Experts in the News

To request a media interview, please reach out to experts using the faculty directories for each of our six schools, or contact Jess Hunt-Ralston, College of Sciences communications director. A list of faculty experts is also available to journalists upon request.

Laura Cadonati, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Sciences and a professor in the School of Physics, will serve as a General Councilor for the American Physical Society, following recent APS elections. Her term will begin January 1, 2024. Cadonati, who is also a member of Georgia Tech's Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, will join other elected members to advise the Society on all matters regarding science and membership, including science policy. "Throughout my research journey in nuclear physics, astrophysics, and gravity, along with my active participation in large scientific collaborations, I have developed an understanding of the interconnectedness and the different traditions in various branches of physics," Cadonati says. "These insights will enable me to represent the wide constituency of APS."

American Physical Society September 28, 2023

Around the coasts of the continents, where slopes sink down into the sea, tiny cages of ice called clathrates trap methane gas, preventing it from escaping and bubbling up into the atmosphere. Until now, the biological process behind how methane gas remains stable under the sea has been almost completely unknown. In a breakthrough study, a cross-disciplinary team of Georgia Tech researchers discovered a previously unknown class of bacterial proteins that play a crucial role in the formation and stability of methane clathrates. College of Sciences team members include Jennifer Glass, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Raquel Lieberman, professor and Sepcic-Pfeil Chair in the School of Chemistry and BiochemistryDustin Huard, a researcher in Lieberman’s lab and first author of the study;  Abigail Johnson, a former Ph.D. student in Glass’ lab and co-first author on the paper, and James (JC) Gumbart, professor in the School of Physics. (The study was also covered at SciTechDaily,, and Astrobiology.) 

ScienceDaily September 27, 2023

A pair of Georgia Tech students are among the 75 recipients of the Simons Foundation's Shenoy Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Neuroscience (SURFiN). The talented undergraduates will gain hands-on research experience and contribute to neuroscience research. The SURFiN program, named in memory of neuroscientist Krishna Shenoy, aims to spark and sustain interest in neuroscience among undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research. The Georgia Tech students include a College of Sciences undergraduate, Felipe Oliveira, who is studying for his B.S. in Neuroscience. The other Georgia Tech student is Nghi (Hailey) Ho, working for her B.S. in Computer Science, who researches in the Systems Neural Engineering Lab

Simons Foundation September 26, 2023

This summer, wildflowers brought an unusually bright splash of color to Colorado’s hillsides. Although the blooms were largely the product of a slow-melting snowpack and a wet spring, native pollinators like bees and butterflies played a critical role in creating these colorful habitats. But a new study shows that these flying insects are in trouble. Researchers at Colorado University of Denver and Georgia Tech analyzed data on 800 species of insects around the world and discovered that flying insects — many of which play a crucial role in pollinating the world’s plants and crops — are migrating at slower rates than their non-flying counterparts and appear to be dying at faster rates. James T. Stroud, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences, is a co-author of the study.

Colorado Public Radio September 26, 2023

Earth might be the showiest blue marble, but Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede, Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Titan, and more objects in the outer solar system have turned out to be remarkably active ocean worlds. Their interiors are filled with exotic forms of ice and vast seas of water. They may have hydrothermal vents feeding into oceans. All of these characteristics add up to potential habitability. The driver for much of this dynamism is volcanism. The mix of heat, water, ice, and rock makes these worlds fascinating to planetary and Earth scientists alike. Could these icy, volcanic moons host life? What does it take to create habitable zones in the outer solar system? One of the scientists interviewed for their thoughts on this is Jennifer Glass, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Eos September 25, 2023

Gloeocapsopsis dulcis strain AAB1 is an extremely xerotolerant cyanobacterium isolated from the Atacama Desert (the driest and oldest desert on Earth) that holds astrobiological significance due to its ability to biosynthesize compatible solutes at ultra-low water activities. A team including Postdoctoral Scholar Rachel A. Moore (the study's lead author) and Assistant Professor Christopher Carr, both with the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, developed a genome-scale model to explore the metabolic capacity of G. dulcis undergoing desiccation. Understanding specific metabolic adaptations employed by extremely desiccation-tolerant cyanobacteria like G. dulcis could be critical in identifying strategies for the survival of life in arid planetary environments such as Mars, especially given that the Atacama Desert is an established Martian analog.

Nature Scientific Reports September 22, 2023

Anheuser-Busch says it will end the practice of amputating the tails of its signature Budweiser Clydesdale horses, following a pressure campaign from the animal rights group PETA. The beer company said the practice of equine tail docking was discontinued earlier this year, according to a statement from an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson. The practice of docking has its roots in a tradition meant to keep a horse's tail from becoming tangled in the harness or equipment, but today it is mainly done for cosmetic purposes. A tail is important for a horse's welfare, as it is its instrument for swatting away biting insects, wrote David Hu, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, in a 2018 Scientific American article. (This story was also covered at 90.5 WESA.) 

National Public Radio September 21, 2023

The baculovirus–insect cell expression system — insect cells used in conjunction with the baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) —  remains a crucial technology for manufacturing large and complex proteins. This eukaryotic expression system offers inherent safety, ease of scale-up, flexible product design, and versatility for a broad range of proteins. This Insight from Industry Report features comments from Amy Sheng, currently Chief Research Officer at Sino Biological, who received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology in 2017 from the School of Biological Sciences.


News Medical Life Sciences September 20, 2023

A $72.5 million investment from the National Science Foundation will drive the design, discovery and development of advanced materials needed to address major societal challenges. The Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) program will fund 37 new four-year projects. One of those projects, Organic Materials Architectured for Researching Vibronic Excitations with Light in the Infrared (MARVEL-IR), will be led by principal investigator Jason Azoulay, Associate Professor and Georgia Research Aliance Vasser Woolley Distinguished Investigator in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. (This research is also covered at

Mirage News September 18, 2023

As an organic chemist who designs molecules to exhibit traits needed by other researchers, James Wilson relies on team science to shape his work. Outside of the classroom and lab, Wilson is a solo warrior who pushes his body to the limits as a competitive cyclist. He recently completed the infamous GAPCO (Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal), a 335-mile gravel ride from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., in 19 hours and 39 minutes — one of the fastest times ever recorded. He did it by himself, without sleeping and without support. A track athlete in high school, Wilson began cycling as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina. He competed in local and national events, then tapered his riding while completing his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2004 from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Miami September 18, 2023

Lynn Ingram writes that she thought she'd found the state seashell of North Carolina, a Scotch bonnet, on one of the state's beaches. But she soon discovered that the shell was a species of sea snail that is only found in the Pacific Ocean. How did it end up in the Atlantic? Joseph Montoya, professor in the School of Biological Sciences who is also director of Georgia Tech's Ocean Science and Engineering program, says one possibility involves ballast tanks of oceangoing ships; sometimes these shells start as larvae living in plankton that may have been caught up in a ship's ballast water. 

Okracoke Observer September 17, 2023

Southern California is no stranger to earthquakes, but tropical storms like Hilary are rare. It’s even rarer for a magnitude-5.1 earthquake near Ojai, Calif. to strike on the same Sunday afternoon (Aug. 20, 2023) that a tropical storm swept through Southern California. This uncommon confluence of events has sparked a heightened curiosity in the general public, including popular memes and the portmanteau “hurriquake.” But is there a physical connection between these events beyond mere coincidence in space and time? Zhigang Peng, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, was part of a research team that studied available meteorological and seismic data to reveal that the quake near Ojai, Calif. was almost certainly not triggered by Hilary, which had been downgraded to a tropical storm at the time the earthquake struck.

Temblor September 15, 2023