Hai Pham

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working in the Division of Hydrologic Sciences (DHS), at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). I obtained my Ph.D. in Hydrology from LSU. Before I joined DRI in 2016, I worked as a postdoc fellow at LSU.

My research aims to reduce uncertainty in groundwater modeling with focus on developing computer programs for prediction of flow and contaminant movement in porous and fractured media, uncertainty assessment of hydrologic parameters, conceptual models, and scenarios, optimization, and experimental designs using high-performance computing systems. At DRI, I am developing computer models to predict flow and radionuclide transport through fractured rock aquifers at the Pahute Mesa of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

I enjoy conducting research and publishing, developing grant proposals as well as teaching university courses and mentoring students.

Dale Karas

Dale E. Karas is a UNLV Mechanical Engineering PhD student, specializing in energy-efficient materials science fabrication and testing. His research efforts include optical analyses methods for energy-efficient nanomaterials characterization, computer-aided engineering, and advanced materials manufacturing. Prior to joining the Energy & Environmental Materials Laboratory (EEML) in Fall 2015, he obtained his B.S. in Optical Sciences & Engineering and a B.M. in Music Composition from The University of Arizona, where his work experiences involved remote sensing, machine vision, nanophotonic materials fabrication, and illumination engineering/design. He is president of Étendue: The UNLV Student Optics Chapter, representing student members of SPIE and OSA.

Markus Berli

Dr. Markus Berli’s research interests focus on modeling and measurement of soil structural dynamics affecting fluid flow and solute transport. Key issues are the connection of hydraulics and mechanics of soils at the micro-scale and upscaling physical soil behavior from pore to sample- and eventually field-scale.

Further areas of interest are: New methods for in-situ characterization of soil hydraulic and mechanical properties; improved characterization of soil pore geometry using X-ray-Micro-Tomography and pore water flow employing Neutron-Tomography; improved methods to assess and predict soil deterioration due to mechanical impacts.

His vision is that micro-scale coupling of soil hydraulics and mechanics with chemical and microbial processes will provide a conceptual framework for an improved understanding of fluid flow, contaminant fate and transport in the vadose zone, to sustain soil productivity and to secure water resources of sufficient quality and quantity world-wide.

Charles Coronella

Waste to energy conversion, biomass pre-treatment for bioenergy, applications of fluidization and chemical looping combustion.

Jeffery Shen

Dr. Shen’s research focuses on development of databases and bioinformatics tools for genome analyses and gene annotations, predictions of genes responsive to environmental/developmental cues, and predictions of gene functions (subcellular localization, and protein motifs). Another focus of my research is the molecular mechanism controlling plant responses to abiotic stresses, seed dormancy and germination. He is also interested in the mechanism underlying tissue-specific and developmentally-regulated gene expression.

The recent accomplishment in sequencing the genomes of thousands of organisms, including human being and important crops such as rice, is leading to a revolution in scientific research, medicine discovery, and improvement of the quality of our food. His lab is interested in developing (adopting, modifying, and inventing) bioinformatics tools for genome analyses and gene ontology studies. Gene ontology addresses: Biological Process (Why is this, such as cell enlargement, being done?), Molecular Function (What kind of molecule is this? Enzymes or transcription factors?), and Cellular Component (Where is this located? Nuclei or Mitochondria?).

Brian Frost

The Frost group is interested in the development of new inorganic and organometallic complexes for use in aqueous and biphasic catalysis. Organometallic chemistry and catalysis remain exciting areas of research with many opportunities for fundamental, not to mention pedagogical, contributions. We are interested in the synthesis, structure, and reactivity of inorganic and organometallic complexes with emphasis on those applicable to catalysis. Techniques utilized in our laboratory include, but are not limited to, computational chemistry, multinuclear NMR spectroscopy (1H, 13C, 31P), UV-vis spectroscopy, mass specrometry, X-ray crystallography, and in situ IR using ASI’s ReactIR 4000.TM

Brenda Buck

Dr. Buck’s research focuses on medical geology – in particular how geological materials impact health. Currently, her work focuses on dust and hazards associated with dust exposure including those from asbestiform minerals, arsenic, and other carcinogens. She also performs research to better understand and quantify arid soil processes so that this knowledge can be applied in land use decisions, radionuclide and heavy metal contamination, biologic soil crusts, paleoclimate interpretations, landscape evolution, soil genesis, geomorphic hazards, and other applications.

Brian Hedlund

Dr. Brian Hedlund is a Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Hedlund’s research focuses on the microbiology and biogeochemistry of geothermal ecosystems, the genomic exploration of “microbial dark matter”, and the role of the intestinal microbiome in prevention of Clostridium difficile infection. Dr. Hedlund is editor for Antonie van Leeuwenhoek journal, a member of Bergey’s Manual Trust, and editor for Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria, the authoritative reference manual for microbial taxonomy.

Gannet Hallar

Dr. Hallar is an Assistant Research Professor with the Desert Research Institute, she directs Storm Peak Laboratory, a high elevation atmospheric science facility in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This laboratory has undergone major changes under her leadership including new instrumentation, new research foci, new field courses, and a significant building expansion. Currently, at Storm Peak Laboratory, Dr. Hallar also work as adjunct faculty for the University of Nevada, Reno and teaches a graduate level field course in Mountain Meteorology.

The overarching theme of Dr. Hallar’s research is using high quality measurements of trace gases, aerosol physical and chemical properties, and cloud microphysics to understand connections between the biosphere, atmosphere, and climate, along with the impact of anthropogenic emissions on these connections. More specifically, currently her research uses high elevation sites, combined with airborne measurements, to study the formation processes of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and Ice Nuclei (IN) and how differing formation processes impact mixed-phase cloud microphysics. This research topic is stemmed in many potential formation mechanisms of aerosols, including nucleation, secondary organic aerosols, and primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP’s).