Faculty & Staff Accolades: February 2016

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science.

Stephanie Barksdale, National Center Biodefense & Infectious Diseases, presented a poster at ASM Biodefense 2016 on the topic of antimicrobial peptides active against multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumanii. This project is supported by DTRA through a grant titled “Translational Peptide Research for Personnel Protection.”

The Biology Department has been invited by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to join the HHMI Science Education Alliance’s Phage Hunters Advancing Genomic and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program for the 2016-17 academic year. The proposal was a collaborative effort by Anne Scherer and Reid Schwebach, STEM Accelerator and others within the department.

Rodrigo Bombardi, Subhadeep Halder, James L. Kinter III, Larry Marx, Edwin K. Schneider, Chul-Su Shin, and Zichang Guo, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, presented five papers on climate modeling and sub-seasonal to seasonal climate forecasting at the Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans.

Liang Chen, Atmospheric Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, won the Climate Specialty Group “Paper of the Year Award” from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) for his paper “Impacts of urbanization on future climate in China” published in Climate Dynamics. He will be recognized with a special invited lecture and cash award at the AAG annual meeting in March in San Francisco.

Susan Crate, Environmental Science and Policy, along with her daughter, was featured in a film called “The Anthropologist,” in a part response to climate change and sea level rise.

Lorelei Crerar, Biology, along with Chris Parsons, Environmental Science and Policy, published a paper entitled “Serendipity in research investigation into illegal wildlife trade discovers a new population of Stellar’s sea cows: a reply to Pyenson et al. (2016)” in Biology Letters.

Kim de Mutsert, Environmental Science and Policy, published a paper entitled “Exploring effects of hypoxia on fish and fisheries on the northern Gulf of Mexico using a dynamic spatially explicit ecosystem model” in the special issue of Ecological Modelling.

Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, coauthored the paper “Adapting observationally-based metrics of biogeophysical feedback from land cover change to climate modeling” by Chen and Dirmeyer, published in Environmental Science Letters.

Mary Ewell, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $40,000 by the Dominion Foundation for her work on GMUF/O/Dominion/Project PROGRESS.

Karl Fryxell, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $29,995 by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and Virginia Commonwealth University for his work on VCU/VFHY/CD81 Gene Adolescent.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, served as a judge in the aerospace and aviation arena for the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge founded by Nancy Conrad in honor of her late husband, astronaut, innovator, and entrepreneur, Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. ; competition is an annual, multi-phase innovation and entrepreneurial competition that brings together a dynamic community of innovators and entrepreneurs driving a collaborative movement to develop extraordinary and viable solutions to benefit our world in one of four areas.

Leila Hamdan, Environmental Science and Policy, along with her lab members were interviewed by the Public Information Office for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) about a couple of papers that were presented at the Ocean Sciences 2016 meeting in New Orleans concerning the Deep Water Horizon work. AGU is a co-sponsor of the meeting, and the largest professional organization for Earth scientists.

Xianjun Hao, Environmental Science and Technology Center, was awarded $56,640 by NOAA and ERT Inc. for his work on ERT/NOAA/Satellite Data CDR Program.

Robert Jonas, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $121,749 by the U.S. Geological Survey for his work on USGS/Eco-Socio-Economic Framework.

Younsung Kim, Environmental Science and Policy, co-published an article entitled “Business-government Collaboration May Help Solve Complex Social Issues on LSE Business Review Eeb log on February 5, 2016.

Kristy A. Lewis, Environmental Science and Policy, published a paper entitled “Employing ecosystem models and geographic information systems (GIS) to investigate the response of changing marsh edge on historical biomass of estuarine nekton in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA” in the special issue of Ecological Modelling.

David Luther, Biology, published the following articles: “The Language of Sparrows” in the Bay Nature magazine. He co-published “Not so sexy in the city: urban birds adjust songs to noise but compromise vocal performance.” in Behavioral Ecology and “Atlantic Song Sparrow Migratory Status, Winter Subspecies Interactions and Habitat Segregation” in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. On February 22, Luther presented “It’s tough to be heard in the city: Adaptations of bird song in urban environments” for the Conservation Biology Institute. He also presented “How Does Noise Affect Birds’ Communication?” on February 28 for Sherwood Regional Library, Alexandria, VA.

Emanuel Petricoin, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $50,000 by USAMRAA and the University of North Carolina for his work on UNC/USAMRAA/Pancreatic Cancer.

Matthias Renz, Computational and Data Sciences, along with colleagues received the DASFAA 10-year Best Paper Award at the 21st International Conference on Database Systems for Advanced Applications in Dallas, TX. The DASFAA 10-year Best Paper Award recognizes the best paper from the DASFAA proceedings 10 years prior based on the criterion that the paper has had the biggest impact (research, products, and methodology) over the last decade.

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $97,138 by NASA and the Smithsonian Institute for her work on SAO/NASA/Chandra Follow-up Study.

Jagadish Shukla, Atmospheric Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded Honorary Membership in the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the atmospheric and related sciences at its Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Cynthia Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $3,153 by the Dominion Foundation and James Madison University for her work on JMU/Dominion Foundation/KidWind.

Lee Talbot, Environmental Science and Policy, has been selected by the Cosmos Club of Washington D.C. to be the Powell Award and Lecture speaker in celebration of the Club’s founder, John Wesley Powell. Powell was an eminent soldier, geologist, explorer, professor, director of major scientific and cultural institutions, and anthropologist. He will speak on “Exploring for Conservation” on March 24th at the ceremony.

Daniel Tong, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, prepared the article “Prepare the Nation for a duster future” about a new NASA research project that will study dust storms as an indicator of climate change.

Monique van Hoek, School of Systems Biology, co-authored a paper entitled “Potentation of Francisella Resistance to Conventional Antibiotics through Small Molecule Adjuvants” in MedChemComm, the official journal of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, in collaboration with researchers at NCSU and UMD-Baltimore. She also co-authored a paper, with one of her students, on the characterization of novel antimicrobial peptides the Cimex lectularis in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. This work was partially supported by a 4VA grant. Van Hoek presented a talk, with one of her students, at ASM Biodefense 2-16 on the topic of antimicrobial peptides active against Bacillus anthracis. This project was supported by DTRA through a grant titled Translational Peptide Research for Personnel Protection.

Erhai Zhao, and Zhenyu Zhou, Physics and Astronomy, and other collaborators published a paper entitled “Spin-orbital exchange of strongly interacting fermions on the p-band of a two-dimensional optical lattice” in the journal of Physical Review Letters. Erhai Zhao was also awarded $635,068 by the University of Pittsburgh and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for his work on Univ of Pitt/AFOSR/Opt.Lattic.

Read the full University Accolades