Dev Chidambaram

MER Lab focuses on the design, engineering, research, development and characterization of materials for electrochemical applications in sustainable energy generation and environmental protection. Our focus is on understanding electron transfer processes using spectroscopic techniques (including synchrotron-based techniques), and applying that knowledge to solve interdisciplinary materials and engineering problems. Electrochemistry and spectroscopy can be used to obtain complementary information; electrochemistry assesses the nature and kinetics of an electron transfer reaction and spectroscopy, often used simultaneously with electrochemistry in our research, provides chemical and molecular information of the same reaction. Our research is primarily in the area of materials for energy.

David Hatchett

Dr. Hatchett’s research focuses on the dissolution, coordination, and solubility of f-element species dissolved into ionic liquids. Ionic liquids (ILs) are chemically stable purely ionic solutions at room temperature and they are composed of cation/anion pairs that can be exploited to provide a wide range of tunable physical and chemical properties. Ionic liquids also provide unique solution environments for electrochemical deposition of actinides because traditional side-reactions associated with common working electrodes in aqueous solution are eliminated. The potential windows associated with GC, Pt, and Au working electrodes in IL,   ([Me3BuN] [TFSI] trimethyl-n-butylmethylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide provide an absolute potential window of approximately 4.5 V for Pt, 5.0 V for Au, and 6.0 V for GC, which encompass the thermodynamic potentials associated with the oxidation/reduction of actinide species to metal. The electrochemical deposition and formation of actinide thin films at electrode interfaces is the primary goal. The methods that are utilized include the synthesis of actinide TFSI complexes that can be directly dissolved into the ionic liquid [Me3BuN] [TFSI] trimethyl-n-butylmethylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide. The goal of the research is to increase the ultimate solubility and to facilitate the in-situ formation of stable, coordinated actinide complexes to provide a more systematic and comprehensive approach to the electrochemical deposition of actinides films. To date we have successfully demonstrated the deposition of U metal from ionic liquid using electrochemical methods. Similar results have been obtained for more electropositive lanthanide species.

Gayle Dana

Dr. Dana is the NSF EPSCoR Project Director and the Nevada State EPSCoR Director. Dr. Dana’s expertise is in surface water hydrology and energy balance of desert, seasonally snow-covered, and polar regions. Present research projects include 1) nutrient and sediment source assessment for TMDL development in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee River Watersheds; (2) hydrochemical modeling in a Lake Tahoe watershed (3) effects of fire on nutrient dynamics in forested watersheds, (4) evaporation from lakes and reservoirs in support of the Truckee River Operating Agreement, and (5) spatially distributed energy balance modeling for climate change detection in Antarctica. Dr. Dana is the Science Advisor to the Truckee River TMDL and Watershed Council, and is a collaborator with the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research project.

Jacque Ewing-Taylor

As the Institutional Grants Coordinator, Jacque Ewing-Taylor brings together interdisciplinary research teams to respond to high-profile grant Requests For Proposal (RFPs) and coordinates the support for proposal review.

Ewing-Taylor also holds the position of associate director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education. The Raggio Center is focused on the educational aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) such as professional development for educators and improving instruction for students.

A major function of the center is supporting the evaluation portion of the grant process and this correlates to Ewing-Taylor’s primary research interest—studying professional development strategies that best increase teacher effectiveness. Ewing-Taylor points out that, “kids are natural scientists” and she is focused on finding the best ways to develop those tendencies.

Peter Weisberg

Dr. Weisberg is interested in the causes and consequences of landscape change, including natural disturbances, effects of anthropogenic land use, ungulate-landscape interactions, and invasive species.  His research often considers past landscape change as a guide to understanding present and future condition, and integrates field studies, GIS, remote sensing and simulation modeling.  Ongoing research projects within his lab group address disturbance ecology, woodland expansion, post-fire succession, and ecological restoration in Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodlands; fire history and ecology of mountain big sagebrush communities; fire ecology of the Sierra Nevada (Lake Tahoe Basin); and the ecology of tamarisk invasions along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

Hans Moosmuller

Dr. Moosmüller’s interests include experimental and theoretical research in optical spectroscopy as well as its applications to atmospheric, aerosol, and climate physics. His research focuses on development and application of real time, in situ measurement methods for aerosol light absorption, scattering, extinction, and asymmetry parameter, and new optical remote sensing techniques. These measurement methods are being used for ambient air monitoring and vehicle, fugitive dust, and biomass burning emission studies. His latest research interests are fast, ultra-sensitive measurements of elementary mercury concentrations and fluxes and aerosol morphology and its influence on aerosol optical properties with a focus on fractal-like chain aggregates found in combustion particles. Dr. Moosmüller has also participated in the planning, fieldwork, and data analysis of several major air quality studies. During his first three years at DRI, he was responsible for the airborne ozone lidar research program under a cooperative agreement with the USEPA.

Before joining DRI, Dr. Moosmüller was at Colorado State University where he investigated Brillouin light scattering of spin waves and millimeter-wave effective line widths in thin metal films. He also did research on high-spectral-resolution lidar and coherent light scattering techniques. This work included the development of supersonic flow measurement techniques and the investigations of spectral line shapes. His earlier work at the Ludwigs-Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany focused on laser remote sensing.

Charles Coronella

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

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

Brett Riddle

Brett Riddle is a Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research focuses primarily on the history of biodiversity in western North America, with ongoing projects including: historical assembly of the warm desert biotas; phylogeography of Great Basin montane island biotas; and molecular systematics and biogeography of diverse North American rodent groups.

Research in his laboratory spans a broad array of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant groups, but generally asks questions about the history and structure of biological species and communities in western North American deserts, grasslands, and mountains. They use conceptual frameworks ranging from systematics through population genetics; analytical approaches ranging from historical biogeography through phylogeography and landscape genetics; and data that includes DNA sequences as well as morphological variation. Many of these research questions provide a basis to better predict the consequences of human-based landscape alterations and climate changes on the future of biological diversity.

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.