Philippe Vidon

Executive Director for the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences

Philippe obtained his PhD in Geography from York University, ON, Canada in 2004, and subsequently occupied professor positions at Indiana University – Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) and at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry a.k.a. ESF, in Syracuse, NY. There he served as Director of the Hydrological Systems Science Council, among other leadership appointments. His most recent research has focused on a broad range of topics including (but not limited to): watershed management, water quality, soil biogeochemistry (e.g., N, P, C, Hg cycling and soil N2O, CO2, and CH4 emissions), bioenergy, and the impact of beaver dam analogues on floodplain hydrogeomorphology and landscape resiliency.

Anne Leonard

We study plant-pollinator interactions from nutritional and cognitive perspectives. We are interested in understanding how bees evaluate, learn about, and remember flowers. Likewise, we are interested in how the nutritional value of the nectar and pollen plants offer bees structures interactions with pollinators and co-flowering members of plant communities. An interest in understanding how human activities can perturb these interactions drives a parallel line of research, on how sublethal exposure to pesticides can affect bee behavior, sensory systems, and health. We address these questions using a combination of lab-based and field studies, often on bumblebees, at Sierra Nevada and Great Basin field sites.

Zaijing Sun

Dr. Sun is an associate professor in the Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Nuclear Physics from Idaho State University in 2012 with an area specification in radiation sciences and acceleration applications. Before joining UNLV, he had been an assistant/associate professor at the South Carolina State University and a postdoc in the Nuclear Engineering Division at the Argonne National laboratory.

Dr. Sun has been instructing many courses in health physics and radiation sciences such as Radiation Sciences, Introduction to Health Physics, Radiation Detection and Measurement, Introduction of Nuclear and Radiochemistry, Ionizing Radiation, Radioisotope Laboratory, etc. His research interests include Health Physics, Radiochemistry, Nuclear Activation Analysis (NAA and PAA), Computer Simulations of Nuclear Processes, Gamma-ray Spectroscopy and 3-D isotopic imaging, Medical Application of Particle Accelerators, Archaeometry, Temporal Data Mining (TDM) in Nuclear Decommissioning and Medical Imaging, and Medical Isotope Production. He is a member of the Health Physics Society, American Nuclear Society, and American Physical Society.

Steve Frese

Dr. Frese’s research is centered on the human gut microbiome and its inhabitants. Our work at the University of Nevada, Reno examines how diet, food science, and biotechnology can be leveraged to meaningfully improve human health and nutrition.

Derek Kauneckis

Dr. Derek Kauneckis is an affiliated associate research faculty in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Desert Research Institute and associate professor of environmental studies at Ohio University. His research focuses on regional environmental governance, how people interact with environmental resources, and the emergence of cooperative institutions. He has examined behavioral and institutional components of resilience planning, climate policy networks, and the role of technology in the science/policy interface. His research has been published in the Journal of Coastal Management, Simulation & Gaming, Environmental Management, Studies in Comparative International Development, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, among others. Dr. Kauneckis currently serves as an Advisory Committee Member for the Department of Homeland Security’s Resilient Investment Planning and Development Working Group, and leads the Advisory Group on Professional Education for the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP). Dr. Kauneckis’ research has been sponsored by Fulbright, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Gabrielle Boisrame

The majority of Dr. Boisrame’s research focuses on the interactions between wildfire, land cover, and water in mountain regions of the Western USA. Since 2013 she has been using a combination of fieldwork, remote sensing, and hydrological modeling to explore how managing natural wildfire in landscapes can improve water resources and forest health. Before coming to DRI, she worked as an environmental scientist for the Delta Stewardship Council, a California State Agency. In this position, she studied adaptive management strategies and calculated large-scale water budgets. Other research areas include agricultural water management, consumptive use calculations, restoration of wetlands and streams, and groundwater resource management.

Lazaro Perez

My work seeks to identify and understand the coupling between physical heterogeneity and biochemical processes that control environmental biogeochemical reactions, energy, and mass transfer processes in the environment. We design and implement multiscale laboratory experiments visualization and numerical modeling.
My research is highly collaborative and multidisciplinary that provides domain expertise in scale biogeochemistry, reactive transport processes, multiphase flow systems, lab-to-field-scale hydrogeology, and computational geochemistry.

Monika Gulia-Nuss

The long-term interest of my research program is to understand the biology of disease vectors to identify novel strategies for vector control and pathogen transmission. My lab focuses on two arthropod vectors of human diseases: mosquitoes and ticks. Our research spans multiple disciplines, including ecology, biochemistry and physiology, genetics, genomics, and computational biology, to investigate questions related to arthropod biology. We employ techniques that encompass molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of studies. Since setting up my lab at UNR in 2016, the most significant research contributions of my program have been 1) pioneering an embryo injection protocol for ticks, 2) the first successful use of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing in ticks, 3) producing the first chromosome-level genome assembly for a tick species, and 4) adapting and optimizing a RADseq protocol (Rapture) for genome-wide markers to understand population genetic structure of mosquitoes and ticks. In addition, we have recently initiated a project for the identification of biomarkers for early diagnostics of Lyme disease.

M. Rashed Khan

Khan Lab@UNR aims to study, design, and develop soft materials, unconventional processes, and reconfigurable micro/nanodevices that can be harnessed and optimized further for advanced biochemical, biomedical, and physicochemical applications. The lab is also keen to establish a multidisciplinary smart-manufacturing research group, including researchers from various backgrounds. Through short and long-term active collaboration, Khan Lab@UNR would like to address fundamental challenges associated with soft micro-device fabrication, 3D/4D (bio)printing, and patterning, advanced hybrid sensor manufacturing, biomedical device development – which are still unnoticed and under-explored, and need further investigation.

Additionally, our group also focuses on computational neuroscience and neurobioengineering. Under this research direction, we study human brain, brain functions, brain structure so that the established knowledge can be broadly applicable to general biomecical science and knowledge of the brain and brain-diseases.