Below is a list of potential faculty mentors in the College of Science and Mathematics, along with their research interests. Undergraduate and graduate students conduct research with some of these research mentors.
*Additional faculty descriptions are available on the MMES Faculty Profiles page (http://www.uvi.edu/sites/uvi/Pages/DSM-MMES-Faculty-Profiles.aspx)
Marc Boumedine, PhD , Associate Professor of Computer Science, St. Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowledge Discovery using data mining techniques - The main goal is to use machine learning techniques to discover models (predictive, association) from large data sets. One application is to use environmental data to predict early coral bleaching in the USVI.
Angela Dikou, PhD, Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Management, St. Thomas, email@example.com
To learn more about Dr. Dikou's research interest visit the MMES Faculty profiles page at http://www.uvi.edu/sites/uvi/Pages/DSM-MMES-Faculty-Profiles.aspx#AngelaDikou.
Stan Latesky, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, St. Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Highly Selective Materials For Radionuclide Collection and Concentration - There is a need for improved methods of radionuclide detection and concentration as it relates to nuclear waste remediation. Current methods generally rely on fairly extensive wet chemistry methods which require appropriate laboratory facilities and highly trained technical staff. The ability to concentrate specific radionuclides associated with nuclear waste materials would be greatly enhanced by development of new, highly selective and efficient ligands that demonstrate enhanced selectivity towards actinide metal ions.
Sandra Romano, PhD , Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, St. Thomas, email@example.com
Research in this laboratory involves using molecular tools to investigate the taxonomy and systematics of scleractinian corals, the fundamental components of the coral reef ecosystem. The two main areas of investigation are: 1) species level differences of sympatric corals that are morphologically similar such as Caribbean species of the genus Porites (finger and mustard hill corals), and 2) higher level phylogenetic relationships in the order Scleractinia. Field work includes coral collections, censuses and reproduction studies. Lab work focuses on collecting DNA sequences from nuclear and mitochondrial gene regions for phylogenetic analysis. Laboratory techniques used include DNA extraction and purification, PCR amplification and purification, and AT cloning. Samples are sent away for cycle sequencing and processing on an automatic sequencer. Analysis of DNA sequences includes alignment and comparisons with known sequences in GenBank using the computer programs Sequencher and Clustal. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequences based on parsimony, maximum likelihood and batesian inference are performed using PAUP* and other relevant programs. Morphological measurements and analyses of coral skeletons are also being conducted.
David Smith, PhD, Professor of Physics, St. Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Microscale Weather Modeling project(originally funded by VIEPSCoR) seeks to establish specific weather predictions initially for the US Virgin Islands and eventually for other Caribbean islands. The project will use the internationally recognized weather-modeling program, Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), running on UVI's new 120-core computer cluster. The cluster is funded by SAFRA. The WRF model will generate daily local weather predictions on the sub-kilometer scale. UVI students may become involved through outreach to the local schools, in running and modifying the model, and designing a public Web presence.
Alice Stanford, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology, St. Thomas, email@example.com
An overview of Dr. Stanford's research on the genetics of rare plants can be found at her website (http://faculty.uvi.edu/users/astanfo/lab.htm).
Robert Stolz, PhD , Associate Professor of Mathematics, St. Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
The overall goal of proteomics is to characterize all of the proteins expressed in a given cell. This is a major research area in bioinformatics and computational biology and has the potential of contributing to the advancement of health related research through uncovering knowledge of proteins. This information can result in new drugs, new methods of cures for diseases, and new understanding of the building blocks of life.The specific goal of this project is to further the goals of proteomics through the use of novel information in the classification of proteins. Specific objectives in achieving this goal are (i) generating new numerical descriptors from sequence of protein images; and (ii) classification of proteins using the generated descriptors. This project is multidisciplinary, and will use techniques from mathematics, statistics, computer science and computational biology. New methods will be applied to the analysis of protein motion using techniques of optical flow, data mining and computational geometry. From this analysis, numerical descriptors will be generated, and will ultimately be used in classification procedures.
Teresa Turner, PhD, Professor of Biology, St. Thomas, email@example.com
I am a marine community ecologist interested in the interactions of plants and animals. Student research projects under my supervision have been: coral-algal interaction, using fish and invertebate feeding preferences as a key to discovering new marine natural products, experiments involving building artificial reefs, recovery of sea grass meadows from hurricanes, variation in sea slug behavior as a key to a neurophysiological model system, distribution pattern of Christmas tree worms on corals, etc. I am happy to mentor students working on research projects in any area of marine ecology.
Thomas W. Zimmerman, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Biotechnology, Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix, firstname.lastname@example.org
As Leader of the Biotechnology & Agroforestry Program in the Agricultural Experiment Station, our focus is on research involving the tissue culture micropropagation of tropical plants, starch analysis of genetically enhanced cassava, breeding and selection of papaya, in vitro germination and developmental biology of native orchids, and germination and establishment of rare native trees. Student projects I have assisted with have included: In vitro regeneration of passion fruit from tendrils; Selection of tissue culture medium for micropropagation of cassava; In vitro rooting of cassava; Selection of transgenic papaya seedlings using DMSO and kanamycin; Computer modeling of cassava growth in vitro; Influence of carbohydrates and containers on micropropagated cassava. You can read more about his work at his website (http://rps.uvi.edu/AES/aes_home.html).