February 17, 2014

Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife and their conservation challenges in the Neotropics

The third event in this year’s Environmental Lecture Series will be a presentation by Dr.Matt Venesky from Allegheny College.  That will be Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 pm in the Ronk Lecture Hall, COE. 

Venesky is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Allegheny College, Meadville, PA.  His research addresses questions about the ecology of infectious diseases
and has been studying amphibians and their parasites for almost a decade.

The river at Picinguaba Beach, SE Brazil, a collecting site for a current project on feeding biomechanics in tadpoles with colleagues from Brazil and Canada (photo credit: M. Venesky)
For this talk, Venesky will focus on what his research group has learned from their work on the Neotropics, with a focus on Panamanian frogs and aquatic ecosystems.
Infectious diseases of humans and wildlife are increasing at an unprecedented rate. Amphibians, in particular, have experienced an unrivaled loss of biodiversity with approximately one-third of species threatened with extinction. Although several factors contribute to amphibian declines, many declines and extinctions are linked to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (“Bd”). The first Bd epidemic was documented in Latin America in 1998 and it resulted in the crash of the entire Panamanian amphibian community. Twenty five years later, Bd is still prevalent and poses challenges to amphibian conservation efforts in Latin America.

Venesky will discuss some of the outstanding research topics in this host-pathogen system as they relate to climate change, biodiversity, and acquired immunity. He will synthesize how answering these questions might be useful for managing Bd as well as other pathogenic fungi that have only recently been discovered.
Dr. Matt Venesky and Brazilian collaborator, Bokermannohyla hylax (photo credit: M. Venesky)
Venesky is a Pennsylvania native.  He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Memphis in 2011 and spent 2 ½ years at The University of South Florida as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Allegheny College in PA. His research has been supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation and he has published over 20 articles on amphibian biology/ecology, including recent articles in Nature Climate Change and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This year’s Environmental Lecture Series explores “Environmental and Human Health in Latin America,” with perspectives from experts in human ecology, policy, and scientific study related to specific environmental issues.


Latin America in the Global Scenario

Presenter: Abril Trigo, The Ohio State University

Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean hosts OSU's Distinguished Humanities Professor Abril Trigo to lead a discussion about the effect of globalization on Latin America.  Dr. Trigo will present his recent findings at a public discussion on Wednesday, February 19 at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium.  The event is free and open to the public.

In his latest work, Professor Trigo analyzes the operation of globalization and the place of Latin America within this economic regime while asking: What do we mean when we talk about globalization today? What is the meaning of globalization in Latin America and for Latin Americans? In his presentation he will discuss some of the economic, political, and cultural effects of globalization on Latin American everyday life, such as the impact of global pop culture, the informal economy, narco-trafficking, transnational migrancy, the new ethnic and social movements, and the ongoing struggle for the nation-state.
Dr.Trigo's areas of specialization include Latin American Cultural Studies, literary and cultural theory, theater, film, and popular culture. He has published extensively on Latin American cultural studies, with particular emphasis on the historical formation of national imaginaries and their articulation to popular culture (rock, graffiti, candombe, soccer, etc.). Currently, he is working on A Critique of the Political-Libidinal Economy, a theoretical inquiry on the formation of value and subjectivity. 

February 9, 2014

From Inmigración to Immigration: The Rhetoric of Immigration Reform

Presenter: Alberto Gonzalez, Bowling Green State University
Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.
Trustees Room, Myers Convocation Center

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean presents a program comparing the coverage on immigration reform between various news media.  Co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies, the presentation by Dr. Alberto Gonzalez, Professor at the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University, will be held on Tuesday, February 11 at 7 p.m. in the Trustees Room of the Myers Convocation Center.  The event is free and open to the public.

After the general election of 2012—where the Latino vote was characterized as increasingly influential—the reform of federal immigration laws and policies became a high priority. Dr. Gonzalez will present an "ideographic" analysis of the news coverage on immigration reform between the Latino-based La Prensa and dominant-culture news media focusing on how particular terms frame competing perspectives.

Dr. Gonzalez's research and publications have focused on intercultural communication with a particular emphasis on the Latin American community. His published research includes examinations of the political discourse of Mexican American activists and explorations of popular music as a mode of communication. His work has appeared in various journals, including The Quarterly Journal Of SpeechYouth Theatre JournalWestern Journal of CommunicationSouthern Communication Journal, and Communication Quarterly.  He has co-edited several books, including Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity and Communication (with Marsha Houston and Victoria Chen) and Rhetoric in Intercultural Contexts (with Dolores V. Tanno).

González recently served as the Chair of the International and Intercultural Division of the National Communication Association (NCA). Since 2007 he has served as chair of NCA’s Affirmative Action & Intercaucus Committee.