Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers, 2016–2017

Potential hosts should contact lecturers directly to book events. In making arrangements, hosts should be specific about dates, lecture topic, scope of the lecturer's visit and any special accommodations that may be called for.

Each lecturer has designated his or her topic(s) for three different types of audiences. Where more than one level is shown, the lecture can be adjusted to the needs of the audience:

  • P (Public)
    Aimed at presenting scientific issues of general concern to a public audience.
  • G (General)
    Intended for a normal Sigma Xi audience of both scientists and other scholars representing a broad range of disciplines.
  • S (Specialized)
    Aimed at scientists and students in fields that are closely related to that of the lecturer.

Lance Bosart

Lance Bosart Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York  
Phone: 518-334-5500

  1. Hurricane Sandy (2012): A Complex Storm with Tropical and Midlatitude Characteristics That Did Not Obey the “Rules” (G,S)
  2. What Happens There Matters for What Happens Here: Why the North Pacific Ocean Needs to Be on Your Radar Screen (G,S)
  3. Modern Weather Forecasting: How Do We Know When We are Getting Better? (G)
  4. Probabilistic Weather Forecasting: Ensemble Forecasting Perspectives in a Deterministic World (G)

Lance F. Bosart joined the University at Albany faculty after he received his Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969. He has been a distinguished professor since 2004. He is a weather scientist with a strong research interest in synoptic-dynamic meteorology. He and his students work on a variety of mesoscale, synoptic-scale and planetary-scale research problems in the tropics, midlatitudes, and polar regions. He also works with his students on operationally oriented research problems through cooperative research projects with staff members of the National Weather Service under the auspices of the Cooperative Meteorology Education and Training (COMET) program run by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research (CSTAR) Program sponsored by the National Weather Service. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Canary_RichardRichard Canary

Professor of Mathematics, University of Michigan
Phone: 734-763-5861

  1. Non-Euclidean sports and the geometry of surfaces (P,G)
  2. Hyperbolic Sports and the Geometrization of 3-dimensional spaces (S)

Dick Canary received his B.A. from the New College of the University of South Florida in 1985, his M.Sc. from the University of Warwick in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1989. After two years as a Gabor Szego Assistant Professor at Stanford University, he joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1991.  He studies the topology and geometry of surfaces and three-dimensional manifolds. (A three-dimensional manifold is an object which looks locally like three-dimensional Euclidean space, for example the universe we live in.)

Recently he has also worked in higher Teichmuller theory and served on the organizing committee of a research semester on that topic held at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley in Spring 2015. Pedagogically, he has a keen interest in inquiry-based teaching methods and developed an inquiry-based class in Topology at the University of Michigan. Personally, he enjoys travel, poker, golf and spending time with his family.

Susan N. Coppersmith

Susan Coppersmith Robert E. Fassnacht and Vilas Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: 608-262-8358

  1. From bits to qubits: a quantum leap for computers (P, G)
  2. Building a quantum computer using silicon quantum dots (S)

Susan Coppersmith is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has worked on a broad range of problems in the area of complex systems, and has made substantial contributions to the understanding of subjects including glasses, granular materials, the nonlinear dynamics of magnetic flux lattices in type-II superconductors, and quantum computing. Dr. Coppersmith’s contributions have been recognized by her election as a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has also been elected to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lee Dugatkin

Professor of Biology, University of LouisvilleLee Dugatkin
Phone: 502-852-5943

  1. The Evolution of Goodness (P, G)
  2. Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: When Natural History and History Collide (P, G, S)
  3. Genes, Culture and Behavior: Mate-choice Copying in Humans and Nonhumans (P, G, S)
  4. Altruism Writ Small: Why microbes protect one another from antibiotics (G, S)

Dr. Dugatkin is Professor of Biology at The University of Louisville. His main areas of research interest are: 1) the evolution of social behavior, and 2) the history of science. He has spoken at over eighty universities around the world, including Harvard University, Oxford University, The University of Copenhagen, Taiwan National University, and The London School of Economics. He has also presented his work in public venues such as The Smithsonian Institute, The American Museum of Natural History, and The Museum of Colonial Williamsburg. Dr. Dugatkin is the author of over 150 technical articles on behavioral evolution, and is a contributing author to Scientific American, and The New Scientist. He has published three books on the evolution of cooperation, and a number of popular books, including Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose. He is the author of two textbooks: Principles of Animal Behavior and Evolution (with Carl Bergstrom).

Edward J. Hackett

Professor, Arizona State UniversityEd Hackett 
Phone:  480-965-6561

  1. From Salomon's House to Synthesis Centers (G, S)
  2. The Cultural Contradictions of Science: Jeopardy and Opportunity (P, G, S)
  3. Making Science Useful, Making Useful Science (G, S)
  4. Peer Review and the Conduct of Science (G, S)

Edward J. Hackett is a professor in Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, with appointments in the School of Sustainability, the School of Life Sciences, and the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes. He is former Director of the Division of Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation and has held faculty appointments at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Rockefeller University. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University and BA from Colgate University. Hackett studies the social organization and dynamics of scientific research, asking how patterns of organization and interaction influence performance, and particularly how transdisciplinary collaborations achieve scientific synthesis. He has also written about research misconduct, the scientific career, science and law, university-industry research relations, and environmental justice. He is currently editor of Science, Technology & Human Values and recently co-edited The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (MIT, 2007).

Sandra L. Hanson

Professor of Sociology, Catholic University Sandra Hanson
Phone:  703-532-0060

  1. Girls in Science: Why So Few? (P, G)
  2. Science for All? Diversity in Science in a Global Economy (P, G)
  3. Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education (S)

Sandra L. Hanson is Professor of Sociology at Catholic University. Her research focuses on gender, race/ethnicity and science. In Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls in Science Education (2009), she examined the experiences of African American girls in the science education system. Sandra’s book Lost Talent: Women in the Sciences (1996) was a culmination of her research on the loss of talented young women in the science pipeline. Dr. Hanson received a Fulbright award for teaching and research on gender in Eastern Europe at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow Poland. Her second Fulbright award was for teaching and research on gender and science in an international context at the Global and European Studies Institute, Leipzig University. Sandra testified before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Science and Technology (Subcommittee on Research and Science Education) hearing on “Encouraging the Participation of Female Students in STEM Fields.”

Nicholas Hud

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry,Nicholas Hud
Georgia Institute of Technology

Phone:  404-385-1162

  1. The Scientific Quest for the Origin of Life (P, G)
  2. Experimental Investigations of the Origin and Early Evolution of Life (P, G, S)
  3. A Self-Assembly Approach to the Origin of RNA (G, S)

Nicholas Hud is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also Director of the NSF-NASA Center for Chemical Evolution. Prof. Hud has studied the physical properties of DNA and RNA (the chemical sibling of DNA) for over twenty-five years. His research has produced fundamental insights regarding the packaging and functioning of DNA in living cells and viruses. Over the past decade, Prof. Hud’s research has become increasingly focused on questions related to the origin of life, and particularly the origin of RNA. Experiments carried out in his laboratory have provided several clues to how the first molecules of life could have spontaneously formed on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago. Prof. Hud received his B.S. degree from Loyola Marymount University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. He conducted postdoctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at UCLA.

René López 

Rene LopezAssociate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy & Department of Applied Physical Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Phone:  (919) 962-7216 

René López obtained his bachelor's degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Mexico), and his master's and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University (USA). He worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University before joining the Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA). He currently heads a group that does research in optical materials, particularly bio-inspired photonic structures for organic photovoltaics, dye sensitized solar cells, sensors and electro-chromic materials.

Peter R. MacLeish

Peter MacLeishChair and Professor, Department of Neurobiology, Director of the Neuroscience Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine
Phone: 404-756-5786

  1. The Study of Adult Neurons in vitro (G, S)
  2. Ion-Channel Compartments in Vertebrate Photoreceptors (S)
  3. Expanding the Capacity to Perform Cutting-Edge, Sustainable Biomedical Research in the U.S. (P)

Peter MacLeish received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and his Ph.D. and post-doctoral training from the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in Neurobiology and moved to The Rockefeller University with Nobel Laureate, Torsten Wiesel, where he was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor. He was recruited to Cornell University Medical College as Professor of Physiology in Ophthalmology and founding director of research of the Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Institute. He was recruited to Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) to found the Neuroscience Institute. There, he continues his pioneering work on the electrophysiological properties of mature retinal cells. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH, on the Board of Scientific Counselors at NIMH, was a member of the NIH BRAIN Working Group and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies.

Beth A. Middleton

Beth MiddletonResearch Ecologist, GS15. U.S. Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Email 1, Email 2
Phone: 337-266-8618 (office), 337-414-3535 (cell)
TEDxVermilionStreet Talk

  1. Wetlands and climate change: the reconnection of people and the land (P, G)
  2. The wind and the salt: reassembly of coastal vegetation following hurricanes (P, G, S)
  3. Restoration of wetlands after farming and flood pulsing (P, G, S)
  4. Wetland restoration and management in a future of changing climate (P, G, S)

Beth Middleton is a research ecologist with the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Lafayette, Louisiana. Her research focuses on potential climate change impacts to wetlands using a macroecology approach to study ecosystem function across large geographical areas. Her work is of interest to scientists, managers, and the public in that it informs the way forward for climate change management. She maintains a long-term network to examine climate change effects on some of the most pristine cypress swamps in the southeastern United States. Her studies on the response of drought-stressed vegetation to hydrologic remediation is of critical importance to future natural resource conservation. Dr. Middleton’s talks focus on bringing an understanding of the effects of climate change on world wetlands to university and public audiences. She gives many invited lectures on her ecological research as well as Earth Day talks and a TEDx talk called “Conservation Oblivion.”

Bryant C. Nelson

Nelson_BryantStaff Research Chemist, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Phone:  301-975-2517

  1. Fundamental Interactions of Engineered Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials with DNA (P, G, S)
  2. Inhibition of DNA Repair Protein Activity by Gold [Au55] Nanoclusters (G, S)
  3. The Inhibition of Free Radical Induced DNA Damage by Both Single - and Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes (G, S)

Dr. Nelson is a staff research chemist and the Nanogenotoxicology project leader at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin (B.Sc., Chemistry), the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry) and completed his postdoctoral training as an NRC research fellow at NIST in Analytical Chemistry in 1997. At NIST, he has been responsible for the design, technical development and leadership of research projects related to understanding and characterizing the potential environmental health and human safety risks of engineered nanomaterials. His predominant research efforts are focused on investigating and characterizing the biochemical mechanisms involved in nanomaterial-induced genotoxicity (oxidative damage to nucleic acids) through in depth studies involving increasingly complex biological exposure models. His laboratory develops and utilizes a combination of low- (e.g., comet assay) and high-resolution (tandem mass spectrometry) bioanalytical platforms to understand the fundamental interactions of nanomaterials with DNA and to quantitatively characterize the repertoire of potential genotoxic responses. Dr. Nelson is heavily involved in the development and application of new, tandem mass spectrometry based methods (GC/MS/MS and LC/MS/MS) for identifying and quantifying the formation and accumulation of nanomaterial induced DNA modifications (base and nucleoside lesions) and his group is also involved in research to understand the effects of nanomaterials on the activity and expression of base excision and nucleotide excision DNA repair proteins in relation to the potential use of nanomaterials in anticancer therapeutics. Dr. Nelson actively advises/mentors undergraduate/graduate students and postdocs in bioanalytical chemistry, biochemistry, nanogenotoxicology and DNA damage and repair. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 refereed publications, given more than 50 oral presentations domestically and internationally and is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality. He is Past President of the NIST Chapter of Sigma Xi (2008 – 2009).

Karen Oates

Karen OatesProfessor of Biochemistry and the Dean of Arts & Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Phone:  508-831-4678

  1. Bringing Civic Engagement into the Science Classroom (G, S)
  2. How People Learn And Creativity Of Science (P, G)
  3. Boosting Innovation: An Ecological Approach for Scientists & Engineers (G, S)
  4. The Obligation of Knowledge (P, G)

Dr. Karen Kashmanian Oates is a Professor of Biochemistry and the Dean of Arts & Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Oates received her B.S. in Biology from Rochester Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The George Washington University. She then served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Oncology and Hematology division. Dr. Oates joined WPI from the National Science Foundation, where she had served as a deputy director of the Division of Undergraduate Education charged with supporting innovative programs to strengthen undergraduate education and help revitalize American entrepreneurship and competitiveness. She began her academic career at George Mason University, where, as associate dean for the new College of Integrated and Interdisciplinary Studies, she helped create George Mason's New American College environment. She later served as inaugural provost for the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, where she established the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and helped secure NSF funds for Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities, which works to improve undergraduate STEM education by connecting learning to critical civic questions. Among the honors she has received are the Bruce Albert's Award, presented by American Society for Cell Biology for excellence in science education reform, and the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest civilian honor presented by the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2012 she was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Association for the Advancement as a Science Education fellow. As the inaugural holder of the Peterson Family Deanship of Arts & Sciences, she oversees seven academic departments (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Humanities & Arts and Social Sciences & Policy Studies), as well as several interdisciplinary programs including Environmental and Sustainability studies, Robotics and Interactive Media and Game Development.

Jim O’Connor

Jim O'ConnerResearch Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Phone: 503-251-3222 

  1. The Geology and Geography of Floods (G, S)
  2. 1000 Dams Down and Counting (P, G, S)
  3. The Great Missoula Floods of the Last Ice Age (P, G, S)

Jim O’Connor is a research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland, Oregon. His primary research focus is landscape evolution, mainly involving rivers and floods. He’s also interested in the intersection of landscapes and people, and the history of those interrelations. He’s a fellow of the Geological Society of America and has written numerous scientific articles, monographs, and general-audience features about floods, rivers, glaciers, and the history of geology. He majored in geological science at University of Washington and earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Arizona. Since 1991, he has worked at the U.S. Geological Survey, intent on improving understanding of the processes and events that shape the remarkable and diverse landscapes of our planet.

Alexander Orlov

Alexander Orlov Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at State University of New York, Stony Brook
Phone:  631-632-9978, 631-356-4675 (cell)

  1. How nanotechnology can save us and environment: Making it happen in a safe way (P, G)
  2. Exploiting unhappy nanoparticles to produce energy and clean up the environment (S)
  3. How nanoparticles are used in consumer products: Should we be concerned? (G)

Alexander Orlov is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is also a faculty member of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research, an affiliate faculty of the Chemistry Department and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University. He is also a visiting professor at Cambridge University, U.K. Dr. Orlov's principle research activities are in the development of novel materials for energy generation, structural applications and environmental protection. He was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the U.K. National Endowment for Science Technology and Arts CRUCIBLE award. He was also selected to the Fellowship of the U.K. Royal Society of Chemistry, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering (U.S.), the NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education and was made Kavli Fellow in 2014 by the Kavli Foundation and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

June J. Pilcher

June PilcherAlumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Clemson University 
Phone: 864-656-4985

  1. Sleep: The Pattern of Life (P, G)
  2. Brain Works: Functional Biases and Why We Should Care (P, G)
  3. Sedentary America: A Lifelong Affair with a Lazy Brain (P, G)

June J. Pilcher earned her Ph.D. in Biopsychology from the University of Chicago (1989). She was enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman prior to completing her B.A. and served as an officer as a research psychologist in the U.S. Army after her Ph.D. Dr. Pilcher started her academic career at Bradley University before joining the faculty at Clemson University. She has been named a fellow in the Association for Psychological Science and is the 2015 recipient of the Class of ’39 Award at Clemson. She was the Fulbright-Freud Visiting Scholar 2011–2012 in Vienna, Austria, and is a candidate on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for Public/Global Health. Dr. Pilcher’s research is broadly based on the effects of stress on performance, health, and well-being. She enjoys speaking to all types of audiences about the human brain, sleep, and physical activity.

M. V. Ramana 

MV RamanaProfessor and Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security
Liu Institute for Global Issues, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
University of British Columbia
Phone: 604-822-8838 

  1. Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Energy (P, G)
  2. Nuclear Energy in China and India: Can Ambitions Meet Reality? (P, G)
  3. Nuclear Weapons in India: History and Risks (P, G)
  4. Assessing Risk Assessment: Nuclear Regulation and Reactor Safety (S)

M.V. Ramana received his undergraduate degree in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1988 and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Boston University in 1994. Ramana is the author of The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India (Penguin Books, 2012) and co-editor of Prisoners of the Nuclear Dream (Orient Longman, 2003). He is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), the Global Council of Abolition 2000, and the National Coordinating Committee of India’s Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Leo Szilard Award from the American Physical Society.

Paula Rayman 

Paula Rayman Professor of Sociology at University of Massachusetts Lowell 
Phone: 978-934-2902

  1. Can You Work and Have a Life? Balancing Careers in STEM  (P, G)
  2. Moving the Needle Forward: How to Create Inclusive Cultures in STEM Fields (P, G)
  3. The Athena SWAN Program: How Institutions Can Insure Diversity, Equity, and Innovation (S)

In addition to be being a professor of sociology at University of Massachusetts Lowell, Paula Rayman is director of the Middle East Center for Peace, Development, and Culture and executive director of the public sector hub of the Women in Public Service Project, which is housed at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. She was the founding director of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at UMass Lowell. Dr. Rayman is a Senior Fulbright Award recipient. She worked with the University of Haifa on the study: “Beyond Co-Existence: Israeli Arab and Jewish Relations.” In 2012, she led trainings on non-violent social action for a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian women leaders and spoke at the United States Embassy in Israel as part of the Distinguished American Speaker series. Dr. Rayman is also a nationally recognized scholar in the field of work organization, labor, and public policy. She is the author of Beyond the Bottom Line: The Search for Dignity at Work. She was the founding director of the Radcliffe Public Policy Center at Harvard University. Rayman has also worked extensively on issues related to women and science. She was the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation's Project Women and Techforce and WORKING WISE (Women in Science and Engineering). She is the co-author of The Equity Equation. She was the recipient of the Pathways for Women in Sciences award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Professor Rayman has been recognized for her leadership on advancing women in STEM from many organizations including the Weizmann Institute, Israel, the 1995 United Nations Woman and Science Tent, Beijing, and the Council on Competitiveness, Washington D.C.

Omowunmi (Wunmi) Sadik

Sadik_OmowunmProfessor of Chemistry and Director, Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems, State University of New York at Binghamton
Phone:  607-777-4132 

  1. Biochemical Sensor: An objective approach for pain measurement (P, G, S)
  2. Can your iPhone tell you what’s in your food? - Nanosensors for rapid detection of food pathogens (P, G)
  3. A new class of conducting polymers based on flexible poly(amic) acid membranes (S)

Omowunmi “Wunmi” Sadik is a Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems at SUNY-Binghamton. Dr. Sadik completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wollongong in Australia and did her postdoctoral research at the US Environmental Protection Agency. She has held appointments at Harvard University, Cornell University and Naval Research Laboratories. Her research areas include surface chemistry, chemical sensors, biosensors, and smart materials for solving problems in biological system, energy and the environment. Sadik has over 145 full-length publications and patents, and has given 130 keynotes and invited lectures, as well as contributed 180 conference lectures and abstracts. Dr. Sadik is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the recipient of Harvard University’s Distinguished Radcliffe Fellowship, National Science Foundation’s Discovery Corps Senior Fellowship, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Research, Chancellors Award for Scholarship & Creative Activities, Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Inventor, Harpur College Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer, Australian Merit Award, and NRC COBASE fellowship. Sadik holds four U.S. patents for her work on biosensors, which have been licensed for commercial products. Sadik chaired the inaugural “Gordon Conference on Environmental Nanotechnology in 2011 and has served as the nanotechnology editor for the RSC Journal of Environmental Science Processes and Impact. She co-edited the ACS Symposium series on environmental sensors and has organized and/or chaired over 30 symposia/workshops at national and international conferences. As the President and co-founder of the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization-SNO (, Sadik is promoting the responsible growth of nanotechnology around the world through research, education and outreach.

Sally C. Seidel

Sally Seidel Professor of Physics, University of New Mexico
Phone: 505-277-2087

  1. Discovering New Particles: What Patterns in Nature Might Tell Us About the Structure of the Universe (P, G)
  2. A New Little Big Bang Every 25 Nanoseconds: Using Particle Accelerators to Recreate the Conditions of the Early Universe (G)
  3. Gifts from the LHC: Expected and Unexpected Results from the Particle Physics Frontier (G, S)
  4. The Role of Instrumentation in Particle Physics Discovery (G, S)

Sally C. Seidel is the faculty member of the University of New Mexico's Collider Physics Group. Their primary goal is an improved understanding of heavy quark bound states. These studies increase the understanding of the strong force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature. They may also contribute to the discovery of physics beyond the Standard Model. This work requires that they collect and analyze data at the Large Hadron Collider and other experimental facilities. It also requires them to design, construct, and test state-of-the-art particle tracking detectors, interconnects, and electronics. The instrumentation may ultimately be incorporated into medical imaging or security verification systems that would benefit the greater society.

Herman Sintim

Herman SintimDrug Discovery Professor of Chemistry–Organic Chemistry/Chemical Biology, Purdue University
Phone:  301-405-0633

  1. Bacterial conversation, what is it and how can it be stopped to prevent infections from spreading? (P, G)
  2. New strategies to curb bacterial infections via the disruption of quorum sensing and/or cyclic dinucleotide signaling (S)
  3. Personalized medicine and the role of simple diagnostic platforms (G, S)
  4. The bacterial resistance problem and why we should care (P, G)

Dr. Sintim obtained his BS in Medicinal Chemistry from the University College London and D.Phil. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford, under the guidance of Professor David Hodgson. He then performed postdoctoral research in the chemistry of natural products at the University of Oxford in the laboratory of Professor Timothy Donohoe and a second postdoctoral research in Chemical Biology investigating the rules that govern DNA replication at Stanford University in the laboratory of Professor Eric Kool. In 2006, Sintim began his independent research at the University of Maryland as an assistant professor of chemical biology and was promoted to associate professor in 2012. In 2015, he was promoted to full professor and soon afterwards accepted an offer to move his laboratory to Purdue University.

Todd Surovell

Todd SurvolleAssociate Professor of Anthropology, University of Wyoming
Phone:  307-766-3239 

  1. Using the Present to Figure out the Past: An Ethno-Archaeological Study of Mongolia's Reindeer Herders (P, G, S)
  2. What Caused the Extinction of North America’s Mammoths? (P, G, S)
  3. Ice Age Hunter-Gatherers of the Rocky Mountains (P, G, S)

Todd Surovell is an Associate Professor and the Director of the George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming. He is an archaeologist specializing in the first peoples of the New World, ethnoarchaeology, geoarchaeology, lithic technology, and quantitative methods. In addition to fieldwork throughout the Rocky Mountain west, he has worked in Israel, Denmark, and Mongolia. He is the author of Toward a Behavioral Ecology of Lithic Technology, a book examining the economics of stone tool use. He excavated the Barger Gulch site, a large winter campsite occupied at the end of the last Ice Age. He is currently excavating the Fetterman mammoth kill site and the Late Prehistoric Wold Buffalo Jump. In 2012, he initiated the Dukha Ethnoarchaeological Project, which involves the study of the spatial organization of human behavior in campsites of nomadic reindeer herders in northern Mongolia.

George Weiblen

George Weiblen Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Plant Biology and Interim Scientific Director, Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota
Phone: 612-624-3461 (office), 612-625-8749 (lab)
Bell Museum on Facebook
Bell Museum on Twitter

  1. The Cannabis conundrum: genetics and politics of America's most controversial plant (P, G)
  2. Biodiversity discovery on the rain forest frontier (P, G)
  3. The coevolutionary microcosm: plants, pollinators, and parasites (S)
  4. Global forest observatories: an international network monitoring biotic responses to our changing climate (S)

George Weiblen is the scientific director of the Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium at the University of Minnesota. He is a curator of the herbarium and Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Plant Biology. His interests include botany, biodiversity discovery, forensic applications of DNA technology, and citizen science. He has coordinated more than 20 research grants exceeding $3.7 million dollars that produced more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Weiblen’s research centers on the interactions of flowering plants with insect pollinators and pests. He has participated in more than 20 expeditions to Papua New Guinea, living in the country for several years, and coordinating indigenous participation in scientific research. He is fluent in Melanesian Pidgin and participates in New Guinea forest preservation initiatives. He also is an expert on the plant group Urticales including figs, mulberries, nettles, hops, and hemp. He is one of few researchers registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to study Cannabis. He earned his B.A. at Reed College and his A.M. and Ph.D. at Harvard University.