Faculty & Staff Accolades December 2018 & January 2019

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The following accolades are published for December 2018 & January 2019.

Tyrus Berry, Mathematical Sciences, and Geraldine Grant, Biology, along with a university colleague are recipients of a 2019 Provost’s Summer Team Impact Grant for the project titled “Translating Significant Biological Data through a Novel, Intuitive Graphical User Interface.” This grant program highlights innovative curricular ideas that enhance cross-unit, multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate curriculum development activities or are directly tied to a Mason Impact signature program. Berry also was the advisor for Mason students Aneesh Malhotra and Orton Babb who won a Outstanding Poster award for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Poster Session at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) 2019 for their poster “A Diffusion Maps Approach to Dimensionality Reduction.”

Estela Blaisten-Barojas, Computational and Data Sciences, Computational Materials Science Center, co-published her research on binary metal alloys entitled “Simulating the NaK eutectic alloy with Monte Carlo and Machine Learning” in Scientific Reports. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36574-y).

Benjamin Cash, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies gave an invited lecture in December, 2018 at Dickinson College entitled “Predictability and Uncertainty in Weather and Climate.”

Liang Chen, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies and Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co- published the following papers: The relative importance among anthropogenic forcings of land use/land cover change in affecting temperature extremes in Climate Dynamics. Global observed and modeled impacts of irrigation on surface temperature in The International Journal of Climatology.

Andrew Crooks, Computational and Data Sciences, copublished a book entitled “Agent-Based Modelling and Geographical Information Systems: A Practical Primer.”

https://www.gisagents.org/2019/01/agent-based-modelling-and-geographical.html

Kim de Mutsert, Environmental Science and Policy, co-published the following papers: Comparative network analyses for Nigerian coastal waters using two Ecopath models developed for the years 1985 and 2000 in Fisheries Research https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2018.12.028; Impacts of Hypoxia on Fishes and Food Webs in Freshwater, Coastal and Oceanic Ecosystems: A Global Perspective in Fisheries; Management challenges are opportunities for fisheries ecosystem models in the Gulf of Mexico in Marine Policy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.11.033.

Virgina Espina, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine was awarded $89,998 for Pfizer Platelet analysis by Pfizer Inc.

Amy Fowler, Kim de Mutsert, Jennifer Salerno and Dann Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, along with Benoit van Aken and Gregory Foster, Chemistry and Biochemistry, are recipients of a 2019 Provost’s Summer Team Impact Grant for the project titled “Aquatic communities as a bioindicators of disturbance in the Potomac River: Covering the range from bacteria to fish using molecular techniques and field observations.”  This grant program highlights innovative curricular ideas that enhance cross-unit, multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate curriculum development activities or are directly tied to a Mason Impact signature program.

Karl Fryxell, School of Systems Biology, was also awarded $8,548 for Molecular and Physiological Signaling Research by George Mason University Foundation.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, presented two papers at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, DC in December, 2018. One presentation was titled “Communicating Science in the Social Media Age Utilizing Twitter, Facebook and a Digital Newsletter” and the second was “Predictive Analytics for Earth and Space Sciences: From ET to Earthquakes.” Geller also spoke via Skype with an 8th grade class at Pleasant Knoll Middle School of Fort Mill, South Carolina in January, 2019. Additionally, he spoke at the Falls Church Goodwin House to the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads regarding “Looking for Life in all the Wrong Places” in January, 2019. Geller hosted Dr. Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Sciences, where Dr. Boss spoke to guests and students at George Mason University about “Universal Life – An Inside Look at the Race to Discover Life Beyond Earth.”

Nirmal Ghimire, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $53,000 for Synthesize and Characterize Topological Materials by Argonne National Laboratory.

Rebecca Goldin, Mathematical Sciences, was a speaker for Nifty Fifty. https://usasciencefestival.org/why-sponsor-nifty-fifty/; https://usasciencefestival.org/people/dr-rebecca-goldin/.  She was also installed as a 2019 Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). http://www.ams.org/profession/ams-fellows/new-fellows; http://www.ams.org/profession/ams-fellows/ams-fellows.

Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon, College of Science, presented at the Moving the Needle 2018 conference in St. Petersburg, Florida in November 2019 on “Leveraging Social Capital to Support Access and Completion of Underserved Populations.”  https://mtn2018.movingtheneedleconference.com/en/program-schedule/program/40/concurrent-session-3-5-leveraging-social-capital-to-support-access-and-completion-of-underserved-populations

  1. Christian Jones, Environmental Science and Policy, along with co-PI Benoit Van Aken, Chemistry, was awarded $4,855 for City of Fairfax Monitoring Program 2018-19 by City of Fairfax.

Cing- Dao (Steve) Kan, Computational and Data Sciences, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, along with co-PI Dhafer Marzougui, Physics and Astronomy, were awarded $733,060 for Research assistance to the Department of State (DOS) to Develop & Optimize Effective Anti-Ram Devices by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Kan along with co-PI Kyu Park, Computational and Data Sciences, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, were awarded $215,000 for Development and Validation of Shell-Element Version of Material Model MAT_213 in LS-DYNA for Simulation of Composite Materials by Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

Sean Lawton, Mathematical Sciences, was a speaker for Nifty Fifty. https://usasciencefestival.org/people/sean-lawton/

David Luther, Biology, co-published a paper entitled “Acoustic adaptation to city noise through vocal learning by a songbird” in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1356 

Alessandra Luchini, along with co-PI Lance Liotta, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine were awarded $114,000 for Novel nanoparticular diagnostics for cerebral toxoplasmosis and Chagas in HIV patients living in Latin America by Johns Hopkins University. Prime Sponsor: NIH.

Anton Lukyanenko, Mathematical Sciences, was the advisor for Mason student Samuel Schmidgall who won an Outstanding Poster award for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Poster Session at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) 2019 for his poster “Nonholonomic Motion Planning for Self-Driving Cars.”

Yuri Mishin, Physics and Astronomy, co-published an article with his student entitled “Nickel nanoparticles set a new record of strength” in Nature Communications. It was featured in International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements under the section “Nickel (Ni).” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-06575-6

Dusan Odstrcil along with co-PI Jie Zhang, Physics and Astronomy, were awarded $199,959 for Improving the prediction accuracy of CME arrivals in the WSA-ENLIL-Cone model by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

Kathleen Pegion, Atmospheric, Oceanic & Earth Sciences, was awarded $85,832 for Decadal Prediction and Predictability of Extremes in Ocean Eddy Resolving Coupled Models by University Of Miami. Prime Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy.

Esther Peters, Environmental Science and Policy, co- published the book Histological Techniques for Corals in December, 2018.

Emanuel Petricoin, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $53,200 for Molecular and Imaging Assessment of Fallopian Tube Health by University of Arizona. Prime Sponsor: DHHS (NIH).

Chul-Su Shin, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, was selected as a recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Reviewer Award by the MDPI Atmosphere. https://www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere/awards.pdf/0/35_2018_3_2019-1-26_Atmosphere_2018%20Outstanding%20Reviewer%20Awards_Flyer.pdf

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $15,000 for Academic Fellowship Program for the U.S. Naval Observatory – TO 649 by the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Padhu Seshaiyer, College of Science, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University Board of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Seshaiyer was selected from the U.S. for scientific excellence. This year doctorates were awarded “ for being a committed scientist who transcends the boundaries of their own disciplines and to personalities that have been at the frontiers of societal change.”

Jagadish Shukla, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was invited by the Indian Geophysical Union (IGU) to deliver one of the distinguished lectures (Dr. H.N. Siddique Memorial Lecture, with accompanying gold medal) at their annual meeting in December at Bhopal, India.

Ravi Shukla Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, and Jim Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-authored a paper entitled Climatological Influence of Eurasian winter surface conditions on the Asian and Indo-Pacific summer circulation in the NCEP CFSv2 Seasonal Reforecasts,  International Journal of Climatology.

Dann Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, delivered invited presentations to two groups of People’s Republic of China officials: “Water governance and integrated management in the USA” to the Office of National Flood Control, Drought Prevention and Resistance and “Key environmental auditing features for communities and corporations: Sustainability, materiality, transparency and adaptability” to the Guiyang City Training Program on Building Intelligent Community and Governance Innovation in the Sharing Economy. He also gave invited talks at the 12th Potomac Watershed Trash Summit and at the Plastic Free Forum of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solution. Sklarew, along with Jennifer Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, published the invited article, “Integrated water-energy policy for sustainable development,” in the energy systems special issue of Foresight and STI Governance.

Jennifer Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, delivered an invited presentation at the NCSE 2019 Annual Conference in January: ” Smart Energy Education: Best practices and metrics of success,” in the session on the NCSE Energy Education Community of Practice.

Timothy Sauer, along with co-PI Tyrus Berry Mathematical Sciences, were awarded $34,958 for Predictive Personalized Public Health (P3H): A Novel Paradigm to Treat Infectious Disease by Pennsylvania State University. Prime Sponsor: Department of Health and Human Services (NIH).

Quanso (Daniel) Tong along with co-PI Ziheng Sun, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, were awarded $928,604 for Satellite-aided regional dust forecasting for Valley fever surveillance, highway accident prevention, and air quality management in the Southwestern United States by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

Joris van der Ham, Environmental Science and Policy, Kelly Knight, Forensic Science Program, along with student Elizabeth Rush, are recipients of a 2019 Provost’s Summer Team Impact Grant for the project titled “Ecology meets Forensic Entomology: How does carcass size influence carrion community dynamics?” This grant program highlights innovative curricular ideas that enhance cross-unit, multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate curriculum development activities or are directly tied to a Mason Impact signature program.

Monique van Hoek, School of Systems Biology, Barney Bishop, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Stephanie Barksdale, School of Systems Biology, have received a provisional patent for an invented antimicrobial peptide derived from their BioProspector study of alligator peptidome.  The full alligator BioProspector study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25671663. For more information on antimicrobial peptide research being done at Mason, please visit https://cos.gmu.edu/adr/.

Thomas Wanner, Mathematical Sciences, was the advisor to Mason student Micheal Belete, who won an Outstanding Poster award for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Poster Session at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) 2019 for his poster “Stable Annulus Solution for the Diblock Copolymer Equation.”