Alum news: (Dr.) Catherine Ravenscroft ’2001, (Prof.) Daniel Levitis ’1999

Good news from two of our science alums:

Congratulations to Catherine Ravenscroft, class of 2001, who recently successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis in ecology at Syracuse University.  Her thesis title is “Local adaptation to climate change in a calcareous grassland system.”  Catherine’s advisor at Syracuse, Prof. Jason Fridley, is a Bennington alum himself. Catherine is second from left in photo at right (a field crew for a U.S. Forest Service-funded study of the vegetation of the Taconic Mts. from 2000).

And Dr. Daniel Levitis, class of 1999, recently took a position on the faculty at the University of Southern Denmark in the Institute of Biology and Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging.  Prior to that, Daniel earned his Ph.D. at UC-Berkeley and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.  He has recently published several papers on the evolution of senescence and longevity in humans and other primates. (Daniel is at right in this photo from a 1999 field crew doing research in old-growth forests in Michigan).

Mark the Date: Friday May 24 is SciencePalooza

That’s right. You’ve waited a whole year for this and it’s finally here. Our annual Springtime Potluck Poster Session SciencePalooza is this Friday. Students doing projects in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Computing, Earth Science and Math will be presenting posters of their work at this special Science Workshop Poster Session.


As with any potluck worthy of the term, there will be food. Lots and lots of food. Pizza, breads, salads, a vindaloo, perhaps, and other homemade specialties, desserts, etc., etc., etc.



Place and Time? Dickinson - all over the building – from 12 to 2 on Friday, May 24. Come see what our students have been working on, ask good questions, enjoy good food, have a great time. It’s a terrific way to bring the year to a close.

See you there.

Mathfest at Science Workshop May 10!

We will be having a mathfest of sorts at Science Workshop on May 10. Three of our senior students will be talking on their advanced work:

  • Kian Ross: Rubik’s cube and Cayley graphs
  • Hannah Simmons: Congruent numbers and elliptic curves
  • Jiaying Liu: Proving Fermat’s last theorem for polynomials

The speakers will be making every effort to make their talks accessible without any special math knowledge. So come join us, celebrate their hard work, learn a little mathematics, and partake in some math snacks!