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KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Arts and Sciences Pregame Faculty Showcase continues Saturday, Sept. 12, with a presentation by Louis Gross, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics.

The presentation, “Computational Ecology: Environmental Problem-solving for the 21st Century,” will include information on Gross’s research and will allow the audience to participate in a simple computational biology experiment using black and white beans.

The program will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday in the University Center Ballroom before the Vols’ home game against the UCLA Bruins.

Gross is a James R. Cox Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics and director of UT’s Institute for Environmental Modeling. His research focuses on applications of mathematics and computational methods in many areas of ecology, including disease ecology, landscape ecology, spatial control for natural resource management, photosynthetic dynamics and the development of quantitative curricula for life science undergraduates.

Gross also is director of UT’s National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). The institute was founded at UT in 2008 after winning a competition among 18 other universities for a $16 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The institute focuses on advancing research and education at the interface of biology and mathematics.

He has co-directed several courses and workshops in mathematical ecology at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, served as program chair of the Ecological Society of America, as president of the Society for Mathematical Biology, president of the UT Knoxville Faculty Senate and as chair of the National Research Council Committee on Education in Biocomplexity Research.

Gross is an accomplished researcher and has published four books, more than 60 journal articles and is one of the founders of the field of computational ecology. He won the Chancellor’s Research Award in 2000. He was named one of Tennessee’s Top 10 Scientists by Business Tennessee in 2004, won the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) in 2006 and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He currently serves on the National Research Council Board on Life Sciences and on the board of directors of AIBS.

Since 1989, the Pregame Faculty Showcase has introduced football fans to some of UT Knoxville’s most exceptional faculty members.

Each showcase is a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. Free and open to the public, the presentations are held two hours before kickoff in the University Center Ballroom.

The rest of the Showcase schedule is:

  • Sept. 26 — Aleydis Van De Moortel, associate professor of classics, will talk about her archaeological field work at prehistoric Mitrou, Greece.
  • Oct. 3 — Gregory Stuart, associate professor of psychology, will discuss the link between substance use and intimate partner violence.
  • Oct. 10 — Cynthia Peterson, professor of biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, will talk about her work to visualize human proteins too small to view even with the most powerful microscopes.
  • Oct. 31 — Jed Diamond, UT’s head of acting in the theater department, will relate tales of UT alumni who are working actors.
  • Nov. 7 (Homecoming) — Larry McKay, professor and head of the earth and planetary sciences department, will explain how geology and hydrology affect viruses and bacteria in groundwater and streams.
  • Nov. 21 — Michael Lofaro, English professor, will look at “James Agee at One Hundred: A Centennial Celebration.”

The showcases will be recorded and the Webcast archive will be posted online at

The showcases are sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, WUOT 91.9 FM, the UT Alumni Association, UT Office of Alumni Affairs and the UT Athletics Program.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden, (865-974-9008,