Natural Sciences

Andrew Dawes


Andrew Dawes - Website

Assistant Professor, Physics

Andrew is committed to the idea that active learning environments and innovative teaching pedagogy are fundamental to effective science education. In addition to his teaching efforts, he is currently constructing a research lab that will involve undergraduate students in summer and senior-capstone research projects. He is interested in several fields of physics including: atom cooling and trapping, pattern-forming nonlinear optics, slow- and fast-light, and the application of optical systems to quantum and classical information science.

James Butler


James Butler - Website

Associate Professor, Physics

Dr. Butler began his research as an undergrad, focusing on nonlinear chaotic systems. In graduate school he researched experimental, nonlinear optics and experimental diffractive optics. Currently, Butler has been investigating nonlinear absorption in capillary waveguides, which has applications in places where there is a potential for damage due to high-intensity lasers—to protect a soldier's eyes from lasers, for example. “It's a great project to work with students on,” Butler says. “It has practical and important scientific applications, so their part of the project can mean something to the greater community.” Butler goes on to say how much he's learned while working with students at Pacific: “I'm as much a student as I am a teacher,” he says.





                                       Shereen Khoja -Website

                                                    Associate Professor, Computer Science.

My primary area of research is Arabic Computational Linguistics. Specifically:

Stemming: Details about the stemmer I have developed for Arabic.
Tagging: Details about the Part-Of-Speech (POS) tagger I am developing for Arabic.
Corpora: Details about the Arabic corpora I am using. I have manually tagged 50,000 words of Arabic newspaper text with the basic tags (noun, verb, particle). I have also tagged 1,700 words with more detailed tags (i.e. singular, masculine, definite common noun). These are available for research purposes. Please e-mail me if you would like a copy of them.


Andrew Dawes


Stacey Halpern - Website

Associate Professor, Biology.

Plants and insects make up more than half of all known species, and their interactions play key roles in both natural and agricultural systems. Both plants and plant-insect interactions are also strongly affected by changes in the environment, including human-caused changes. I study the responses of plant populations and plant-insect interactions to this environmental variation. I aim to do research that not only addresses fundamental questions in ecology and evolution, but also contributes to understanding and perhaps mitigating the ecological effects of changes caused by human activities.


David Scholnick


David Scholnick - Website

Assistant Professor, Biology.

Worldwide animals are at an increased risk of opportunistic pathogens. Elevations in temperature and increased areas of low oxygen, suggest that pathogen exposure of lower vertebrates and marine invertebrates are escalating.

The central hypothesis underlying my research is that infectious disease can compromise the respiratory systems of lower vertebrates and invertebrates and thereby limit the ability of animals to sustain and recover from normal activities.

Working with colleagues at College of Charleston's Grice Marine Laboratory and Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, we have demonstrated that in resting animals bacterial infection can compromise normal metabolic function. Following infection, aerobic respiration rates are down regulated and lactate levels increase in resting animals.

At Pacific University my students and I will examine the relationship between host and pathogen in lower vertebrates and invertebrates during activity and recovery. Studies will be conducted using local lizards that are infected with Plasmodium-the hemoparasite that causes malaria in a wide range of vertebrates-to determine if infected lizards have limited respiratory capacity.






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