School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Emilius Aalto

    Emilius Aalto

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Hopkins Marine Station

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy primary research interest is theoretical fisheries ecology, with a focus on population dynamics, spatial dynamics, and response to disease and catastrophic events. My current work involves the incorporation of the effects of ocean acidification and low-oxygen events into an abalone growth and reproduction model. Past projects include modeling indirect positive effects from fishing-induced competitive release and the effects of size-specific obligate predation on post-harvest recovery time.

  • Tom Abel

    Tom Abel

    Director of Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) and Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and of Physics

    BioWhat were the first objects that formed in the Universe? Prof. Abel's group explores the first billion years of cosmic history using ab initio supercomputer calculations. He has shown from first principles that the very first luminous objects are very massive stars and has developed novel numerical algorithms using adaptive-mesh-refinement simulations that capture over 14 orders of magnitude in length and time scales. He currently continues his work on the first stars and first galaxies and their role in chemical enrichment and cosmological reionization. His group studies any of the first objects to form in the universe: first stars, first supernovae, first HII regions, first magnetic fields, first heavy elements, and so on. Most recently he is pioneering novel numerical algorithms to study collisionless fluids such as dark matter which makes up most of the mass in the Universe as well as astrophysical and terrestrial plasmas. He also is the director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and Division Director at SLAC.

  • Biafra Ahanonu

    Biafra Ahanonu

    Ph.D. Student in Biology, admitted Autumn 2012

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsBasic understanding of the mechanisms underlying autophagy, chaperones, and protein quality control in the nervous system as a route to more effective therapies for neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Frontotemporal Dementia, Huntington's, etc.).

  • Karen Ajluni

    Karen Ajluni

    Financial Manager, Physics

    BioKaren Ajluni is the Finance Manager in the Physics Department within the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. Before coming to Stanford, Karen worked for four years at Santa Clara University, most recently as Assistant Dean of Administration and Finance in the School of Education and Counseling Psychology. Prior to that she was the Operations and Administration Manager of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Karen has been employed in non-profit and educational administration for over 25 years, and has experience with a wide variety of organizations, including Downtown College Prep High School, the Girl Scouts of Northern California, EHC Lifebuilders, Futures without Violence, and Project Match. She received a B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University and a Masters in Public Administration from San Jose State University. Karen lives at home with her husband, three children, and their dog, Marco.

  • Daniel Akerib

    Daniel Akerib

    Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and, by courtesy, of Physics

    BioResearch interests:
    Dan Akerib joined the department in 2014 with a courtesy appointment, in conjunction with a full-time appointment to the Particle Physics & Astrophysics faculty at SLAC. He has searched for WIMP dark matter particles since the early 1990s, first with the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search and more recently with the LUX and LUX-ZEPLIN projects. His current interests are in extending the sensitivity to dark matter through expanding and improving time projection chambers that use liquid xenon as a target medium. Together with Tom Shutt, he has led the establishment of a Liquid Nobles Test Platform at SLAC. The group specializes in detector development, xenon purification, and simulations, and has a broad range of opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in hardware and software development, as well as data analysis.

    Career History:
    - AB 1984, University of Chicago
    - Ph.D. 1990 Princeton University
    - Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1990 - 1992
    - Center Fellow, Center for Particle Astrophysics, UC Berkeley 1993 - 1996
    - Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 1995-2001
    - Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2001-2004
    - Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 2004-2014
    - Chair, Case Western Reserve University, 2007-2010
    - Professor, Particle Physics & Astrophysics, SLAC 2014 - present

  • Sebastian Alvarado

    Sebastian Alvarado

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am interested in epigenetic mechanisms and how they respond to environmental changes (social, physical, seasonal, etc.). I am currently exploring this topic and its relation to social status/dominance in african cichlids regarding behavior and neuroepigenetics.

    Additionally, I consult for and operate Thwacke, a science consultancy for the entertainment industry.

  • Hans C. Andersen

    Hans C. Andersen

    David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry, Emeritus

    BioProfessor Emeritus Hans C. Andersen applies statistical mechanics to develop theoretical understanding of the structure and dynamics of liquids and new computer simulation methods to aid in these studies.

    He was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied chemistry as an undergraduate, then physical chemistry as a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. 1962, Ph.D. 1966). At MIT he first learned about using a combination of mathematical techniques and the ideas of statistical mechanics to investigate problems of chemical and physical interest. This has been the focus of his research ever since. He joined the Stanford Department of Chemistry as Assistant Professor in 1968, and became Professor of Chemistry in 1980. He was named David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry in 1994. Professor Andersen served as department chairman from 2002 through 2005. Among many honors, his work has been recognized in the Theoretical Chemistry Award and Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids from the American Chemical Society, as well as the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching and Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford. He has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Professor Andersen’s research program has used both traditional statistical mechanical theory and molecular dynamics computer simulation. Early in his career, he was one of the developers of what has come to be known as the Weeks-Chandler-Andersen theory of liquids, which is a way of understanding the structure, thermodynamics, and dynamics of simple dense liquids. Later, he developed several new simulation techniques – now in common use – for exploring the behavior of liquids, such as simulation of a system under constant pressure and/or temperature. He used computer simulations of normal and supercooled liquids to study the temperature dependence of molecular motion in liquids, crystallization in supercooled liquids, and the structure of amorphous solids.

    Professor Andersen also developed and analyzed a class of simple lattice models, called facilitated kinetic Ising models, which were then widely used by others to provide insight into the dynamics of real liquids. He simulated simple models of rigid rod polymers to understand the dynamics of this type of material. More recently, in collaboration with Professor Greg Voth of the University of Chicago, he has applied statistical mechanical ideas to the development of coarse grained models of liquids and biomolecules. Such models can be used to simulate molecular systems on long time scales. He has also used mode coupling theory to describe and interpret experiments on rotational relaxation in supercooled liquids and nematogens, in collaboration with Professor Michael Fayer of the Stanford Chemistry Department.