The College of New Jersey

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School of Science

Name Faculty Level/ Title Primary Dept Highest Degree(s) Research/ Interests Other Information
Heba Abourahma Assist. Chemistry Ph.D., U of South Florida Crystal engineering, which deals with designing and synthesizing functional solids using non-covalent interactions; studying pharmaceutical cocrystals, compounds that consist of two or more components at least one of which is an active pharmaceutical ingredients
John Allison Prof. Chemistry Ph.D., U of Delaware Forensic ehemistry; application of mass
spectometry and other analytical techniques to forensic science, including questioned document examination, and the analysis of colorants as used in art
Carlos Alves Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Penn State Logic; set theory He is currently on leave.
Joseph Baker Assist. Chemistry Ph.D., U of Arizona Molecular dynamics simulation; computational biochemistry; bacterial infection; building computer models of biomolecular complexes and studying their structure and dynamics using large-scale computer simulations run on high-performance CPU and GPU computing He is also especially interested in teaching at the interface of the disciplines of physics, chemistry, and biology (for example, soft condensed matter and biophysical chemistry).
Margaret (Maggie) Benoit Assoc. Physics Ph.D., Penn State She is currently on leave (NSF assignment).
Joanne Billmers Visit. Chemistry Ph.D., Drexel U Green chemistry, biodegradable materials and teacher education She also has a strong knowledge of pharmaceuticals, having worked in the industry for ten years.
Michael Bloodgood Assist. Computer Science Ph.D., University of Delaware Research interests include: Data Science, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing.
Lynn Bradley Prof. Chemistry Ph.D., Duke U Mechanistic studies of benzamide systems, the study of reactions leading to heterocyclic ring systems, and the development of advanced experiments in organic chemistry
Jim Bricker Assist. Biology Ph.D., State U of New York, Buffalo Molecular and conservation genetics of the endangered corn snake; Molecular analysis of museum specimens to study historical population genetic structure
Michelle Bunagan Assist. Chemistry Ph.D., U Penn Use of spectroscopy to attain a mechanistic understanding of protein dynamics, including the folding transition, potential aggregation, and the effect of solvation
Luke Butler Assoc. Biology Ph.D., U of Washington Causes and consequences of variations in the molt dynamics of birds; Adaptations and life-history trade-offs in the structure of body feathers; Physiological and behavioral responses to stress in vertebrates
Angela Capece Assist. Physics Ph. D., California Institute of Technology
Benny Chan Assoc. Chemistry Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, Post-Doctoral Colorado State University Research interests include synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials with potential applications in nanotechnology, thermoelectrics, batteries, and catalysis.
Karen Clark Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Courant Inst New York U Mathematical modeling of composite materials; climate modeling
Wendy Clement Assist. Biology Ph.D., U of Minnesota Plant systematics and evolution; pollination biology; biogeography She is an evolutionary biologist and plant systematist, and her lab studies the evolution of present-day plant biodiversity.
Andrew Clifford Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., State U of New York, Albany Combinatorial Group Theory (thee intersection of algebra and low-dimensional topology), particularly equations over groups His recent teaching focus has been on the calculus sequence and various upper level courses in geometry and topology.
Ed Conjura Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Rutgers U Financial mathematics
Robert Cunningham Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ed.D., Temple U Pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers; special interest: topics from the secondary curriculum that pose the greatest challenge for teachers to teach and students to learn; also, technology in support of instruction His lively interest in teaching and research has prompted him to involve undergraduate students in conducting, presenting, and publishing mathematics education research.
Cynthia Curtis-Budka Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Yale U Three-dimensional spaces (such as our universe) and knots; understanding how we can recognize when two spaces or two knots are different from one another She enjoys supervising undergraduate research projects, most commonly in knot theory.
Danielle Dalafave Prof. Physics Ph.D., Florida State University Biophysics, with emphases on computational design and study of druglike agents that might be useful for treatments of various diseases Served as an academic advisor for the Biomedical Physics Specialization and the 7 year BS/MD program within the Physics major.
Gary Dickinson Assist. Biology Ph.D., Duke U Physiological ecology of marine invertebrates; Adhesion, biomineralization, and larval behavior of barnacles; Biological responses to ocean acidification and climate change; Marine biofouling and its prevention
Vinayak Elangovan Assist. Computer Science
Curt Elderkin Assoc. Biology Ph.D., U of Louisian at Lafayette Population and conservation genetics of freshwater mussels; evolutionary ecology of freshwater invertebrates; Quantitative genetics of environmental stresses; Population biology, ecology, and physiology of invasive species
Kathryn (KT) Elliott Assist. Biology Ph.D., University of Michigan Nature and frequency of gene duplication and amplification; Evolution and adaptation of gene amplification mutants; Regulation of expression of metabolic genes
Jeffery Erickson Assoc. Biology Ph.D. U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Developmental respiratory neurobiology; Genetic determination of vertebrate breathing behavior
Christopher Fazen Assist. Chemistry Ph.D. Syracuse University;
Postdoctoral Princeton University
Research interests focus on studying the interaction between antimicrobial peptides and bacterial persister cells. His research utilizes techniques in biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and synthetic chemistry
Jana Gevertz Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Princeton University Dr. Gevertz works in the field of mathematical biology, studying cancer progression using tools from applied and computational mathematics. In particular, Dr. Gevertz aims to synthesize data gathered by biologists and clinicians Dr. Gevertz teaches introductory calculus courses and upper-level applied mathematics courses, including Linear Programming and Differential Equations. She has also mentored independent study and capstone students in various applied mathematics topics.
Danielle Guarracino Assist. Chemistry Ph.D., Yale U Chemical biology She has been an Associate Faculty member for the website “Faculty of 1,000″, writing reviews on papers in Chemical Biology. Her teaching interests lie within organic and biochemistry. She is fascinated by the areas in which the two topics overlap.
Tom Hagedorn Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Harvard U Number theory and algebra, specifically elliptic curves and representation theory He has taught courses in cryptography, geometry, the mathematics of voting and choice, and the culture, politics and science of food  (as part of the TCNJ’s FSP program).   He has also mentored many independent study, independent research, and capstone projects.
Nancy Hingston Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Harvard U Differential geometry and topology; loop spaces, symplectic dynamics, closed geodesics, Hamiltonian systems
Donald Hirsh Assoc. Chemistry Ph.D., Yale U Developing new methods to measure distances in proteins, RNA, and DNA His professional experience includes service in the U.S. Peace Corps in Swaziland, and work at the Liposome Company and Delsys Pharmaceutical Company.
Christopher Holston Assist. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D. Ohio University Dr. Holston’s main research interest is in module theory, studying injectivity and projectivity domains. He has contributed to a project studying the concept of poor modules, which are considered opposite to injective and projective modules r. Holston’s most common courses have been in calculus, ranging from first semester to multivariable, including variations tailored for majors in business and biology. Including his experience as a graduate student, he has also taught courses in algebra.
Jinmo Huang Prof. Chemistry Ph.D., U of North Texas Analytic separations; an analytical method for amino acid analysis using capillary electrophoresis is to be developed and validated
David Allen Hunt Prof. Chemistry Ph.D., Duke U Development of novel synthetic methodology for the construction of heterocyclic ring systems of biological interest. His research interests also consist of organic synthesis, heterocyclic chemistry, organolithium/metalation chemistry, and drug discovery. Prior to joining TCNJ, his industrial experience includes stints at Union Carbide’s Agricultural Research Division as a Senior Chemist in the Exploratory Process Research group, Becton Dickinson Research Center as a Senior Scientist in the Immunodiagnostic systems
Judit Kardos Assist. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., University of Missouri, Kansas City Problems in Real Analysis that provide insight into the highly unintuitive nature of the actually infinit; problems related to Cantor-type sets on the real line, finding Hausdorff dimensions and measures of such sets She has implemented new technology in introductory courses in Statistics and Linear Algebra. She was in charge of recreating the course in History of mathematics with a broader philosophical perspective to satisfy the World Views of Knowing Liberal learning
Deborah Knox Assoc. Computer Science Ph.D., Iowa State University Digital Libraries; Web Accessibility; Cluster Computing; CS Education
Tracy Kress Assist. Biology Ph.D., Brown U Utilizing multiple approaches, including genetics, biochemistry, and molecular and cell biology, to study: mechanisms and regulation of RNA processing in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and coordination of RNA processing with chromatin remodeling
Jikai Li Assoc. Computer Science Ph.D., State U of New York, Buffalo Networking, Optical networks, Scheduling Problem in Network, Network Performance Evaluation, IP over Optical Networks, Optical Burst Switching (OBS), Wireless, Network Security, Internet Protocol for High Speed Network, Quality of Service (QoS),
Cathy Liebars Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Lehigh U Impact of sustained professional development on the teaching and learning of K-12 teachers and their students; mentoring She created and teaches a series of courses for students and teachers who wish to obtain the middle school endorsement in mathematics.
Don Lovett Prof. Biology Ph.D., University of Louisiana, Lafayette Osmoregulation in crustaceans; Mechanisms by which estuarine crabs osmoregulate (at the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels); Crustacean nutrition and growth
Nathan Magee Assoc. Physics Ph.D., Penn State Experimental cloud physics and climate research. Exciting opportunities for undergraduates are available in my lab, so please don’t hesitate to inquire Directs the Cloud Physics Lab.
Mirela Manea-Krichten Visit. Chemistry Ph.D., University of California, Irvine Analytical radiochemistry using neutron activation analysis of archaeological and geological samples Her industrial experience has involved method development for water treatment applications.
Ying Mao Assist. Computer Science Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Boston Research interests include: Mobile Cloud Computing, Wireless Networks, Big Data Platforms
Steffen Marcus Assist. Mathematics Statistics
David McGee Prof. Physics Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College Non-linear optics of block copolymers; photoswitching in functionalized nanotubes; fabrication of polymeric waveguides; dynamic holography
Janet Morrison Prof. Biology Ph.D., State U of New York, Stony Brook Plant ecology; invasive plants; plant-pathogen interactions; metropolitan forests She is a plant ecologist teaching courses in botany and ecology and offering research opportunities for undergraduates. Her scientific and conservation interests center on biological interactions in nature that can have important ecological/evolutionary effects
Sharon Navard Assist. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., University of Southwestern Louisiana Instrument calibration, reliability, variance bounds, quality control
Sudhir Nayak Assoc. Biology Ph.D., U Penn Using genetic, molecular, biochemical, and informatic techniques to identify genes involved in: Cell fate specification and execution in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line; in nematodes He directs the Cloud Physics Lab.
Tuan Nguyen Assist. Physics Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley Interface of physics and biology; specifically, studying the physics of living neuronal networks.
Amanda Norvell Assoc. Biology Ph.D., U Penn Cell biology and gene expression in fruit flies; Pattern formation during Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis; mRNA localization during development; Regulation of nuclear import/export
Romulo Ochoa Prof. Physics Ph.D., Catholic U of America Development of experiments for physics education; raman and photoluminescence studies of CdTe and CdS nanocrystals and cocrystals; molecular dynamics simulations of crystalline and amorphous materials; raman microprobe studies of CdTe quantum dots
Michael Ochs Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Brandeis U Intersection of statistical learning and biological systems, with a primary interest in inference on molecular activity in cancer; presently developing computational statistical methods for refining our understanding of cell signaling Dr. Ochs focuses all courses on developing an ability to choose statistical approaches and techniques for real world problems, as computers can now easily handle even the most arduous statistical calculations but cannot decide what analysis fits the data.
Marcia O'Connell Assoc. Biology Ph.D., State U of New York, Stony Brook Zebrafish developmental biology; Determination and formation of the embryonic axes in vertebrates; Regulations of tissue specific genes in zebrafish embryos; Maternal regulation of polyadenylation
Abby O'Connor Assist. Chemistry Ph.D., U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Development of more energy efficient and sustainable means to produce our supply of fuels and chemicals; finding new homogenous transition metal complexes for different catalytic applications; find new ways to stabilize highly reactive intermediates During her post-doctoral position, O’Connor also developed a highly successful outreach program that highlights the role of chemists in solving the current energy crisis and plans to bring similar programs to TCNJ. Teaching the next generation of students.
Jeff Osborn Dean Biology Ph.D., Ohio State University Plant evolutionary biology; Evolutionary relationships among seed plants based primarily on the study of pollen ontogeny and pollen structure; Pollination biology, including the evolution of pollination mechanisms and the functional role that pollen plays He is a an administrator-teacher-scholar. He has led a number of institutional and multi-institutional programs to support the advancement of undergraduates and faculty who are underrepresented in sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
Dimitris Papamichall Assist. Computer Science Ph.D., Stony Brook University Applied algorithms; data structures; computational biology His research projects include: algorithms for synthetic gene library design, and advancing computational phylogenetic stemmatics
Aigli Papantonopoulou Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley Classification problems in Algebraic Geometry and Commutative Algebra, specifically on algebraic curves and surfaces over the complex numbers Her textbook Algebra: Pure and Applied has been published by Prentice Hall.
Keith Pecor Assist. Biology Ph.D., U of Michigan Behavioral and evolutionary ecology; crayfish biology; exotic species biology
Nina Peel Assist. Biology Ph.D.., U of Cambridge Cell biology and genetics; Using C. elegans as a model organism; How centrosome duplication is controlled; The functions of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) in early development; How microtubule dynamics are regulated by post-translational modifications
Monisha Pulimood Assoc. Computer Science Ph.D., Tulane U Web-based information management; Social Computational Systems; CS Education Her research projects include: (1) Collaborative infrastructure to support the NSF-funded TUES grant. This project will entail development of web and mobile applications, social computing integration, and hosting on the Amazon AWS EC2 cloud instance. (2)
Dave Reimer Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Rutgers U Combinatorics, graph theory
Howard Reinert Prof. Biology Ph.D., Lehigh U Vertebrate ecology and conservation; Ecology, behavior and physiology of reptiles and amphibians; Molecular genetic structure of snake populations and gene flow; Habitat selection, predator/prey interactions and foraging behavior; Vertebrate conservation
Robert Richard Assist. Physics M.S., Lehigh U
Alan Richards Assist. Physics Ph.D., Rutgers U Physics education research, specifically studying how students use their prior knowledge to build understanding of new physics topics Uses modern, research-validated teaching methods to build an engaging classroom environment that focuses on active-learning techniques.
Jeremy Russell Visit. Mathematics Statistics
Andrea Salgian Assoc. Computer Science Ph.D., University of Rochester Computer vision and digital image processing; object recognition; face recognition and biometrics; artificial intelligence; human-computer interfaces She is widely published and has presented at numerous conferences and workshops (
Stephanie Sen Prof. Chemistry Ph.D., Stony Brook University Determine the structure and function proteins that are involved in construction and regulation of isoprenoids, with particular emphasis on insect and plant metabolism
Dennis Shevlin Assoc. Biology Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley Population biology of fungi; Life cycles and population biology of plant parasitic fungi; Antioxidant production by marine algae
Rachel Snider Assist. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., University of Michigan Dr. Snider’s research focuses on mathematics teacher knowledge and teacher education. In particular, she considers the knowledge and reasoning entailed in carrying out particular teaching practices, such as selecting examples and giving explanations. Drawing on her own experience as a secondary mathematics teacher, Dr. Snider teaches content and methods courses for elementary and secondary pre-service teachers. She also has experience supervising student teachers and teaching in informal settings.
Jia Tao Assist. Computer Science Ph.D. – Computer Science – Iowa State University Knowledge Representation and Reasoning in Artificial Intelligence, Data Analysis, Modal Logic
Leeann Thornton Assoc. Biology Ph.D. – Washington University in St. Louis Cytochrome P450 regulation of plant development, Plant steroid hormone inactivation, Relationship between structure and function in metabolic proteins, Molecular genetics of multi-gene protein families
Anthony Uzwiak Assist. Biology Not engaged in research at TCNJ
Suriz Van der Sandt Wang Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Potchefstroom University (South Africa) Pre-service She regularly visits schools to observe senior mathematics education majors during their student teaching.
Chamont Wang Prof. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D., Michigan State U Data Mining, Predictive Modeling, Detection of Misused Statistics, Dynamic Data Visualization, Chaos and Dynamical Systems
Wad Thulsi Wickramasinghe Prof. Physics Ph.D., U Penn Cosmology; observational astronomy; mathematics; archeoastronomy; astrobiology
Paul Wiita Prof. Physics Ph.D., Princeton U Extragalactic astronomy and astrophysics and in experimental and computational fluid dynamics
Matthew Wund Assoc. Biology Ph.D., U of Michigan Evolutionary ecology; the interplay between individual plasticity and evolutionary processes; evolution of animal behavior; evolution of adaptive radiations He is broadly interested in how populations respond to novel environments, both from the perspective of individuals expressing altered morphology and behavior (phenotypic plasticity), as well as populations evolving over successive generations.
David Wynne Assist. Biology Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley Mechanisms of chromosomal movement during meiosis and mitosis
Sejong Yoon Assist. Computer Science Ph.D., Rutgers University Research interests include: Statistical Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Multimedia & Informatics
Qifu Zheng Assoc. Mathematics Statistics Ph.D. University of Vermont Group Representations, Integral Transformations, Multivariate Statistics
Kalani Hettiarachchilage Assist. Physics
Tamika Royal-Thomas Assist Mathematics & Statistics Ph.D., University of Delaware biostatistics, specifically looking at longitudinal data analysis which involves looking at data over time and how the trend in these data predict health outcomes with the aid of creating novel and better methodology for these data. Her research examines early life predictors of cardiovascular disease and takes into consideration other factors over time that predicts this disease. Her research interests also include factor analysis, principal component analysis, survival analysis and meta-analysis.
Melkamu Woldemariam Assist. Biology Ph.D. – Friedrich-Schiller University and Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany Regulatory mechanisms of plant defense responses

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