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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was an associate research professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
What brought you to LSU?Having been on “soft” money for almost 12 years, I started to look for opportunities and the Department of Kinesiology at LSU had an opening for a tenure-track position in motor behavior. After interviewing, the department decided to offer me the position, which I gladly accepted.
What is your research interest?I am interested in all aspects related to the performance of fine motor tasks, such as handwriting, drawing, pointing and reach-to-grasp movements. My research is aimed at uncovering mechanisms responsible for alterations of fine movement control when demands are increased due to stress or mental load, or when demands are changed due to physiologic deterioration as result of advanced age or neurological disease, in particular Parkinson’s disease. Uncovering these mechanisms will help me to advance my other research interest, which focuses on the challenges to (re)learn fine motor tasks under strenuous conditions as a consequence of stress, mental load, advanced age and neurological disease. The goal of understanding these challenges should ultimately lead to protocols helping individuals to increase performance, or protocols assisting individuals to maintain performance levels despite physiologic deterioration.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I believe that research and education are the keys to improve our lives, therefore I would find it a great accomplishment if I could be credited by (a) student(s) as one of the teachers that made them excited about research and their education. I also hope that my research will contribute to increasing our knowledge about the human motor system, allowing us to understand causes of observed changes in fine motor performance and allowing us to comprehend what we can do to maintain and/or improve our performance. Furthermore, I hope that I can help our department and LSU in their goal to grow recognition nationally and internationally. And, off course, in the short run I hope to become an associate professor with tenure at LSU.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?The friendliness of all people I have met; students, faculty and staff everybody makes you feel like you belong to a very special community. And, I also enjoy the excitement around all (athletic) events on and off campus.
What are your major accomplishments?Establishing myself as an expert in fine motor behavior and recently becoming the president of the International Graphonomics Society. This society is multidisciplinary and it aims to exchange views, expertise, knowledge and to foster collaboration in fields identifying relationships between the planning and generation of handwriting and drawing movements, the resulting spatial traces of writing and drawing instruments — either conventional or electronic — and the dynamic features of these traces in handwriting and drawing tasks. Visit www.graphonomics.org for more information.