The London School of Economics has appointed Thandika Mkandawire to a new chair in African development. Professor Mkandawire is currently director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. It was at the LSE during a speech in 2000 that Nelson Mandela pointed to the potential for education to help deliver a renaissance on the continent. Professor Mkandawire, an economist, said: "To my mind there is a big hole in our knowledge of Africa, one that African scholars are seeking to fill ... The holder (of this LSE post) is in a strong position to work with partners in Africa and around the world to increase the visibility of Africa within teaching and research across the social sciences and within the global political and policy arenas."
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has appointed three new members to its council. They are: David Baulcombe, professor of botany, University of Cambridge; Jim Godfrey, a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies; and Peter Grindrod, professor of mathematics and its applications, University of Reading. They join Peter Fryer, head of chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham, who has been reappointed for a further three years.
The University of Southampton has made Rachel Mills an associate dean of the faculty of engineering, science and mathematics. Dr Mills, a graduate of the institution, has worked in Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science since 1993. Her work as an oceanographer has taken her to depths of 4km in the Atlantic Ocean and to the Caribbean to study the volcanic inputs around Montserrat. In her new role, she will take responsibility for graduate schools and early-career researchers within the faculty.
David Bailey has become the latest addition to Coventry University's expanding Business School. Professor Bailey, director of Birmingham's Business School, writes blogs for The Birmingham Post, several of which have gone on to form front-page stories in the newspaper. He said: "Blogging has been quite a challenge to get used to. It's a very different way of communicating to the usual academic process, but has been great fun and has opened up new ways of networking and having a say while using core academic research and ideas." He takes up his new position of professor on 1 May.
A lecturer from the University of Kent has been named one of the top 20 most powerful Muslim women in Britain. Gulnur Aybet, lecturer in international relations, was included in the first annual Muslim Women Power List, which honours those who have made outstanding achievements in their field and have made key contributions to society. Prior to joining Kent in 2001, Dr Aybet held research and teaching appointments at the University of Nottingham and at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. She said: "Even though there are barriers in the workplace for women working in international security, this list addresses these issues by challenging the stereotypes of Muslim women in British society and giving attention to those who may be under-represented in their career."
An alumnus of Kent has been appointed a Moran of the Burning Spear, one of the highest citizen awards in Kenya. Benson Okita-Ouma, a champion for black rhino conservation in the country, was awarded the prize in recognition of his outstanding service to the conservation of the protected species. Mr Okita-Ouma was based at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at Kent between 2003 and 2004, where he received his MSc in conservation biology. He became senior scientist and then rhino co-ordinator with the Kenyan Wildlife Service.
Mark Darlison has joined Napier University to become head of its School of Life Sciences. He transferred from Nottingham Trent University, where he was professor of neuroscience. He previously held three postdoctoral positions including one at the Institut Curie, in France. He is acting as an international panel member for the Research Council of Norway and is also on the editorial boards of the journals Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology and Invertebrate Neuroscience.
The University of Chester has recruited two Viking experts to its history and archaeology department. Martin Rundkvist and Eva Thate join the university as visiting research fellow and visiting research associate respectively. Having previously conducted research with Howard Williams, who is based at the institution, they will now join him in providing students with an insight into the Viking age. Dr Williams said: "These appointments augment our international research expertise in early medieval archaeology, and we foresee a range of advantages for collaborative research and fieldwork opportunities for students in Viking-age archaeology."
The University of Southampton's Cyrus Cooper has received the inaugural Duchess of Cornwall Award for the contribution he has made in the field of osteoporosis. The award from the National Osteoporosis Society was presented by the Duchess of Cornwall. Professor Cooper, who is based in the university's faculty of medicine, health and life sciences, leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, including osteoporosis, where he has made key research contributions. He said: "I am grateful to the many research collaborators in my team, my funders, as well as the tireless work of the thousands of people who campaign every day to raise awareness of osteoporosis; as well as those who live with the disease every day."
A professor at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand has been appointed dean of Bournemouth University's Business School. Thomas Lange, professor of economics and chair of the department of business economics at Auckland, is internationally recognised in the field. His policy proposals have been debated publicly during parliamentary sessions and the results of his research have informed the policy work of the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations among others. His current research interests lie in the areas of empirical human resource management, personnel economics, employee relations and the measurement of the quality of working life.
The British Academy of Management has appointed the following to its fellows college: Greg Bamber, professor of international management and employment relations, Griffith University, Australia; Abby Ghobadian, dean, Henley Management College; Chris Huxham, head of department, professor of management, University of Strathclyde; and Gary Powell, professor of management, University of Connecticut, US.