental biology
Joshua Arribere studies cellular mechanisms of surveillance that prevent gene expression deemed abnormal by the cell.

Ayse Banu Bargu, associate professor
History of consciousness
Ayse Banu Bargu’s main area of specialization is political theory, especially modern and contemporary political thought and critical theory. Bargu’s work concerns theories of sovereignty, biopolitics, and resistance, situated at the intersection of philosophy, politics, history, and political anthropology. Her current research focuses on the use of the body in political struggles and its implications.

Claude Beaulieu, assistant professor
Ocean sciences

Ryan Bennett, assistant professor
Ryan Bennett studies the structure of the sound patterns in spoken human language. His research draws heavily on original fieldwork with Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala, as well as Irish (“Gaelic”).

John Elliott Campbell, associate professor
Environmental studies

Snigdha Chaturvedi, assistant professor
Computer science
Snigdha Chaturvedi specializes in the field of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. In her research, she focusses on developing machine learning methods, especially structured models, that attempt to process and understand natural language text.

Daniel Anthony Cristofaro-Gardiner, assistant professor
Cristofaro-Gardiner's research is about symplectic geometry and its relationship with the theory of dynamical systems. 

Robin Dunkin, teaching professor
Ecology and evolutionary biology

Jerome Fiechter, assistant professor
Ocean sciences
Jerome Fiechter’s research focuses on physical and biological processes in the ocean, with special emphasis on numerical modeling of marine ecosystem dynamics.

Angus Forbes, assistant professor
Computational media
Angus Forbes’ research investigates novel techniques for visualizing and interacting with complex scientific information.

Marcella Gomez, assistant professor
Applied mathematics and statistics
Marcella Gomez’s research focuses on mathematical methods in synthetic biology.

Mathis Hain, assistant professor
Earth and planetary sciences

Abhishek Halder, assistant professor
Applied mathematics and statistics
Abhishek Halder’s research area is dynamical systems, control, and optimization. The application focus of his research is analysis and control of large scale cyberphysical systems such as the smart grid and aerial traffic management.

Jessie Li, assistant professor
Jessie Li uses techniques at the intersection of econometrics, statistics, and machine learning to develop better methodologies for analyzing data.

Heiner Litz, assistant professor
Computer engineering
Heiner Litz’s research interests are in data center operating systems, computer architecture and interconnection networks with a focus on scalability and performance. His research yields efficient hardware-software systems enabling the next generation of data center infrastructure.

John MacMillan, professor
Research in John MacMillan’s laboratory focuses on understanding the chemistry and biological function of natural products produced by microorganisms. Their goal is to use natural products for the treatment of human disease, such as cancer and infectious disease.

Nidhi Mahajan, assistant professor

Adriana Manago, assistant professor

Faisal Nawab, acting assistant professor
Computer science

Sara Niedzwiecki, assistant professor
Political science
Sara Niedzwiecki studies the process through which social policies are formed and implemented as well as the territorial structure of government in Latin America. Her book manuscript Uneven Social Policies analyzes the implementation of conditional cash transfers and health policies in decentralized countries.

Narges Norouzi, teaching professor
Computer science

Benedict Paten, assistant professor
Biomolecular engineering
Benedict Paten is broadly focused on computational genomics. His research encompasses the inference of genomes, the representation of genomic populations, the exchange and sharing of genetic information, the evolutionary changes that make us human, and models for connecting genomes to health and disease.

Russell Rodriguez, assistant professor

Amanda Rysling, assistant professor
Amanda Rysling studies how humans represent and process the sounds of language.

Katherine Seto, assistant professor
Environmental studies

Savannah Shange-Binion, assistant professor
Savannah Shange-Binion is an urban anthropologist whose research focuses on blackness, anti-blackness, and state violence in progressive California.

Matthew Sparke, (Visiting) Professor
Political science
Matthew Sparke’s research looks at globalization and its impact on citizenship, with recent projects focusing on experiences of sub-citizenship in global health.

Sergey Syzranov, assistant professor

Myriam Telus, assistant professor
Earth and planetary sciences

Massimiliano Tomba, acting professor
History of consciousness
Massimiliano Tomba has published several texts on the political philosophy of Kant, Hegel, the post-Hegelians, Marx and Walter Benjamin. Currently, he is working on a book titled: Insurgent Universality.

Luis Alonso Villacorta Gonzales, assistant professor
Luis Alonso Villacorta Gonzales studies the relation between financial markets and the macroeconomy. In particular, his work builds theories of financial intermediation and liquidity to examine the role of government policies in stabilizing crises.

Marianne Weems, professor
Theater arts
Marianne Weems is the artistic director of The Builders Association, a New York City-based performance and media company. She is the former head of graduate directing at Carnegie Mellon University.

Michael Wehner, assistant professor
Computer engineering
Michael Wehner’s research focuses on robotics, wearables, and human-machine interaction.

Yu Zhang, assistant professor
Electrical engineering
Yu Zhang’s research interests span the broad areas of smart power systems, big data, optimization, and learning.

Kai Zhu, assistant professor
Environmental studies
Kai Zhu is a global ecologist and quantitative environmental scientist, with a particular interest in geospatial modeling and statistics. His work is grounded in ecology, including the impacts of climate change on forest and grassland ecosystems.

Margaret Zimmer, assistant professor
Earth and planetary science
Margaret Zimmer’s research is on how precipitation becomes streamflow, the pathways water take across landscapes to get to stream channels, and the chemical implications of these pathways.