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News @ ODU

ODU Experts in the National Media

Several of Old Dominion University's nationally recognized faculty members were spotlighted recently in the news media, providing depth and insight on a range of topics, consistent with the forward-thinking approach of ODU research. Here are selected examples of our faculty scholarship at work in the national and international media from the month of February.

The sequester's impact on Hampton Roads

Researchers with the ODU Economic Forecasting Team were featured regionally, nationally and in The Economist, speaking about the impact of the so-called "sequester" on military-dependent Hampton Roads, home of the largest naval base in the world.

Forecasting Team director Vinod Agarwal, professor of economics, was quoted in an Economist piece titled "The Enemy Within." It focused on the concern in Hampton Roads that the sequester could be fully implemented, despite being designed as a tool simply to spur both sides to reach a deal.

The article notes: "The effects of all this on the economy of Hampton Roads will be grim," says Vinod Agarwal, a professor of economics at Old Dominion University. "Half the local economy is tied to military spending. What helped buoy the region through the recession now looks likely to pull it under." See the entire piece HERE.

Agarwal and colleagues Gary Wagner, professor of economics, and James Koch, president emeritus and professor of economics, were also quoted in The Washington Post, Bloomberg Business Week and several local media outlets.

ODU research featured on ESPN

Stephen Shapiro, assistant professor of sport management, is one of North America's experts in the study of the secondary ticket market for sporting events, also known as scalping or ticket reselling.

Through a contact with Adam Rubin, the New York Mets reporter for ESPN.com, Shapiro and his research collaborator, Joris Drayer of Temple University, conducted a comprehensive study of the Mets' use of "dynamic ticket pricing," a system whereby the price of a game ticket fluctuates up or down, depending on factors such as the team's record, its opponent that day, pitching matchups, weather and other factors.

Rubin wrote about the findings of the study HERE. Shapiro was also interviewed by Rubin for a story about forecasting the demand for Mets tickets this season, because of the team's terrible performance in 2012, and a radio station in Cincinnati interviewed him because the Reds are planning to employ dynamic ticket pricing for the first time this season.

Marine life study

A new study of Asia's Coral Triangle, which featured Kent Carpenter, ODU professor of biological sciences, demonstrates that the size of the region ensures that it is home to a rich and diverse range of species. Its sheer size has made it a treasure trove of marine life - it contains more than 3,000 species of fish and is often referred to as the "Amazon of the seas."

The findings, published in the Bangkok Post and by wire service Agence France-Press, demonstrate that providing more protected marine space made it possible to "include more species, more habitats, and more genetic diversity to offer species the best chance of adapting to sea temperature and other environmental changes." See a report on the study HERE.

Red light behavior explained

ODU psychology professor Bryan Porter has an international reputation for his studies about driver behavior, seat-belt use and red light cameras. Porter's research was referenced in a story in the San Mateo (Calif.) Patch about the difficulty for a motorist to "beat" a red light camera ticket.

The program is billed as allowing the city to provide a higher level of enforcement at its problematic intersections without additional costs. A survey by Porter was referenced, which shows that more than 50 percent of Americans admit to running red lights, and that more than 95 percent of motorists are afraid of being hit by another motorist running a red light. See the story HERE.

Slowing Gulf Stream causing faster rising seas

An explosive study by ODU oceanographer Tal Ezer has offered a possible link between sea level rise and climate change. Ezer's study, which appeared on numerous international news sites in February, including The Weather Channel (HERE), indicates that global warming should slow the flow of the Gulf Stream as it moves north and then east toward Northern Europe.

Ezer's study in the February Journal of Geophysical Research ties the measured acceleration of sea level rise in this area to a simultaneous slowdown in the flow of the Gulf Stream. Even without faster-than-average sea level rise, America's East Coast would be at high risk. On average, scientists have projected that the oceans should rise by about 3 feet by 2100, inundating low-lying land, contaminating water supplies and undermining roads, airports, port facilities and power plants.

"There have been several papers showing (sea level rise) acceleration," said lead author Ezer, of ODU's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography. "This new paper confirms the hypothesis for why it's happening."

Why Karl Rove survives at Fox News

Jeffrey Jones, director of the Humanities Institute in ODU's College of Arts and Letters and an expert in pop culture, provided commentary in a piece by the Christian Science Monitor about the change in pundits on conservative talk television.

Jones, a scholar of media and politics, said the reason Karl Rove survived the changing of the guard at Fox News, but his colleague in punditry Dick Morris did not, is that "Karl Rove is still a major player in Republican Party politics. He still runs his 'super PAC,' and he has shown himself to be important and influential. Dick Morris doesn't get you anything. He's not really a player."

See the complete Monitor story HERE.

Home buyers and sellers influenced by psychology

Michael Seiler, professor of finance and director of ODU's Institute for Experimental and Behavioral Real Estate (IBERE), has become a nationally recognized expert in the "human factor" of real estate decisions.

Seiler's study found that people's judgment about real estate is susceptible to many human forces that affect other consumer decisions, even seemingly superficial factors such as the attractiveness of the real estate agent, or the use of an off-putting color in a room of the house. Even factors like whether the house was shown on a sunny or a rainy day can affect a buyer's decision-making process, Seiler found.

His research was spotlighted in February in the Ottawa Citizen, and in this MSN Money story HERE.

Old Dominion University is Virginia's forward-focused metropolitan research university with rigorous academics, an energetic residential community, entrepreneurial research and collaboration, and initiatives that contribute nearly $1 billion to the economy.

To speak to academic experts on any topic, reporters can contact Old Dominion University's Office of University Relations at 757-683-3114.