Congratulations to Dr. Christina Staudhammer and Dr. Asma Hatoum-Aslan, whose outstanding contributions to research were recognized with President’s Faculty Research Awards.
Dr. Staudhammer was the recipient of a Senior Investigator award in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering category. The Staudhammer lab focuses on quantitative research in ecological systems, with interdisciplinary research covering a broad range of topics, including mixed effects models in forestry and natural resources, design and analysis of experimental data, quantifying size and structure distributional differences in natural systems, and quantifying model uncertainty. Her research aims to promote better conservation and management of natural resources by developing a better understanding of the dynamics of natural systems. The lab’s research is in four main areas: 1) advancing models of carbon fluxes derived from eddy covariance (EC) studies; 2) developing models characterizing the population dynamics of Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut); 3) enhancing models of urban forest structure and growth; and 4) regional scale impacts of forest management on C, water, and biodiversity. During her career, she has published more than 66 refereed journal articles and co-authored four books, including a probability and statistics textbook with applications in the natural resources. She has had six National Science Foundation grants, as well as grants from the USDA and the Florida Division of Forestry.
Dr. Hatoum-Aslan was the recipient of a Junior Investigator award in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering category. Her research is in the field of microbiology with a focus on understanding the molecular interactions between bacteria and their viruses. She received a K22 Career Development award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in her first year at UA and recently received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to study bacterial immunity mechanisms such as CRISPR-Cas and their biotechnological and therapeutic applications. Another research area addresses the global health care crisis incited by the rise in antibiotic resistant infections through the genetic engineering of bacterial viruses to create alternative treatments. Dr. Hatoum-Aslan has published her research in journals such as Cell, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, Nucleic Acids Research, and ACS Synthetic Biology and has recently filed a patent application on a novel CRISPR-Cas technology.
She is dedicated to the cause of increasing diversity in the STEM workforce and is serving on the UA Stem Steering committee. She teaches undergraduate/graduate courses in microbiology and is currently developing educational activities to stimulate interest in science at local high schools through hands-on research experiences.
Dr. Hatoum-Aslan earned an M.S. in Biochemistry from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University. She received post-doctoral training also at Cornell University, and then at the Rockefeller University. She joined the Department of Biological Sciences in 2014.
Click here to view the 2018 awardees.