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.

Shahab Tayeb

My research interests span communications, complex networks, and network security. I particularly plan to investigate network protocols (e.g. emerging wireless communications standards), big data analytics, the security and privacy of the Internet of Things and Cyber Physical Systems (e.g. Smart City).

Rochelle Hines

Rochelle Hines’ research is aimed at understanding neurodevelopmental processes under normal and pathological conditions, which include autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and developmental epilepsies. In particular, Rochelle’s studies focus on understanding the formation and stabilization of specific synapse types during development, with an emphasis on inhibitory synapses. Rochelle employs molecular genetics, biochemistry, confocal and electron microscopy, behavioral assessments and electroencephalography in mouse models to gain understanding of how inhibitory synapse function and dysfunction during development impacts brain signaling, circuitry and behavior. The ultimate goal of Rochelle’s research is to improve our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and to promote novel therapeutic strategies.

Rochelle earned her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (2009), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA (2015).

Dustin Hines

The brain operates as a complex orchestration that involves many different cellular players. Dr. Dustin Hines’ research is aimed at understanding the role that glial cells play under normal and pathological conditions, which include neuropsychiatric disorders (depression), traumatic brain injury, stroke and Alzheimer disease. In particular, Dr. Hines researches how astrocytes and microglia cells both talk and listen to neurons. Dr. Hines employs molecular genetics, biochemistry, confocal and two photon microscopy, electrophysiology and behavioral assessments in mouse models to gain understanding of how glia cells impact brain signaling, circuitry and behavior. Dr. Hines’ research ultimately is directed towards understanding how all of the cells of the brain are orchestrated into the precise symphony that we call behavior.

Dale Karas

Dale E. Karas is a UNLV Mechanical Engineering PhD student, specializing in energy-efficient materials science fabrication and testing. His research efforts include optical analyses methods for energy-efficient nanomaterials characterization, computer-aided engineering, and advanced materials manufacturing. Prior to joining the Energy & Environmental Materials Laboratory (EEML) in Fall 2015, he obtained his B.S. in Optical Sciences & Engineering and a B.M. in Music Composition from The University of Arizona, where his work experiences involved remote sensing, machine vision, nanophotonic materials fabrication, and illumination engineering/design. He is president of Étendue: The UNLV Student Optics Chapter, representing student members of SPIE and OSA.

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.

James Navalta

Dr. Navalta’s research focuses on the immune response to exercise (lymphocyte apoptotic and migratory responses), physiological responses to outdoor exercise (hiking and trail running), and the validity of wearable technology.

Daniel Gerrity

Water and wastewater treatment: biological, physical, and chemical treatment processes

Indirect potable reuse (IPR) and direct potable reuse (DPR): Water quality, public health, and public perception

Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs): Ozone, ozone/H2O2, UV/H2O2, TiO2 photocatalysis

Trace organic contaminants (TOrCs), including pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds

Environmental microbiology (disinfection and methods): Bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites

Dong-Chan Lee

My research interest covers a broad interdisciplinary area including materials chemistry and self-assembly. Current research focuses on the development of new electron-deficient semiconductors which can self-assemble into well-defined high aspect ratio clusters (such as nanofibers, nanobelts, etc.) for future electro-optical applications. We are especially interested in developing pi-organogelators which can produce nanofibers through organogelation in select organic solvents, simply and reproducibly.

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.