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College of Science Accolades: August – September 2020

Karen Akerlof, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $44,996 for “Testing Strategies to Encourage Sun Protection Behaviors that Protect Visitors and Aquatic Ecosystems” by the National Park Service.

Ernest Barreto, Physics and Astronomy, co-authored a paper titled “Inverse Stochastic Resonance in Networks of Spiking Neurons” in PLOS Computational Biology, which was among the top 10% most cited PLOS Computational Biology papers published in 2017.

Tyrus Berry, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Center for Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, was awarded $233,747 for “Semiparametric Methods for Data Assimilation and Uncertainty Quantification” by the National Science Foundation.

Martha Buckley along with Co-PIs Laurie Trenary and Timothy Delsole, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was awarded $557,910 for “What sets the predictability timescales of SST and upper-ocean heat content in the Atlantic and Pacific basins?” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Timothy Delsole, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was awarded $486,960 for “Advancing Decadal Predictions by Optimally Detecting Differences in Causal Relations” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Iulia Deneva, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $163,756 for “Collaborative Research: the Most Sensitive Low-frequency Survey for Radio Pulsars and Transients” by the National Science Foundation.

Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was awarded $520,126 for “Soil Moisture as Regulator of Water and Energy Cycle Feedbacks between Land and Atmosphere” by the NASA – Goddard Space Flight Center. Dirmeyer, along with Co-PIs Bohua Huang and Chul-Su Shin, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, was also awarded $510,180 for “Combined Land and Ocean Drivers of U.S. Drought Determined from Information Theoretic Evaluation of Observations and Coupled Models” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Virginia Espina, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $21,000 for “Pilot study to investigate targetable metabolic pathways sustaining locally advanced triple negative (TN) breast cancer and associated genomic alterations” by the Baylor Research Institute.

Donna Fox, College of Science, was awarded $2,163,475 for “USUHS EMDP2 UG and Grad Years” by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Brett Froelich, Biology, was awarded $16,614 for “Characterizing and manipulating oyster microbiology for aquaculture applications” by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prime Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Henry Gallo, Environmental Science and Policy, along with Co-PI Charles Chavis, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, was awarded $20,000 for “The Hidden History of Enslaved Naturalist, 1619, and 1863” by the 400 Years of African American History Commission.

Fereshte Ghahari Kermani, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $32,063 for “Probing Correlated phenomena and superconductivity in engineered Van der Waals heterostructures” by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Geoffrey Gilleaudeau, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was awarded $361,062 for “Collaborative Research: The Rise and Fall of the Neoproterozoic Era in Siberia: Connections between Tectonics, Ocean Chemistry, and Biologic Innovation” by the National Science Foundation.

Scott Glaberman, Environmental Science and Policy, along with Co-PI Ylenia Chiari, Biology, was awarded $366,365 for “Collaborative Research: Determining the role of ER stress in the evolution of large bodies and long lifespans” by the National Science Foundation.

Christian Jones along with Co-PIs Amy Fowler and Kim de Mutsert, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $88,866 for “An Ecological Study of Gunston Cove: 2020-21” by the County of Fairfax.

Cing-Dao Kan, Physics and Astronomy, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, along with Co-PI Chung-Kyu Park, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $88,079 for “Development of Analysis Method of US Real-World Crash Database for Future Vehicle Safety” by the Hyundai Motor Company. Kan along with Co-PI Rudolf Reichert, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was also awarded $189,519 for “Safety Considerations for Speed Limited ADS Shuttles” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. They were also awarded $328,353 for “Crash Compatibility for Unoccupied Automated Driving Systems” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Kan, along with Co-PI Dhafer Marzougui, Physics and Astronomy, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $219,973 for “AASHTO Guidelines for Implementation of MASH Sign Supports, Breakaway Poles, and Work Zone Traffic Control Devices” by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. Prime Sponsor: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

James Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, along with Co-PI Benjamin Cash, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, was awarded $499,968 for “Improving Week 3-4 Weather Prediction Through a Global Convection-Allowing Version of the Unified Forecast System (UFS)” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Rainald Lohner, Physics and Astronomy, Center for Computational and Fluid Dynamics, was awarded $45,000 for “FEFLO Support -2020-2021” by the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Chao Luo, Chemistry and Biochemistry, along with group members Kathryn Holguin, Jinghao Huang, and Kaiqiang Qin, published a review paper titled “Recent Advances in Developing Organic Electrode Materials for Multivalent Rechargeable Batteries” in Energy & Environmental Science.

David Luther, Biology, published a paper titled “Singing in a silent spring: birds respond to a half-century soundscape reversion during the COVID-19 shutdown” in Science. Luther also published a paper titled “Tropical forest fragmentation and isolation; is community decay a random process” in Global Ecology and Conservation.

Igor Mazin, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $239,952 for “Less common topological phenomena in bulk materials” by the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE).

Yuri Mishin, Physics and Astronomy, was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for her impactful contributions to the development of computational atomic interaction models for large-scale atomistic simulations of physical properties of materials and their application to understanding and prediction of thermodynamic and kinetic properties of materials interfaces.

Aarthi Narayanan, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, was awarded $75,600 for “Mosquito Pool Testing for viruses through qRT-PCR - 2020-2021” by the Prince William County Government.

Chung-Kyu Park, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, along with Co-PI Cing-Dao Kan, Physics and Astronomy, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $165,001 for “Development of Body Performance Prediction Methodology” by the Hyundai Motor Company.

Peter Plavchan, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $126,758 for “Collaborative Research: MINERVA- A dedicated, global, precision radial velocity machine for TESS” by the National Science Foundation.

Carlos Rautenberg, Mathematical Sciences, Center for Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, was awarded $199,922 for “Optimization Problems with Quasi-Equilibrium Constraints: Control, Identification, and Design” by the National Science Foundation.

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $90,190 for “Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory - TO 675” by U.S. Department of the Navy. Satyapal was also awarded $117,537 for “Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory - TO 632” by the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, College of Science, was awarded $18,291 for “A STEM Education Program Encompassing Asteroid Science, Technology and Exploration” by the University of Arizona. Prime Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Jennifer Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, was quoted in an NPR story on Japan’s renewable energy policy environment following the Fukushima disaster.

Cynthia Smith along with Co-PIs Kim de Mutsert and Scott Glaberman, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $149,999 for “A Community Approach to Reducing Single- Use Plastic Beverage Bottles” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Daniel Tong, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was awarded $141,595 for “WF-2 - Advance FV3-CAM to improve wildfire detection and prediction: Improving the plume rise algorithm to determine injection heights” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Patrick Vora, Physics and Astronomy, Quantum Science & Engineering Center, was awarded

$30,750 for “Machine Learning Identification of Atomically Thin Materials” by the MITRE Corporation.

Mahamadi Warma¸ Mathematical Sciences, Center for Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, was awarded $194,954 for “Control, Optimization and transmission problems for nonlocal PDEs” by the University of Puerto Rico. Prime Sponsor: Army Research Office.

Andrea Weeks, Biology, was awarded the 2020-21 Fenwick Fellowship for her research proposal “The Extended Specimen Project.” The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to one or two Mason tenured, tenure-track, or multi-year appointment term faculty members to pursue a research project that uses and enhances the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in their fields.

Yuntao Wu, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease, was awarded $6,324 for “Mechanistic studies of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities of a traditional Chinese medicine, RDS (Respirator Detox Shot)” by Dejia Harmony.

Chaowei Yang, Geography and Geoinformation Sciences, NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center, was awarded $90,000 for “Membership in the Spatiotemporal Innovation Center in services in support of COVID Mitigation Mapping Events and Research” by the U.S. Department of State.

Erdal Yigit, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $93,758 for “Exploring Processes in the Mars Upper Atmosphere with MAVEN EUVM Solar Occultations” by the University of Colorado. Prime Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Erhai Zhao, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $180,000 for “Strongly Interacting Atoms under Quantum Gas Microscope” by the National Science Foundation.

Faculty and Staff News:
Jim Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, along with his wife Anne Seigel, is delighted to announce the birth of their grandson Benjamin Raphael Kinter, on August 19, 2020.