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.

Ana P. Barros is the Donald Biggar Willett Chair of Engineering and Head and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Barros was previously an Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University.  She received her Ph.D in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington.  She received two MScs one in Environmental Science and Engineering from the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, the other in Hydraulics from University of Porto, Portugal. She also received her undergraduate in Environmental Engineering from University of Porto, Portugal.  Dr. Barros was in the engineering faculty at the University of Porto, Penn State University, and Harvard University before joining Duke University. Her primary research interests are in Hydrology, Hydrometeorology and Environmental Physics with a focus on water-cycle processes in the coupled land-atmosphere-biosphere system particularly in regions of complex terrain, the study of multi-scale interface phenomena in complex environments across the Earth Sciences, remote sensing of the environment, climate predictability, extreme events and risk assessment of natural hazards.

Bruno Basso is a Foundation Professor at Michigan State University. He received his Laurea (B.S. equivalent) in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy and his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Sciences from Michigan State University.  His research deals mainly with water, carbon, nitrogen cycling and modeling in agro-ecosystems, and spatial analysis of crop yield. Basso's modeling research has focused on extending soil-crop-atmosphere models to spatial domains at the field scale, and in particular on developing, testing, and deploying SALUS, a next-generation process-based model that integrates crop productivity with water, carbon, and nutrient fluxes in a spatially explicit manner.

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.

Katherine Calvin is a research scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in College Park, MD.  She conducts research and development on the Global Change Assessment Model, a multi-sector model that combines human influences together with economic sectors, ecosystems, and climate. Prior to her position at JGCRI, she was an international energy analyst with the DOE Energy Information Administration.  She received her B.S. degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at University of Maryland, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford 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).

Matthew Fields is a professor of microbiology and immunology; Director of the Center for Biofilm Engineering and the Biofilm Physiology & Ecology team leader at Montana State University.  He received a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Western Kentucky University, a M.S. in Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology with a Minor in Biochemistry/Biological Engineering from Cornell University.  He did his postdoctoral work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is interested in environmental organisms and biofilms involved in a variety of processes that include nitrate contamination, heavy metal reduction, metal corrosion, extremophiles, and bio-energy. His work is focused on the relationships between biotic and abiotic factors that mediate control over physiology and modes of growth, and how signals are sensed, and cells respond accordingly in order to optimize metabolism.

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.

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.

Sonia M. Kreidenweis is a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Manhattan College and her M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to joining CSU she was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at San Jose State University and served as a consultant in aerosol and chemical interactions in the atmosphere at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Her research focuses on characterization of the physical, chemical, and optical properties of atmospheric particulate matter, and the effects of the atmospheric aerosol on visibility and climate. A particular focus area is the characterization of aerosol interactions with water vapor. Prof. Kreidenweis is a past president of the American Association for Aerosol Research and also served on the executive committee of the American Meteorological Society. She was named a University Distinguished Professor in 2014.

Maureen McCann is Director of the Biosciences Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. She came to NREL from Purdue University where she was a Professor of Biological Sciences, Director of Purdue’s NEPTUNE Center for Power and Energy, funded by the Office of Naval Research, and Director of Purdue’s Energy Center. Dr. McCann also served as the Director of the Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. 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 and a B.A. and M.A. in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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).

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 George William and Irene Koechig Freiberg Professor in the Department of Biology. He was formerly the Director of the International Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (InCEES) at the Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Pakrasi was 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 includes 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.

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.

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).