New Faculty at the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Fifteen new faculty members join CNAS this year

The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside welcomes 15 new faculty to its ranks for the 2014-15 academic year.

Nicolas Barth

Nicolas Barth

Nicolas Barth

Nicolas Barth, assistant professor of geology, who earned his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Otago, New Zealand. His research focuses on improving our understanding of active faults and their effects on the evolution of landscapes, currently focusing on the plate boundaries within New Zealand and California, two analogous fault systems expecting damaging large magnitude earthquakes in the near future.

 

Travis M. Bean

Travis Bean

Travis M. Bean, cooperative extension assistant weed science specialist, who earned his Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Arizona. His research focuses on improving treatment efficacy and reducing unintended consequences of invasive and weedy plant control efforts, determining predictors to identify opportunities for management and developing technologies to improve monitoring efficiency and track population growth.

Andrey Bekker

Andrey Bekker

Andrey Bekker, assistant professor in biogeochemistry, who earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and did postdoctoral work at Harvard University and the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington. Bekker’s research focuses on both short- and long-term interactions between plate tectonics, mantle processes, and evolution of surface environments (including atmosphere and ocean) and life on early Earth.

Timothy Blass

Tim Blass

Timothy Blass, assistant professor of mathematics, who earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin, and did postdoctoral work at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on developing and investigating mathematical models of physical systems, like the motion of fluids or the deformations of solid bodies under stress.

Weifeng Gu

Weifeng Gu

Weifeng Gu, assistant professor of cell biology and neuroscience, who earned his Ph.D. from the Uni-
versity of Rochester, his M.D. from the Beijing Medical University (Peking University Health Science Center), China, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Gu is using genetics and bioinformatics tools to investigate how non-coding small RNAs are made in cells and how these small RNAs regulate gene expression.

De-en Jiang

De-en Jiang

De-en Jiang, assistant professor of chemistry, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, and did postdoctoral research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Jiang’s overall research goal is to achieve knowledge-based design of functional materials for a sustainable society.

 

David Martin

Dave Martin

David Martin, assistant professor of chemistry, who earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, and did postdoctoral work at Princeton University. Martin’s research is focused on the development of new modes of transition metal catalysis that exploit light energy to enable the activation of typically inert functional groups such as alcohols; and the chemical synthesis of naturally occurring molecules that exhibit neuroprotective effects on neuronal cells.

 

Quinn McFrederick

Quinn McFrederick

Quinn McFrederick, assistant professor of entomology, who earned his Ph.D. in biology at the University of Virginia and did postdoctoral work at the University of Rochester and the University of Texas, Austin. McFrederick uses experimentation, molecular genetic analyses, and field surveys of wild bees and their symbionts, aiming to help protect these important pollinators and the services they provide for both agricultural and wild ecosystems.

Amir Moradifam

Amir Moradifam

Amir Moradifam, assistant professor of mathematics, who earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of British Columbia, and did postdoctoral work at Columbia University and the University of Toronto. Moradifam’s research focuses on hybrid inverse problems that aim at combining exterior measurements with interior ones to obtain images with higher resolution and contrast than previously available by classical methods.

Jeff Perry

Jeff Perry

Jeff Perry, assistant professor of biochemistry, who earned his Ph.D. in natural science from the University of Cambridge, U.K., and did postdoctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Scripps Research Institute. Perry’s research interests are in defining molecular mechanisms of key protein complexes having pathological links to cancer, neurodegenerative disease and/or rapid aging.

Jonah Piovia-Scott

Jonah Piovia-Scott

Jonah Piovia-Scott, assistant professor of biology, who earned his Ph.D. in population biology from the University of California, Davis, and did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, Berkeley. Piovia-Scott’s research focuses on community ecology, especially interactions between species. He is particularly interested in exploring how species interactions mediate the effects of environmental change on ecosystems.

Carolyn Rasmussen

Carolyn Rasmussen

Carolyn Rasmussen

Carolyn Rasmussen, assistant professor of plant cell biology and assistant plant cell biologist, who earned her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and did her postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Wyoming. Rasmussen’s research focuses on investigating the underlying molecular mechanisms by which plant cells divide and the subsequent influence on development.

Martín M. Riccomagno

Martin Riccomagno

Martín M. Riccomagno, assistant professor of cell biology and neuroscience, who earned his Ph.D. in developmental genetics at the University of Buenos Aires and did postdoctoral work at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie brain circuit formation and refinement, with a particular emphasis on neuronal pruning events.

Naoki Yamanaka

Naoki Yamanaka

Naoki Yamanaka

Naoki Yamanaka, assistant professor of entomology, who earned his Ph.D. in biological science from the University of Tokyo, Japan, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and the University of Minnesota. Yamanaka’s research is focused on identifying and characterizing neuroendocrine signaling pathways that regulate physiological and behavioral changes during insect development.

Weixin Yao

Weixin Yao

Weixin Yao, associate professor of statistics, who earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on methodology development/data analysis for complicated data sets. His work has many applications in various fields such as clinical trials, psychology, health and biomedical studies, and sociology.

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