Georgetown faculty from a range of departments are leaders in scholarship and teaching on the environment.

To learn more about affiliated faculty members, click a name for an expanded profile.

Vishal Agrawal

Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business

Vishal Agrawal

Vishal Agrawal is an Associate Professor of Operations and Information Management at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. His research interests include sustainable operations, new product development and supply chain management. His research focuses on managerial challenges at the interface of business and the environment. He is also interested in the effect of consumer behavior on operations and new product development strategies. He teaches elective courses on business strategies for environmentally sustainability, and sustainable operations. His research has appeared in leading journals such as Management Science and M&SOM, and has received several awards including the Management Science Best Paper in Operations Management Award (2015), Paul Kleindorfer Award in Sustainability (2016), and the INFORMS ENRE Young Researcher Award (runner up 2014).

His research and scholarship can be found here.


Laura Anderko

Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care

Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies

Laura Anderko, Ph.D., R.N., holds the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. She is a scholar and educator in the fields of epidemiology, public health and environmental health. A Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow Alumna, Dr. Anderko earned her Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Illinois, an MS from Northern Illinois University, and a BSN from University of Illinois.

Dr. Anderko is a former member of the Environmental Protection Agency's federal advisory committee, the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC), the National Drinking Water Advisory Committee (NDWAC) and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee’s (NEJAC’s) Research Workgroup. She is currently a member of National Environmental Health Partnership Council (APHA/CDC), the Mid-Atlantic Health Equity Council for the Office of Minority Health (HHS), and the steering committee for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. She has held a number of board positions and is currently the President of the Fairfax County Master Naturalists in Virginia and Vice President of the Healthy Schools Network. Dr. Anderko has received numerous awards for her work in environmental health. In July 2013, she was honored as a White House Champion in the area of Climate Change and Public Health.

Scholarship & News

Click here for more information on Professor Anderko’s work on environmental health protection.

Professor Anderko named a White House Champion of Change. Full story.

Ali Arab

Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics Department

Dr. Arab’s research includes statistical modeling with focus on environmental applications. In particular, Dr. Arab is interested in statistical modeling of environmental and ecological processes related to climate change. His areas of expertise include spatial and spatio-temporal models, hierarchical models, and Bayesian inference. He is also interested in topics on risk and reliability analysis, quantitative methods for human rights, and public policy topics related to the environment, climate change, scientific freedom, and human rights.

Some recent projects include: methods for modeling abundance patterns of endangered species of fish in the Missouri River, a collaborative effort with United States Geological Survey (USGS) researchers; modeling patterns of spread of Malaria in West Africa, spatio-temporal models for identifying changes in bird migration patterns in North America over the past 130 years, and satellite imagery to detect human rights violations, and environmental change.


Scholarship & News

For a detailed list of publications, see Professor Arab’s faculty profile.

Peter Armbruster

Associate Professor, Biology Department

Dr. Armbruster’s research interests center on understanding mechanisms of phenotypic evolution in natural populations. He is particularly interested in investigating how interactions between ecological forces and genetic mechanisms lead to evolutionary change. His approach to these broad questions is necessarily integrative, and utilizes field ecology, quantitative and population genetics, and molecular biology.

Dr. Armbruster’s lab is currently investigating the evolutionary processes underpinning the range expansion of an invasive and medically important mosquito in North America. The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, invaded the United States in 1985, and has since spread to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, and as far north as New Jersey (a range of approximately 14 degrees of latitude).

Scholarship & News

Further information on research in the Armbruster lab can be found here.

The Armbruster lab has recently received a National Institutes of Health grant to investigate the genetic basis of diapause in Ae. albopictus using QTL and RNAseq approaches.

Vicki Arroyo

Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law, Assistant Dean of Centers and Institutes, Director of the Environmental Law Program, and Professor from Practice

Vicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law where she also serves as the Assistant Dean of Centers and Institutes, the Director of the Environmental Law Program, and a Professor from Practice.

She oversees the Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She teaches “experiential” environmental law courses to both law and public policy students.

She previously served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, most recently as the Pew Center’s Vice President for Domestic Policy and General Counsel. For over a decade, she directed the Pew Center’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and domestic policy programs. She also served as Managing Editor of the Center’s book and oversaw publication of numerous reports and policy briefs.

In addition to teaching at Georgetown Law, she has taught courses on environmental policy and climate change at Catholic University, George Mason University’s graduate public policy program, and Tulane Law School. Previously, she practiced environmental law with Kilpatrick Stockton and other private firms and served in two offices at U.S. EPA: the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act. From 1988 - 1991, she created and directed the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s policy office, and briefly served as Governor Buddy Roemer's environmental advisor.

She has recently served on California’s Economics and Allocation Advisory Committee advising California Air Resources Board on cap-and-trade design; on the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) external advisory committee; and on a National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board Committee on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. She is serving a three-year term on the national Transportation Research Board (appointed by the National Academy of Sciences). She is also currently serving three-year terms on an advisory committee to the National Science Foundation and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (a consortium of 77-PhD granting research universities which oversees NCAR). She also serves on the editorial boards of the Climate Policy journal and the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review.

She holds a B.S. in biology, high honors, from Emory (double major in philosophy); a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard (top honors in program), and a J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from Georgetown Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Georgetown International Environmental Law Review.

Scholarship & News

Information on the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute can be found here.

Watch Professor Arroyo’s TedTalk “Let’s Prepare for our New Climate” here.


Recent Publications:

Transportation Policy (Climate Change and Public Health, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015)

“State and Local Adaptation to Climate Change,” in Adaptation to Climate Change and the Law, American Bar Assn. book  (coauthor: Terri Cruce), Sept. 2012. http://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=215094

“Upside-down Cooperative Federalism: Climate Change Policymaking and the States.”  Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 2011 (Vivian Thomson co-author). http://www.velj.org/upside-down-cooperative-federalism.html

Hope Babcock

Professor of Law, Co-Director, Institute for Public Representation

Professor Babcock has taught environmental and natural resource law courses at Georgetown since 1992, and currently supervises environmental projects at the Institute for Public Representation.

Professor Babcock served as general counsel to the National Audubon Society from 1987-91 and as deputy general counsel and Director of Audubon’s Public Lands and Water Program from 1981-87. Previously, she was a partner with Blum, Nash & Railsback, where she focused on energy and environmental issues, and an associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae where she represented utilities in the nuclear licensing process. From 1977-79, she served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Minerals in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Professor Babcock has taught environmental and natural resources law as a visiting professor at Pace University Law School and as an adjunct at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Catholic University, and Antioch law schools. Professor Babcock was a member of the Standing Committee on Environmental Law of the American Bar Association and served on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team.

Scholarship & News

Professor Hope Babcock’s scholarship bibliography can be found here.

Shweta Bansal

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Shweta Bansal is a mathematical biologist and her research brings mathematical models to challenges in infectious disease ecology,epidemiology and evolution. She focuses on the complex links between host population behavior and pathogen ecology, characterized through network models, and studies how this interaction shapes population-level infectious disease dynamics and evolutionary potential. Bansal is also keen to use this approach to provide a principled and quantitative method to analyze and inform public and animal health policy, and works on systems ranging from influenza in humans and foot and mouth disease in cattle, to infections in threatened species such as the desert tortoise.

Scholarship & News

Professor Shweta Bansal's scholarship and bibliography can be found here.

Edward Barrows

Professor, Biology Department

Edward M. Barrows’ research focuses on arthropod biodiversity and scientific communication.  His teaching includes G-Ecology (an Earth-stewardship course that focuses on Georgetown University), Forest Ecology (an introduction to forests of the world with an emphasis on forests of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region), and biological research for graduate and undergraduate students.  He is the Director of the GU Center for the Environment, GU College Environmental Studies, and the GU Laboratory of Entomology and Biodiversity (LEB).

In the past, he has performed research on bird and insect behavior and ecology and on plant phenology and pollination.  Currently, students and he are working primarily on arthropod biodiversity of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve (DMWP), Virginia, part of the U.S. national park called the “George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP).”  With two colleagues at Qatar University, he is also investigating the biodiversity of Qatar.

Recent publications include: the third edition of Animal Behavior Desk Reference, A Dictionary of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution, and Nature, Gardens, and Georgetown.  He has had a life-long interest in biodiversity and conservation and is an honorary life-member of Friends of Dyke Marsh (a premier conservation society) and belongs to other conservation and scientific societies, having served as the President of the Entomological Society of Washington.

Julia Watts Belser

Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Theology Department

Julia Watts Belser is a specialist in Jewish Studies, focusing on rabbinic Jewish culture in late antiquity, as well as Jewish feminist environmental ethics. Her research centers on the close relationship between body and land in Jewish texts and traditions, with a particular focus on rain crisis and drought. Her first book, Power, Ethics, and Ecology in Jewish Late Antiquity: Rabbinic Responses to Drought and Disaster (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examines religious response to environmental crisis in the ancient world. Her current book project, Fashioning Catastrophe: Gender, Sexuality, and Ecology in Talmudic Disaster Tales, analyzes the relationship between gender, body, and ecology in rabbinic stories of exile and imperial conquest. She brings together theoretical expertise in disability studies, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, and ecological criticism to probe the literary connections between the scarred land and wounded flesh, reading the imprint of disaster on late antique Jewish culture. An ordained rabbi and a Jewish feminist ethicist, Belser is a passionate teacher committed to helping communities grapple with climate change—and forge more resilient and creative responses to environmental crisis. Her work focuses on ways that communities of relative privilege might better grapple with environmental violence and the intersection of race, class, and environmental injustice. She has particular expertise in disability and environmental risk, especially the ways that people with disabilities are marginalized within emergency response to climate disaster. Her work on climate change ethics and disability and the environment has appeared in a variety of scholarly and popular journals, including Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, The Journal of the Society for Christian Ethics, and Tikkun Magazine.

William Buzbee

Edith Brown Weiss

Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law, Georgetown Law Center

Professor Brown Weiss is highly active in the areas of public international, environmental, and water resources law. In September 2002 she was appointed to a 5-year term on the 3-member Inspection Panel of the World Bank and from 2003-2007 served full-time as the Chairperson of the Inspection Panel, an appointment at the Vice-Presidential level. Since January 2012, she serves as a Judge on the International Monetary Fund’s Administrative Tribunal.

She is the faculty adviser to the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, and is a member of the UNEP's International Advisory Council for Environmental Justice. 

Her past professional experience includes positions as Associate General Counsel for International Activities at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1990-92, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Politics at Princeton University, and Research Associate at Columbia University and the Brookings Institution.


For a more complete list of experience, publications, and awards, please click here.

Scholarship & News

For a more complete list of experience, publications, and awards, please click here.

J. Peter Byrne

Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute

Faculty Director, State-Federal Climate Resource Center

Peter Byrne joined the Law Center faculty in 1985. After graduating from the University of Virginia law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Frank Coffin and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell and then worked as an associate with the D.C. firm of Covington & Burling. He teaches and writes in the areas of Property, Land Use, Historic Preservation, and Higher Education Law.  Professor Byrne’s articles deal with a wide spectrum of topics, including the interplay of property and environmental protection, constitutional property rights, subsidized housing, exclusionary zoning, academic freedom, and preservation of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Byrne served as Associate Dean for the JD Program from 1997 to 2000 and was John Carroll Research Professor in 1996-97. He serves as Faculty Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program. He also serves as the Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation.

Scholarship & News

To view Professor Byrne’s scholarship bibliography click here.


Raphael Calel

Assistant Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

Raphael Calel is an applied environmental economist working on environmental and climate change policy evaluation. His most recent work investigates the implementation and economic impacts of the emissions trading programs, especially the EU Emissions Trading System. Dr. Calel also studies the representation of uncertainty in climate change forecasts in economic decisions. He studied economics at the University of Cambridge, the University College London, and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and he just completed his term as Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley.



Francisca Cho

Associate Professor, Theology Department

Francisca Cho is a specialist in East Asian Buddhism who focuses on the dialogue between religion and science. Her publications bring Buddhist thought to bear on classical issues such as the mind-body problem and the question of consciousness. Her primary focus, however, is on the Buddhist understanding about the importance of the imagination and how it shapes our perceptions and interactions with empirical realities such as the social and natural environments. This emphasis on the imagination underscores the ethical consequences of how individuals and societies choose to narrate the origins of the universe and of sentient life. It also councils being aware of the different purposes that religious and scientific stories undertake, and the possibility of accepting both kinds of tales without integrating or deciding between them.


Scholarship & News

For a full list of Dr. Cho's publications, please follow the link to her faculty profile.

Dagomar Degroot

Assistant Professor, History Department

Dagomar Degroot is an environmental historian who bridges disciplines to investigate how people confront changes in the natural world. He is an expert on social adaptation in the face of climate change; relationships between shifting environments and war; and interdisciplinary methodology. He is passionate about using public and digital histories to break the barriers that too often separate academics from the public. In his articles and conference papers, Dr. Degroot has explored examples of human resilience in the face of climatic fluctuations from the sixteenth century to the present. He has written a book, currently in peer review, that furnishes the first detailed analysis of relationships between climate change and the “Golden Age” of the Dutch Republic. His ongoing projects trace the human consequences of seventeenth-century Arctic cooling; investigate connections between climate change and early modern conflict; and identify how people have responded to environmental changes beyond Earth. Dr. Degroot is the founder of HistoricalClimatology.com, a website that attracts more than 100,000 viewers annually. He is also the co-founder of the Climate History Network, an organization with more than 150 multidisciplinary members, and the host of the Climate History Podcast.

Scholarship & News

To view Dr. Degroot's website, click here

Robin Dillon-Merrill

Professor, McDonough School of Business

Professor Dillon-Merrill seeks to understand and explain how and why people make the decisions that they do under conditions of uncertainty and risk. This research specifically examines critical decisions that people have made following near-miss events in situations with severe outcomes (i.e., hurricane evacuation, NASA mission management, etc.). Her past research in risk has included supporting the Department of Energy’s selection of a new tritium supply facility, aiding NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in decision making for the Mars Exploration Program, and developing a quantitative decision support tool for the management of software project resources based on an analysis of both the information system and the design. She has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Department of Defense. She has served as a risk analysis and project management expert on several National Academies Committees including the Review of the New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects. From 1993-1995, she worked as a Systems Engineer for Fluor Daniel, Inc.

Scholarship & News

Tinsley and Dillon-Merrill Article Selected as Top Paper by Journal“ McDonough School of Business Press Release Archive

Disaster Near Misses Can Produce Sense of Security, According to New Study“ McDonough School of Business Press Release Archive

Heidi Elmendorf

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Heidi Elmendorf’s research centers on cellular and molecular biology, particularly the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia, which is infectious for humans and is found in fresh water throughout the world. Due to poor sanitation conditions, it is perhaps the most common human parasite. Various Giardia species can infect mammals, reptiles and birds. In the US Giardia infections are mainly found among campers and hikers as well as in day care and nursing home situations. A cycle of infection starts with the ingestion of the quiescent cyst stage of the parasite. After passage through the stomach, the parasite differentiates into the active trophozoite stage that replicates in the lumen of the small intestine. The presence of the parasite in the intestine, and the body’s immune response to it, are a major cause of human diarrheal disease. The cycle of infection is completed when the trophozoite redifferentiates back into the cyst stage and is excreted.

Scholarship & News

Dr. Heidi Elmendorf: Helping to Stick it to GiardiaGeorgetown College Research News

Reunion Weekend Abuzz With Alumni ActivityGeorgetown University News

Catherine Evtuhov

Professor, Department of History

Catherine Evtuhov has been teaching in the History Department at Georgetown since 1992. Her interests lie at the intersection of ideas, culture, and society in Russia, ranging broadly over the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. She has published the first translation of Russian philosopher Sergei Bulgakov’s Philosophy of Economy: The World as Household (1912; Yale UP, 2000), a work of social theory based deeply on the relation of human beings and nature; and her most recent book, Portrait of a Russian Province: Economy, Society, and Civilization in Nineteenth-Century Nizhnii Novgorod (U of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), delves into the ecology of ravines, rivers, and forests, and contemporary scientific thinking about them. At present, Dr. Evtuhov is involved in an international collaborative project, with colleagues from the US, UK, and Russia, seeking to establish and broaden the field of Russian environmental history.

Scholarship & News

For Professor Evtuhov’s publications, please click here.

Georgetown Scholar Wins Prize for Book on Russian History“ Georgetown University News

James K Freericks

Robert L. McDevitt, K.S.G., K.C.H.S. and Catherine H. McDevitt, L.C.H.S. Chair in Physics, Physics Department

Research interests lie in theoretical and computational condensed matter and atomic physics. Professor Freericks has recently concentrated on transport through nanoscale devices (tunnel junctions, thermoelectric coolers and thermoelectric power generators, and many-body effects on capacitance), on the inelastic scattering of light with electrons in correlated materials, on nonequilibrium physics corresponding to the motion of electrons in strong electric fields, on the problem of ultracold atoms moving on an optical lattice, and on building quantum computers from trapped ion simulators.

The most environmentally relevant work is the work on thermoelectricity to try to discover new techniques for efficient cooling or power generation and another project that is trying to create ultrathin layered transistors for electronic circuits at low power. He currently has funding support from NSF, DARPA, DOE, AFOSR, and ARO. He has computer time on DOD machines at the ERDC center and on DOE machines at NERSC; he was recently awarded a challenge grant of 5 million CPU hours from the DOD and a regular grant of 3 million hours from the DOE. In 2006, Prof. Freericks was elected to fellowship in the American Physical Society. In 2007, he was awarded Georgetown University’s Distinguished Accomplishment in Research Award, and in 2009, he was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Prize for the category of Natural Sciences.

Scholarship & News

For more on Professor Freerick's teaching, research, and service, see his website.

Most Powerful Computer Could Come From Tiny Crystal“ Georgetown University News

Endowed Chairs Funded with $75 Million From Georgetown Alumnus’ Estate” Georgetown University News

Georgetown Physics Professor Receives NASA Award“ Georgetown University News

Using Computers to Solve Complex Physics Questions: Dr. Jim Freericks“ Georgetown College Research News

Mark Giordano

Director of the Program in Science, Technology and International Affairs, Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environment and International Affairs, and Associate Professor of Environment and Energy in the SFS

Mark Giordano is Director of the Program in Science, Technology and International Affairs, the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environment and International Affairs, and Associate Professor of Environment and Energy in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He is well known for his work on conflict and cooperation over resources, international water law, and agricultural water management in developing countries as well as his sometimes provocative challenges to common natural resources management paradigms. Mark’s passion is students, but he maintains an active research program, advises a variety of organizations on water issues and is a frequent speaker at international events. Prior to joining Georgetown in 2013, Mark was a Managing Director of the Sri Lanka based International Water Management Institute, winner of the 2012 “Noble Prize for Water,” the Stockholm Water Prize. Mark is from Eastern Washington but has spent most of his career outside the U.S.

Scholarship & News

For more on Professor Giordano’s research and publications, please click here.

William Gormley

University Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

Professor Gormley covers environmental issues in courses on Federalism and the Policy Making Process.  Early in his career, he directed an NSF study on citizen participation (by consumer groups and environmental groups) in state public utility commission proceedings.  More recently, he conducted a study of environmental performance measures and their use by public officials for the National Academy of Public Administration.  He has also studied environmental conflicts between federal and state officials.


Scholarship & News

Policymakers Should Use Scientific Evidence, Professor Writes“ Georgetown University News

William Hahn

Adjunct Associate Research Professor of Biology &
Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA)

William Hahn’s research interests center on the ecology and evolutionary biology of plants with particular interest in palms, cultivated plants, and model evolutionary systems such as the evening primrose family. Other research activities include studies on Malagasy carnivore evolution, South American primate ecology, marine phytoplankton population dynamics, and various local environmental sustainability issues. He employs a range of techniques including primary field observations, morphological studies, and molecular DNA sequence approaches. His work on palms includes economically important species such as the coconut, oil palm, date palm, and peach palm. He currently teaches environmental sustainability at the graduate and undergraduate levels at Georgetown.

Prior to his arrival at Georgetown in 2003, he was Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University where he served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for that department. Additionally, he served for three years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation where he ran the Graduate Research Fellowship Program, NSF’s oldest program overall and the most influential for supporting top research-based graduate students in science and engineering fields.

Scholarship & News

Please click here for a list of Dean Hahn’s publications.

Matthew Hamilton

Associate Professor, Biology Department

Dr. Hamilton is engaged in research in evolutionary genetics as well as computational and mathematical biology. He studies genetic variation within species such as patterns of gene flow in tropical trees, the genetic effective population size of fish, and genetic population structure in numerous species. His lab is also researching how genetic variation influences ecological processes and ecological context impacts genetic variation. In addition, Dr. Hamilton works in molecular evolution studying mechanisms that influence rates of genetic divergence between species, focusing on plant genes and genomes. His research is relevant to fundamental and applied hypotheses in evolutionary biology and conservation biology.

Dr. Hamilton co-directs the Environmental Biology major in the Department of Biology. He is the author of a widely used text book in population genetics and develops software used for teaching and learning.

Scholarship & News

For more on Professor Hamilton’s research, see the Hamilton Lab website.

New Textbook by Dr. Matthew Hamilton: ‘Population Genetics‘ Georgetown College Research News

Lisa Heinzerling

Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center

Lisa Heinzerling is the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law at Georgetown University. Her specialties include environmental and natural resources law, administrative law, food law, and cost-benefit analysis. From January 2009 to July 2009, Heinzerling served as Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then, from July 2009 to December 2010, she served as Associate Administrator of EPA’s Office of Policy. In 2008, she served as a member of President Obama’s EPA transition team. Among other works, she is (with Frank Ackerman) the author of Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (The New Press 2004).

Scholarship & News

Dr. Heinzerling’s Scholarship Bibliography is available here.

Environmental Law Scholar Receives Yale Honor“ Georgetown University News

Nathan Hensley

Assistant Professor, Department of English

Nathan K. Hensley works on nineteenth-century British literature (fiction, poetry, and political writing), critical theory, and the novel. His other interests include Anglophone modernism and the cultures of globalization. He is currently finishing a book project exploring how Victorian writers expanded the capacities of literary form to account for the ongoing violence of liberal modernity. A second project, now in its early stages, brings literary methods in dialogue with Victorian and contemporary ecological thinking to investigate how the nineteenth century imagined catastrophe.  Grounded in nineteenth century archives, this project sketches a prehistory for the conceptual vertigo produced by the anthropocene. Hensley is director of the 2015 Lannan Symposium, "In Nature's Wake: The Art and Politics of Environmental Crisis.


Scholarship & News

Please visit Professor Hensley's departmental website here.

Douglas Howard

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Geosciences, School of Foreign Service

Professor Howard is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) program.  Professor Howard’s research focus is on the understanding of geochemical and geomorphological processes on Earth that are analogues to similar processes on other planetary bodies.  He is a member of the NASA Mars Observer, Mars Global Survey, and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Thermal Infrared Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) science teams.  Professor Howard served as a Senior Advisor and Research & Development Scientist for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Intelligence Community for remote sensing and geospatial technologies and field Verification & Validation operations for over 20 experimental and operational Earth orbiting and airborne remote sensing missions addressing national security issues. He is the recent recipient of an NSF RAPID Research Grant entitled: Monitoring the glacial-outburst flood (jökulhlaup) resulting from the eruption of Bárðarbunga Volcano, Iceland.

Professor Howard’s teaching focus is on earth and environmental sciences engaging students in research areas such as environmental, planetary geoscience, geomorphology, geologic mapping, remote sensing and GIS, hydrology, numerical modeling, and geoarcheology.

Professor Howard holds a B.S. in Geology from Arizona State University, an M.S. in Earth Systems Science and a Ph.D. in Earth Systems and GeoInformation Science from George Mason University.

Scholarship & News

Please visit Professor Howard’s University of Tennessee’s departmental website here.

Maya Civilization Faced Climate Change Similar to Modern Problem“ Georgetown University News

Digging for Clues with Geological Phenomena“ Mason Research

David E. Hunger

Affiliated Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

Dr. Hunger is a senior economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In his time at the Commission, he has worked on market power analysis in energy markets, merger analysis and policy, and investigations of the California energy crisis and Enron’s impact on energy markets. Dr. Hunger teaches the core Microeconomic Theory class at the McCourt School of Public Policy and has also taught Macroeconomics, Energy Policy, and the Practicum. His research interests include the effect of environmental regulations on international trade, market power in energy markets, and energy policy. He is a frequent speaker on energy market issues and has published articles on energy economics and policy.

Sarah Stewart Johnson

Assistant Professor, School of Foreign Service

Sarah Stewart Johnson's scientific research focuses on the evolution of planetary environments, particularly with regard to the search for life on Mars. She has created models of the early Martian atmosphere, completed field seasons in Antarctica, Australia and Madagascar, conducted research at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and worked on the NASA Science Team for the Opportunity and Spirit Mars Rovers. Sarah also worked as a White House Fellow for the President’s Science Advisor during the first term of the Obama Administration, focusing primarily on climate and sustainability. Just prior to joining the Georgetown faculty in 2014, she was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. She is a Goldwater, Truman, and Rhodes Scholar, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She holds a B.A. in mathematics and environmental studies from Washington University in St. Louis, a second B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics and M.Sc. in biology from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in planetary science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Scholarship & News

Johnson, S. S., et al., 2015. Insights from the metagenome of an acid salt lake: the role of biology in an extreme depositional environment. PLOS ONE.

Johnson, S. S., O-Rings, 2014. Best American Science and Nature Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p. 107-114.

Johnson, S. S., et al., 2009. Fate of SO2 in the ancient Martian atmosphere: implications for transient greenhouse warming. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, E11011.

Johnson, S. S., et al., 2008. Sulfur-induced Greenhouse Warming on Early Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, E08005. Isenbarger, T. A., et al., 2008. The most conserved genome segments for life detection on Earth and other planets. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 38(6), 517–533.

Johnson, S. S., et al., 2007. Ancient Bacteria Show Evidence of DNA Repair. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(36), 14401-14405.

Herkenhoff, K. E., et al., 2006, Overview of the Microscopic Imager Investigation during Spirit's first 450 sols in Gusev crater. Journal of Geophysical Research. 111, E02S04.

McLennan, S. M., et al., 2005. Provenance and diagenesis of the evaporate-bearing Burns formation, Meridiani Planum, Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 240, 95 - 121.

Ehlmann, B. L., et al., 2005. Hydrologic and Isotopic Modeling of Alpine Lake Waiau. Pacific Science, 59(1), 1-15.

Arvidson, R. E., et al., 1999, Aerobot Measurements Successfully Obtained During Solo Spirit Balloon Mission. Eos Trans. AGU, 80(14), 153, doi:10.1029/99EO00106.

Miklos Kertesz 

Professor, Chemistry Department

Professor Kertesz’s program focuses on understanding the structural, electronic and other properties on the basis of modern techniques of computational chemistry with the goal to understanding and designing new materials with desirable physical properties.  One group of such materials in which they have interest is synthetic metals:  materials with metallic properties containing elements other than metallic ones.  They have established structure-property relationships for several classes of conducting polymers, including new ladder-type polymers with delocalized electrons. The terms ‘artificial muscle’ and ‘molecular actuator’ refer to molecules that can change their size upon stimuli such as electrochemical potential change in polymers and nanotubes.

Interesting chemistry takes place inside the isolated restricted spaces of carbon nanotubes. They study the reactions of molecules inside nanotubes with each other and with the wall of the tube helping to understand the properties of unusual molecules on the one hand and tube functionalization on the other. They have a new interest in collaboration with experimentalists to explore silicon carbide derived nanoporous carbons, which offer opportunities for molecular storage. As electrode materials, these porous carbons display enormous capacitance and therefore are of interest for energy storage.

π-π stacking (pancake) interactions play key roles in various areas of chemistry. They have developed methodologies to accurately describe these interactions for π-π stacking radicals. They study how these interactions determine conducting pathways and observed magnetism. Some novel π-π stacking systems may lead to the discovery of novel molecular actuators.

Scholarship & News

See Professor Kertsz’s Chemistry Department website.

Arik Levinson

Professor, Department of Economics

Arik Levinson is a Professor in the Economics Department of Georgetown University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has served as a Senior Economist on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, and as a co-Editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Arik’s current research projects include a calculation of how the environmental consequences of American consumers’ choices have differed across income groups over time (“Environmental Engel Curves”); an explanation for California’s remarkable energy efficiency gains over the past 40 years; and an empirical assessment of the efficacy of international treaties banning trade in hazardous waste.

Scholarship & News

For more information, please see Professor Levinson’s website.

Joanna Lewis

Associate Professor, School of Foreign Service

Joanna Lewis is an associate professor in the Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) program at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research focuses on energy, environment and innovation in China, including renewable energy industry development and climate change policy. She is currently leading a National Science Foundation-funded project on International Partnerships and Technological Leapfrogging in China's Clean Energy Sector. Her recent book, Green Innovation in China: China’s Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy was the winner of the 2014 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award by the International Studies Association for best book of the year in environmental studies. Dr. Lewis is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report and a visiting faculty affiliate with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s China Energy Group. She has worked with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the Asia Society, and the Energy Foundation China Sustainable Energy Program, among other governmental, non-governmental and international organizations, and has been a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, the Wilson Center and the East West Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University.

Scholarship & News

For more information about Dr. Lewis and a list of recent publications please see her website.

Joanna Lewis on President Obama’s Energy Address“ Georgetown University News                                             Professor Lewis and students from her Energyand Sustainability class (STIA 353) visit the Georgetown central plant to learn about energy use on campus.

Maggie Little

Director, Kennedy Institute of Ethics

Dr. Little is Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown. Her research interests include issues in reproduction, clinical research ethics, and the structure of moral theory.

A Rhodes Scholar and fellow of the Hastings Center, she has twice served as Visiting Scholar in residence at the National Institutes of Health Department of Bioethics, and was appointed to the Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a founding member of The Ob-Gyn Risk Research Group, which brings together experts from medical epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, philosophy, bioethics, gender theory, and the medical humanities, for research encompassing a wide variety of issues in reproductive health and clinical research ethics. Together with Ruth Faden and Anne Lyerly, she co-founded The Second Wave Initiative, which works to promote responsible research into the health needs of pregnant women.

As director, Dr. Little has overseen a time of transformative development at the KIE, including the launch of the world's first Introduction to Bioethics MOOC in April 2014; the inauguration of Conversations in Bioethics, an annual campus-wide event focused on a critical issue in bioethics; the deployment of a series of experimental undergraduate courses utilizing project-based learning and design studio methods; and the founding ofEthicsLab, a social innovation lab at Georgetown whose team-based unites people on the front lines of complex moral issues with expert bioethicists and strategic designers make tangible progress on real-world bioethics problems.

Scholarship & News

Maggie Little Appointed to ACOG Ethics Committee“ Kennedy Institute of Ethics News

Maggie Little Speaks at Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words Conference“ Kennedy Institute of Ethics News

Dana Luciano

Associate Professor of English, Department of English

Dana Luciano is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University. She is the author of Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America (NYU, 2007), which won the Modern Language Association’s First Book Prize in 2008. Her recent work includes the essay collection Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies, co-edited with Ivy G. Wilson (NYU Press, 2014) and a forthcoming special issue of GLQ: The Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies titled “Queer Inhumanisms” (spring/summer 2015), co-edited with Mel Y. Chen. For 2014-15, she is serving as the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Fellow at Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities and working on her current book project, How the Earth Feels: Geological Fantasy in the Nineteenth-Century US.

Scholarship & News

For more information, visit Professor Luciano's Cornell University webpage here.

Rodney Ludema

Associate Professor, Economics Department

Professor Ludema specializes in the area of international trade. His research interests include the political economy of trade policy, international trade bargaining, preferential trade agreements, trade and the environment, GATT rules and dispute settlement, and economic geography. He teaches international trade in the undergraduate, MSFS and Ph.D. programs.

His research on the environment focuses on the interaction between trade and environmental policies, including carbon tariffs and measures aimed at clean technology adoption.

Scholarship & News

Please click here for Professor Ludema’s website.

Paasha Madhavi

Assistant Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

Paasha Mahdavi is an Assistant Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. His research interests are comparative political economy, political methodology, and energy politics & policy. Paasha is currently writing a book manuscript on the relationship between petroleum and governance as mediated by oil-related institutions. Some of his other projects include the determinants and consequences of gasoline subsidies around the world; subnational distribution of natural gas revenues in Peru; statistical network analysis of oil elites in Nigeria; and transnational prosecutions of oil-related corruption. Paasha holds an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.

Scholarship & News

For more information, please see Professor Mahdavi's website.

Janet Mann

Professor, Biology Department
Professor, Psychology Department
Vice Provost for Research

Janet Mann’s main interests are in mammalian behavioral ecology, especially tool-use, social networks, female reproduction, maternal care, and calf development. Since 1988 she has been conducting a longitudinal study of the behavioral ecology, genetics, reproduction, and life history of wild bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia.

Professor Mann was a 1994-1995 and 2005-06 fellow at The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, CA. Her co-edited award-winning volume, Cetacean Societies: Field Studies of Dolphins and Whales, was published with the University of Chicago Press in 2000.

Professor Mann has over 85 scientific publications and has been continuously supported by the National Science Foundation for the last 18 years. Her students have received over 150 awards, grants, and fellowships in collaboration with Professor Mann. In 2014 she received the Christine Stevens Wildlife Award. Her work has also been covered extensively by documentary film teams, including a BBC special devoted to her work "The Dolphins of Shark Bay." She is currently serving as Vice Provost for Research at Georgetown University.

Scholarship & News

See this website for more about Professor Mann’s work. 

Click here for a video about the dolphins of Shark Bay.

Mary Beth Martin

Professor, Departments of Oncology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Dr. Martin is a Professor in the Department of Oncology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology in the School of Medicine at Georgetown University. Dr. Martin’s primary research interest is in the role of steroid receptors in breast and prostate cancer and hormone dependent diseases and focuses on the mechanisms that regulate expression and activity of the receptors. Dr. Martin’s laboratory has pioneered the field of metalloestrogens and other metallohormones. Her laboratory was the first to show that the bivalent metal cadmium activates both the estrogen receptor and the androgen receptor in vitro and in vivo by binding to their ligand binding domains. Her laboratory has also shown that other bivalent metals including chromium, cobalt, lead, mercury, and tin activate the estrogen receptor. In addition to bivalent metals, her laboratory has shown that oxyanions, such as arsenite and nitrite, activate the estrogen receptor in vitro and in vivo. In ongoing studies funded by a U01 grant, her laboratory is asking whether metals and metalloids activate the progesterone receptor. Dr. Martin’s current research builds on her prior work, scientific interests, and expertise to address the question of environmental influences on risk of developing hormone dependent diseases.

Scholarship & News

Click here for more information on Professor Martin's work in tumor biology.

John McNeill

University Professor, School of Foreign Service

John McNeill earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Since 1985, he has served as a faculty member of the School of Foreign Service and the History Department at Georgetown. From 2003 until 2006 he held the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environmental and International Affairs, until he was appointed University Professor. He teaches world history, environmental history, and international history at Georgetown, writes books, and directs Ph.D. students, mainly in environmental history.  In 2010, he published Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1640-1914(Cambridge University Press), which won the Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association.  In 2015 a new book should appear, co-authored with Peter Engelke, entitled Into the Anthropocene (Harvard University Press).  His next project will be an environmental history of the Industrial Revolution. He  served as the President of the American Society for Environmental History in 2011-13.

Scholarship & News

Watch Professor John McNeill discuss his new book Mosquito Empires by clicking here.

Theodore Moran

Director and Wallenberg Professor, Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy

Theodore H. Moran holds the Marcus Wallenberg Chair in International Business and Finance at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, where he teaches and conducts research at the intersection of international economics, business, foreign affairs, and public policy. Dr. Moran is founder of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy, and serves as Director in providing courses on international business-government relations and negotiations to some 600 undergraduate and graduate students each year. 

His most recent books include HARNESSING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT: Policies for Developed and Developing Countries, Center for Global Development, 2006. DOES FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT?, editor, with Magnus Blomstrom, Stockholm School of Economics and Edward Graham, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2005; International Political Risk Management: Exploring New Frontiers, ed., (MIGA, the World Bank Group, 2005); Beyond Sweatshops: Foreign Direct Investment, Globalization, and Developing Countries (Brookings, 2002); and Foreign Investment and Development (Peterson Institute for International Economics, 1998). In 1993-94, Dr. Moran served as Senior Advisor for Economics on the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State, where he had responsibility for trade, finance, technology, energy, and environmental issues. He returned to Georgetown after the NAFTA and Uruguay Round negotiations. 

Dr. Moran is consultant to the United Nations, to diverse governments in Asia and Latin America, and to the international business and financial communities. In 2000, he was appointed Counselor to the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group. In 2002 Dr. Moran was named Chairman of the Committee on Monitoring International Labor Standards of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2007-2013, he served as Associate to the National Intelligence Council Panel on international business issues. Dr. Moran is a Member of the International Advisory Council of Huawei. 

Professor Moran received his PhD from Harvard in 1971. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and at the Center for Global Development. 

The Moran family philanthropic activities focus on helping poor children and AIDs-orphans in Latin America and Asia. 

Link to Peterson Institute 

Link to Center for Global Development


Scholarship & News

World Bank: Open Data Helps Developing Countries“ Georgetown University News

Adele Morris

Adjunct Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

Dr. Morris is a Fellow and Deputy Director for Climate and Energy Economics at the Brookings Institution. Her economic and natural resource policy experience includes work at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and OMB. She was a lead climate negotiator with the U.S. State Department in 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.

Scholarship & News

For a list of Dr. Morris’ research and commentary through the Brookings Institution please click here.

Tim Newfield

Assistant Professor, Biology Department
Assistant Professor, History Department

Tim Newfield is an historical epidemiologist and environmental historian. After defending his doctoral thesis in History and Classical Studies at McGill University in 2011, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the universities of Michigan (History), Stirling (Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy) and Princeton (History & the Environmental Institute). He has taught medieval, environmental, and medical history, and most recently led a seminar on the global history of yersinia pestis (from 3000BCE to last year). Tim joined Georgetown University as an Assistant Professor in History and Biology in Spring 2017. His recent work has focused on human-bovine plagues and the measles-rinderpest divergence in Eurasia in the first millennium CE and on the prevalence of vivax and malariae malaria in Europe ca.450-950 CE. Forthcoming work looks at the history of short-term/rapid climate change and food shortage in the Frankish period and the 376-386 bovine panzootic, an intercontinental cattle plague that seems not to have occurred. He completed a synthesis of the historical and palaeoclimatic scholarship on the 535-550 global climatic downturn for the forthcoming Palgrave Handbook of Climate History a short while ago. His papers have appeared in Agricultural History Review, Argos, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Post-Classical Archaeologies, Early Medieval Europe, and edited volumes focused on various aspects of premodern health, environment and economy. At present, he is finishing the re-write of his doctoral thesis on subsistence crises, epidemics and epizootics in Carolingian Europe, co-editing a three-volume handbook for Brill on medieval environmental history, and leading a multi-author study on European mortality events between the Justinianic Plague and Black Death. He also co-leads the Climate Change and History Research Initiative (cchri.princeton.edu) at Princeton. His next project considers how the Medieval Climatic Anomaly and the rise of the Mongol Empire altered the pathogenic load of European and West Asian livestock.


Neil Proto

Affiliated Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy

Professor Proto is a partner in the law firm of Schnader, Harrison, Segal, and Lewis and has been an Adjunct Professor since 1989. He specializes in environmental law and litigation and heads the firm’s Urban Development practice. In 1971 and 1972, while still a law student, Mr. Proto chaired Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures (SCRAP), which resulted in the first Supreme Court case to consider the National Environmental Policy Act (1973). At Georgetown, he has taught about the history and law of commercial nuclear power, the values underlying energy and environmental choices, and urban sprawl and the environment. He was elected a Fellow in the Royal Geographical Society of London in 2010.

Scholarship & News

Click here for Professor Proto’s profile.

Gary W Phillips

Adjunct Associate Professor, Radiation Medicine, Research

Dr. Phillips teaches courses in Radiation Detection, Environmental Health Physics, and Nuclear Nonproliferation in the Health Physics masters degree program. While at the US Naval Research Laboratory, he led a Navy team in a congressionally mandated program to investigate nuclear and chemical pollution in Siberia and in the Arctic seas and conducted an environmental remediation study at mixed nuclear and chemical waste sites in US Department of Defense facilities.

Scholarship & News

Please click here for a detailed overview of Dr. Phillips research.

Madison Powers

Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics

Institute of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy Department

Dr. Powers is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. From 2000 to 2009, he served as Director of the Kennedy Institute.

Dr. Powers has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics in normative and practical philosophy, including a long-standing interest in questions of justice in public health and social policy. Drs. Powers and Ruth Faden are co-authors of a recent book, Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Care Policy (NY: Oxford University Press, 2006; revised edition, 2008).

Dr. Powers was a recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Investigator Award, and for many years he also served as a member and as chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Program. In addition, he has participated in many other private and governmental advisory bodies including a four-year term as a member of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) for the National Institutes of Health.

Current research interests center on global justice with a special focus on environmental challenges arising from the global system of production and distribution of food, energy, and water – a triad of interrelated practical problems of justice that is dubbed the "FEW Problem."

There are two companion book projects in the works. The first one (currently in draft form) is a book with co-author Ruth Faden. It is designed to follow up and extend the theoretical discussion of social justice from the previous book to engage emerging issues in global justice.

The second, longer-term book project aims at a broader audience. It takes as its focus the public regulatory policies and private resource decisions that have the potential to systematically disadvantage many of the planet’s most vulnerable and least powerful people.

The research project related to the FEW Problem proceeds on two additional fronts.

The first front is the website http://www.FEWResources.org/. It contains over 500 entries organized within 36 categories, covering a variety of issues arising out of the global economic and political arrangements pertaining to food, energy, and water. The site is an ongoing project with regular updates, and as of September, 2015, it receives between 10,000-15,000 unique visitors from over 100 countries each month.

The second aspect of the project involves a series of academic papers that concentrate on specific issues of justice pertaining to climate change, the global production of food, and the management of water resources. The overall aim is to show how the production, distribution, and regulation of vital, and increasingly scarce resources affect paths to global development, poverty alleviation, and the capacity of individuals and nations to secure the basic requirements for decent human lives and to preserve sustainable human habitats.

Before his professional career as a philosopher he was a lawyer working primarily in health and environmental law.


Click here to learn more about Dr. Powers' work.

Scholarship & News

The Powers of Philosophical Debate“ Georgetown University News: Blue & Gray

Leslie Ries

Assistant Professor, Biology Department

Leslie Ries is an ecologist who focuses on patterns at both medium and large scales. She has worked both in the fields of landscape ecology and biogeography with her focus mainly on butterflies. Over the last 10 years, she has shifted from a field approach to using large databases, mostly originating from citizen science monitoring networks. Citizen science greatly expands the scale at which we can collect data and thus explore problems and solutions that are increasingly global in nature. Ries focuses on several facets of citizen-science, including the use of these data to answer large-scale ecological questions, especially those related to climate and land cover; developing statistical tools to extract the most robust information from the data; designing systems to support data management, visualization, and sharing; and developing “knowledge” databases that compile life history and other trait data to enrich multi-species analyses. In addition to carrying out and enabling large-scale ecological research, Ries has also been working on methods to integrate big-data approaches into formal (currently undergraduate) education, and she is also increasingly interested in informal education opportunities as well. At Georgetown, she plans to expand her research to include lab work on the physiological limits to growth imposed by extreme temperatures. Combining lab and field research with large-scale distribution data could provide a powerful approach to exploring the impacts of changing land cover and climate at regional, continental and global scales.

Scholarship & News

A full publication list can be found on Dr. Ries' Google Scholar Profile.

Paul Roepe

Professor, Chemistry DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology (GUMC)

Co-Director, Georgetown Center for Infectious Disease

Paul Roepe is a Professor of Chemistry (main campus) and a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology (medical campus). He is an expert in Biochemistry. He is also a co-Director of GU Center for Infectious Disease. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University in 1987. The primary focus of his laboratory is to elucidate the molecular details of drug resistance pathways. Two systems that he currently studies in depth are “multidrug resistant” tumor cells, and drug resistant malarial parasites.

In the malaria work, much attention has focused recently on the role of PfCRT and PfMDR1 proteins in conferring pleotropic drug resistance phenomena.  Global patterns of different mutant alleles encoding these two proteins likely reflect different drug selection conditions (different historical use of antimalarial drugs) across the continents.  The laboratory studies the biochemistry and physiology of geographically distinct malarial parasites, and uses that information along with genetics to better understand the global spread of drug resistant phenotypes, as well as the continued emergence of new drug resistant phenotypes.

The laboratory also has a growing interest in environmentally toxic chemicals and has recently performed several high profile studies determining the level of perchloroethylene (“perc”, a common dry cleaning fluid) in dry cleaned clothing.

Scholarship & News

Click here for Professor Roepe’s Lab website.

Paul Roepe: Testing the Killing Power of Anti-Malarial Drugs“ Georgetown University Medical Center News

High Levels of Carcinogens in Dry-Cleaning, Study Shows“ Georgetown University News

George Shambaugh

Chair & Associate Professor, Government Department

Dr. George E. Shambaugh, IV is Associate Professor of International Affairs and Government in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Chairman of the Department of Government at Georgetown University. Dr. Shambaugh received a B.A. in Government and Physics from Oberlin College, an M.I.A. in International Affairs, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. His research and teaching focus on topics of international politics, foreign policy, international political economy, and the environment. He was co-editor of Anarchy and the Environment: The International Politics of Common Pool Resources. His articles have appeared in a range of journals including International Politics, Environmental Politics, International Interactions, International Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Peace Research, Review of International Studies, and Security Dialogue.

Scholarship & News

Next Attacks May Be of the Cyber Kind“ Georgetown University News

Don’t Compare Economy to the Depression, Professor Says“ Georgetown University News

Lisa Singh

Associate Professor, Computer Science Department

Lisa Singh’s area of expertise is data mining and database systems. Dr. Singh received her Master’s and Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her Bachelor’s of Science from Duke University. She is working on projects in the areas of network science, anomaly detection, privacy preserving data mining, graph mining, graph databases, and visual analytics of network data. Her research is currently supported by NSF and ONR. Dr. Singh also has current collaborations with the Census Bureau, Hewlett Packard, and University of Maryland. She has served on many organizing and program committees within the database and data mining research community and is currently involved a member of different organizations related to women in computing and computational thinking education for K-12.

Scholarship & News

Visually Representing Data: Dr. Lisa Singh“ Georgetown College Research News

Francis Slakey

Co-Director, Program on Science in the Public Interest

Adjunct Assistant Professor Upjohn Lecturer in Physics and Biology, Physics Department

Francis Slakey is the Upjohn Lecturer on Physics and Public Policy, the Executive Director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, and author of the international best-selling adventure memoir “To The Last Breath”.  Dr. Slakey received his PhD in Physics in 1992 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  His technical publications on the topic of energy and light-scattering have received more than 500 citations.  He has also written widely on energy policy issues, publishing more than fifty articles for the popular press including The New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American.  He has given more than 100 invited talks including to the National Academy of Sciences, NASA Space Flight Center, US Strategic Command, the Library of Congress, and Microsoft; and, he has participated in White House ceremonies with both President Clinton and President Bush.  He has served in advisory positions for a diverse set of organizations including the National Geographic, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Panel on Solutions to Sustainability, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a MacArthur Scholar, and a Lemelson Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution.  Dr. Slakey became the 28th American to summit Mt. Everest in an unguided expedition that was the subject of the movie "Beyond the Summit".  He is the first person in history to both summit the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean.  In recognition of his adventures, as part of the 2002 Olympic Games, he carried the Olympic torch from the steps of the US Capitol.  

Scholarship & News

Students Take Environmental Solutions to the Hill“ Georgetown University News

Rosemary Sokas

Chair, Department of Human Science, School of Nursing and Health Studies

Rosemary Sokas is chair of the Department of Human Science at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of occupational and environmental medicine and public health. From a background of clinical practice in under-served communities, science and policy work in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and participatory research and educational programs engaging workers, community members, and practitioners and students in medicine, public health, nursing and community peer education, she has developed a research and career focus on occupational and environmental health for high risk, low-wage vulnerable populations. Her publications address the role primary care providers play in addressing the prevention needs of under-served working populations, and etiologic and intervention studies targeting hazards faced by construction workers, healthcare workers, immigrant day labor and home care workers, including the impact of contingent work and the need for supply chain and other policy interventions. Her interests include transdisciplinary collaboration and mixed-method approaches to addressing social justice concerns in the workplace and in the community.


Ed Soule

Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business

Ed Soule is an Associate Professor at the McDonough School of Business where he has taught courses in managerial ethics, leadership, and corporate social responsibility since 1999. Professor Soule is a two time winner of the Joseph F. Le Moine Award for Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Excellence. Professor Soule chairs the Board of Trustees of Rare, an international conservation organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

Dr. Soule’s research is focused on the moral and social dimensions of commercial life. His book, Morality & Markets: The Ethics of Government Regulation, was published in 2003. In 2005 he addressed the challenges of managing ethical performance in a post-Enron world in Embedding Ethics in Business and Higher Education: From Leadership to Management Imperative.

Professor Soule and Dr. John Kline (Professor, School of Foreigh Service) are conducting a multi-year study of a living wage garment factory in the Dominican Republic. Click here to view their most recent findings.

A native of St. Louis and a seasonal resident of Clarksville, Missouri, Ed is a devoted fan of the most illustrious organization in professional sports, the St. Louis Cardinals. He and his wife, Donna, reside just outside the District in Cabin John, MD with their golden retrievers, Yuki and Luna.

Click here to read an interview with Professor Soule.

Scholarship & News

Click here to read an interview with Professor Soule.

Betsi Stephen

Associate Professor of Demography, School of Foreign Service

Elizabeth Hervey Stephen has been a member of the Georgetown University faculty since 1987 and is a former director of theScience, Technology and International Affairs Program. She is currently the Chair of the Proseminars in the School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Stephen has two areas of expertise: the demography of the Korean peninsula and the demography of infertility. Along with her collaborator Dr. Anjani Chandra, she has examined correlates of medical service use for infertility patients and projected future numbers of infertile women.   Her Korean research has focused on the implications of low fertility in South Korea for the military and she is now preparing simulations of a reunified Korean peninsula.

Prior to her appointment at Georgetown, Dr. Stephen was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; a research assistant for the Center of Population Research, University of Texas, Austin; a social science analyst for the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; a survey statistician for the US Bureau of the Census; and a demographer for the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

Scholarship & News

Click here to learn about Dr. Stephen’s efforts

Sarah Stoll 

Associate Professor, Chemistry Department

A professor at Georgetown since 2002, Dr. Stoll’s research is focused on the synthesis and characterization of magnetic semiconductors. She is interested in magnetic and electronic properties that are governed by the partial delocalization of electrons. She uses particle size to control the band gap to tune magnetic coupling or intervalency in lanthanum sulfide materials. She is also interested in hierarchical structures of magnetic oxide clusters, such as Mn-12, and the use of simple coordination chemistry to make superstructured materials.

She has also been involved with an environmental chemistry course, which led her to participate in last year’s Global Environment Leadership Conference, organized by Newsweek magazine and hosted by the university, with a special visit by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Scholarship & News

Follow this link to Professor Sarah Stoll’s Research Group.

Watch a video clip about her work here.

Dr. Sarah Stoll Tackles Environmental Concerns with MRI Contrast Agents“ Georgetown College Research News

Paul J. Sullivan

Adjunct Professor, Professor of Economics, National Defense University

Professor Sullivan teaches about energy and security in the Security Studies Program. He is also a Professor of Economics and the lead of the Arabian Gulf Regional Security Study at the National Defense University. He is also on the faculty of the Energy Industry Study at NDU, where his responsibilities include teaching industry analytics of the energy industry, leading international field studies, and teaching about where the economics of energy fit into national security strategies. Dr. Sullivan is also a regular columnist for the UB Post of Ulan Baator, Mongolia and Turkiye Gazetesi of Istanbul, Turkey.

He is an internationally recognized expert on the economic, politics and military/strategic issues of the Middle East and North Africa.  Professor Sullivan has also worked on issues related to resource security in South Asia, China, parts of Africa and more. He was an advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace on Sudan and energy issues. He is a quiet adviser to some in leadership on various issues. His research interests include energy, water, food and environmental security issues globally as well as more of a focus on the Middle East, North Africa and Mongolia. He also researches the economics, technologies and politics of various energy systems.

Scholarship & News

Syria is a Defining Moment for Arab World: Analysis by Paul J. Sullivan“ Al Arabiya News

Norma Tilden

Adjunct Professor, Department of English

A faculty member in the English Department with a long-standing interest in environmental  humanities, Norma Tilden served as Advisory Faculty for the Center for the Environment beginning in 2004. She has taught courses and directed both graduate and undergraduate theses across a broad range of green literary studies, including ecocriticism, nature writing, advanced nonfiction writing, and ecological narrative.

In addition to ecocriticism, her research interests include literary nonfiction, the contemporary essay, and animal studies. Her current project is a book-length study of the contemporary essay of place, titled "The Indigenous Essay: A New Poetics of Environmental Prose." She has completed a prose chapbook of lyric essays, “Animal Watch,” and, most recently, an essay on the implications of Deep Time for ecological thinking:  

Tilden's writing in environmental humanities has received national and international writing awards, including the Smart Family Foundation Prize for Best Essay published in The Yale Review 2005 (“Walter Inglis Anderson: Zographos") and the 2001 International Life Writing Prize from the Center for Biographical Research (“Stratigraphies: Writing a Suspect Terrain”).


YuYe Tong

Chair and Professor, Chemistry Department

Professor Tong is an expert in nanoscience that includes, but is not limited to, nanomaterials synthesis and engineering, in situ spectroscopic and electrochemical characterizations of synthesized and engineered nanomaterials, and their potential applications in clean energy generation and storage and molecular electronics. His research is directed towards the molecular-level understanding of the chemistry and physics of nanomaterials in general and electronic structure-function relationships in catalysis of nanoscale bimetallic heterogeneous and electrocatalysts for clean energy generation and storage, and chemistry and physics of ligand-protected metal quantum dots for potential applications in molecular electronics in particular.

The research is inherently interdisciplinary, offering unique opportunities for graduate as well as undergraduate training in frontier areas of modern chemistry and nanoscience, encompassing materials synthesis and engineering, surface science and interfacial electrochemistry, condensed matter chemistry and physics of nanoscale materials, heterogeneous and electrocatalysis, in situ NMR, IR, Raman spectroscopy, and quantum chemistry, all directed towards improving our fundamental understanding of functionalities of synthesized and engineered novel materials for their potential practical applications.

Scholarship & News

Watch a video of Professor Tong explaining his research here.

Dr. YuYe Tong Examines Metal Nanoparticles“ Georgetown College Research News

Jeff Urbach

Professor, Physics Department

Professor Urbach served as chair of the Physics Department in 2001-02 and again from 2003-07, as the co-Director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest from its founding until 2011, and is the founding Director of the Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology. In 2009-10, he served as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Energy.



Scholarship & News

For more information, see Professor Urbach’s website.

Silk Spinning Mechanics Decoded by Georgetown Physicists“ Georgetown University News

Edward Van Keuren

Associate Professor, Physics Department

Dr. Van Keuren’s research is in optics and optical materials. He is applying novel optical characterization methods to measure the initial nucleation and self-assembly of organic nanoparticles in solution as well as developing new nanoparticle materials for various applications. Dr. Van Keuren came to Georgetown in 1999 after a number of years working for the German chemical company, BASF AG, in Germany and Japan, and several years at the Japanese National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research.

Dr. Van Keuren has published more than 75 articles in science journals. One major application for the materials he studies is in solar energy, where his group is developing novel charge transport nanocrystals for use in organic photovoltaic devices. Another area of work is in collaboration with researchers in the Lombardi Cancer Center, where Dr. Van Keuren is conducting research on nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Scholarship & News

Focusing on Energy, Medicine With Laser Precision“ Georgetown University News: Blue & Gray

Mark V. Vlasic

 Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Senior FellowInstitute for Law, Science & Global Security, Georgetown; Senior Fellow, Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Principal, Madison Law & Strategy Group PLLC 

B.S., J.D., Georgetown; NAF-Fulbright Scholar, Leiden University; Certificate in Private and Public International Law, The Hague Academy of International Law

Mark V. Vlasic has served as a soldier, a lawyer, a prosecutor, a professor, and a diplomat, and has worked for the White House, the Pentagon, the World Bank, the United Nations, and a large international law firm.  He is currently a senior fellow and adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University and a principal at Madison Law & Strategy Group pllc, where he heads the firm’s international practice, and provides legal and strategic advice to clients on international affairs, international trade matters and general public policy issues.  Focused on issues related to international law, business diplomacy, public-private partnerships, human rights, social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, non-profit, and stolen asset recovery-related matters, Mark helps clients identify key stakeholders from the political, regulatory and NGO sectors, and works with clients to develop and execute strategies to achieve sustainable results.  Mark also serves as an expert advisor to the European Centre for Dispute Resolution and as counselor to the Antiquities Coalition.

Mark's private practice background includes: working with international organizations, sovereign governments, foundations, multinational corporation and NGOs regarding complex international law, trade, human rights, public policy and strategy matters, including World Bank/International Finance Corporation/United Nations collaboration/procurement/sustainability/clean energy issues, electronic/green currencies, stolen antiquities, state succession/boundary issues, sovereign property matters, human rights/prison abuse investigations, combating politically motivated prosecutions and INTERPOL "red notice" arrest warrant abuse issues, international land development/architectural projects (including an “tech city” in Kenya and an “innovation hub” in Botswana), and social responsibility issues; providing advice regarding business diplomacy, defense/security matters, public-private partnerships, international banking/project finance, and international arbitration/litigation issues (including at the European Court of Human Rights); participating in asset recovery, cartel, foreign corruption, and securities fraud investigations/matters around the world (including the Charles Taylor/Liberia and Muammar Gaddafi/Libya asset recovery cases); and, advising clients on the application and enforcement of U.S. economic sanctions and embargos, export controls, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Mark has also worked on rule of law/transitional justice/anti-corruption/constitutional law matters in Bosnia, Brazil, Georgia, Iraq, Libya and Serbia, and advised companies subject to investigations and enforcement actions by the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Justice, and Treasury, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Prior to his return to academia and private practice, Mark was a public sector specialist at the World Bank Group, where he served as the first head of operations of the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative, launched by President Robert Zoellick and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help developing countries recover stolen assets from past dictators and grand corruption cases.  A member of StAR’s management team, Mark was responsible for country engagements on four continents, furthered bilateral relations with major financial centers, foreign governments and civil society organizations, and worked on the Sani Abacha/Nigeria, Jean-Claude Duvalier/Haiti cases, among others.

Before joining the Bank, Mark was competitively selected and appointed by the President to serve as a White House Fellow.  Mark served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense (focused on foreign policy issues and bilateral relations) and advisor to the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan.  In recognition of his contributions to the Department, including being a “valuable member of Secretary of Defense’s official delegations to Europe, Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, and to NATO Defense Ministerial meetings,” Mark was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service by Secretary Robert M. Gates, the highest non-career public service award in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Prior to his government service, Mark practiced law in the litigation, public policy, banking, and international trade practice groups at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and served as a prosecution attorney at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he was a member of the Slobodan Milosevic and General Radislav Krstic (Srebrenica) trial and investigative teams, and focused on mass executions and genocide in Bosnia.  As a U.S. Army officer, he has been attached to units on Capitol Hill and at the Defense Attaché Office at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.  Mark has also served in the Executive Office of the President, Office of the United States Trade Representative, where he worked on WTO Ministerial issues.

An adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and senior fellow at Georgetown’s Institute for Law, Science & Global Security, and the Institute of International Economic Law, Mark has provided advice to the U.S. Congress and has lectured at numerous institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, including British Parliament, Oxford University, Yale Law School, the NATO School, the U.S. Military Academy, Moscow State University, the Hague Academy of International Law, the Baltic Defense College, and the Danish Center for Human Rights.  Mark served on the U.S. Delegation to the Pan Am 103 “Lockerbie” (Libyan) terrorist bombing trial in the Netherlands, and in 2005, he was part of a select team of international experts that helped train the Iraqi judges that tried Saddam Hussein.

Mark has provided legal commentary to BBC, BBC World, CNN, CNN International, CBS, FOX News, NPR, CTV, CBC News, Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera English, bloggingheads.tv, Voice of America, the History News Network, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, the Washington Post, The Times of London, the Christian Science Monitor, the Guardian, Correio Braziliense, El País, De Groene Amsterdammer, and USA Today, and been published by the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Atlantic, the Washington Times, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The Nation, CNN.com, the Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights, the Georgetown Journal of International Law, the Durham Law Review, the American University International Law Review, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the Yale Journal of International Affairs, the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, The Tax Lawyer, the Miami Herald, USA Today, The World Post/Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Toronto Star, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Cayman Financial Review, Legal Times, India Times, Arab News, Americas Quarterly, the Ventura County Star, Al Jazeera Online, and the Sudan Tribune.  He has also contributed to four books: The Responsibility to Protect: the promise of stopping mass atrocities in our time (Oxford), The Business Case for Sustainable Finance (Routledge), Responsibility to Protect in Theory and Practice (GV Zalozba), and The Encyclopedia of Transnational Crime and Justice (Sage).

In 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Mark to serve on their Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services & Finance Industries, as was he selected to serve as a designated representative to the Secretary of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the NCAC Fulbright Association and Humanity in Action, Inc., and recently completed his second term as Secretary of the White House Fellows Foundation.  He also serves on the Senior Advisory Board of Atlas Service Corps, the International Advisory Council of the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology, the Board of Counselors for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, the Advisory Council and the High Level Piracy Working Group of the Public International Law & Policy Group, and the Advisory Boards of the American Slovenian Education Foundation, Luke’s Wings, the Ladies International Foundation, the Syria Justice & Accountability Centre, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award, which is awarded by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

In 2013, the World Economic Forum in Davos honored Mark as a Young Global Leader.  Mark is a Fellow in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the British American Project, the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, the U.S.-Spain Council’s and the American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Programs, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ and the Council for the United States & Italy’s Young Leaders Forums, and serves as a member of the Asset Recovery Experts Network, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy, and the Atlantik-Brucke’s German-American Young Leaders Program.  He is listed in Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in International Humanitarian Law/International Criminal Law, was profiled as an "International Lawyer" in Esquire and as an “International Crusader” in Washington Life, and was honored by the BMW Foundation as a “Responsible Leader” and by the Development Executive Group (DEVEX) as an “international development renaissance man” and “Top 40 Under 40” in international development.  Mark was awarded the inaugural Frank Wheat Award (Gibson Dunn’s pro bono lawyer of the year award) for his assistance to the Iraqi judiciary and the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and has worked, studied and traveled in over 90 countries.

After attending public schools and UCLA in California, Mark studied business, theology and government at Georgetown University while on an Army ROTC scholarship, received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, and was awarded Certificates in Public and Private International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.  Mark conducted his post-doctorate research at Universiteit Leiden as a NAF-Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, and recently completed the World Economic Forum’s leadership course at Oxford University’s Said Business School.  Mark is a member of the Bars of California, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Scholarship & News

Click here for more information on Professor Vlasic's work.

Timothy Warren

Richard D. Vorisek Professor of Chemistry, Chemistry Department

Dr. Timothy H. Warren is the Richard D. Vorisek Professor of Chemistry at Georgetown University. He is a world-leading scholar in the development of “green” synthetic transformations that utilize ubiquitous carbon-hydrogen bonds to provide novel pathways to a wide range of organic molecules with applications that range from advanced materials to pharmaceuticals. With sustainability in mind, catalyst systems are developed based on inexpensive, earth-abundant metals such as copper – or in some cases – no metals at all. His laboratory won one of the inaugural awards from the National Science Foundation’s Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering and Materials (SusChEM) Initiative in 2013 that provides support for "research into green and sustainable chemistry which will lead to safe, clean, and economical alternatives to traditional chemical products and practices” as well as green chemistry education and technology transfer. The Warren lab also studies the bioinorganic chemistry of nitric oxide, a key molecular messenger in health and disease connected to blood pressure regulation, blood flow, and nerve communication. Ongoing fundamental studies inspired by copper and zinc enzymes outline the interconversion of key chemical species involved in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen connected to ecosystem and climate change. Dr. Warren has a B.S. from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, having studied under 2005 Nobel Laureate Richard R. Schrock.

Martha Weiss

Associate Professor, Biology Department

Prof. Weiss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, as well as co-director of the Environmental Biology major.  Her research focuses on the role of behavior, by both plants and insects, in mediating interactions between the two groups of organisms. The sensory and behavioral attributes of insects, including vision, taste, smell, and touch, as well as a capacity to learn and remember, ultimately shape the insects’ ability to interact with and exert selection on plants and on other insects. Similarly, the active behaviors of plants allow them to take advantage of insects’ sensory and behavioral capabilities.

Recent work in the Weiss lab includes studies of butterfly learning and memory, the retention of memory across completed metamorphosis, foraging behavior of predatory wasps, spider-wasp interactions, and the ecological implications of waste disposal in a range of animal taxa; hence, faecology!   The Weiss lab is also engaged in developing and delivering hands-on biology explorations for K-12 classrooms.

Scholarship & News

For more information, see Professor Weiss’s Biology Department Website.

See a video clip of Professor Weiss explaining her research here.

Moths Remember What They Learned as Caterpillars,New Scientist

Caroline Wellbery

Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Caroline Wellbery has been teaching in the Family Medicine Department at Georgetown University since 1994, and has been involved in all aspects of teaching both at the medical student and residency level. She is also Associate Deputy Editor of American Family Physician.  Her interest in the environment is the same interest she has in breathing air and drinking water. As climate change threatens these basic needs for all human beings, she has increasingly incorporated climate change issues into her academic work.

In 2011, she solicited a cover article on climate change and health for the medical journal American Family Physician. She ran a focus group with medical students to investigate the viability of incorporating environmental topics into the medical student curriculum. She also worked on a project investigating medical waste disposal. In addition, she has a strong interest in the arts and their role in medical and patient education. For a project conducted under the auspices of Georgetown’s Environment Initiative, she organized three teams of undergraduates each led by a medical student, who investigated and artistically interpreted the impact of climate change. She recently published a commentary on why physicians should be more vocal in addressing climate change in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Scholarship & News

Please click here to see Dr. Wellbery’s website.

Ali Whitmer

Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost

Dr. Whitmer is currently the Chief of Staff to the Provost. Prior to this position, Dr. Whitmer was Senior Associate Dean in Georgetown College. Earlier in her career, her research focused on the population dynamics and genetics of kelp species. She taught courses in marine biology and ecology, molecular biology, and science pedagogy. In recent years, her work has focused on issues relevant to urban sustainability and environmental justice. Recently she was a participant in a working group at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) that focused on developing an explicit framework for including environmental amenities and disamenities in environmental justice research. She is currently involved in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-term Ecological Program (LTER) and a newly funded Sustainability Coordination Network, an international collaboration among several urban sustainability projects funded by the National Science Foundation.

She has also developed a portfolio of research and teaching in science education at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels, particularly in the areas of ecological literacy, women in science, and data visualization. She has worked with national education initiatives funded by the National Science Foundation, Sigma Xi, and other science agencies and societies.

Scholarship & News

In this video, Dr. Whitmer talks about Georgetown’s New Science Center.

See here for more information on Professor Whitmer’s collaborative research on “An integrated conceptual framework for long-term social–ecological research” and her research into new methods to link scientific research to societal change.

Gina Wimp

Associate Professor, Biology Department

Dr. Wimp’s research examines the genetic and environmental factors that structure biodiversity. She seeks to discover the general rules that govern arthropod community structure that may serve as tools for conservation. She has found that plant genetics plays a critical role in shaping arthropod community structure, but the extent to which plant genetics affects higher-level trophic interactions remains a topic of debate which she is pursuing. Her research also focuses on the role of anthropogenic disturbance and habitat fragmentation on arthropod community structure in inter-tidal marshes. She is using stable isotope analysis to understand how arthropod species losses in the inter-tidal marsh may affect nutrient cycling in these critical ecosystems that act as buffers to adjacent estuaries. Arthropod conservation has not received the same consideration as vertebrate species conservation, yet arthropods represent over half of the described species on the planet and their losses could have cascading effects throughout diverse ecosystems.

Scholarship & News

Watch Professor Gina Wimp discuss her research with salt marsh ecology here.

Combating Habitat Loss: Dr. Gina Wimp“ Georgetown College Research News

Diane Yeager

Thomas J. Healey, C'64, Family Distinguished Professor in Ethical Studies, Theology Department

With a Ph.D. in Religion and Culture from Duke University, Diane Yeager works at the boundaries where religions influence and are influenced by science, literature, social movements, and philosophy. Her work at these points of intersection is anchored in the study of morality. She focuses primarily on Western Christianity, with secondary interests in Eastern Christianity and Judaism.  At Georgetown, she teaches “Ethics and Ecology” and “Nature, God, and Social Justice.” She is the author of “‘Suspended in Wonderment’: Beauty, Religious Affections, and Ecological Ethics” (2015), as well as a number of articles exploring the work of scientist and philosopher Michael Polanyi. She has been instrumental in developing a Certificate in Theology and Ecology in the Washington Theological Consortium.  


Scholarship & News

For more information, click here.


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List Updated September 2015.