September 12, 2023

Ambrose and Safran recognized with Distinguished Research Lectureships

The Lectureship is among the most esteemed honors bestowed by the faculty upon a faculty member at CU Boulder. Each year, the Research & Innovation Office solicits nominations from faculty for the Distinguished Research Lectureship, and a faculty review panel recommends one faculty member as a recipient. Two faculty members were selected for the 2023—24 academic year.

Professor Kirk Ambrose  

Kirk Ambrose is a professor in the Department of Classics and founding faculty director of the Center for Teaching & Learning.

Ambrose received his master’s and doctorate in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Oberlin College.

Ambrose specializes in the art and architecture of medieval Europe and has published four books and dozens of scholarly articles on the topic. With Steven Martonis, he curated two exhibitions at the CU Art Museum on the art of the American West, including Pioneers: Women Artists in Boulder, 1898-1950, which was the basis for a feature-length documentary film. He served a term as Editor-in-Chief of The Art Bulletin, the journal of record for art historians in the U.S.

Among other research projects, Ambrose is currently at work on a book provisionally entitled The Frailty of Eyes, which connects medieval studies and art history with the rich theoretical concerns of disability studies. His students continue to serve as an inspiration and as thought partners.   

Professor Rebecca Safran  

Rebecca Safran is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies.

Safran received her bachelor’s degree in Ecology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, her master’s degree in wildlife ecology from Humboldt State University and her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. She was a Council on Science and Technology postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University prior to her assistant professorship at CU Boulder in 2008.

Safran is interested in the formation of new species with a special focus on one of the most widespread birds on Earth: the barn swallow. Funded by the National Science Foundation through several grants including the CAREER award, her research has appeared in over 100 peer reviewed journals, including Science, Current Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution and many other publications related to evolutionary ecology and genetics.

Safran is co-director of Inside the Greenhouse for creative climate communication, where her focus includes an exploration of humans and birds living side by side in the natural world. She also teaches a science communication class where students translate climate change science into creative films.