Klejda Bega graduated from Caltech with a BS in Physics with Honors in 1999 and a PhD in Physics in 2004. She did her graduate work in particle physics at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where she was involved in the measurement of parity violation in electron-electron scattering. After graduation she worked as a management consultant, assisting public and private sector clients in projects including strategic sourcing, data analysis, market research, process mapping and redesign, and staff training. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia, conducting research in atomic, molecular and optical physics focusing on precise manipulation of ultracold atoms and molecules in optical lattices.
Virginia W. Cornish graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Biochemistry in 1991, where she did undergraduate research with Professor Ronald Breslow. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry with Professor Peter Schultz at the University of California at Berkeley and then was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biology Department at M.I.T. under the guidance of Professor Robert Sauer. Virginia joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Columbia in 1999, where she carries out research at the interface of chemistry and biology, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and then Professor in 2007. Her laboratory brings together modern methods in synthetic chemistry and DNA technology to expand the synthetic capabilities of living cells. Her research has resulted in 59 research publications and several patents and currently is supported by multiple grants from the NIH and NSF. Virginia has been recognized for her research by awards including an NSF Career Award (2000), a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2003), the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award (2009), and the American Chemical Society Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry (2009). In addition to her research and teaching, Virginia enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children.
Stuart Firestein professor of Biological Sciences, is forging new understandings of sensory neuroscience through his groundbreaking research in olfacation. Among these breakthroughs, his laboratory was the first to link a specific olfactory receptor with a corresponding odor, a discovery that has been called the Rosetta Stone for understanding our sense of smell. Author of more than a hundred published papers, Firesteinís many honors include a Nakanishi Award for Excellence in Olfaction Research, a Human Frontiers of Science Award, a Whitehall Foundation Investigator Award, a McKnight Investigator Award and the R.H. Wright Award.
Allison Franzese received a B.S. from Stony Brook University with majors in Chemistry and Geology, followed by a Ph.D. from Columbia University in the Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She then did a research-based Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Marine Sciences of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where she also taught a course in the Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Allison's research involves the application of isotope geochemistry to Paleoceanography. She is currently a Columbia Science Fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
David Garofalo With secondary school diplomas from both a scientific lyceum in Florence Italy and a high school in Miami Beach and college enrollment in places as disparate as the University of California and the University of Bologna, David's academic record is a reflection of multiple interests. Following several years playing soccer in Italy's lower divisions, he obtained his PhD in physics from the University of Maryland where he developed interest, and currently conducts research, in black hole astrophysics. Following postdoctoral work as a NASA fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and several years of teaching at various California schools including the California State University, he moved to Columbia where he is a lecturer in physics.
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and of Physics, and co-founder of Columbiaís Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics. He is widely recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory and is
known to the public through his general-level lectures, writings and science documentaries. Professor Greene received his B. A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Melinda Han received her B.A. in Applied Math and B.S. in Engineering Physics from UC Berkeley. She earned her Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Columbia University, where she studied electronic transport in graphene. Melinda spent one year working on boosting the solar spectrum utilization of single-junction solar cells as a postdoctoral research scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado before starting as a Columbia Science Fellow in the Chemistry Department.
Sharon Hoffmann graduated from Columbia in 1999, and received her Ph.D. in 2009 from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography. Her research uses stable and radioactive isotopes of various elements to reconstruct climate and ocean circulation both in the tropics, using stalagmites, and in the Arctic, using seafloor mud. She is currently a Columbia Science Fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Donald C. Hood
the James F. Bender Professor of Psychology and Professor of Ophthalmic Science (in Ophthalmology), has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 1969. He holds a B.A. from Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton, M.Sc. and Ph.D. (1970) degrees from Brown University and an honorary degree from Smith College (2000). From 1982 to 1987, he served as Vice President for the Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. At Columbia University, he has been awarded the Mark van Doren Award for Outstanding Teaching in the College (1993), the Great Teacher Award (Society of Columbia Gradates, 2004), and the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching (2007). Professionally, he serves on the editorial boards of IOVS, Vision Research, Journal of Vision and Documenta Ophthalmologica. Many of his 250 publications deal with issues of the basic neuroscience of vision while others, in collaboration with ophthalmologists, concern diseases of eye (retina) and optic nerve. He has had continuous grant support from NIH/NEI for 38 years.
Emlyn Hughes is a Professor in the Physics Department at Columbia University. His research is presently focused on searches for new particles and new interactions using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He joined the Columbia faculty in 2006. He was previously a Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a recipient of the Feynman Teaching Award in 1999. He received his B.A. in Physics at Stanford University in 1982 and his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1987.
Ivana Nikolic Hughes is the Associate Director for Frontiers of Science and Lecturer in Discipline in the Department of Chemistry.
She graduated from Caltech with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, with Honors, in 1999. While at Caltech, she was the recipient of three prestigious summer research fellowships and conducted research in novel therapeutics at the University of Nis in Serbia, at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland and at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Dr. Hughes earned her PhD from Stanford University in 2005, working in the Department of Biochemistry as an American Heart Association Fellow. She studied enzymatic catalysis and protein evolution in the alkaline phosphatase superfamily. Prior to her involvement in Frontiers of Science, Dr. Hughes taught General Chemistry at Columbia.
graduated from Barnard College and received her Ph.D. from the
Rockefeller University. She has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 1981 and
is currently Professor of Biological Sciences. In 2002 she was named Howard Hughes
Medical Institute Professor. Darcy Kelley's research uses the South African clawed frog,
Xenopus laevis , to study the neurobiology of social communication, with the goal of
determining how one brain communicates with another and to study sexual differentiation,
the hormone-directed developmental program that leads to male and female phenotypes.
Corinne Kendall graduated from Cornell University with her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2006 and did a Masters at Columbia University in Conservation Biology while working as an educator at the Bronx Zoo. Her doctoral work focused on the effects of human activities on avian scavengers, mainly vultures, in East Africa and was completed in 2012 in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Princeton University. Her research interests include animal behavior, human-wildlife conflict, and environmental education. Corinne is currently a Columbia Science Fellow in the E3B Department
Liz Leininger received a B.A. in Biology with Honors from Swarthmore College, followed by a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from Columbia University. Her doctoral research at Columbia focused on the evolution of the neuromuscular mechanisms underlying vocalization in Xenopus (African Clawed frogs). Her research interests include neuroethology and the evolution of behavior and nervous systems. Liz is now a Columbia Science Fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Jerry McManus grew up in New York City and received a B.A, M.A. and Ph.D. (1997) in Geology from Columbia University. As a paleo-oceanographer, his research uses deep-sea sediments to reconstruct past changes in the Earthís climate and the large-scale ocean circulation, with a special focus on the role that the ocean plays in abrupt climate change. He has spent nearly a year of his life at sea. After ten years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he returned to Columbia in 2008, and is now a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
is Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor of Conservation Biology in the
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) at Columbia University.
A faculty member of Columbia since 1981, he was born and raised in and around New York City,
receiving his B.A. from NYU and his Ph.D. from Yale University. For over 25 years Professor
Melnick has used molecular genetics to understand aspects of the ecology, behavior, evolution
and conservation of vertebrates. This research has spanned organisms from frogs to elephants
and continents from Central and South America to Asia and Africa. His work has been published
in numerous technical journals and books, and covered by such popular media as The New York Times,
The International Herald Tribune, and Discovery Channel. Most recently, Professor Melnick assumed
the role of co-Chair of the U.N. Millennium Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, and with the
other co-Chair, Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse, the former Minister of the Environment of Ecuador, he has assembled
an international team that is charged with delivering an action plan for achieving environmental
sustainability to the U.N. Secretary General by 2005.
William H. Menke
graduated from MIT and received his doctorate from Columbia University. He is currently is a Professor in the departmant of Earth & Environmental Sciences. William Menke's research uses seismic tomography methods to form images of the earth's deep interior. He has applied these methods to ridge axes and volcanoes in Iceland, fault systems in California, and mountains in the Himalayas.
Kelly O'Donnell received her B.S in Biology from Cornell University and completed her doctoral work at Stony Brook University. Her research is focused on the evolutionary ecology of invasive plants. She is specifically interested in how selection dynamics may alter the invasion process and the role of phenotypic plasticity in promoting invasion.
Paul Olsen the Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, focuses his research on the evolution of continental ecosystems through study of the pattern, causes, and effects of climate change on geological time scales, mass extinctions, and the effects of evolutionary innovations on the Earth System. Much of his fieldwork deals with the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs (250 to 180 million years ago), includes drilling and recovery of long rock cores from ancient lakes, and fossil collection from New York and New Jersey to Arizona and Morocco. A National Academy of Sciences member, Olsen has a B.A. in Geology and a Ph.D. in Biology both from Yale University.
Terry Plank is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. She joined the faculty in 2008, returning after having been a graduate student at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory from 1985 to 1993, when she obtained her Ph.D. Born in a quarry in Delaware, Professor Plank has studied rocks her whole life -- granites and schists when an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, dredging volcanic rocks from the seafloor while a Lamont graduate student, drilling the oldest oceanic crust in the Pacific while a faculty member at the University of Kansas and Boston University, and most recently, collecting samples from recently erupted volcanoes in the Aleutians and Nicaragua. Professor Plank studies magmas associated with the plate tectonic cycle, their source, ascent and eruption. Much of her current research is focused on measuring the water content of magmas before they erupt. Plank is currently on tour as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Mineralogical Society of America.
is professor of biological sciences, member of the faculty of the Earth Institute, lecturer in psychiatry at the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, adjunct professor of science and religion at Union Theological Seminary, Director of University Seminars (2011), and Director of the Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University. Dr. Pollack graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in physics, and received a Ph.D. in biology from Brandeis University. He has been a professor of biological sciences at Columbia since 1978, and was dean of Columbia College from 1982–89. He received the Alexander Hamilton Medal from Columbia University, and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship. He currently is on the advisory boards of Columbia/Barnard Hillel and has been a Senior Consultant for the Director, Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a Fellow of the AAAS, and the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is the author of Signs of Life: The Languages and Meanings of DNA (Houghton Mifflin/Viking Penguin, 1994), The Missing Moment: How the Unconscious Shapes Modern Science (Houghton Mifflin, 1999); and The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Meaning, Order and Free Will in Modern Medical Science (Columbia University Press, 2000). Signs of Life received the Lionel Trilling Award and has been translated into six languages.
is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University. Professor Schiminovich received his B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Before his return to Columbia as a professor in 2004, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Caltech and a visiting research scientist at Yale. Since 1997 he has been a lead scientist on the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) project.
Allyson Sheffield received a B.S. in Physics from New York University
and her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Virginia in 2007.
After earning her doctorate, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Physics and Astronomy at Vassar College for 3 years. She studies the motions and chemical nature of stars in our Galaxy, with the goal of understanding how the Galaxy formed.
Helena Uthas received a M.Sc. in Physics from Lund University, Sweden in 2005. She has a background in observational astronomy, and during
2006 - 2008 she worked as a support astronomer at the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands. She recently received her Ph.D.
in astronomy from Southampton University in England, where her research was focused on late evolution of close binary star systems.
Since 2003, Helena has actively worked with public outreach in her home country Sweden, where she leads seminars, both in schools and in the public. Helena is currently pursuing postdoctoral research at the Columbia Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.