These experts from the UW-Madison faculty and staff have agreed to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments and trends in their areas of expertise. If you need help arranging interviews, email University Communications.
Experts on today’s news
John Hawks on: Nobel awarded to Swedish scientist who deciphered the Neanderthal genome
The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to Svante Pääbo, a Swedish geneticist whose work on ancient DNA helped change our understanding of human origins. Pääbo, an evolutionary geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, led groundbreaking work to sequence the genome of long-extinct Neanderthals from 40,000-year-old bone fragments.
John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist and expert on human evolution and genetics, can discuss.
“This isn’t just a strange thing about our evolution that we’re learning — it’s relevant to our health,” Hawks told The Washington Post. “It matters because our ancestry is what is affecting our health, and when you uncover the genes that we inherited from these distant ancestors that matter to our health, you’re going to open a new window into understanding human disease.”
Shimon Kolkowitz on: Nobel for physicists measuring quantum entanglement
Three physicists have won a Nobel prize for their work describing quantum entanglement, in which two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated. UW–Madison physicist Shimon Kolkowitz, who is studying ways to employ these mechanics to build "quantum sensors," can describe the science and its potential technological applications, as well as the groundbreaking theoretical study that served as the basis for the winners' experiments — written in 1964 by John Stewart Bell while he was a visiting professor at UW–Madison.
Anna Andrzejewski on: Re-building Florida after Hurricane Ian
Anna Andrzejewski is an expert on South Florida building practices, from apartments and condos to retirement communities. She has particular expertise in the work of Florida builders and real estate developers of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s who remade Florida into a leisure destination. She can discuss how architecture shaped Florida's identity and what's at stake in the rebuilding after Hurricane Ian. Andrzejewski is the author of the forthcoming book, "Building Paradise: The Creation of South Florida’s Retirement and Vacation Landscape, 1945 -1970."
Max Besbris on: Hurricane Ian
Besbris studies the way natural disasters affect inequality, especially in housing and community demographics. He is available to comment on various aspects of the impacts of Hurricane Ian — including why Florida communities may become more unequal, how FEMA recovery policies may not be enough to help, if people are likely to leave their homes, and what will happen to the cost of housing in the hurricane's wake. He can also comment on how climate change will make destructive storms like Ian more likely.
Sarah Griffin on: Hurricane Ian
Sarah Griffin is an expert on satellite tropical cyclone meteorology with the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. She is available for interviews about the severity of Hurricane Ian and its potential impact on Florida.