Jeffrey Knott, emeritus professor of geology, was awarded a fellowship by the Geological Society of America for his research on Late Cenozoic paleoenvironmental change and landscape evolution, contributions to the understanding of Death Valley and the surrounding regions, and exceptional teaching and training of undergraduate and graduate students.
The Center for Applied Biotechnology Studies (CABS) hosted the 4th annual CABSCon4 Biotechnology Symposium on Nov. 8, 2019. Attendees explored and discussed the latest advances in different disciplines of biotechnology, and listened to speakers that included Veronica Jimenez, associate professor of biological science. Jimenez gave a presentation about the process by which a parasitic infection called Chagas disease targets specific cells, and how understanding this process can aid in the development of new therapies. In addition to Jimenez and presenters from other universities and biotechnology companies, several students presented their research and competed for prizes.
Julia Y.K. Chan, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Kathryn Metcalf, assistant professor of geological science, recently joined the faculty of the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. Chan is focused on improving teaching in chemistry using a variety of different learning strategies both inside and outside the classroom, while Metcalf is focused on using geophysics to understand how mountains form.
Robert Soto, assistant professor of mathematics, was featured in Lathisms, an organization that provides a platform that showcases contributions of Latinx and Hispanic mathematicians, during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). The organization highlighted his background growing up as a child of undocumented immigrants, his academic success, his research in finite dimensional algebras and universal deformation rings, and his passion for mentoring students and providing early research experiences and hands-on learning opportunities. Lathisms also noted Soto’s role as a faculty advisor for the PRIME (Pursuing Research in Mathematical Endeavors) Club, which is a CSUF student group that supports students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in mathematics to help them succeed in STEM careers.
With their research adviser, undergraduate chemistry majors Jose Gonzalez Jimenez and Daniel Sandoval recently conducted experiments studying the separation of oxygen from air at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The researchers’ work is helping to advance Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Allyson Fry-Petit’s faculty-student research project on oxygen transport membranes. Only a few undergraduates are invited to work at the lab and use the special instrument called POWGEN, a neutron powder diffractometer.
Five students from Cal State Fullerton, including two NSM students, spent the summer of 2019 participating in the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program, which recently received a new five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health that will help the program continue to grow. The students studied health issues in countries across the world:
- Biological science-molecular biology and biotechnology major Jonathan Azenon worked in Argentina on research to develop a new test for a highly contagious bacterial infection called brucellosis.
- Roy Mendoza, who graduated in 2019 with a degree in biological science, worked with researchers in Argentina to determine the role of a cellular protein in promoting the spread of cancer.
Animation major Vikki Brown is making waves as the artist in residence for the Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center. Using data collected from gravitational wave detection instruments located across the world, which is then analyzed at the center, she helps create animations of celestial events. One simulation Brown created recently depicts a neutron star being sucked into a black hole. She has also worked on a 3D rendering of a proposed next-generation detector with L-shaped arms that stretch 40 kilometers in length.
Mason Emery, who is working toward his master’s degree in biology, has put forward a strong proposal for a 2020 Sea Grant project to restore local eelgrass and oyster beds along the Southern California coastline. Emery’s research is under the supervision of Danielle Zacherl, professor of biological science, and they are working in conjunction with the Honda Marine Science Foundation and other local groups interested in restoring California coastlines.