Aaron Wong

My background is in analytic number theory, but I’ve mentored projects in a number of other areas including algebra and probability. I also have a background in data science and machine learning.

Sarah VanderMeer

My research focus involves mapping surficial geology, which includes collecting traditional field data (e.g. sediment samples) as well as any pertinent geophysical data (e.g. passive seismic) and/or lab analyses (e.g. grain size analysis). I also use GIS mapping software to produce final map products. I use maps with other important data to help interpret how various landscapes developed into the patterns we see today.

Lance Hellman

My research focuses primarily at probing the affects of amino acid perturbation on the overall tertiary structure. We use O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltranferase (AGT) as our model protein. AGT is a small DNA repair protein that remove alkylations on guanine and thymine residues. My lab uses structure guided design to alter the tertiary structure of AGT and measure the biothermodynamic affects of these mutations. We are interested in how these mutations affect the global stability of AGT by differential scanning fluorimetry. We also probe how these mutations affect AGT’s ability to bind in a cooperative manner by gel shift assays and fluorescence anisotropy techniques.

Laura Rosales-Lagarde

Laura Rosales-Lagarde is a geoscientist interested in processes and phenomena occurring at the intersection of different environments. She finished her bachelor in chemistry, master and doctorate in geology. Previous research has focused on: the geochemistry and stratigraphy of a volcanosedimentary Paleozoic sequence in Mexico; the hydrogeology and subsurface water-rock interactions and speleogenesis at northern Sierra de Chiapas. Current research focuses on air quality and environmental instrumentation using open-sources. Dr. Rosales is passionate for the implementation of sustainability as a tool to provide justice, equity, diversity and inclusive opportunities for everyone.

Sungju Moon

My research interest lies in applications of dynamical systems, more specifically, the study of nonlinear ODEs to model complex systems. Of particular interest is the Lorenz system, well-known for the so-called “butterfly effect”. Broadly, I am open to new ideas for applying dynamical systems to model real world scenarios.

My PhD project was concerned with deriving and exploring chaotic properties of new high-dimensional extensions of the Lorenz system, viewed as closer approximations of the Boussinesq fluid model for Rayleigh-Benard convection. Beyond the initial motivation for considering additional physical contexts under specific scenarios such as the presence of vertical gradient in scalar concentrations as in atmospheric aerosols or ocean water salinity, this project evolved into a quest to answer more fundamental questions about the chaotic nature of weather and fluid systems, leading to the derivation of a generalized high-dimensional Lorenz systems capable of furnishing an ODE system that represents a fluid system with arbitrarily high harmonic orders. Some interesting phenomena discovered along the way include a novel type of chaotic attractor, coexisting attractors, and synchronization of chaos, which led to some immediate applications in different fields such as image encryption technology and data assimilation in the context of numerical weather prediction. My ongoing research explores how different network configurations could change the synchronization properties, with certain configurations more prone to rare catastrophic events than others.

As a member of the Mathematics Public Health (MfPH) network at The Fields Institute, I had the opportunity to work on agent-based models for epidemic curves of a rapidly spreading infectious disease such as COVID-19. I focused on developing co-circulation models having two or more viral strains, utilizing both the traditional ODE-based approach (SIR) and the agent-based modeling (ABM) approach. My ongoing research in this area is focused on exploring how the infection network heterogeneity affects the epidemic curves and whether these effects can better be simulated using ABMs rather than ODEs.

El Hachemi Bouali

I am an applied geologist by training and an opportunistic scientist in practice, meaning I love geology but am interested in many areas of the natural sciences. I can abbreviate my research focus with the acronym GASP: geophysical and surface processes.

Geophysical Processes. I use geophysical and remote sensing instruments to study changes on the Earth’s surface and within the shallow subsurface. I will be starting a research project (early 2023) on utilizing passive seismic methods to map bedrock depth (or sediment thickness) as an indirect approach to identify buried faults and to study extensional tectonics of the Las Vegas valley.

Surface Processes. I use an interdisciplinary approach to study our dynamic Earth. A major research project I am currently working on (2021-future) is titled Analyses of spring water chemistry and microbiology in the Spring Mountains, Nevada. I use field and laboratory methods across multiple disciplines (geology, biology, and chemistry) to quantify physical properties of high-elevation springs and analyze microbial communities found in these springs.

I teach courses that are required or electives for the BS in Environmental & Resource Science and BS in Biology. I teach the following courses at Nevada State:

–GEOL 101A/L Exploring Planet Earth Lecture and Lab
–GEOL 333 Principles of Geomorphology
–GEOL 405 Geology of the National Parks
–NRES 322 Soils
–NRES 467 Regional and Global Issues in Environmental Science
–BIOL/ENV 494 Biology and Environmental Science Colloquium

I received a Ph.D. in Geology from Michigan Technological University, an MS in Geosciences and BS in Geophysics from Western Michigan University, and an AS from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. I was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Science at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow while earning my Ph.D. I have also worked as a Geological Mapping Technician for two summers at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I assisted with the creation of ten surficial geology quadrangle maps by acquiring near-surface geophysical data and auger samples.

Hon-Vu Q. Duong

I am currently not conducting any research. I focus on teaching and mentoring students.

Chad Curtis

​Dr. Curtis’s research interests lie at the interface of engineering, data science and medicine. He investigates the transport properties of nanoparticle platforms for improved drug delivery. He uses machine learning models combined trained on nanoparticle trajectory datasets to characterize the nanoparticle-tissue microenvironment interface. As a data scientist, Dr. Curtis is also involved in many multidisciplinary projects across campus including thermal modeling of Lake Mead, genome sequencing and bioinformatics, open education resources evaluation, and support for wellness and retention of undergraduate researchers.

Bryan Sigel

Bryan J. Sigel is a conservation ecologist interested in how human activities affect biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. He is a California native and received his B.S. from UCLA. He completed his doctorate in 2007 at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he studied the effects of forest fragmentation on lowland tropical bird communities in Central America under the direction of Dr. Thomas W. Sherry.

Dr. Sigel joined the faculty at Tulane University in 2007 as a Visiting Assistant Professor where he taught courses in Introductory Biology and Vertebrate Biology. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Dr. Sigel worked with the Biodiversity Research Institute to assess the impact of the spill on colonial waterbirds. He also pursued research as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Caz Taylor at Tulane University, investigating the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on shorebird and intertidal invertebrate communities. Dr. Sigel joined the faculty of Nevada State College in 2012.