Biographies of The BERAC Membership


Sarah M. Assmann is the Waller Professor of Biology at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research uses “omics” approaches to study plant responses to abiotic stress in Arabidopsis, rice, and canola in three related focus areas: guard cell and ionic signaling, heterotrimeric G-protein cascades and RNA structure-function relationships. Dr. Assmann received her PhD in biology from Stanford University (1986) and her B.A. in biology from Williams College (1980). She is an Elected Member, North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (2013-present); on the Board of Trustees, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) (2013 – present); and President-Elect, President, Immediate Past President of ASPB (2007-2010). She is also an Eberly Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University; a 2009 Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS); the 2001 Waller Endowed Chair, The Pennsylvania State University; and a 2001 Faculty Scholar Medal in Life and Health Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University. She has more than 130 publications.

Dennis D. Baldocchi is a professor of Biometeorology at the University of California, Berkeley.  His research focuses on physical, biological, and chemical processes that control trace gas and energy exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere and the micrometeorology of plant canopies.  Professor Baldocchi received his Ph.D. (1982) in bioenvironmental engineering from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, his M.S. (1979) in agricultural engineering from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and his B.S. (1977) in atmospheric science from the University of California, Davis.  He has received numerous awards, including the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biometeorology from the American Meteorological Society in 2009, is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 2007, and has received awards from the University of California, including the Faculty Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring in 2011.  Professor Baldocchi is an editor of numerous journals, is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geophysical Research, and is a member of advisory boards for national and international organizations and projects.  He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Janet Braam is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University.  Her genetic, biochemical and cell biological research focuses on how plants sense dynamic features of their environment, including daily rhythms, temperature and light changes, mechanical forces, fungal pathogens, and insect herbivores.  Professor Braam received her Ph.D. (1985) in molecular biology and virology from Sloan-Kettering Division of Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and her B.S. (1980) in zoology from Southern Illinois University.  She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Rice University Women's Resource Center IMPACT Award (2006), the Medical Innovations Award from the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering and an L. E. Simmons Collaborative Research Award (2011) and the Rice Faculty Initiatives Award in 2012.  She has over 50 publications.

James R. Ehleringer is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center at the University of Utah.  His research focuses on global change impacts on vegetation and ecosystem processes; plant ecology of forest and desert ecosystems; urban ecology; and applications of stable isotopes to address environmental, forensic, and ecosystem processes.  Professor Ehleringer received his Ph.D. (1977) from Stanford University  and his M.S. (1973) and B.S. (1972) from San Diego State University.  He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2008) and the American Association for Advancement of Science (1999).  He has been recognized for his research with the Distinguished Research Award from the University of Utah (1988) and the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology from the state of Utah (1999).  He has more than 440 publications.

James J. Hack directs the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), a leadership computing complex at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) providing high performance computing resources for tackling scientific grand challenges.  He also serves as Director of the Oak Ridge Climate Change Science Institute, which integrates scientific projects in modeling, observations, and experimentation with ORNL’s powerful computational and informatics capabilities to answer some of the most pressing global change science questions.  His primary scientific interests include physical parameterization techniques, numerical methods, and diagnostic methods for evaluating simulation quality.  Dr. Hack received his B.S. in meteorology (1974) from Lyndon State College and his M.S. (1977) and PhD (1980) in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.  He has served as an editor for the Journal of Climate, given testimony to Congress on the topic of climate change, and recently completed participation as a member of a National Research Council Study on a National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling.  He is also actively involved on a number of national and international advisory and steering committees.  He is author or co-author of over 100 scientific or technical publications.

Susan Hubbard is a Senior Scientist, Deputy Director for Programs (Earth Sciences Division), and Environmental Remediation and Water Resources Program Head at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Her research is focused on stochastic methodologies for estimation of shallow subsurface hydrogeological and biogeochemical processes; water resources and environmental remediation systems-level investigations; and precision agriculture.  Dr. Hubbard received her Ph.D. (1998) in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, her M.S. in geophysics from Virginia Tech University, and her B.S. in geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She has many awards and honors, including the Geological Society of America Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer (2009-2010) and the Frank Frischknecht Near Surface Geophysical Leadership Award (2009).  Dr. Hubbard is a technical advisor and editor of numerous organizations and journals including Associate Editor, Journal of Hydrology and Co-editor of the Vadose Zone Journal.

Anthony C. Janetos recently joined Boston University as Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, and Professor of Earth and Environment.  Dr. Janetos was most recently Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, and has held positions at The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, the World Resources Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  His priorities for the Pardee Center are to foster the integration of natural and social sciences so that it can continue its long tradition of “interdisciplinary, policy-relevant, and future-oriented research that contributes to long-term improvements in the human condition.”  Dr. Janetos received his A.B. in Biology from Harvard and his Master’s and Ph.D. in Biology from Princeton.  He has written and spoken widely on the need to understand the scientific, environmental, economic, and policy linkages among the major global environmental issues.  In addition to his research interests in the interaction of land systems with human needs and climate change, he has been an IPCC Lead Author and Coordinating Lead Author, and has served on multiple National Research Council Committees and Boards.  Dr. Janetos  is a Fellow, Ecological Society of America (2012), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007) and a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (2005).  He is author or co-author of over 90 papers, monographs, and book chapters.

Andrzej Joachimiak is the Director and a Senior Biophysicist of the Structural Biology Center at Argonne National Laboratory, an Associate Adjunct Professor at the Northwestern University at Evanston, and a professor at the University of Chicago.  His research is focused on protein structure and finding better ways to determine protein structures using new techniques.  Dr. Joachimiak received his Ph.D. (1979) in chemistry and his M.S. (1974) in chemistry from the University of A. Mickiewicz, Poznan, Poland.  He also received his D.Sc. (1991) in molecular biology from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.  He is the Principle Investigator for the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics, a Senior Fellow of the Computation Institute University of Chicago, Argonne, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow, and is a Co-investigator for the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases.  He is the recipient for numerous awards, including the Inventor Award from the Argonne National Laboratory (2008), the Arthur H. Compton Award, Advanced Photon Source (2007), and the Argonne National Laboratory Pacesetter Award (1996).  He is a member of many panels and committees.

L. Ruby Leung is a Laboratory Fellow of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and an Affiliate Scientist of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  Her research has focused on the modeling of regional and global climate, and understanding variability and changes as well as the role of land-atmosphere interactions and aerosols in the water cycle.  Dr. Leung received her Ph.D. (1991) in atmospheric science and her M.S. (1988) in atmospheric science at Texas A&M University.  She received her B.S. (1984) in physics and statistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.  She is an editor for the Journal of Hydrometeorology and has been a member of advisory committees for many organizations and research programs.  She has over 100 publications.

Gerald (Jay) A. Meehl is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His research focuses on regional and global climate change and the major impacts of global warming extremes. Dr. Meehl received his PhD (1987) in Climate Dynamics from the University of Colorado and his M.A. (1978) and B.A. (1974) in Climate Dynamics and Atmospheric Science also from the University of Colorado. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Pacific Science Association; a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (2007) and the American Geophysical Union (2014); and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2007) as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) science team. He has more than 230 refereed publication.

Sabeeha Merchant is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Associate Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program and Assistant Director of the UCLA-DOE Institute of Genomics and Proteomics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on trace metal metabolism in Chlamydomonas and the possible use of Chlamydomonas as a model for biodiesel production.  Dr. Merchant received her Ph.D. (1983) and B.S. (1979) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2012), recipient of the Botanical Society of America Darbaker Prize (2012), a Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologist (2008) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005).  She has more than 120 publications.

David A. Randall is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.  His research is focused on cloud-climate studies, climate dynamics, cloud parameterization, and numerical methods.  Dr. Randall received his Ph.D. (1976) from the University of California, Los Angeles and his B.S. and M.S. (1971) from Ohio State University.  He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2002), the American Association for Advancement of Science (2001), and the American Meteorological Society (1982).  He was Chief Editor of the Journal of Climate for 10 years and is currently Editor of the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.  He has received numerous awards including the Meisinger Award of the American Meteorological Society (1994), NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1988), the Scholarship Impact Award from the Colorado State University (2005), and NASA’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service (2006).  He has over 190 refereed publications, and has published a book on the role of the atmosphere in climate change.

James T. Randerson is a Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine.  His research focuses on carbon cycle including climate-carbon cycle feedback, land cover change, remote sensing, deforestation, global change in arctic and boreal ecosystems and terrestrial ecosystem climate policy.  Dr. Randerson received his Ph.D. (1998) and his B.S. (1992) from Stanford University.  He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2005) and received the Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (2005) for “significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist.”  He has over 100 publications.

Karin A. Remington is the Chief Technology Officer at Arjuna Solutions.  She was previously (2007-2012) the Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.  Her research interests focuses on integration of biology with computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and physics, and increasing the usability of “big data” in science and society.  Dr. Remington received her Ph.D. (1991) in mathematics from the University of Kentucky, Lexington and her B.A. (1985) in natural science and mathematics from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in St. Joseph, Minnesota.  She is recipient of the Householder Fellowship in Scientific Computing, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1992-1994), Wimberly Royster Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Kentucky (1987), and a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma and Pi Mu Epsilon. 

G. Philip Robertson is a Professor of ecosystem science at Michigan State University.  His research focuses on biogeochemistry, soil biology, and agricultural ecosystem dynamics; in particular greenhouse gas fluxes, nitrogen availability, and nutrient conservation in intensive agriculture and working landscapes.  Dr. Robertson received his Ph.D. (1980) in ecology and evolutionary biology at Indiana University and his B.A. (1976) from Hampshire College at Amherst, Massachusetts.  He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (2003) and the recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award (2005).  He is a member of many groups and committees, serves as Chair of the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research Network’s Science Council and Executive Board and is a program leader for sustainability research at the Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.

William H. Schlesinger is the President of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, a private ecological research institute in Millbrook, New York.  His research interests include environmental chemistry and global change, including the role of soils and human impacts on forests and soils in global climate change.  Dr. Schlesinger received his Ph.D. (1976) from Cornell University and his A.B. (1972) from Dartmouth College.  He is member of the National Academy of Sciences (2003), a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, the Soil Science Society of America and is a former President of the Ecological Society of America (2003-2004).  He has more than 200 publications.

Martha A. Schlicher is the Bioenergy Technology lead at Monsanto Company.  Her research focuses on the development of new technologies that improve the environmental and economic viability and sustainability of renewable energy to improve its contribution to our energy independence and to rural economic growth.  Dr. Schlicher received her MBA (1998) from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, her Ph.D. (1988) in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois, and her B.S. (1982) in chemistry from Indiana University.  She is the recipient of many awards including the Monsanto Technical Excellence Award, the YMCA Women in Leadership Award, and the Illinois Corn Grower Innovation Award.  She is a part of many societies and committees, including as a member of the Board of Trustees for the St. Louis Academy of Sciences and a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability at Washington University in St. Louis.

Jacqueline V. Shanks is the Manley Hoppe Professor and Microbial Metabolic Engineering Trust Leader at Iowa State University.  Her research is focused on biochemical engineering, plant metabolic engineering, and metabolic engineering for biorenewable chemicals and fuels.  Dr. Shanks received her Ph.D. (1989) in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and her B.S (1983) in chemical engineering from Iowa State University.  She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and is the recipient of many awards, including the Area 15c Plenary Award from the AlChE (the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals) Food’s Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division (2010), the Research Innovation and Leadership Award from the Technology Association of Iowa (2008), the Van Lanen Award from the American Chemical Society Division of Biotechnology (2004).

Gary Stacey is the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council Endowed Professor of Soybean Biotechnology, Professor of Plant Sciences, Joint Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri, the Director for the Center for Sustainable Energy, and the Associate Director for the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology.  Dr. Stacey is the Chair of the BERAC.  His research focuses on the use of structural and functional genomic methods to understand the way in which legumes respond to microbial infection.  He received his Ph.D. (1978) in microbiology/botany from the University of Texas and his B.S. (1974) in biology/chemistry from Bowling Green State University.  He is a Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Microbiology.  He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement from the University of Tennessee (1992), the Distinguished Researcher Award from the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, University of Missouri (2007). 

David A. Stahl is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology at the University of Washington.  His research focuses on microbially catalyzed sulfur and nitrogen cycling, bioremediation, the structure and activity of biofilms and microbial evolution and systematics, including comparative sequencing and physiology.  Dr. Stahl received his Ph.D. (1978) in microbiology and his M.S. (1975) in microbiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his B.S. (1971) in microbiology from the University of Washington.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2012), a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (1996) and a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology (2001-2007).  He has more than 230 publications.

Judy D. Wall is a professor of Biochemistry and a Joint Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri.  Her research focuses on the metabolism of toxic metals by bacteria that may contribute to the bioremediation of contaminated soils and groundwater.  Dr. Wall received her Ph.D. (1973) in biochemistry from Duke University and her B.S (1967) in chemistry with a minor in education from the University of North Carolina.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology.  She has served on editorial boards and advisory committees for numerous journals and scientific societies.  She is the recipient of a Distinguished Research Award (2002) and the Byler Distinguished Teaching Award (1998) from the University of Missouri.

John P. Weyant is Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Director of the Energy Modeling Forum, Deputy Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, and a Senior Fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Freeman-Spolgi Institute for International Studies at Stanford.  His research focuses on analysis of global climate change policy options, energy efficiency analysis, energy technology assessment, and models for strategic planning. Weyant earned a B.S./M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautics, M.S. degrees in Engineering Management and in Operations Research and Statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Ph.D. in Management Science with minors in Economics, Operations Research, and Organization Theory from UC Berkeley and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He is co-editor of the journal Energy Economics.  Dr. Weyant has been a convening/lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for chapters on integrated assessment, greenhouse gas mitigation, integrated climate impacts, and sustainable development, and recently served as a review editor for the climate change mitigation working group of the IPCC’s fourth assessment report.  He was honored in 2007 as a major contributor to the Nobel Peace prize awarded to the IPCC.  He was founder and is chair of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, a collaboratory with 53 member institutions worldwide.  He was awarded the U.S. Association for Energy Economics’ 2008 Adelmann-Frankel award for unique and innovative contributions to the field of energy economics.  He is author or co-author of 69 publications and 39 books or book chapters.

Minghua Zhang is the Dean and Professor of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University and the Director of the Marine Sciences Research Center.  His research focuses on climate modeling and climate change; the development of physical parameterizations of clouds, atmospheric convection, and radiation in General Circulation Models; and the integration and synthesis of major field experimental data.  Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. (1987) in atmospheric sciences from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his M.S. and B.S.  (1984 and 1982, respectively) in atmospheric sciences from Nanjing Institute of Meteorology.  He was a recipient of the Faculty Career Award of the National Science Foundation.  He is the Co-Chairman of the Atmospheric Model Working Group of the Community Earth System Model.  He had previously served as the Co-Chairman of the Cloud Parameterization and Modeling Working Group of the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program.  He has more than 100 publications.

Huimin Zhao is the Centennial Endowed Chair Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Professor of chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UICC).  His primary research interests focus on the development and applications of synthetic biology tools to address society’s most daunting challenges in human health and energy, and the fundamental studies of enzyme catalysis, gene regulation, and cell metabolism.  Dr. Zhao received his Ph.D. (1998) in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and his B.S. (1992) in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China.  He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2008), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009), and Guggenheim Foundation (2012).  He has received numerous awards such as the American Chemical Society Division of Biochemical Technology Young Investigator Award (2008), DuPont Young Professor Award (2005), and National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2004).  He has served on the editorial board for several journals and the scientific advisory board for two biotechnology start-ups.  He has over 130 publications and approximately 20 patents.

Last modified: 10/26/2015 8:36:55 AM