Commencement 2013 Speakers

Ball is a professor of psychological and brain sciences in the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and director of the school's undergraduate neuroscience program. He serves as liaison with the chairs of the school’s natural science departments to ensure the highest quality undergraduate experience, particularly in introductory level courses, as well as to think through space planning and infrastructure needs and opportunities for interdisciplinary endeavors. Ball is an important partner to the science chairs and the dean in the recruitment of faculty and issues concerning tenure and promotion, and he represents the school and cultivates ties with other science-intensive divisions of the university, as well as with external institutions for scientific research. Moreover, Ball works with the university’s technology transfer office and maintains responsibility for research reporting and compliance issues.  

A faculty member in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences since 1991 and a full professor since 1998, Ball served as the School of Arts and Sciences' dean of research and graduate education from 2008 to 2010. He heads the program committee of the popular undergraduate neuroscience program and helps direct the David S. Olton Behavioral Biology program. Ball holds joint appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Reproductive Biology, at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and in the Department of Neuroscience at the School of Medicine.  

A highly accomplished scientist, Ball has amassed more than 200 research publications. His work concerns the interrelation of hormones, the brain, and reproductive behavior, studying both how hormones act in the brain to modulate the learning and activation of behavior and how behavioral stimuli are processed by the brain to influence endocrine activity and the timing of seasonal reproduction. His research continues to be supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Ball earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and a doctoral degree in psychobiology from the Institute of Animal Behavior at Rutgers-Newark (now known as the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience). He did his postdoctoral work at Rockefeller University and held faculty appointments there and at Boston College before joining Johns Hopkins University.