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The Science Forum Series is an opportunity for faculty and special guests to present their latest research to the campus community. 

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September 10, 2018 - Physics of Invisibility

John Howell profile picture

John Howell, Ph.D.

Center for Coherence and Quantum Optics

University of Rochester

Title: Physics of Invisibility

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Dr. Howell will outline some informal definitions of cloaking and invisibility being careful to distinguish between disappearing, hiding and invisibility. He will then discuss several techniques that are currently being pursued to achieve broadband omni-directional invisibility ranging from metamaterials to ray optics. 

April 3, 2018 - The surprising story of string theory and modern mathematics

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Natalie Paquette, Ph.D.

Sherman Fairchild Postdoctoral Scholar in Theoretical Physics

California Institute of Technology

Title: The surprising story of string theory and modern mathematics

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis:"Merging Einstein's theory of gravitation with the jittery world of quantum mechanics was a notoriously challenging problem. String theory combines these two pillars of modern theoretical physics beautifully, and is the leading candidate for a theory of quantum gravity in our own universe. (Indeed, it is often described as "the only game in town"!) But what is less familiar is its interaction with pure mathematics. We are used to physics appropriating techniques and language from mathematics, but string theory frequently proceeds in the opposite direction. It has proven to be a surprisingly fertile source of powerful conjectures and startling insights for modern mathematics! In this talk we will survey string theory at a basic level and describe how it has advanced subjects in geometry and algebra. No prerequisites necessary!"

March 5, 2018 - Waves, surf zones and the biology of the shore

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Alan Schanks, Ph.D.
Professor of Marine Biology
University of Oregon

Title: Waves, suf zones, and the biology of the shore

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Starting with a general introduction to ocean wave formation, this talk will cover surf zone hydrodynamics such as wave reflection, wave focusing, rip currents and sneaker waves before delving into Dr. Shanks’ research on surf zones and biology. His current research looks at how alongshore variations in surfzone hydrodynamics, reflective to dissipative surf zones, generates very large alongshore differences in community structure.  

February 7, 2018 - The cognitive science of (educational) video games: An intersection of mind, culture and media

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David Gagnon
Discovery Fellow, Program Director, Field Day Lab

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title: The cognitive science of (educational) video games: An intersection of mind, culture and media

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Taking up perspectives of situated cognition and social-cultural theory, we will
explore the design of contemporary entertainment video games. We will then see
how this inspiration has fueled a series of design based research projects that
explore the use of video game and mobile media for learning.
David Gagnon is the Director of Field Day, an education research laboratory at the
Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
His lab is focused on the intersection of situated and social-cultural learning theories
with digital media, specifically video games, mobile technology and mixed reality.

November 29, 2017 - Chemical and Cognitive Ecology in Poison Frogs

Lauren O'Connell profile picture

Lauren O'Connell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Stanford University

Title: Chemical and Cognitive Ecology in Poison Frogs

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: How do animals come up with new ways to deal with challenges and
opportunities in their environment? Dr. O'Connell's research investigates
evolutionary innovations in physiology and behavior using amphibians as
a model clade, as they show tremendous diversity in behavioral and
physiological adaptations. This seminar highlights her work on the
chemical ecology of poison frogs and how they sequester toxins from their
diet. She will also address the evolution of parental behavior within the
clade and tying toxicity and parental care together to discuss the transfer
of toxicity to tadpoles through extended parental effort.

November 15, 2017 - Genomic Countermeasures for Food Defense

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Robert Hanner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Integrative Biology

University of Guelph

Title: Genomic Countermeasures for Food Defense

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Global food security is recognized as one of the most important issues of
the 21st century and takes many forms, including sustainable production,
equitable distribution and reducing food waste. Within this overarching
framework, defending the food supply from various threats requires a
variety of tools. One of the most promising includes genomics, which is
seeing diverse applications in crop improvements (e.g. increased crop
yield, drought tolerance and pest resistance) but also has a central role to
play in the surveillance of pathogens and the detection of food fraud. This
talk will discuss the emergence of biodiversity genomics and its broad
application in agricultural biomonitoring, as well as specific applications
aimed to detect the adulteration and mislabeling of food ingredients and
natural health products.

October 4, 2017 - Communicating Science

Josh Schimel profile picture

Joshua Schimel, Ph.D.
Professor, Environmental Studies Program &
Department Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
University of California Santa Barbara

Title: Communicating Science

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Why is it that in the media, scientists are always either “Big Bang Theory” nerds or "Bwah, ha, ha-ing” Mad? People think that scientists are “experts" with tons of trivia packed in our heads, and science classes reinforce that—they are about packing in material. Yes, knowledge is a product of science, but I often describe it as a “waste product,” because once I’ve done the experiments and written the paper, I’m done with it and on to the next question. Science isn’t about knowledge—it’s about ignorance! Science is a creative processed driven by curiosity about the natural world. It's fun. So why do people get it (and us) so wrong? Is it because we all hated English classes in high school and disparaged the lessons about story and language that our teachers were trying to teach us? Too many scientists feel that communicating science is about “presenting our work” and letting the facts speak for themselves. But facts don’t speak for themselves—we have to it for them. Communicating science is telling stories about nature. How does nature work? Why does it work that way? What does it mean for us? When scientists embrace communication strategies, we both communicate better, and do better science.  

April 1, 2017- What Proteins Can Tell Us About Climate Change

Lars Tomanek

Lars Tomanek, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Director
Environmental Proteomics Laboratory, 
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Title: What proteins can tell us about climate change

Chapman University
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Proteins play an important role in an organism’s response to environmental change and shifts in their abundances can tell us a lot about the underlying cellular processes involved in the determining the tolerance to a stressor. Marine organisms experience several environmental stressors, such as temperature, hypoxia, changes in salinity and pH, simultaneously. Using mussels and crabs to study the cellular stress response, we discovered the ubiquitous importance of oxidative stress and several biochemical pathways to reduce the production of reactive oxygen species as a common response to all stressors, but also identified cellular processes, such as those involving ion regulation, as being specific to a single stressor, such as pH stress. Comparisons between species with different stress tolerances provide insights into the possible “winners” and “losers” of climate change.

March 1, 2017 - Regulation and Function of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: The Role of Exercise


Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
Investigator at Neuroplasticity and Behavior Unit
Laboratory of Neuroscience's
National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Title: Regulation and Function of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: The Role of Exercise

Chapman University, Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall 404
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Most neurons in the adult central nervous system are terminally differentiated and cannot be replaced when they die. However, research over the past two decades has shown that small populations of new neurons are generated in the mature olfactory bulb and the hippocampus. In the adult hippocampus, newly born neurons originate from putative stem cells that exist in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. 

The production, survival and functional integration of newborn hippocampal cells can be upregulated by voluntary exercise in a running wheel in rodents. Enhanced adult hippocampal neurogenesis is correlated with increased synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus, improved spatial navigation and pattern separation in rodents, indicating that adult-born hippocampal cells play a role in cognition (Voss et al., 2013). 
These newly born neurons are an integral part of local intra-hippocampal circuits as well as more distal (sub)cortical networks. A recent focus of our research is to understand the functional contribution of the different structures that provide direct input to new neurons in the adult brain during their development, as well as the reorganization of new neuron networks by exercise (Vivar et al., 2016). 
Another important aspect of our research is to investigate the triggers of exercise induced changes in the brain. For these studies, we are researching the muscle-brain axis. Interestingly, compounds that activate energy metabolism pathways in muscle with AMP-kinase agonist AICAR (Narkar et al., 2008) can also benefit adult neurogenesis and memory function (Kobilo et al., 2011). 
Based on these concepts and findings we set out to identify factors that may be released into circulation from muscle (myokines) that influence brain function. Using proteomic analysis, we found elevated levels of Cathepsin B (CTSB) in conditioned medium derived from skeletal muscle cell cultures treated with AICAR. In cultured neural progenitor cells CTSB application enhanced expression of neurogenic markers. 
Analysis across species in mice, monkeys and humans showed that CTSB is upregulated in plasma with exercise. In humans, changes in CTSB levels correlated with fitness and hippocampus-dependent memory function (Moon et al., 2016). Ongoing studies pertaining to the peripheral effects of exercise on brain function will also be discussed.

February 13, 2017 - The Eyes Have It: Modeling Cataract Surgical Rates for Developing Countries


Talithia Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College

Title: The Eyes Have It: Modeling Cataract Surgical Rates for Developing Countries
Chapman University, Argyros Forum 209A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in Africa and planning for its treatment is a priority of the World Health Organization. 

The cataract surgical rate (CSR), the number of operations done per million population, is a convenient indicator for planning and monitoring. However, estimating what the CSR needs to be to eliminate blindness requires one to take into account a number of factors and assumptions. 

The recently developed Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey uses a population-proportional-to-size sampling technique to select a representative group of people over 50 years old to receive a standard eye exam. We use current data from RAAB surveys in Africa to model the epidemiology of cataract and to estimate cataract incidence at different age levels. 

In this talk, Dr. Williams describes her method of estimating incidence from prevalence and how this information can be used to help set target CSRs for various geographical locations in Africa, taking into account important differences among populations.

November 16, 2016 - Pushing Sustainability Forward: Business Collaborations and the State of the Art

Michael S. Brown, PhD, Principal at Brown and Wilmanns Environmental, LLC

- and-

Jeff Wilson, Director of Business Value Strategy & Development at Textile Exchange

Title: Pushing Sustainability Forward:  Business Collaborations and the State of the Art

Chapman University, Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall 404
Noon to 1 p.m.

Dr. Michael S. Brown has worked in sustainability and environmental management for over 30 years leading efforts to establish cutting-edge programs and practices in industry and government. Clients in his consulting practice have included firms in apparel and footwear, personal care products, household products, and specialty chemical products along with public sector and nonprofit organizations.

Previously, he established and led Patagonia’s internal environmental sustainability program and developed innovative nonregulatory governmental programs that provided technical assistance on pollution prevention for large and small businesses.
Mike received his M.R.P. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of City and Regional Planning, specializing in environmental health policy, at Cornell University.

He has written and spoken extensively on state-of-the-art sustainability practices and is co-author of the book, Workers at Risk and numerous journal articles. Dr. Brown serves as an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Jeff Wilson is the Director of Business Value Strategy & Development, responsible for ensuring meaningful business value is delivered to membership and their respective industry sectors. His role includes strategy development and implementation, membership value development and delivery, Supply Network platform development, the Learning Center, industry collaboration, and operations.

Jeff’s career has been in sales and marketing and general business management in the for-profit sector with numerous market leading companies including Delta Air Lines and Quiksilver/Roxy/DC Shoes. Jeff led the establishment of the global sustainability organization at Quiksilver and has been an active participant in industry collaboration with the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cradle to Cradle, and the Organic Fiber Council.

Jeff has a Master’s in Business Administration in Marketing and Strategic Planning from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara.

October 12, 2016 - Looking inside quantum wave function collapse: what measurement can tell us about the arrow of time.


Kater Murch
Washington University, St. Louis

Title: Looking inside quantum wave function collapse: what measurement can tell us about the arrow of time.

Chapman University, Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall 404
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: This talk will describe recent experiments that reconcile the closed evolution of isolated quantum particles with the process of measurement, which reveal how quantum particles evolve from superpositions of states to definite states under measurement.
These experiments harness state of the art techniques to fabricate quantum circuits from superconducting metals and then to measure the quantum states of these circuits with extraordinary precision. By initializing the circuit in a superposition of two different energy states and then subsequently using weak measurements to slowly accumulate information about the state of the circuit, we are able to observe quantum trajectories of the state that continuously connect the initial superposition state to the final definite outcome.
These trajectories give us new ways to examine fundamental questions such the arrow of time and the origins of thermodynamics, as well as shed new light on everyday processes such as how lightbulbs emit light.

According to quantum mechanics, particles do not have definite properties such as position and momentum, but are instead described by a complex valued wavefunction. The wave nature of quantum particles means that these particles can exist in superpositions of seemingly disparate states, for example a quantum particle could be in two places at once, or heading in two different directions, or occupy a superposition of two different energy levels.
The evolution of this wavefunction obeys the Schrödinger equation which was formulated in 1925. Since it’s formulation, the Schrödinger equation has been applied to understand the properties of atoms and molecules and the basis for chemistry and materials. Yet, the Schrödinger equation only applies to isolated quantum systems.
If one is to measure the properties of a quantum particle with suitable precision, a definite answer may result even if the particle is in a superposition of states. Thus the act of measurement collapses the wavefunction from an initial superposition to a definite state. This collapse process cannot be described by the Schrödinger equation and reconciling the evolution of measured, “open” quantum systems with the theory has been a topic of intense debate and research since the origins of quantum theory.

September 19, 2016 - Conservation of Sharks: Humans beware of sharks? ...no sharks beware of humans!

Klimley A. Peter Klimley, Ph.D.
Director, Biotelemetry Laboratory
Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology

Title: Conservation of Sharks: Humans beware of sharks? ...no sharks beware of humans!
Chapman University, Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall 404
Noon to 1 p.m.

Synopsis: Dr. A. Peter Klimley has studied sharks for over four decades, topics ranging from the complex social habits and keen navigational abilities of hammerhead sharks to the feeding tactics and communication behavior of white sharks.  

Much of his recent focus has been on delineating the migratory pathways of sharks in order to help in specifying the extent of the boundaries of marine reserves at the Revilligigedos Islands off Mexico, Malpelo Island off Colombia, Cocos Island off Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands off of Ecuador.

He has appeared in close to three dozen film documentaries about the biology of sharks, and he is featured as "Dr. Hammerhead" on the Nova website. He has striven throughout his career to make the public aware of the fascinating behavior of this group of animals, and has been a strong advocate of shark ecotourism, which has become immensely popular recently among SCUBA divers.  He has to the contrary downplayed the risk of shark attack, explaining that it occurs less frequently than being struck by lightening. 

April 18, 2016 - Climate, Air Pollution, and Food Security

headshot of Jennifer A. Burney, Ph.D.

Jennifer A. Burney, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Global Policy and Strategy at University of California, San Diego

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Climate, Air Pollution, and Food Security

Synopsis: Climate change and hunger are two of the biggest challenges of our time, and they are deeply interwoven. Food production and consumption are major contributors to climate change and yet still hundreds of millions do not have enough to eat on a daily basis; the changing climate is in turn making it even more difficult to produce enough food. This talk will focus on what we know about the relationships between climate and food security, and in particular the role that air pollutants play in this relationship.

March 30, 2016 - Paths, Constructs, and Validity: Solving Problems and Answering Questions with Structural Equation and Mixed-Model Methods

Picture of William D. Marelich, Ph.D.

William D. Marelich, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology
California State University, Fullerton

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Paths, Constructs, and Validity: Solving Problems and Answering Questions with Structural Equation and Mixed-Model Methods

Synopsis: The presentation will address how various research questions can be answered using multivariate analysis techniques, including structural equation modeling and mixed-model methods. Substantive topics are taken from the author's publications inclusive of social-behavioral HIV/AIDS research, health psychology, social psychology and human sexuality. Statistical applications presented will include structural equation modeling, factor and second-order factor analysis, MTMM, growth curve and other mixed-modeling approaches for longitudinal designs. Comparisons will be offered underscoring the limitations of basic statistical methods when data are complex, including the control and use of measurement error and specific variance.

March 16, 2016 - Antibiotics in Food - Efforts from an FDA lab, the Pacific Regional Laboratory - Southwest (PRLSW)

Picture of Jacqueline Sram, Ph.D.

Jacqueline Sram, Ph.D.
Commander, US Public Health Service
Chemistry Branch Director, FDA/Pacific Regional Laboratory-Southwest

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Antibiotics in Food - Efforts from an FDA lab, the Pacific Regional Laboratory - Southwest (PRLSW)

Synopsis: As the concern from antibiotic resistance increase the spot light has brightened on the Federal Government's efforts in addressing this issue. While the Federal Government and various Departments and Agencies have been addressing this issue for years and decades, these efforts are not always known to the public. This presentation will describe the current efforts of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Pacific Regional Laboratory-Southwest (PRLSW) on addressing the presence of antibiotics and veterinary drug residues in animal foods.

February 24, 2016 - Towards an Artificial Platelet

Headshot of L. Andrew Lyon, Ph.D.

L. Andrew Lyon, Ph.D.
Dean, Schmid College of Science and Technology
Professor of Chemistry
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Towards an Artificial Platelet

Synopsis: This talk will discuss the interdisciplinary challenges associated with the development of an artificial platelet.  By bringing together researchers from soft matter physics, biology, chemistry, materials science, bioengineering, hematology, and cardiology, functional materials have been developed that augment normal clotting and in some initial studies, have been shown to resurrect clotting in patient blood with defective clotting mechanisms. An outlook on the future of these materials will also be presented.

November 4, 2015 - Real-time Isothermal Detection of Shiga-toxin Producing E. coli Using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification

headshot of Shelton E. Murinda, Ph.D.

Shelton E. Murinda, PhD
Professor – Animal & Veterinary Sciences/Food Safety
Director – Center for Antimicrobial Research & Food Safety
Campus Coordinator – Agricultural Research Institute (ARI)
Animal & Veterinary Sciences Department of California State Polytechnic University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Real-time Isothermal Detection of Shiga-toxin Producing E. coli Using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification.

Synopsis: Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) are a major family of foodborne pathogens of immense public health and economic importance worldwide. The primary goal of our study was to assess potential application of RPA in detection of STEC. We designed sets of compatible DNA primers and fluorescent probes that were evaluated for ability to detect STEC. The assay we developed is capable of detecting STEC in real-time, with high sensitivity and specificity, and at a  low detection limit. Our current goal is to refine the test for use at the point-of-care, e.g., on the farm targeting produce or cow side on the dairy farm.

October 21, 2015 - Interlinking Microgel Particles: From Nanostructured Colloidal Gels to Colloidosomes

headshot of Brian R. Saunders, Ph.D.

Brian R. Saunders, Ph.D.
School of Materials, University of Manchester

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Lyon Conference Center 209A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Interlinking Microgel Particles: From Nanostructured Colloidal Gels to Colloidosomes

ABSTRACT: Doubly crosslinked microgels (DX MGs) are hydrogels composed of swollen polymer colloid particles which have intra- and inter-particle crosslinking1. These new hydrogels are constructed using free-radical coupling of vinyl functionalised pH-responsive microgel (MG) particles. Because DX MGs are constructed from pre-formed colloidal gel particles they offer unique potential for biomaterial use because very little chemistry is required in vivo. Furthermore, DX MGs enable construction of hydrogels with morphologies that are controllable at the scale of the MG particles, i.e., 100 - 300 nm. Recently, it has been shown that DX MGs have potential to restore the mechanical properties of degenerated intervertebral discs2. In this seminar recent work from Manchester involving DX MGs will be presented. It will be shown that the mechanical properties of DX MG gels can be finely tuned and dramatically altered using Click chemistry3 or inclusion of Graphene Oxide (GO)4. Because of their tunable modulus values with strong dependence on GO concentration, the injectable DX MG-GO composite gels show promise as an injectable technology for repair of load bearing soft tissue. The discussion will also include the use of MG-stabilised emulsions to construct DX MG colloidosomes. The DX MG colloidosomes swelled strongly when the pH was increased and have potential application for triggered release.

September 16, 2015 - Machine Learning and Assistive Technologies for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Headshot of Erik Linstead

Erik  Linstead, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Software Engineering
Director of Computer Science Undergraduate Programs

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Lyon Conference Center 209A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Machine Learning and Assistive Technologies for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Synopsis: In recent years advancements in machine learning and mobile computing have fueled the excitement surrounding the "big data" movement. At the same time, the CDC has raised its estimates of the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from 1 in 150 children in the U.S. to 1 in 68. Yet, despite the concurrency of these phenomena, the application of data mining and ubiquitous computing methods to the ASD domain remains limited. In this talk we discuss current projects in Chapman's Machine Learning and Assistive Technology (MLAT) Lab, which aim to change the way technology is used to collect, model, and disseminate data in support of ASD screening, management, and treatment.

April 15, 2015 - Botulinum Neurotoxin: From Food Poison to Medicinal Therapeutic and Beyond

Headshot of Ron Broide, Ph.D.

Ron Broide, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist at Allergan, Inc.

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Botulinum Neurotoxin: From Food Poison to Medicinal Therapeutic and Beyond

Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are some of the most potent proteins known to man and at high doses, can cause symptoms of botulism. However, BoNTs have also proven to be valuable research tools and have been utilized for nearly 30 years to treat a growing number of medicinal indications, most recently, chronic migraine and overactive bladder. In addition, BoNT serotype-A (BoNT/A) is widely used for cosmetic purposes.

This presentation will explore the history of BoNT/A, it’s growing use for both aesthetic and therapeutic applications, the proposed mechanism of action, potential concerns and future prospects.”

March 18, 2015 - Earth in Context: Why Should We Learn Earth Science?

Picture of Anne Egger, Ph.D.

Anne Egger, Ph.D.
EarthScope Speaker
Assistant Professor at Central Washington University
Geological Sciences and Science Education

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Earth in Context: Why Should We Learn Earth Science?

Our global society faces a number of challenges including adapting to climate change, assuring the availability of freshwater, and managing our energy resources wisely, all of which require a robust understanding of the intersection between Earth science and society. Developing a workforce that is adept at working with the uncertainties and scales of time and space that are inherent to the study of the Earth is critical to addressing these socioscientific issues. 

This talk will address the need for Earth literacy, how the NSF-funded InTeGrate project is working to develop Earth literacy among all undergraduates, and the role of EarthScope and other freely available data resources in developing students’ abilities to address interdisciplinary problems and improve their geoscientific thinking skills in order to be prepared to tackle these grand challenges.

February 25, 2015 - Observing El Niño/La Niña: Past, Present, and Future

David Halpern, Ph.D.

David Halpern, Ph.D.
NASA/California Institute of Technology
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Observing El Niño/La Niña: Past, Present, and Future 

For centuries, the El Niño observing network was confined to the coastal region off Chile, Peru and Ecuador. A half century ago, when the theoretical foundation for the El Niño radically changed, the geographical domain for observing El Niño expanded to include the entire equatorial Pacific.

Observing El Niño requires knowledge of the mean and La Niña conditions, creating technical and resource challenges for data acquisition relevant for the multi-month El Niño phenomenon occurring at multi-year intervals in an ocean rich with large amplitude sub-monthly variability. The El Niño ocean environment represents a severe challenge to sustain in-situ surface wind and near-surface current measurements. Ocean modeling and satellite technology enabled new observing opportunities to improve understanding of the El Niño.

Sustaining an improved El Niño observing network with appropriate infusion of new scientific ideas and innovative technology for worldwide societal benefit requires the dedication of new explorers.

February 11, 2015 - Understanding Nipah Virus: The Deadliest Virus You’ve Never Heard Of

Zeynep Akyol Ataman, Ph.D.

Zeynep Akyol Ataman, Ph.D.
Adjunct faculty at Schmid College of Science and Technology
Biological Sciences

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Understanding Nipah Virus: The Deadliest Virus You’ve Never Heard Of

While Ebola has been the poster child for deadly viruses it is not alone in this category. There are other emerging zoonic viruses that can cause human mortality rates of up to 70% and the Nipah Virus (NIV) is one them. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) classify NiV as a Category C priority pathogen due to its potential as an agent of bioterrorism. The natural reservoir host of the NiV is the fruit bats of the genus Pteropus. It is believed that the massive deforestation practices in Southeast Asia force these bats to live closer to human habitats spreading the virus to domestic animal and human populations.

This talk will focus on the structural studies that are being done using Electron Microscopy to understand how NiV works. Enveloped viruses like NiV bud from the cellular membrane with attachment (G) and fusion (F) glycoproteins. NiV-G goes through a conformational change upon receptor binding which in turn triggers NiV-F to bring the viral and cellular membranes together. It is important to study membrane proteins in the context of an actual lipid bilayer because protein insertion into the membrane is a requisite for their biochemical and structural integrity. The studies described in this talk will help shed light on attachment and fusion of one of the deadliest viruses you have never heard of.

December 3, 2014- Dust Shatters Like Glass: Clues to the Climate Impact of Dust Storms

Jasper Kok, Ph.D.

Jasper Kok, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department
University of California, Los Angeles

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Dust Shatters Like Glass: Clues to the Climate Impact of Dust Storms

Climate change is one of the main long-term threats to worldwide security and prosperity. Accurate projections of future climate changes are therefore critical to help societies effectively mitigate and adapt to these changes. But an important factor limiting the accuracy of climate change projections is the uncertain effect of particulate matter on climate. After reviewing the basic science behind climate change, this talk will discuss how the emission of particles in dust storms, which constitutes one of the main sources of particulate matter, is similar to the shattering of glass. I will then use this insight to quantify the impact of dust storms on climate.

October 13, 2014- Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Resource Management Using Geospatial Technologies

Mahesh Rao, Ph.D.

Mahesh Rao, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Forestry and Wildland Resources
Humboldt State University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Resource Management Using Geospatial Technologies

Food, fiber, energy, clean water, air,biodiversity are some of the ecosystem services that benefit people at local, regional,and global scales. The past few decades has seen a disruption of the balance in the ecosystem due to various factors including increased population pressures, GHG emissions, and related climate change. For example, in its third year now, California's drought condition has seriously impacted not just the agricultural sector, but also the natural resources sector including forestry, wildlife, and fisheries. There is a critical need to apply innovative approaches that not only help us understand the problem but also help prioritize efficient and effective management practices.

October 1, 2014- Curcumin in Human Life: Social, Cultural and Medicinal Aspects

Headshot of Ramendra K. Singh, Ph.D.

Ramendra K. Singh, Ph.D.
Fulbright Fellow, School of Pharmacy
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Curcumin in Human Life: Social, Cultural and Medicinal Aspects

Studies have revealed that curcumin has very low bioavailability due to its poor absorption and rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall. Curcumin is highly hydrophobic and cannot be administered systemically. On intravenous administration, it disappears rapidly from the blood and quickly appears as metabolites in the bile.

The present talk focuses on development of bioconjugates of curcumin, which can enhance its bioavailability, ensure its slow release and maintain thereby a reasonable level of curcumin inside the cells and reduce its metabolic degradation. These bioconjugates have biodegradable ester linkages. The biocompatible molecules used for preparing curcumin conjugates were amino acids, fatty acids and folic acid, which enhanced its lipophilicity. The curcumin bioconjugates showed much better antibacterial activity against several Gram +ve and Gram -ve bacteria and appreciable activity against Vesicular stomatitis virus, Feline corona virus and Feline herpes virus, however, no anti-HIV activity was observed. The conjugates exhibited significant anticancer properties in the case of cervical cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus.

September 25, 2014- Modeling Cancer-Immune System Dynamics

Lisette de Pillis, Ph.D. Lisette de Pillis, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Mathematics
Norman F. Sprague Jr. Professor of Life Sciences
Professor of Mathematics

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Modeling Cancer-Immune System Dynamics

Dr. de Pillis will present a variety of mathematical models of tumor-immune interactions that have resulted from interdisciplinary collaborations with practicing oncologists and experimentalists. She will also discuss certain approaches to modeling cancer growth and immune system interactions, and treatment approaches that harness the power of the immune system to slow and sometimes stop cancer progression.

May 7, 2014 - Using Analogs of the Natural Product Curcumin to Combat Prostate Cancer Cells

Marco Bisoffi, Ph.D. Marco Bisoffi, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Using Analogs of the Natural Product Curcumin to Combat Prostate Cancer Cells


Prostate cancer cells rely on several molecular pathways for their growth and survival. These pathways have been identified as points of “oncogenic addiction.” One such pathway is androgen signaling through the androgen receptor triggered by testosterone. Inhibition of this pathway has been shown to efficiently inhibit prostate cancer cell growth. This presentation will explore the possibility of using analogs of the natural product curcumin (from turmeric) to inhibit androgen signaling and prostate cancer. The potential for the (pre)clinical development of novel curcuminoid compounds will be discussed.

April 9, 2014 - The Heart’s Content: Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Health

Julia Boehm, Ph.D. Julie Boehm, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: The Heart’s Content: Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Health


Associations between psychological health and physical health have long been recognized. However, most research to date has investigated the association between poor psychological functioning (e.g., depression, anxiety, and hostility) and physical health. Increasing research suggests that positive psychological well-being (e.g., optimism, purpose in life, and happiness) may also be related to health independently of the effects of psychological ill-being. This talk reviews the evidence linking positive psychological well-being with cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death worldwide. The behavioral and biological pathways underlying the association between positive psychological well-being and cardiovascular disease are also explored. If positive psychological well-being can be established as an antecedent of cardiovascular disease, as well as an antecedent of underlying behavioral and biological processes, then it may provide a novel approach to fostering health promotion.

Mar. 19, 2014 - Metabolites, Germs and People: Human-associated Microbial Communities in Health and Disease

Katrine Whiteson, Ph.D. Katrine Whiteson, Ph.D
Adjunct Assistant Research Professor
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Metabolites, Germs and People: Human-associated Microbial Communities in Health and Disease


I am interested in understanding how individual and persistent human-associated microbial and viral communities affect health. Infection with a bacterial pathogen, vaccination, immune development and even taking a Tylenol does not occur in a vacuum. Dynamic microbial and viral communities constantly inhabit our bodies, encoding the majority of the unique genes that alter these processes. I use metagenomics, metabolomics, microbiology and ecological statistics to answer questions about how microbes and viruses affect human health. The hypothesis underlying my work is that human-associated microbial communities are powerful indicators of health and disease. I will introduce recent discoveries about human-associated microbial communities enabled by access to high-throughput sequencing in the last 5-10 years, and present three research projects examining the composition and activity of microbial communities using metagenomic sequence data from 1) healthy humans, 2) malnourished children who develop a devastating facial gangrene with no clear infectious cause, and 3) Cystic Fibrosis patients. More information can be found here: http://www.whiteson.org/katrine.

Watch a presentation by Dr. Whiteson »

Mar. 5, 2014 - Imaging the Molecular Dynamics of Focal Adhesion Proteins in Live Cells

Michelle Digman, Ph.D. Michelle Digman, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California Irvine

Chapman University, Argyros Forum 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Imaging the Molecular Dynamics of Focal Adhesion Proteins in Live Cells


Molecular interactions and mobility can be studied in live cells as well as the map the interactions of key focal adhesion proteins in real time and space. Confocal microscopy can be used to map these interactions in living biological systems. We have developed a tool used based on the fluorescence correlation spectroscopy method to measure protein diffusion, kinetics and quantitatively calculate concentrations. To gain information in space and time at broader scale with fast temporal resolution, raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) is the best method for this type of analysis. RICS significantly enhances the capability to measure many points while obtaining information at a larger scale. Binding rates at fix positions such as protein scaffolds can be accurately calculated as well as binding interactions with other partners can be implemented with dual color labeling. In this lecture we will discuss the principle of the RICS method, mathematical framework and applications. In addition we will demonstrate how data acquired from RICS can be used to calculate molecular brightness to determine protein aggregation sizes. The Number and Brightness (N&B) method uses a simple mathematical calculation based on variance of intensity from the fluctuating species to calculate the brightness (B) and the ratio of the total intensity to brightness to determine the number of molecules (N). The advantage of RICS is that it can be performed on most commercial microscopes available in research core facilities or individual labs. Overall the RICS and N&B methods are powerful tools in determining molecular dynamics in live cellular systems and can easily be implemented in any microscopy setup.

Watch a presentation by Dr. Digman »

Feb. 12, 2014 - Developing a Universal Enrichment Broth for Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens

Kirsten Hirneisen, Ph.D. Kirsten Hirneisen, Ph.D.
Commissioner's Fellow
US Food and Drug Administration

William Lyons Conference Center, Arygros Forum 209A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Developing a Universal Enrichment Broth for Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens

Foodborne bacterial pathogens have been the cause of high profile outbreaks in the last several years that have resulted in serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. For successful prevention of foodborne pathogens, rapid and reliable detection methods need to be developed for testing of foods. Depending on the food matrix and target pathogen, different pre-enrichment broths are used when following the FDA’s Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) directions for sample preparation prior to conventional culturing for the detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens. In addition to the preparation of multiple pre-enrichment broths being labor intensive, time consuming and costly, the use for multiple enrichment broths is a major roadblock when trying to develop methods designed for multi-target pathogen detection such as multiplex qPCR. This presentation will focus on efforts to develop a universal enrichment broth to ultimately allow for multi-target pathogen detection in food matrices.

Dec. 4, 2013 - Microbial Diversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Global Change

Jennifer Martiny, Ph.D. Jennifer Martiny, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Irvine

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Microbial diversity, ecosystem functioning, and global change

Microorganisms drive many processes in ecosystems on which humans depend. Recent research demonstrates that the variety of microbes affect the rate of processes such as decomposition and CO2 flux to the atmosphere as well as how an ecosystem responds to environmental change. I will discuss the challenges of incorporating microbes into predictions of ecosystem functioning in the face of expected global changes.

Nov. 13, 2013 - Controls of Greenhouse Gas Production

Cassandra Medvedeff, Ph.D. Cassandra Medvedeff, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Chapman University

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119B
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title: Controls of Greenhouse Gas Production: Studies from the Florida Everglades to Minnesota Peatlands


Wetlands are key ecosystems which regulate the global carbon cycle through both storing and emitting large quantities of carbon.  These ecosystems are the largest natural source of the greenhouse gas methane; however production of this gas varies considerably among wetland types.  Thus, understanding controls of methane production in wetland ecosystems is crucial.  This presentation will focus on different regulators of CH4 production in subtropical and boreal wetlands in the context of global climate change scenarios.

Oct. 16, 2013 - Voting in Agreeable Societies

Francis Edward Su, Ph.D.
Francis Edward Su, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics
Harvey Mudd College

Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

When does a majority exist? How does the geometry of the political spectrum influence the outcome? What does mathematics have to say about how people behave? When mathematical objects have a social interpretation, the associated results have social applications.  We will show how math can be used to model people's preferences and classical results about convex sets can be used in the analysis of voting in "agreeable" societies.  This talk also features research with undergraduates.

Sept. 11, 2013 - The Stress Process Among Foreign-born Latino Groups

Dr. Georgiana Bostean
Georgiana Bostean, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Chapman University

Argyros Forum Student Ballroom, AF 119A
Noon to 1 p.m.

Title:  The Stress Process Among Foreign-born Latino Groups: Examining the Roles of Migration-related Stress, Family Conflict, and Family Cohesion in Psychological Distress


Latino immigrants may face unique stressors, such as family conflict and other migration-related stress, which have deleterious mental health consequences. Strong family cohesion among Latinos may buffer the negative effects of such stressors. This study draws on the stress process model to examine the roles of migration-related stress (e.g., felt guilty for leaving family in country of origin; find it hard interacting with others because of difficulties with the English language) and family conflict in psychological distress, and whether family cohesion mediates or moderates the association between psychological distress and migration-related stress. We examine foreign-born Latinos from the National Latino and Asian American Survey (n=1,532), computing zero-truncated Poisson regressions from which we calculate predicted levels of psychological distress. Results show that, while migration stress is independently associated with higher distress, there is an interaction with family cohesion such that increased migration stress is associated with higher distress only among those with high family cohesion. Moreover, those with the highest family conflict have much higher distress levels than those with the lowest conflict (approximately 20 versus 11, respectively). Findings speak to the harmful mental health effects of migration-related stress and family conflict, and the role of family relationships in buffering foreign-born Latinos’ mental health outcomes. These results may inform interventions aimed at improving mental health among foreign-born Latinos.

April 17, 2013 - Effects of Climate Change on Food Safety

Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D. 

Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Microbial Food Ecology
Chapman University

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m.

This talk will provide an overview of the potential effects of climate change and variability on food safety and foodborne illness.  Numerous environmental factors, including temperature, acidity, oxygen availability, and rainfall can impact the transport, growth, and persistence of pathogenic microorganisms in foods.  The direct impacts of climate change and variability on the levels of pathogens in our foods will be discussed, as well as specific examples of outbreaks and foodborne illness linked to climatic factors and extreme weather events.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Rosalee Hellberg is an Assistant Professor in the Food Science Program at Chapman University.  Prior to Chapman University, Dr. Hellberg completed a fellowship program at the U.S. FDA, where she contributed to the development of rapid, DNA-based test methods for organisms such as norovirus, Salmonella, and Listeria.  Dr. Hellberg completed an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, studying seafood safety and fish species misbranding.  She has published 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and given 25 professional presentations.

March 19, 2013 - Body Image and Body Type Preferences Across Cultures, Age Groups and Sexual Orientations

David Frederick, Ph.D 

David Frederick, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Health Psychology
Chapman University

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m.

People who are dissatisfied with their bodies report disturbances to their psychological well-being and experience negative health outcomes. Frederick’s work examines the epidemiology of body image and the factors that predict increased dissatisfaction in the United States and across cultures. This talk will highlight a recent controversy that erupted in the Public Health field regarding the link between obesity and health and examines how this controversy impacted body image, weight control intentions, and support for weight-related public policies among members of the lay public. 

About the Speaker:
Dr. David Frederick is an Assistant Professor of Psychology.  He began teaching at Chapman in 2012.  Growing up in rural upstate New York, he became fascinated with animal behavior, and his original dream was to chase monkeys around Africa as a primatologist.  This spurred him to study how social and biological factors interact to shape the bodies, brains, and preferences of human and nonhuman animals.  He enjoys teaching Research Methods, where students are taught how to use experimental and correlational research designs to understand studies on current issues such as debates over affirmative action and the causes of the wage gap between men and women, to how we can accurately measure people’s emotions.  He also enjoys teaching Human Sexuality, where students learn how hormones, evolved biological systems, and social constructions can explain cross-cultural differences in sexuality, people’s mating preferences, factors shaping sexual orientation, and how doctors respond to intersex babies.

Feb. 27, 2013 - Recreational Water Quality Monitoring in Orange County: What's New in Water Testing

Richard Alexander 

Richard Alexander, MS MPH
Laboratory Director at the Orange County PH Laboratory in Santa Ana and Newport Beach
Consultant for the CDC and WHO

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m. 

About the Speaker:
Richard Alexander has been working with EPA, SCCWRP and the CDC through their Emerging Infectious Diseases fellowship program to improve testing for contamination of recreational waters including determination of source (human versus environmental) as well as improving the turnaround time for results using molecular methods.

Feb. 13, 2013 - Protection of Food and Water Supplies from Pathogen Contamination

Abasiofiok Mark Ibekwe 

Abasiofiok Mark Ibekwe, Ph.D.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Microbiologist
U.S. Salinity Lab

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m. 

Manure-contaminated soil and water resources have frequently been associated with water-borne and food-borne disease outbreaks. The talk will discuss factors influencing surface water and food contamination in the Santa Ana River (SAR) watershed, which contain a large number of concentrated animal operations (CAFOs). CAFO wastewater is reported to influence the quality of the SAR, which empties into the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach. Runoff and irrigation water that contained pathogens will also contaminate soils and fresh produce.  The contamination of fresh produce by pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 is a serious food-safety concern that is currently being worked on.

Nov. 20, 2012 - New Findings Related to Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation Interactions

Armin Sorooshian 

Armin Sorooshian
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
The University of Arizona

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m. 

Atmospheric aerosol particles range in size from a few nanometers up to several micrometers in diameter and can be composed of tens of thousands of species. Although they are so small, they have very important effects. For example, they directly interact with solar radiation and act as cloud condensation nuclei, which are the seeds of clouds. Consequently, particles influence the earth’s radiation balance, atmospheric visibility, the hydrologic cycle, and the biogeochemical cycling and transport of nutrients and contaminants. Particles also negatively impact public health and welfare. This talk will report on recent measurements focused on aerosol-water interactions in both maritime and continental atmospheres, with a focus on how aerosol perturbations modify cloud properties and precipitation generation. Results will be presented from surface, aircraft, and satellite remote sensing studies.

About the Speaker:
Armin is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Arizona with a joint appointment in Atmospheric Sciences. His research focuses on the effect of aerosol particles on environmental and climate change, public health, and the hydrologic cycle. He uses a suite of synergistic methods for his research, including laboratory experiments, ground and airborne field measurements, modeling, and remote sensing observations. He has been involved with seven major aircraft field campaigns, including most recent the 2012 Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Experiment with the NASA DC8. Armin has a BS in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from the University of Arizona and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Sept. 26, 2012 - From Crisis to Sustainability: The Challenge of the 21st Century

Richard Matthew Richard A. Matthew
Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs
Schools of Social Ecology and Social Science
University of California, Irvine

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m.

Throughout the world communities are experiencing the twin pressures of institutional failure and environmental stress. Many trends suggest that these interactive pressures will intensify in the years ahead, resulting in public health setbacks, population displacement and violence on unprecedented scales. Informed by many years of fieldwork in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, this talk reviews the forces contributing to crisis and looks at the prospects for transformation towards more sustainable—economically robust, fair and ecologically sound-practices.

About the Speaker:
Richard A. Matthew (BA McGill; PhD Princeton) is a Professor in the Schools of Social Ecology and Social Science at the University of California at Irvine, and founding Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (www.cusa.uci.edu). He is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva; a Senior Fellow at the Munk School for International Affairs at the University of Toronto; a senior member of the UN Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding; and a member of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. He has carried out fieldwork in conflict zones throughout South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, and has consulted widely with government agencies and the private sector. He has served on several UN missions, including two that he led to Sierra Leone, and he was the lead author of the UN technical report, Sierra Leone: Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Assessment. He has over 140 publications.

Aug. 29, 2012 - Birth and Death of Oceanic Crust: Ocean Spreading Centers and Subduction Zones

Prof. Satish Singh

Satish C. Singh
Professor, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France
University of Cambridge, England

Argyros Forum 119A, Student Union
12 - 1 p.m. 

Over 70% of the Earth’s crust is created in the middle of oceans along %7e55000 km of volcanic chains, called mid-ocean ridges or ocean spreading centers, the birth place of oceanic crust. At ocean spreading centers the plate separates causing the mantle to move upwards, reducing the pressure and causing the melting of the mantle. Since the melt is lighter than the surrounding mantle material, it moves upwards towards the surface of the Earth. Part of the melt is erupted on the seafloor as lava, which cools very rapidly forming a cap of solid extrusive layer. As there is a significant amount of water present at mid-ocean ridges, the water circulates deep in the crust. Therefore, a significant amount of melt stays in the middle of the crust and erupts along thin dikes. Below the dikes, the melt could reside for a long period, forming a steady state melt lens, called axial melt lens or axial magma chamber. The magma cools and crystallises in this melt lens, forming the lower crust. The water can circulate down to the melt lens, brings rich minerals, and forms black smokers on the seafloor. The water rich in minerals and the heat (up to 350° C) provide food for many deep-sea habitat (such as shrimps, clams etc.) and millions of other form of lives. It has been suggested that the life on earth started at ocean spreading centers around these smokers.

As plate moves away from the spreading centers, it cools and forms a thick lithosphere. This cold oceanic lithosphere subducts (or disappears) beneath the continents enveloping it by 60 000 km long up to 11 km deep trench system. As the oceanic plate subducts, it get locked for a long time (10-1000 years) by the overriding plate, producing large earthquakes. These Earthquakes initiate at 20-30 km depth but arrive on the seafloor uplifting the 4-5 km water column producing devastating tsunamis. 

The birth of the oceanic crust at ocean spreading center provides lives whereas during its destruction at the subduction zone, it takes lives, and cycle of the creation and destruction continues for millions of years. 

About the Speaker:
Professor Satish Singh completed his MS from Banaras Hindu University and Ph.D. from University of Toronto, Canada. After spending two years at the Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), he joined University of Cambridge in 1990, where he led the development of a strong theoretical seismology and marine seismology groups. He moved to IPGP in 1999, while keeping his position in Cambridge, and led the creation of new Marine Geosciences Department that he directed until 2008. He has published over 120 papers including 10 in Nature and Science. He has supervised over 50 Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers. He was elected AGU Fellow in 2010 and was awarded the Grand Prix by the French Academy of Sciences in 2011. Recently, he was awarded the Chair of Excellence by the French National Research Agency.

July 13, 2012 - Lonesome George is gone, but remarkable tortoise conservation things are happening in the Galapagos!

Fred Caporaso, Ph.D.

Fred Caporaso, Ph.D.
Professor of Food Science

"Lonesome George is gone, but remarkable tortoise conservation things are happening in the Galapagos!"

Beckman Hall 104
7:30 p.m. 

This presentation details the challenging natural history of a number of species of giant tortoise from the Galápagos Islands. From the late 1500s to the 1800s pirates, whalers, sealers and other early visitors removed as many as 200,000 giant tortoises, mainly as a source of fresh meat. The plight and 45+ year recovery effort for the Española, Pinta, Pinzon and Floreana island tortoises will be highlighted.  

The extraordinary conservation program conducted jointly by the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the Galápagos National Park Service (GNPS) to bring these animals back from the brink of extinction will be discussed.  As of 2007, more than 4,700 young tortoises have been returned to the wild in Galápagos, and many of them are now reproducing and increasing their population numbers.

Since 1986, Dr. Caporaso has visited the Galápagos Islands 18 times. He is the professor for a Chapman University course, Darwin and the Galápagos.

May 1, 2012 - The Dick Tracy Watch - Finally a Reality? Trends & Excitement in an Electronic Engineering Career

Farhad Mafie

Farhad Mafie
President & CEO, Savant Company, Inc.

“The Dick Tracy Watch – Finally a Reality? Trends & Excitement in an Electronic Engineering Career"

Argyros Forum 209C
1 - 2 p.m.

Farhad Mafie, President and CEO of Savant Company Inc., has over 20 years of experience in semiconductor and computer businesses and more than 10 years of university-level teaching experience.  A seasoned technical executive with extensive global experience in Semiconductor IC & IP businesses with hands-on experience in sales, marketing and engineering.

Farhad has a track record of success in large and start-up organizations, building and leading strong sales, marketing and engineering teams, and in improving traction and revenue with major international customers. He enjoys developing business plan and go-to-market strategies for innovative and disruptive technologies, deal making, developing strategic alliances and partnerships.

Farhad established Toshiba's on-line Tech-Support System as well as Toshiba's on-line System Solution Selling methodologies for all Toshiba's products in the North American markets. These on-line systems were adopted by Toshiba on a worldwide basis.  He also developed Toshiba's ASSP Business Unit and Technical Sales Engineering Team as two brand new organizations for the company that were also adopted by Toshiba on a worldwide basis.  

Farhad has also worked at Lucent Technologies on marketing communications ICs (Modem chipset, Video Conferencing solutions), Toshiba Information Systems on product definition for Toshiba's notebooks PCs and handheld products, Unisys on designing new processors and computer systems, and MSI Data on designing data collection products.  He has a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering from California State University, Fullerton.

His combined business and academic experience has given Farhad a unique ability to effectively communicate complex new technologies to business professionals at all levels, as well as the ability to foresee emerging leading-edge technologies.  

April 11, 2012 - Infertility: When Psychology Intersects with the Science of Reproduction

Brennan Peterson

Dr. Brennen Peterson
Associate Professor of Psychology, Chapman University

"Infertility: When Psychology Intersects with the Science of Reproduction"

Argyros Forum 209C
12 - 1 p.m.

Dr. Peterson began teaching at Chapman in 2003.  In addition to teaching undergraduate courses, he serves as the Program Director for the school’s graduate grogram in Marriage and Family Therapy. He teaches courses in Family Therapy, Marital Therapy and Domestic Violence, Life-Span Development, Marital and Family Diversity, and clinical supervisor.

Dr. Peterson is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in the state of California and Utah.  Dr. Peterson received his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech in 2003, and his Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Graduate Center in 2001. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University in 1995. Between 1995 and 2000, Dr. Peterson worked for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Washington, D.C., where he helped develop a nationwide practice-based network. 

Dr. Peterson studies how couples cope with infertility and has published articles in Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, Family Process, Family Relations, , The Family Journal, The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.

March 22, 2012 - Clean Water? A 40-Year Retrospective Analysis of Southern California Coastal Ocean

Karen Setty

Dr. Karen Setty
Science Writer, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project

"Clean Water? A 40-Year Retrospective Analysis of Southern California Coastal Ocean"

Beckman Hall 404
1 - 2 p.m.

Karen Setty joined SCCWRP as a Science Writer in November 2007. Her responsibilities include writing and producing documents, presentations, and other communication materials. She also manages website development and planning for the annual SCCWRP Symposium. Setty received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Dayton and her Master’s degree focusing on Water Resources Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

March 5, 2012 - How Plate Tectonics Works in the Southern Gulf of California: A Rapid Birth in a Hot Setting

Paul Umhoefer

Dr. Paul Umhoefer
Professor, Northern Arizona University

"How Plate Tectonics Works in the Southern Gulf of California: A Rapid Birth in a Hot Setting"

Argyros Forum 209 C
1 - 2 p.m.

Dr. Umhoefer's research is focused on tectonics, especially active and young tectonics of Late Cenozoic time. My main research interest is in the tectonic evolution of, and processes that form, oblique plate boundaries. More specifically, I study basins and related faults that form in these settings, and the processes and evolution of areas with mixed strike-slip and dip-slip faulting. My research is field based and my students and I use the methods of structural geology, stratigraphy, and related disciplines to understand tectonic problems. The research I conduct is inevitably collaborative with researchers in many other fields, but especially in paleontology, sedimentology, geochronology, petrology, marine seismology, geodesy, and paleomagnetism.


Feb. 15, 2012 - Earthquakes from the Top to the Bottom of the Magnitude Scale: Insights into Earthquake Physics from EarthScope

William Ellsworth Dr. William L. Ellsworth
Earthquake Science Center
U.S. Geological Society

"Earthquakes from the Top to the Bottom of the Magnitude Scale: Insights Into Earthquake Physics from EarthScope"

Argyros Forum 209C
1 - 2 p.m.

Bill Ellsworth is a seismologist interested in problems of seismicity, seismotectonics, probabilistic earthquake forecasting, and earthquake source processes. After graduating with a B.S. in Physics and M.S. in geophysics from Stanford University in 1971 he joined the earthquake research group at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, which has been his professional home for the past 40 years. In 1974 he travelled east to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his PhD in geophysics in 1977. Bill's research focuses on questions of fault structure and earthquake source processes over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Over the course of his career, he has balanced his personal research with community service that has expanded opportunities and resources for seismology in the U.S. and around the world. He was a founder of the PASSCAL Program of IRIS, co-principal investigator of the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) component of EarthScope, and currently serves on the steering committee of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) and the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council. Bill is a past President of the Seismological Society of America, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Department of the Interior.