Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Showing 1-50 of 167 Results
Rehnborg Farquhar Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe role of nutrition in individual and societal health, with particular interests in: plant-based diets, differential response to low-carb vs. low-fat weight loss diets by insulin resistance status, chronic disease prevention, randomized controlled trials, human nutrition, community based studies, Community Based Participatory Research, sustainable food movement (animal rights and welfare, global warming, human labor practices), stealth health, nutrition policy, nutrition guidelines
David K. Stevenson, M.D.
The Harold K. Faber Professor of Pediatrics, Senior Associate Dean, Maternal and Child Health and Professor, by courtesy, of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research is focused on the study of the ontogeny and control of heme catabolism and bilirubin production in the developing neonate. A better understanding of the role of increased bilirubin production in neonatal jaundice and the prevention of hemolytic jaundice has remained an overall objective of our program. Thus, we are exploring the pivotal role of the enzyme heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of bilirubin in the developing neonate.
Donna M. Bouley
Professor of Comparative Medicine and, by courtesy, of Pathology at the Stanford University Medical Center
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch interests: ocular pathology, host-pathogen interactions in infectious disease, infectious disease in frogs, phenotypic characterization of tg and ko mice, histopathology of minimally-invasive radiological ablation techniques (focused ultrasound, cryoablation).
Linda M. Dairiki Shortliffe
Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor in the School of Medicine, Emerita
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe timing for intervention in obstruction in the infant and child is poorly understood.Our group has been interested in trying to define the risks that may be involved in obstructive and infectious uropathies and discovering early signs of damage to the urinary tract and kidney. We have explored ways of imaging the urinary tract using nonionizing radiation (US, MRI). We have studied the relationships of sex steroid hormones, pregnancy, reflux, urinary tract infection and urinary tract function.
Professor (Teaching) of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy work is primarily involved in medical education and curricular development, especially in the areas of infectious disease, virology, HIV, and molecular biology. Projects included electronic applications to science education, three dimensional model building, service learning, and the development of undergraduate research projects.
The Irving Schulman, M.D. Endowed Professor in Child Health, Professor of Medicine (Stanford Prevention Research Center) and, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Robinson originated the solution-oriented research paradigm and directs the Stanford Solutions Science Lab. He is known for his pioneering obesity prevention and treatment research, including the concept of stealth interventions. His research applies social cognitive models of behavior change to behavioral, social, environmental and policy interventions for children and families in real world settings, making the results relevant for informing clinical and public health practice and policy.
Abby C. King
Professor of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology) and of Medicine (Stanford Prevention Research Center)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy interests include the application of behavioral theory and social ecological approaches to achieve large scale changes impacting chronic disease prevention and control; expanding the reach and translation of evidence-based interventions through state-of-the-art technologies; exploring social and physical environmental influences on health; applying community participatory research perspectives to address health disparities; and policy-level approaches to health promotion/disease prevention.
Gretchen C. Daily
Bing Professor in Environmental Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLand use, biodiversity dynamics, ecosystem services
Bing Prof in Environmental Science and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEcological and evolutionary aspects of plant-animal interactions, largely but not exclusively, in tropical forest ecosystems.
Conservation biology in tropical ecosystems.
Studies on biodiversity.
Education, at all levels, on scientific practice, ecology and biodiversity conservation.
Bing Professor of Population Studies, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe role of the social sciences in dealing with global change
Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHuman genetic and cultural evolution, mathematical biology, demography of China
Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy work has contributed to understanding electrical excitability in nerve & muscle in organisms ranging from brittle-stars to mammals. Current research addresses behavior, physiology and ecology of squid through field and lab approaches. Electronic tagging plus in situ video, acoustic and oceanographic methods are used to study behaviors and life history in the field. Lab work focuses on control of chromogenic behavior by the chromatophore network and of locomotion by the giant axon system.
Deborah M Gordon
Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProfessor Deborah M Gordon studies the evolutionary ecology of collective behavior. Ant colonies operate without central control, using local interactions to regulate colony behavior.
David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr Fiorenza Micheli is a marine ecologist and conservation biologist conducting research and teaching at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. Micheli’s research focuses on the processes shaping marine communities and incorporating this understanding in the management and conservation of marine ecosystems. She is a Pew Fellow, a fellow of the California Academy of Science and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and past president of the Western Society of Naturalists.
Paul S. and Billie Achilles Professor in Environmental Biology, Emeritus
BioStanford ecologist Harold “Hal” Mooney is the Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology, emeritus, in the School of Humanities and Science’s Department of Biology and senior fellow, emeritus, with the Stanford Woods Institute as well as the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Mooney helped pioneer the field of physiological ecology and is an internationally recognized expert on environmental sciences. Through his six-decade academic career, Mooney has demonstrated how plant species and groups of species respond to their environments and developed research methodologies for assessing how plants interact with their biotic environments. To date he has authored more than 400 scientific books, papers and articles.
Mooney's recent research focuses on assessing the impacts of global environmental change on terrestrial ecosystems, especially on ecosystem function, productivity and biodiversity. Recent research includes studying the environmental and social consequences of industrialized animal production systems and examining factors that promote the invasion of non-indigenous plant species.
Mooney has played an international leadership role in numerous research settings, especially with problems related to biodiversity, invasive species, global warming and Mediterranean climates. In addition, he has been active in building up worldwide communities and networks of ecologists and scientists in other disciplines and arranging international conferences on the environment. He played a central role in the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), building up an international organization of scientists and having an influential part in setting the guidelines for the formulation of environmental policies. He also has advanced numerous international research programs as Secretary General and Vice-President of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
Mooney earned his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1960 and started as an assistant professor at UCLA that same year. In 1968 he was recruited to Stanford University, where he was later appointed the Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology in the School of Humanities and Science’s Department of Biology. A senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute as well as the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Mooney has led a wide range of national and international scientific activities related to environment and conservation.
Notable roles included coordinating the 1995 Global Biodiversity Assessment, co-chairing the Assessment Panel of the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, establishing and leading the Global Invasive Species Program and serving as lead review editor for the ongoing global assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. His many accolades and awards include the 1990 ECI Prize in terrestrial ecology, the 1992 Max Planck Research Award in biosciences, the 1996 Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America, the 2000 Nevada Medal, the 2002 Blue Planet Prize, the 2007 Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology, the 2008 Tyler Prize, the 2008 BBVA Foundation Award for Biodiversity Conservation, and the 2010 Volvo Environment Prize.
Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor in Marine Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe're interested in ecological, evolutionary, and conservation questions related to marine (and sometimes terrestrial) organisms and ecosystems. We use evolutionary genetics and molecular ecology techniques, and our fieldwork takes us all around the world. Currently, we're studying coral diversity, the adaptive potential of corals in response to climate change, the movement of organisms between marine reserves, genetic changes in abalone in response to environmental.
Kevin and Michelle Douglas Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEvolution of genomes and population genomics of adaptation and variation
David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Science, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe examine two aspects of organism-environment interactions: How does stress from physical (e.g., temperature) and chemical (oxygen levels, pH) factors perturb organisms and how do organisms respond, adaptively, to cope with this stress? We examine evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic acclimatization using a wide variety of marine animals, including Antarctic fishes and invertebrates from intertidal habitats on the coastlines of temperate and tropical seas.
The Dean and Virginia Morrison Professor of Population Studies
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsStochastic dynamics of human and natural populations; prehistoric societies; probability forecasts including sex ratios, mortality, aging and fiscal balance; life history evolution.
Clifford G. Morrison Professor in Population and Resource Studies, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Earth System Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsVitousek's research interests include: evaluating the global cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus, and how they are altered by human activity; understanding how the interaction of land and culture contributed to the sustainability of Hawaiian (and other Pacific) agriculture and society before European contact; and working to make fertilizer applications more efficient and less environmentally damaging (especially in rapidly growing economies)
Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur current focus is on maize anther development to understand how cell fate is specified. We discovered that hypoxia triggers specification of the archesporial (pre-meiotic) cells, and that these cells secrete a small protein MAC1 that patterns the adjacent soma to differentiate as endothecial and secondary parietal cell types. We also discovered a novel class of small RNA: 21-nt and 24-nt phasiRNAs that are exceptionally abundant in anthers and exhibit strict spatiotemporal dynamics.
Paul S. and Billie Achilles Professor in Environmental Biology, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Geological Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe research of Elizabeth Hadly probes how perturbations such as climatic change and human modification of the environment influence the evolution and ecology of vertebrates.
Brian Blackburn, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine - Infectious Diseases
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy interests include parasitology and global health; I've investigated cryptosporidium and angiostrongylus outbreaks; schistosoma/strongyloides seroprevalence in refugees, and the distribution and impact of ITNs for malaria and filariasis prevention in Nigeria and India. I have done clinical and programmatic work at teaching hospitals in Liberia and Bangladesh and have opportunities for research in Bangladesh and Kenya, in collaboration with ICDDR,B and CDC, Kenya
Associate Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProf. Shachter's research has focused on the representation, manipulation, and analysis of uncertainty and probabilistic reasoning in decision systems. As part of this work, he developed the DAVID influence diagram processing system for the Macintosh. He has developed models scheduling patients for cancer follow-up, and analyzing vaccination strategies for HIV and Helobacter pylori.
Professor of Electrical Engineering
BioThe Solgaard group focus on design and fabrication of nano-photonics and micro-optical systems. We combine photonic crystals, optical meta-materials, silicon photonics, and MEMS, to create efficient and reliable systems for communication, sensing, imaging, and optical manipulation.
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Professor of Earth System Science, of Biology and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
My field is global ecology, and my research emphasizes ecological contributions across the range of Earth science disciplines. My colleagues and I develop diverse approaches to quantifying large-scale ecosystem processes, using satellites, atmospheric data, models, and census data, and explore global-scale patterns of vegetation-climate feedbacks, carbon cycle dynamics, primary production, forest management, and fire. At the ecosystem-scale, we conduct experiments on grassland responses to global change, which integrate approaches from molecular biology to remote sensing.
I am one of five professors who teach the Earth Systems field studies course for advanced undergrads and co-terms at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. I also teach an introductory seminar on climate change for freshmen.
Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution; Faculty Director, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve; Professor, Department of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University; Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University; Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University; Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Stanford University
Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs, Senior Fellow at Precourt and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science & Eng, of Electrical Eng and of Chemistry
BioThe research in the Bent laboratory is focused on understanding and controlling surface and interfacial chemistry and applying this knowledge to a range of problems in semiconductor processing, micro- and nano-electronics, nanotechnology, and sustainable and renewable energy. Much of the research aims to develop a molecular-level understanding in these systems, and hence the group uses of a variety of molecular probes. Systems currently under study in the group include functionalization of semiconductor surfaces, mechanisms and control of atomic layer deposition, molecular layer deposition, nanoscale materials for light absorption, interface engineering in photovoltaics, catalyst and electrocatalyst deposition.
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioMy primary research area is coastal water quality, and recently I have expanded my research to include activities on sanitation more broadly. The work on coastal water quality is focused on understanding the sources, transformation, transport, and ecology of biocolloids - specifically fecal indicator organisms, pathogens, and phytoplankton, as well as sources and fate of nitrogen and phosphorus. This knowledge is crucial to directing new policies, and management and engineering practices that protect human and ecosystem health along the coastal margin. The work on sanitation aims to develop microbial risk assessment models to gain a better understanding of how pathogens are transmitted to humans through their contact with water, feces, and contaminated surfaces. Research is focused on key problems in developed and developing countries. The goal is to design and test effective interventions and technologies for reducing the burden of infectious disease.
Dorrell William Kirby Professor of Geology in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and Professor of Photon Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSurface and interface geochemistry; environmental fate of heavy metals; nanotechnology, applications of synchrotron radiation in geochemistry and mineralogy
Professor of Earth System Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
I use stable and radiogenic isotopes to understand Earth system history. These studies examine the link between climate, tectonics, biological, and surface processes. Projects include: 1) examining the terrestrial climate history of the Earth focusing on periods of time in the past that had CO 2-levels similar to the present and to future projections; and 2) addressing how the chemical weathering of the Earth's crust affects both the long- and short-term carbon cycle. Field areas for these studies are in the Cascades, Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, the European Alps, Tibet and the Himalaya and the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
I teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in isotope biogeochemistry, Earth system history, and the relationship between climate, surface processes and tectonics. I also teach a three-week field course each September in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming for sophomores and GES majors. This course covers topics in environmental and geological sciences.
Editor American Journal of Science; Co-Director Stanford Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory (present);Chair, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences (2004-07); Co-Director Stanford/USGS SHRIMP Ion microprobe facility (2001-04)
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioCriddle's research focuses on biotechnology and microbial ecology for clean water, clean energy, and healthy ecosystems.
Reinhold H. Dauskardt
Ruth G. and William K. Bowes Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of Mechanical Engineering and of Surgery
BioDauskardt and his group have worked extensively on integrating new materials into emerging technologies including thin-film structures for nanoscience and energy technologies, high-performance composite and laminates for aerospace, and on biomaterials and soft tissues in bioengineering. His group has pioneered methods for characterizing adhesion and cohesion of thin films used extensively in device technologies. His research on wound healing has concentrated on establishing a biomechanics framework to quantify the mechanical stresses and biologic responses in healing wounds and define how the mechanical environment affects scar formation. Experimental studies are complimented with a range of multiscale computational capabilities. His research includes interaction with researchers nationally and internationally in academia, industry, and clinical practice.
W.M. Keck Professor in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOcean processes, biogeochemistry, climatology/paleoclimatology, isotopic chemistry, ocean policy
Shan X. Wang
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Electrical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Radiology (Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Wang is the Director of Stanford Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology, and the Co-PI of the Stanford Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. His research interests lie in nanotechnology and information storage, including magnetic/spintronic biochips, in vitro diagnostics, cell sorting, magnetic nanoparticles, nano-patterning, spin electronic materials and sensors, as well as magnetic integrated inductors and transformers.
Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science and Professor, by courtesy, of Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research group is exploring a variety of topics that range from the basic understanding of chemical reaction dynamics to the nature of the chemical contents of single cells.
Under thermal conditions nature seems to hide the details of how elementary reactions occur through a series of averages over reagent velocity, internal energy, impact parameter, and orientation. To discover the effects of these variables on reactivity, it is necessary to carry out studies of chemical reactions far from equilibrium in which the states of the reactants are more sharply restricted and can be varied in a controlled manner. My research group is attempting to meet this tough experimental challenge through a number of laser techniques that prepare reactants in specific quantum states and probe the quantum state distributions of the resulting products. It is our belief that such state-to-state information gives the deepest insight into the forces that operate in the breaking of old bonds and the making of new ones.
Space does not permit a full description of these projects, and I earnestly invite correspondence. The following examples are representative:
The simplest of all neutral bimolecular reactions is the exchange reaction H H2 -> H2 H. We are studying this system and various isotopic cousins using a tunable UV laser pulse to photodissociate HBr (DBr) and hence create fast H (D) atoms of known translational energy in the presence of H2 and/or D2 and using a laser multiphoton ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer to detect the nascent molecular products in a quantum-state-specific manner by means of an imaging technique. It is expected that these product state distributions will provide a key test of the adequacy of various advanced theoretical schemes for modeling this reaction.
Analytical efforts involve the use of capillary zone electrophoresis, two-step laser desorption laser multiphoton ionization mass spectrometry, cavity ring-down spectroscopy, and Hadamard transform time-of-flight mass spectrometry. We believe these methods can revolutionize trace analysis, particularly of biomolecules in cells.
Paul Pigott Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsShape and motion representations and algorithms for biological structures
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
BioLynn Hildemann's current research areas include the sources and dispersion of indoor aerosols, the physicochemical properties of organic aerosols, and assessment of human exposure to PM.
Prof. Hildemann received BS, MS, and PhD degrees in environmental engineering science from the California Institute of Technology. She is an author on >80 peer-reviewed publications, including three with over 700 citations each, and another 16 with over 100 citations each. She has been honored with Young Investigator Awards from NSF and ONR, the Kenneth T. Whitby Award from the AAAR (1998), and Stanford's Gores Award for Teaching Excellence (2013); she also was a co-recipient of Atmospheric Environment’s Haagen-Smit Outstanding Paper Award (2001).
She has served on advisory committees for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and for the California Air Resources Board. She has been an Associate Editor for Environmental Science & Technology, and Aerosol Science and Technology. She currently is on the advisory board for the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
At Stanford, Prof. Hildemann is currently chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. She has chaired the School of Engineering Library Committee and the University Committee on Judicial Affairs, and serves as an elected member of the University Faculty Senate.
Professor of Psychology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab and I seek to elucidate the neural basis of emotion (affective neuroscience), and explore implications for decision-making (neuroeconomics) and psychopathology (neurophenomics).
Jeffrey R. Koseff
William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor in the School of Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioJeff Koseff, founding co-director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, is an expert in the interdisciplinary domain of environmental fluid mechanics. His research focuses on the interaction between physical and biological systems in natural aquatic environments, and in particular on turbulence and internal wave dynamics; transport, mixing, and phytoplankton dynamics in estuarine systems; and coral reef, kelp forest, and sea-grass hydrodynamics. More recently he has begun focusing on the fate of brine discharges in the near coastal ocean from desalination facilities, and on the use of natural vegetation for providing coastal protection and resilience. Long-term research projects include understanding the transport of mass and momentum in estuarine systems such as San Francisco Bay, and understanding how water flow affects the functioning of California kelp forests, and the coral reef systems of the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea and Hawaii. Koseff has served on the board of governors of the Israel Institute of Technology and has served on the visiting committees of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University, Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research and The MIT-WHOI Joint Program. He is a former member of the Independent Science Board of the Bay/Delta Authority.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
BioLeifer's engineering design thinking research is focused on instrumenting design teams to understand, support, and improve design practice and theory. Specific issues include: design-team research methodology, global team dynamics, innovation leadership, interaction design, design-for-wellbeing, and adaptive mechatronic systems.
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
BioFringer's research focuses on the development and application of numerical models and high-performance computational techniques to the study of fundamental processes that influence the dynamics of the coastal ocean, rivers, lakes, and estuaries.
Director, Precourt Institute for Energy and Professor of Energy Resources Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research is focused on reducing the risks of climate change by developing energy supplies with low carbon emissions. Students and post-doctoral fellows in my research group work on carbon dioxide storage, energy systems analysis, and pathways for transitioning to a low-carbon energy system.
James and Elenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering and of Applied Physics
BioHarris utilizes molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of III-V compound semiconductor materials to investigate new materials for electronic and optoelectronic devices. He utilizes heterojunctions, superlattices, quantum wells, and three-dimensional self-assembled quantum dots to create metastable engineered materials with novel or improved properties for electronic and optoelectronic devices. He has recently focused on integration of photonic devices and micro optics for creation of new minimally invasive bio and medical systems for micro-array and neural imaging.
Terry L Root
Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Emerita
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsImpacts of climate change on wild plants and animals including extinction
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy, and at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioMark Z. Jacobson’s career has focused on better understanding air pollution and global warming problems and developing large-scale clean, renewable energy solutions to them. Toward that end, he has developed and applied three-dimensional atmosphere-biosphere-ocean computer models and solvers to simulate air pollution, weather, climate, and renewable energy. He has also developed roadmaps to transition states and countries to 100% clean, renewable energy for all purposes and computer models to examine grid stability in the presence of high penetrations of renewable energy.
Otto N. Miller Professor in Earth Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsGeneral reservoir simulation, optimization, reduced-order modeling, upscaling, flow in fractured systems, history matching, CO2 sequestration, energy systems optimization
Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAmerican foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development
Robert M. Waymouth
Robert Eckles Swain Professor in Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering
BioRobert Eckles Swain Professor in Chemistry Robert Waymouth investigates new catalytic strategies to create useful new molecules, including sustainable polymers, synthetic fuels, and bioactive molecules. In one such breakthrough, Professor Waymouth and IBM researcher Jim Hedrick opened a new path for production of environmentally sustainable plastics and improved plastics recycling, earning recognition in the 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Award.
Born in 1960 in Warner Robins, Georgia, Robert Waymouth studied chemistry and mathematics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (B.S. and B.A., respectively, both summa cum laude, 1982). He developed an interest in synthetic and mechanistic organometallic chemistry during his doctoral studies in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology under Professor R.H. Grubbs (Ph.D., 1987). His postdoctoral research with Professor Piero Pino at the Institut fur Polymere, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, focused on catalytic hydrogenation with chiral metallocene catalysts. He joined the Stanford University faculty as assistant professor in 1988, becoming full professor in 1997 and in 2000 the Robert Eckles Swain Professor of Chemistry.
Today, the Waymouth Group applies mechanistic principles to develop new concepts in catalysis, with particular focus on the development of organometallic and organic catalysts for the synthesis of complex macromolecular architectures. In organometallic catalysis, the group devised a highly selective alcohol oxidation catalyst that selectively oxidizes unprotected polyols and carbohydrates to alpha-hyroxyketones. The Waymouth group pioneered the development of catalysts that can access multiple kinetic states during a polymerization reaction in order to control sequence distribution. They devised a novel strategy for the synthesis of elastomeric polypropylene utilizing a metallocene catalyst whose structure was designed to interconvert between chiral and achiral coordination geometries on the timescale of the synthesis of a single polymer chain.
In collaboration with Jim Hedrick of IBM laboratories, the Waymouth Group has developed an extensive platform of organic catalysts for the controlled ring-opening polymerization of lactones, carbonates and other heterocyclic monomers. Mechanistic studies of nucleophilic N-heterocyclic carbene catalysts revealed an unusual zwitterionic ring-opening polymerization method which enabled the synthesis of high molecular weight cyclic polymers, a novel topology for these biodegradable and biocompatible macromolecules. In collaboration with the Wender group, the Waymouth group has devised selective organocatalytic strategies for the synthesis of functional degradable polymers and oligomers that function as "molecular transporters" to deliver drugs and probes into cells. These efforts combine elements of mechanistic organic and organometallic chemistry, polymer synthesis, and homogeneous catalysis to rationally design new macromolecular structures.