Donald Price

A major theme in my research is to understand how species adapt to diverse environmental and biological factors and diverge into new species. The evolutionary changes that permit species to survive and reproduce across a wide range of environments has resulted in a remarkable range of biological complexity.

My research group studies the interplay of behavior, ecology, genetics, and physiology to determine how species adapt to environmental changes and how diversification of populations leads eventually to the formation of new species. One focus of my group is the amazing Hawaiian Drosophila, which boasts up to 1,000 species in several taxonomic groups. Using genome sequencing and gene expression analyses coupled with detailed behavioral and physiological measurements we have identified genes that are involved in temperature adaptation between two species and between two populations within one species along an environmental gradient. We have also identified genes and epicuticular hydrocarbons that are involved in behavioral reproductive isolation and hybrid sterility between species. Initial studies have begun on the interaction with microbes, (bacteria and yeasts) that are important for food, internal parasites/symbionts, and possibly host-plant associations. In collaboration with others, we are also investigating the genetics of Hawaiian bats and birds, Drosophila melanogaster, the invasive Drosophila suzukii, and Hawaiian Metrosideros trees.

Ehsan Vahidi

Dr. Ehsan Vahidi is an interdisciplinary researcher who has crossed traditional boundaries between metallurgical engineering and sustainability sciences. His research takes fundamental environmental engineering and translates this into applied settings, primarily in the mining and metallurgical industries. Dr. Vahidi received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and the University of Tehran, respectively. After earning his second master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida, he obtained his Ph.D. from Purdue University in Environmental & Ecological Engineering. Prior to joining UNR as an Assistant Professor in 2020, Dr. Vahidi was a Postdoctoral Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Bernhard Bach

I am involved in the support and development of various research programs. At the Nevada Terawatt Facility I am involved in the development of optical and x-ray diagnostics for two research programs. As a Co-Pi for the American Climber Science program I am involved with the development of optical instrumentation for field measurements of snow and ice.
Prior to my employment as Undergraduate Lab Director at the University of Nevada, I was owner and/or founder of two optical manufacturing firms. As a business owner I worked closely with various university research programs as well as foreign (ESA, DESY) and national laboratories (NASA, NIST, LBL, etc.). Optics that I have had a hand in designing and or fabricating have seen use in space flight programs –– Scimachy, Venus Express Missions and the James Webb Telescope, for example ––and in synchrotron beamlines, SRC, ALS, NSLS and DESY. . I still maintain close ties with industry, consulting with aerospace firms developing optical elements for space flight and aiding high-tech firms in developing novel optical instrumentation. From 2004-2005 I sat on the industrial advisory board for NSF’s Engineering Research Center For Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology’s

Sid Pathak

Pradip Bhowmik

My interests focus on organic and polymer synthesis in general. More specifically, we are interested in developing novel light-emitting and liquid-crystalline polymers for their multitude applications in modern technology including biosensors. In another project, we are developing ionic liquids based on the concept of green chemistry, and liquid-crystalline and light-emitting organic salts to make them functional materials. Carbon nanotube-based composite materials based on ionic polymers are of significant interest in our group. In recent years, we are also actively pursuing for the development of cisplatin analogs for the development cancer therapy.

Erica Marti

Dr. Erica Marti’s main research interests are in water and wastewater treatment, especially in the area of transforming wastewater for a beneficial reuse (drinking water, irrigation water, etc.). Past work has included understanding the formation of unregulated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and investigating different methods to prevent their formation. DBPs are created when water is disinfected with chemical oxidants like different forms of chlorine and ozone. We use the chemicals to inactivate pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) but the chemicals can react with other dissolved organics and inorganics to create unwanted byproducts, some of which are toxic. Therefore, water treatment professionals must work carefully to provide the right amount of oxidant for disinfection while minimizing DBPs.
Future research topics include remediation of polluted groundwater, adsorption of heavy metals from wastewater using biochar made from agricultural waste products, uptake of DBPs in plants grown using treated wastewater, and optimizing toxicity assays for DBPs.
Dr. Marti also conducts research in the area of STEM education and has led several Teacher Professional Development programs for integrated STEM lessons and engineering design.

Mehmet Gunes

Mehmet H. Gunes is an Associate Professor at University of Nevada, Reno. He received his M.S. degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Southern Methodist University in 2004 and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from University of Texas at Dallas in 2008. Dr. Gunes’ research expertise includes Complex networks (biological networks, decentralized OSNs, graph data mining, information networks, infrastructure networks, network visualization, social networks, and technological networks); Cyber security (access control, anonymizer technologies, digital currencies, cloud, healthcare systems, privacy, and smart grid); and Internet measurements (big data analytics, Internet topology, Internet modeling, network sampling, synthetic graph generation, and traffic fingerprinting). So far his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Department of Defense, the University of Nevada, Reno and Cincinnati Children’s Center for Pediatric Genomics.

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.

Erick Bandala

Erick R. Bandala, Assistant Research Professor for Advanced Water Technologies at the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Bandala holds PhD degree in Engineering, a Master degree in Organic Chemistry and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Before his current position, he was faculty member of the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de Las Americas Puebla (2007-2013) and the Department of Chemical, Food and Environmental Engineering (2013 to 2015) and titular researcher (1993-2007) at the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (belonging to the Ministry of Environment Mexico) in Morelos, Mexico. Dr. Bandala has taught graduate and undergraduate courses covering fundamentals and applications of environmental sciences and engineering with particular emphasis in water treatment processes for disinfection and decontamination, soil treatment and its application for site restoration. Dr. Bandala has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, Visiting Professor at the Department of Technology and Environmental Design at Appalachian State University (2014), the UDLAP Outstanding Teaching Award 2013, the Puebla State 2012 Science and Technology Award, Professional Hydrologist (Water Quality) by the American Institute of Hydrology, the Rice International Visiting Fellow on Energy, the Environment and Sustainability 2008-2009, National Researcher (Level II) on the National Council of Science and Technology-Mexico (2004-present), visiting Professor at the School of Civil and Agricultural Engineering. Universidad de Concepción, Chile 2004 and 2008 and Invited Researcher at the Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain (2000). He has research interests in several different topics related with Environmental Engineering including A) Mechanistic aspects of the use and application of solar driven advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) for environmental restoration B) Development of advanced water and soil treatment for site restoration C) Synthesis, characterization and application of nanomaterials for Indoor Farming systems D) Development of Climate Change adaptation methodologies for water security. As result of his research activities, Dr. Bandala is author or co-author of over 100 international publication including 68 peer-reviewed papers in international journals with high impact index (average impact factor 2.7, >1490 citations, h-index 22); 5 books, 25 book chapters and 65 works published in proceedings of international conferences.

Eduardo Robleto

Dr. Eduardo Robleto’s laboratory focuses on the study of mutagenesis in cells under conditions of no-growth or under nutritional stress. They use Bacillus subtilis as a model to elucidate novel mechanisms that produce genetic diversity in conditions of stress. Particularly, we are interested in mutagenesis that is mediated by the process of transcription. These processes are influenced by universally conserved factors, provide novel views of the evolutionary process and apply to the formation of mutations in all organisms.

His research focuses on identifying novel mechanisms of mutation. He is particularly interested in elucidating cellular processes that generate mutations in non-replicating cells. These processes are important in evolution and apply to the acquisition of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens and to the formation of tumors in differentiated tissue.