Dr. Darryl Boyd is a Research Chemist in the Optical Sciences Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He is also the STEM Director at the Transformational Education Adventure Center in McLean, VA, as well as the STEM instructor for Roots Charter School in Washington, DC. As a synthetic chemist, Dr. Boyd creates new molecules and materials. His work focuses on developing and studying materials that can transmit infrared light, particularly materials that leverage the unique properties of the element sulfur. By looking through these materials, we can see wavelengths of light that are longer than what we can detect with our eyes alone. Dr. Boyd is also dedicated to outreach and getting students excited about STEM. When he’s not doing science, Darryl enjoys writing, playing his trumpet or saxophone, working out at the gym, and spending time at church. He and his wife also love hanging out with their young daughter who is less than a year old. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. Next, he attended Purdue University where he was awarded his M.S. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry. Afterwards, Dr. Boyd began working as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory, and he accepted a position as a Research Chemist there in 2014. Dr. Boyd has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a Jerome & Isabella Karle Research Fellow from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, and an Edison Patent Award from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He was also named among the “Talented 12” of 2018 by the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News magazine and a 2019 Rising Researcher in Defense and Commercial Sensing by The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). In our interview, Dr. Boyd will share more about his life and research.

Direct download: 564_Darryl_Boyd_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Lauren Ponisio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Oregon. The United States is home to thousands of different species of native bees that are important for agriculture and natural ecosystems. Lauren’s research revolves around preserving and restoring bee populations in agriculture areas and other natural habitats. She is interested in understanding the distribution and health of different populations of native bees. When she’s not working, you can often find Lauren in her garden. She has been an avid gardener since childhood, and she currently has a thriving garden with lots of vegetables and plants to attract bees and other pollinators. She received her B.S. degree in biology with honors in ecology and evolution, as well as her M.S. degree in biology, from Stanford University. Lauren was awarded her Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral research at UC, Berkeley afterwards, and she served on the faculty University of California, Riverside before recently accepting her current position at the University of Oregon. Lauren received graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, as well as a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. She was also named among the Global Food Initiative’s "30 Under 30" in Food Systems in 2016. In our interview, Lauren shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 563_Lauren_Ponisio_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Ayse Turak is Associate Professor and Associate Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University. Ayse develops and studies plastic-based electronic materials, such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes. Her goal is to create affordable, sustainable, and ubiquitous plastic materials to provide power and light for people around the world. In her free time, Ayse loves to travel, visit new places, see new things, explore new cultures, and seek adventure. She also enjoys theatre, writing, and volunteering with various social justice organizations. Ayse received her B.Sc. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from Queens's University and her PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she was a Canada Graduate Scholar. Afterwards, Ayse conducted research as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Metals Research and subsequently worked as a visiting professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey before joining the faculty at McMaster University. Ayse has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Early Researcher Award, the Petro-Canada Young Innovators Award, and a Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship from McMaster University. In addition, she was recently nominated as a Full member at Sigma Xi, and she is the co-chair of the Canadian Chapter of the Society of Information Display. In our interview, Ayse shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 562_Ayse_Turak_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Umesh "Umi" Venkatesan is an Institute Scientist and Director of the Brain Trauma and Behavior Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI). Umi is trained as a clinical psychologist, and he currently studies behavior and cognition in people with neurological disabilities, particularly following traumatic brain injury. He is interested in how interactions between our physiology, our behavior, how we experience the behavior of others, and how others behave may impact our medical health, mental health, and general well-being. Outside of science, the arts have always been a big part of Umi’s life. He has practiced Indian classical dance since the age of five, and Umi even danced professionally in New York City during graduate school. In addition, Umi is a classically trained singer, and he enjoys singing R&B and soul music. Beyond music and dance, Umi loves exploring new cuisine from around the world and trying food from local restaurants. Umi received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Kessler Foundation Research Center for about two years before enrolling in graduate school. Umi was awarded his PhD in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University. During graduate school, he completed a clinical neuropsychology externship at Columbia University Medical Center and a pre-doctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Before joining the team at MRRI in 2019, UMI completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation within the VA Boston Healthcare System. In our interview, Umi tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 561_Umi_Venkatesan_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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