Biographies of The BERAC Membership

Bruce A. Hungate, Chair is a Professor of Biological Sciences; Director, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society; and Director, Colorado Plateau Stable Isotope Laboratory at Northern Arizona University.  He was an Associate Professor (2002-2006) and an Assistant Professor (1998-2002) at the Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University.  His focus is microbial ecology and its significance in understanding global environmental change.  Dr. Hungate received his B.A. (1990) in Music and English and his B.S. (1990) in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his PhD (1995) in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Global Change Biology; Review Editorial Board, Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology; and Associate Editor, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.  Some of his honors include Phi Kappa Phi (2007); Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow (2004); Department of Energy Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship (1996); and Phi Beta Kappa (1990).

Sarah M. Assmann is the Waller Professor of Biology at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research uses “omics” approaches to study plant responses to abiotic stress in Arabidopsis, rice, and canola in three related focus areas: guard cell and ionic signaling, heterotrimeric G-protein cascades and RNA structure-function relationships.  Dr. Assmann received her PhD in biology from Stanford University (1986) and her B.A. in biology from Williams College (1980). She is an Elected Member, North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (2013-present); on the Board of Trustees, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) (2013 – present); and President-Elect, President, Immediate Past President of ASPB (2007-2010).  She is also an Eberly Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University; a 2009 Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS); the 2001 Waller Endowed Chair, The Pennsylvania State University; and a 2001 Faculty Scholar Medal in Life and Health Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.

Julie S. Biteen is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics at University of Michigan.  Her research focuses on understanding biology, physics, and materials science at the molecular scale, and addressing this through development of single-molecule fluorescence imaging.  She holds a B.A. degree in chemistry from Princeton, a M.S. in Applied Physics and Ph.D. in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology, and conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.  She has received a number of Fellowships and Awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Biophysical Society Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award.

Amy M. Brunner is Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech.  She received her PhD in Forest Genetics at Oregon State University (1998), her MS in Molecular Biology at Vanderbilt University (1984), and her BA in Biology at the College of Wooster (1982).  Her research interests include the use of molecular biology and genomics to study the genes and molecular networks controlling tree growth, physiology, and adaptation in order to advance the fundamental knowledge of plant biology.  Professor Brunner has been awarded the Gamma Sigma Delta Faculty Research Award and the departmental Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award at Oregon State University.

Leo Donner is a Physical Scientist at NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.  He received his B.S. in Atmospheric Science at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1978), M.S. in Geohphysical Sciences (1981) and Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences (1983) at University of Chicago. His research considers the interactions between processes on the scales of clouds and convective systems and large-scale atmospheric flows.  Several methods are used to study the effects of clouds and convective systems on the thermal, moisture and radiative fields which characterize the large-scale flows in which these systems develop. A primary application of this research is the development of parameterizations for clouds and convective systems for use in general circulation models.  Dr. Donner is an affiliate scientist at NCAR, chair of the Community Earth System Model Advisory Board, and a member of the Advisory Board for Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA).

Robert Fischetti is a Senior Scientist and Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory.  He also serves as the Life Sciences Advisor to the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Director at ANL.  He received a B.S. in Physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1979) and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania (1987). Dr. Fischetti has previously served as Associate Director of the X-ray Science Division and Project Manager and Associate Director for Operations and Beamline Development at ANL.  Prior to service at ANL, he served as Associate Director for the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).  His current research focuses on instrumentation and methods development of utilizing synchrotron radiation.

Ann M. Fridlind is a Physical Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studeis. She received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Standford University (2002), M.S. in Hydrologic Sciences from University of California, Davis (1996), and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University (1992). Dr. Fridlind has been PI of numerous grants awarded by NASA and DOE, all focused on aerosol-cloud interactions in cold clouds. She is an author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, and co-author of programmatic white papers for the DOE Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program, the NASA Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) Mission, and the NASA Aerosol and Precipitation Spectrometer (APS) 2 Mission. For the ACE study, Dr. Fridlind was responsible for establishing target uncertainty parameters for satellite measurements leading to evaluation of the aerosol indirect effect.  She currently serves on the WCRP/GEWEX Global Atmospheric System Studies (GASS) Panel and the WCRP/GEWEX Aerosols, Clouds, Precipitation, Climate (ACPC) Initiative Steering Committee.

James J. Hack directs the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), a leadership computing complex at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) providing high performance computing resources for tackling scientific grand challenges.  He also serves as Director of the Oak Ridge Climate Change Science Institute, which integrates scientific projects in modeling, observations, and experimentation with ORNL’s powerful computational and informatics capabilities to answer some of the most pressing global change science questions.  His primary scientific interests include physical parameterization techniques, numerical methods, and diagnostic methods for evaluating simulation quality.  Dr. Hack received his B.S. in meteorology (1974) from Lyndon State College and his M.S. (1977) and PhD (1980) in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.  He has served as an editor for the Journal of Climate, given testimony to Congress on the topic of climate change, and recently completed participation as a member of a National Research Council Study on a National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling.  He is also actively involved on a number of national and international advisory and steering committees.

Kerstin Kleese van Dam is the Director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  She has led groups in scientific data management at University College London, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and now at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  Prior to these positions, she was a senior research scientist in high performance computing at the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the United Kingdom.  Her current research activities include extreme scale data management, metadata, and provenance and data curation.  Ms. Kleese van Dam holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from Technical University of Berlin, Germany.

Cheryl R. Kuske is a Laboratory Research Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she has been a staff scientist since 1993.  Her research has focused on soil metagenomics and understanding the fundamental processes governing fungal/microbial/plant community interactions in natural and managed ecosystems.  Dr. Kuske received her Ph.D. (1990) in Plant Pathology from the University of California at Davis. She received her M.S. (1982) in Plant Pathology and B.S. (1980) in Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University.  She was the recipient of an Alexander Hollaender Postdoctoral Fellowship award.  She has received recognition for her leadership and productivity in research, technology transfer, and mentoring.

L. Ruby Leung is a Laboratory Fellow of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and an Affiliate Scientist of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  Her research has focused on the modeling of regional and global climate, and understanding variability and changes as well as the role of land-atmosphere interactions and aerosols in the water cycle.  Dr. Leung received her Ph.D. (1991) in atmospheric science and her M.S. (1988) in atmospheric science at Texas A&M University.  She received her B.S. (1984) in physics and statistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.  She is an editor for the Journal of Hydrometeorology and has been a member of advisory committees for many organizations and research programs.

Maureen McCann is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University and serves as the Director of the Energy Center in Discovery Park at Purdue University. She directs the Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the DOE Office of Science and housed in Discovery Park. She additionally directs the Energy Center’s NEPTUNE Center for Power and Energy Research, funded through the Office of Naval Research.  She served on the USDA-DOE Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee and the DOE Office of Science Council for Chemical and Biochemical Sciences. Dr. McCann participated as one of 14 nominated individuals in the 2017-2018 DOE Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program where she was exposed to the breadth and depth of the DOE’s portfolio and to an overview of the National Laboratory program.  Dr. McCann received a Ph.D. in Botany from University of East Anglia (1990) and a B.A. and M.A. in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (1987).

Gerald A. Meehl is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  His research focuses on regional and global climate change and the major impacts of global warming extremes.  Dr. Meehl received his PhD (1987) in Climate Dynamics from the University of Colorado and his M.A. (1978) and B.A. (1974) in Climate Dynamics and Atmospheric Science also from the University of Colorado.  He is a member of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Pacific Science Association; and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (2007) and the American Geophysical Union (2014).

Jerry M. Melillo is a Professor of Biology at Brown University and a Distinguished Scientist and Director Emeritus at The Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory.  His research focuses on understanding the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of ecological systems.  Dr. Melillo received his Ph.D. (1977) and his M.F.S (1972) from Yale University.  He also received his M.A.T. (1968) and B.A. (1965) from Wesleyan University.  He is a Member, National Academy of Sciences (2014); a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (2012), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007) and the American Philosophical Society (2005); and President, Ecological Society of America, 2004-2005.

Gloria K. Muday is a Professor of Biology at Wake Forest University.  Her research focuses on plant hormone transplant and signaling.  Dr. Muday received her Ph.D. (1989) in Biochemistry from Purdue University and her B.S. (1984) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  She is also the Director, Center for Molecular Communication and Signaling; Faculty Member of the Molecular Genetics and Genomics graduate program; and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University.  She is a Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists (2014); Distinguished Women Alumni Scholar, Purdue University (2014); and Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech University (2014).  She is also the Monitoring Editor for PLOS One.  Dr. Muday received the 2014 URECA Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentorship in Research and Creative Work, Wake Forest University; 2014 Fellow of the American Society of Plant Bi9ologists; 2014 Distinguished Women Alumni Scholar, Purdue University, 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech; and the Scott Family Fellow, (2010-2012).

Himadri Pakrasi is the Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Biology and the Director of the International Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (InCEES) at the Washington University in St. Louis.  Dr. Pakrasi is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Microbiology, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL, and the Biosciences Institute at Nagayo University in Japan. His research interest include systems and synthetic biology of photosynthetic organisms, assembly and functions of Photosystem II, and nitrogen fixation.

Kristala L. Jones Prather is the Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT.  She received a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley (1999) and a BS from MIT (1994).  Dr. Prather’s research interests are in the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules.  Her research combines metabolic engineering with biocatalysis to optimize the biosynthetic capacity of microbial systems.  Dr. Prather is the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award, an Office of Naval Science Foundation Career Award, and the Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award.

James T. Randerson is a Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.  His research focuses on carbon cycle including climate-carbon cycle feedback, land cover change, remote sensing, deforestation, global change in arctic and boreal ecosystems and terrestrial ecosystem climate policy.  Dr. Randerson received his Ph.D. (1998) and his B.S. (1992) from Stanford University.  He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2005) and received the Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (2005) for “significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist.” 

Patrick M. Reed is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. His research areas include uncertainty quantification, resource management, multi-objective design, model diagnostics and visual analytics, and infrastructure planning and operations.  His research group’s open source computational software tools have over 30,000 global users, and he is an expert on the value of high-performance computing in the US science enterprise.  Dr. Reed holds a BS in Geological Engineering from University of Missouri, and MS and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois.

G. Philip Robertson is a Professor of ecosystem science at Michigan State University.  His research focuses on biogeochemistry, soil biology, and agricultural ecosystem dynamics; in particular greenhouse gas fluxes, nitrogen availability, and nutrient conservation in intensive agriculture and working landscapes.  Dr. Robertson received his Ph.D. (1980) in ecology and evolutionary biology at Indiana University and his B.A. (1976) from Hampshire College at Amherst, Massachusetts.  He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (2003) and the recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award (2005).  He is a member of many groups and committees, serves as Chair of the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research Network’s Science Council and Executive Board and is a program leader for sustainability research at the Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.

Mr. Jeremy Schmutz joined the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in 2008 as a faculty investigator. He leads the Informatics and Production Sequencing Groups at the Genome Sequencing Center, which he co-directs with Jane Grimwood. Mr. Schmutz graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Ill., with a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Biology. While in college, he worked on DNA sequencing technology at Argonne National Laboratory. That experience led to his first research position developing parallel sequencing systems at a small Silicon Valley startup company. In 1996, Schmutz joined the newly formed Sequencing Group at the Stanford Human Genome Center to develop the computational infrastructure necessary for large scale DNA sequencing. Schmutz and his group finished and assembled the human sequence of chromosomes 5, 16 and 19 for the public Human Genome Project. He also led the quality assessment of the human genome sequence that evaluated the accuracy and completeness of the final human genome sequence.

Daniel Segrè is a Professor in biology, bioinformatics, and biomedical engineering at Boston University.  His research focuses on microbial systems biology, using theoretical and computational modeling.  Dr. Segrè received his Ph.D. (2002) at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and his B.A. and M.S. (1994) from the University of Trieste in Italy.  He is currently on the editorial board for the Journal of Statistical Mechanics:  Theory and Experiment.  He is DuPont’s Horizons in Biotechnology distinguished speaker (2013) and received the Prize of Distinction for Outstanding Ph.D. studies from the Weizmann Institute of Science (2002).

Matthew D. Shupe is a Research Scientist in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado.  His research areas include cloud microphysical, radiative and dynamical processes; cloud interactions with the boundary layer; assessment of cloud model parameterizations; and Arctic meteorology and climate.  Dr. Shupe holds a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Puget Sound, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences from University of Colorado.

David A. Stahl is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology at the University of Washington.  His research focuses on microbially catalyzed sulfur and nitrogen cycling, bioremediation, the structure and activity of biofilms and microbial evolution and systematics, including comparative sequencing and physiology.  Dr. Stahl received his Ph.D. (1978) in microbiology and his M.S. (1975) in microbiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his B.S. (1971) in microbiology from the University of Washington.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2012), a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (1996) and a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology (2001-2007). 

John P. Weyant is Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Director of the Energy Modeling Forum, Deputy Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, and a Senior Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Freeman-Spolgi Institute for International Studies at Stanford.  His research focuses on analysis of global climate change policy options, energy efficiency analysis, energy technology assessment, and models for strategic planning.  Dr. Weyant earned a B.S./M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautics, M.S. degrees in Engineering Management and in Operations Research and Statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Ph.D. in Management Science with minors in Economics, Operations Research, and Organization Theory from UC Berkeley and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He is co-editor of the journal Energy Economics.  Dr. Weyant has been a convening/lead author for multi-national reports on integrated assessment, greenhouse gas mitigation, integrated climate impacts, and sustainable development.  He was founder and is chair of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, a collaboratory with 53 member institutions worldwide.  He was awarded the U.S. Association for Energy Economics’ 2008 Adelmann-Frankel award for unique and innovative contributions to the field of energy economics.  

Huimin Zhao is the Centennial Endowed Chair and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UICC).  His primary research interests focus on the development and applications of synthetic biology tolls to address society’s most daunting challenges in human health and energy, and the fundamental studies of enzyme catalysis, gene regulation, and cell metabolism.  Dr. Zhao received his Ph.D. (1998) in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and his B.S. (1992) in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China.  He has received numerous awards including the NSF Career Award in 2004, National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Award in 2010, Elmer Gaden Award from the American Chemical Society Division of Biochemical Technology in 2014, and the Charles Thom Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology in 2016.  He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2008), American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009), and Guggenheim Foundation (2012).