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UNT briefs

Biology professor’s research published

University of North Texas biology professor Ron Mittler led a research study outlining how plants identify stress factors such as heat, disease or toxins and signal to the rest of the plant to defend against the incoming stress.

Mittler led the research with help from Vladimir Shulaev of UNT and researchers from Bar-llan University in Israel. The research was featured in the Sept. 13 issue of the The Plant Cell, published by the American Society of Plant Biologists.

By learning how plants signal stress, scientists learn how to control plant defenses, which may one day be able to help farmers prepare crops for droughts or diseases.

The research also found that triggering a stress signal in a plant gave the plant time to prepare for worse conditions.

First Executive + Scholar lecture set

The inaugural Executive + Scholar Lecture Series at the University of North Texas is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday in the ballroom of UNT’s Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd., and will focus on sustainability in the global apparel industry.

Three executives from the industry including the president of TAL Apparel Ltd., representatives from Patagonia and representatives from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition will be featured during the lecture portion.

There will be a luncheon following the speakers, and a workshop about the Higg Index, a new standard industry approach to measure and evaluate sustainability impacts of clothing and footwear.

The lecture is organized by the Global Digital Retailing Research Center in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. Registration deadline is today, with a pass for the morning lectures for $25 and the entire day for $75. The event is free to students with a student ID.

For more information, contact Lisa Wallace at 940-565-7051 or

DeRosa named chief conductor of band

Richard DeRosa, University of North Texas jazz composition and arranging professor at UNT, was named the new chief conductor of the Grammy Award-winning WDR Band in Germany.

He will continue teaching at the College of Music while conducting the band, where he is set to begin for the 2014-2015 season.

Event to celebrate Hurley’s life set

The University of North Texas community will celebrate the life of the late Alfred F. Hurley, former UNT president and first chancellor of the UNT System, in a ceremony at 3 p.m. Sept. 28.

At the Murchison Performing Arts Center in Winspear Hall, current UNT President Lane Rawlins, UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson, Hurley’s children and others will speak at the event. A reception in the Gateway Center Ballroom will immediately follow.

Hurley joined UNT in 1980 as the vice president for administrative affairs and became the school’s 12th president in February 1982. In 2000, the office of the president and chancellor split, and Hurley became the university’s first chancellor. He retired from the university in 2002.

Hurley died June 8 at the age of 84 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.