Dr. Gregory Ball will be the next vice president for research at the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, according to a Tuesday email from respective university Presidents Darryll Pines and Bruce Jarrell.

Ball will replace Dr. Amitabh Varshney, the interim research vice president and computer, mathematical and natural sciences college dean. Varshney held the role in October after President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Laurie Locascio, the former vice president for research, to serve as the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Ball will serve as the vice president for research for three years beginning Feb. 1, after having previously served as dean of this university’s behavioral and social sciences college, according to the email.

In his seven years overseeing the college, Ball focused on the college’s staff diversity and expanded experiential learning opportunities, the email said.

[Some UMD professors express dissatisfaction with university’s reopening, testing protocols]

Prior to working at this university, Ball was vice dean for science and research infrastructure in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He also served as director of the school’s neuroscience program and was a faculty member of the university’s psychology department for 23 years.

Ball’s research involves seasonal changes in the brains and behavior of songbirds to understand how hormonal and environmental stimuli affect behavior. He has garnered more than 200 research publications and receives grant support from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Wayne McIntosh will serve as the interim dean for the behavioral and social sciences college while this university conducts a national search for the new dean. McIntosh has served as both the college’s associate dean for graduate and faculty affairs as well as the associate chair of the government and politics department.