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University of Mississippi

Research, Scholarship & Creative Achievement News

UM English professor and author Aimee Nezhukumatathil shows off a copy of ‘World of Wonders: World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments,’ which has drawn widespread praise and is included on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Submitted photo

A Banner Year for a Debut Work of Nonfiction

UM professor’s memoir rockets to the top five of New York Times Best Sellers list January 21, 2021 by Abigail Meisel Aimee Nezhukumatathil, a University of Mississippi English professor and award-winning poet, has been making national news with her bestselling book, “World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments.” This book […]


Aimee Nezhukumatathil was featured in The New York Times

The New York Times: UM English Professor, Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil Discusses Top Book

By Elisabeth Egan/The New York Times DECEMBER 24, 2020 WONDER WOMAN It’s not every day that pets come up during a phone interview, but the subject is relevant when you’re talking to Aimee Nezhukumatathil, whose illustrated essay collection, “World of Wonders,” doubles as a love letter to little creatures. It turns out she shares her […]


Vanessa Parks, a postdoctoral research associate at the UM Center for Population Studies, is part of a multiuniversity project exploring the effects of freshwater inputs into coastal Louisiana salt marsh ecosystems and the resulting impacts on the recreational fishing industry. Submitted photo

UM Researchers Part of Team Studying Louisiana Fishing Communities

Project explores how ecological and socioeconomic changes affect coastal region’s people, economy DECEMBER 8, 2020 BY SHEA STEWART A pair of University of Mississippi researchers are members of a multiuniversity project exploring the effects of freshwater inputs into coastal Louisiana salt marsh ecosystems and the resulting impacts on the recreational fishing industry. Vanessa Parks and […]


Citizen scientists can take an active role in studying and protecting biodiversity in the Gulf of Mexico using the Mobile App for Marine Assessment being developed by UM biologists. The project is funded by federal money through the RESTORE Council and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Submitted photo

Biologists Developing Mobile App for Coastal Marine Assessment

Glenn Parsons and Richard Buchholz lead new Gulf of Mexico Citizen Scientist Initiative NOVEMBER 23, 2020 BY EDWIN B. SMITH In the age of crowdfunding and viral media, two University of Mississippi biologists are developing a mobile phone app that will allow “citizen scientists” to conduct marine assessments on the north central Gulf of Mexico. […]


Archive Photo: Ayla Gafni, UM assistant professor of mathematics, has earned a prestigious Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award to further her mathematics research and classroom instruction. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Mathematics Professor Wins Competitive Research Award

Ayla Gafni will use grant to further her analytic number theory studies OCTOBER 27, 2020 BY SHEA STEWART Ayla Gafni views the solving of complex mathematical problems as deciphering a puzzle or searching for the solution to a centuries-old mystery. The University of Mississippi mathematics professor fell in love with the abstract science of numbers, […]


A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket launches Oct. 2 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The resupply mission to the International Space Station included in its payload bacteria grown at UM that is part of biology professor Patrick Curtis’ research into bacteria growth in weak gravity. Photo courtesy NASA/Patrick Black

UM-Grown Bacteria Conquer the Final Frontier

Microbial growth in space research being conducted aboard International Space Station OCTOBER 13, 2020 BY SHEA STEWART Bacteria grown in a University of Mississippi laboratory are zipping around the Earth about every 90 minutes, racing roughly 250 miles above the planet aboard the International Space Station. The microbes are part of UM biologist Patrick Curtis’ […]


Don Guillory, a UM doctoral student in history, presents his research on slavery and enslaved people in Oxford during the 2020 TEDxUniversityofMississippi presentation in February. UM photo

Stories of the Enslaved Rebooted

UM graduate student creates virtual version of ‘slave tour’ OCTOBER 5, 2020 BY KELLIE SMITH What happens when the life stories of a group are destroyed or distorted? “When people don’t have a narrative, they don’t have value in the eyes of the greater society,” said Don Guillory, a doctoral student in the University of […]


Two UM biology professors are using a National Science Foundation award to research co-invasions of plantation trees, such as pines, with symbiotic root fungi and their mushrooms. In Brazil, pines have invaded the tropical savanna Cerrado, crowding out the natural vegetation pictured here. Photo by Stephen Brewer/UM Department of Biology

Co-invasion of the Plants and Fungi

UM biologists examine consequences of non-native tag teams on biodiversity, ecosystems OCTOBER 1, 2020 BY SHEA STEWART Two University of Mississippi biology professors are using a National Science Foundation award to expand their research into the phenomena of co-invasions between plants and fungi. The National Science Foundation project is focused on how plants and fungi […]


New Grisham Writer-in-Residence Sets Up Shop in Oxford

Maurice Carlos Ruffin hailed as a stunning and audacious writer SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 BY KELLIE SMITH New Orleans native Maurice Carlos Ruffin has been chosen as the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for 2020-21. A New Orleans native, Ruffin rocketed onto the American literary scene with his widely praised first […]


Rory Ledbetter (second from right), an associate professor of voice and acting in the UM Department of Theatre and Film, portrays a bass player at Memphis’ legendary Sun Studio in ‘Son of Sun,’ a short film premiering at the 2020 Nashville Film Festival. Submitted photo

Professor Lands in Nashville Film Festival with ‘Son of Sun’

Theatre and Film’s Rory Ledbetter recalls being awestruck filming inside birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 BY KATHERINE STEWART Rory Ledbetter received a pleasant surprise in his inbox recently. According to the out-of-the-blue email, the University of Mississippi theatre arts professor is making an unexpected appearance in this year’s Nashville Film Festival, set […]