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. 

Paul Verburg

I am a broadly trained soil scientist with an interest in applying fundamental knowledge about soils to assess effects of natural and anthropogenic perturbations such as climate change, acid rain and land management on terrestrial ecosystems. I have worked in a variety of ecosystems including boreal forest, tallgrass prairie, Mojave deserts, and Sierra Nevada forests. In my research I use a combination of field, laboratory and modeling approaches to obtain a better mechanistic understanding of how soils and ecosystems function and respond to external stressors.

Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh

Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh joined the University of Nevada, Reno in July 2019 as an assistant professor. Dr. Sarmazdeh was a senior research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic, Florida from 2017 to 2019 at Dr. Radisky’s lab, during which her work was focused on engineering novel protein-based therapeutics based on natural enzyme inhibitors. Prior to her appointment at Mayo Clinic, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware at Prof. Wilfred Chen’s lab for 2.5 years. Dr. Sarmazdeh earned her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville under Prof. Eric Boder’s supervision. There, her research was focused on generating site-specific protein immobilization on the surface and protein engineering using yeast surface display and directed evolution.

Allen Gibbs

My lab uses experimental evolution in the laboratory to study how physiological systems evolve. We subject populations of fruitflies (Drosophila) to stressful conditions and investigate how they evolve in response to stress over many generations. Our current major projects involve flies that have been selected for resistance to desiccation and starvation stress for >100 generations. To understand the relevance of this laboratory research to nature, we have also studied several other types of insects and their relatives, including grasshoppers, ants, desert fruitflies, scorpions, etc.

Shichun Huang

I study the elemental and isotopic compositions of basalts, peridotites, meteorites, and samples returned by NASA missions, and use them to understand the origins and the evolution of the solid Earth and the early Solar System.

Sid Pathak

Marian Berryhill

My research falls in the domain of cognitive neuroscience. I study how we hold on to a few items in working memory and use them for immediate task demands. My lab investigates what factors matter in getting information into working memory, how we maintain and manipulate information, and how well we retrieve it. For example, we are currently investigating the consequences of familiar and unfamiliar distractor items on older adults’ working memory performance. We use a range of experimental techniques in human participants, some with brain lesions. These include fMRI, fNIRS, tDCS/tACS, and HD-EEG.

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.

John Cushman

John Cushman, a Foundation Professor and Director of the Biochemistry Graduate Program in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, joined the University of Nevada in Reno, Nevada in 2000. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Rutgers University. He was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in Plant Biology and conducted research at the University of Arizona on the induction of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) by environmental stress. He then moved to Oklahoman State University moving up through the academic ranks until moving to the University of Nevada. Professor Cushman’s research is focused on plant responses to abiotic stress with an emphasis on cold, salinity, drought responses and mechanisms of desiccation tolerance. More recently, his laboratory is seeking to exploit engineered tissue succulence and crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to improve the water-use efficiency of potential feedstocks for expansion of food and biofuels production in marginal or abandoned agricultural lands. Until recently, he served as the biomass/biofuels group leader within the UNR Renewable Energy Center. He currently serves as an associate editor of The Plant Journal.