In a column published in the July 30 edition of Nature magazine, David M. Lodge, the Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences, said that Pope Francis has opened common ground for science and religion, especially on environmental issues. Lodge, a Protestant who has worked for 30 years at Notre Dame, is an expert on freshwater ecology, invasive species, and environmental policy. He wrote that the Pope could “help to bridge the divide between science and the Protestant views that dominate the religious ‘anti-science’ movement.”
Jessica Hellmann, associate professor and associate department chair of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the new director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. As director, Hellmann will work to solve grand environmental challenges, while advancing interdisciplinary research, teaching and engaging with external partners and stakeholders. Her appointment, effective August 31, includes joining the University as a Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.