Advancing scientific frontiers. If your work is truly influential, you'll be viewed as an expert in the science world and beyond. One measure of impact is when others seek out your insights.
Our Newsmakers page features experts from PNNL's Fundamental & Computational Sciences Directorate who've been recently quoted, asked to speak to influential organizations, or taken on national or international appointments
Morris Bullock Quoted in Chemistry World
Dr. R. Morris Bullock
Dr. Morris Bullock at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is quoted in Chemistry World, the Royal Society of Chemistry's magazine. In the article, "Base metal catalysts strike hydrogenation gold," writer Andy Extance discusses three new studies about iron and other earth-abundant catalysts. These metals could replace precious metals, such as rhodium and palladium, which offer cost and toxicity challenges. Bullock highlights the value these catalysts present to reactions responsible for creating pharmaceuticals and producing energy.
Bullock leads the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and American Chemical Society. His work in developing transition metal electrocatalysts has earned him the Royal Society of Chemistry's Homogeneous Catalysis Award in 2013.
Ilke Arslan featured in DOE Pulse
The November 18 issue of DOE Pulse featured Dr. Ilke Arslan of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The article discusses how this diplomat's daughter, who completed her doctoral degree at the age of 25, applies the fundamentals of physics to change the scientific community's view of nanoparticles. Her research is working towards the goal of providing a clear view of a working catalyst in real time, in three dimensions, and at the atomic scale. Arlsan's imaging work is providing fundamental answers for her teammates in PNNL's Chemical Imaging Initiative and Institute for Integrated Catalysis.
Read the DOE Pulse article "Ilke Arslan: A catalyst for clarity."
Cho, Cort, and Fraga Quoted in C&E News
The chemical forensics work of Herman Cho, John Cort, and Carlos Fraga at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was called out in Chemical & Engineering News. Reporter Carmen Drahl had readers vote on what she would cover each day at the American Chemical Society's fall meeting in Indianapolis. A symposium on analytical methods in chemical forensics, organized by Cho, Cort and Fraga, received the most votes and was highlighted in her article. The PNNL scientists are supported by federal agencies to research methods for tracking illicit substances and materials used to produce chemical weapons. The session included talks about recent advances, including Cort's discussion of recent nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy advances. Cho and Cort are in PNNL's Fundamental & Computational Sciences Directorate; Fraga, National Security.
Ian Kraucunas Quoted in Ensia
Ian Kraucunas, Deputy Director of the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted in Ensia, a magazine addressing environmental solutions. The article, The Value of Talking About Values, coincided with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, which documents the current state of the science of climate change. The article examines how people react to climate change science and proposed solutions, based on their personal values. Kraucunas recounts an enlightening anecdote from his previous position with the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate at the National Research Council and provides an analogy to help illustrate how values intersect with facts in the context of political decision making. The article goes on to discuss some of the perils of allowing scientific research to become a proxy for debates over values, and what might be done to ensure that science effectively informs, rather that exacerbates, political debates.
For more, read the complete article, "The Value of Talking About Values."
Smith Paper Featured in Science Magazine Editor's Choice
A Science magazine "editor's choice" article discussed recent work by Dr. Steven Smith, senior scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The article, "Which Emissions to Reduce?" covered Smith's new results concerning the merits of prioritizing reducing climate-affecting pollution emissions that have a short life in the atmosphere, versus focusing on reducing long-lived greenhouse gases. The publication concludes that a policy of targeting short-term climate forcers may not achieve the reductions in climate change that previous work had postulated. Smith is well-known for his research on the role of pollutant emissions in scenarios of future climate change. He works at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership between PNNL and the University of Maryland. Read the full article.
Cort, Metaxas Research Featured in Chemical & Engineering News
Research by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientist Dr. John R. Cort and PNNL undergraduate summer intern Athena E. Metaxas was highlighted by Chemical & Engineering News reporter Carmen Drahl in the September 16 issue. "NMR Method Can Chase Down Chemical Threats," described the researchers' use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to clearly distinguish different salt forms of the highly toxic alkaloid strychnine from one another based on the way different counterions such as chloride or sulfate influence the NMR spectra.
The ability to associate chemicals with their source or with other samples having a common origin is fundamental to the establishment of attribution signatures for chemical forensics. This method may be applicable to other organic compounds of interest that commonly exist as two or more distinct salt forms, including many pesticides, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, and biological toxins.
Reference: Metaxas AE and JR Cort. 2013. "Counterion Influence on Chemical Shifts in Strychnine Salts." Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry 51(5):292-298. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.3945.
John Loring Quoted in Physics Today Online
Dr. John Loring, a geochemist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted by reporter Rachel Berkowitz about PNNL's investigations related to carbon dioxide storage under the Carbon Sequestration Initiative. The article "Trapping and keeping carbon dioxide emissions" was published in the September 11 online edition of Physics Today. Loring is a principal investigator for the CSI's project "In Situ Molecular-Scale Investigations of Reactions between Supercritical CO2 and Minerals Relevant to Geological Carbon Storage."
Meredydd Evans Quoted in Concentrated Solar Power Today
Meredydd Evans, energy efficiency expert and scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted in CSP Today, an online trade publication reaching professionals and researchers interested in new technologies and research for the concentrated solar power industry. The article explores how China might use clean energy options for district heating. Evans has worked extensively in China and collaborated with researchers, engineers, government and policy offices in the region. She is internationally known for her work in building energy codes, energy efficiency and clean energy policy and conducts research at the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) in Maryland. JGCRI is a partnership between PNNL and the University of Maryland. Read the full article.
Ruby Leung Authored Regional Climate Model Article in EOS
L. Ruby Leung
Dr. L. Ruby Leung, atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, wrote a feature article for EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), published August 20. The report describes recent advancements in regional climate modeling through a project called Development of Frameworks for Robust Regional Climate Modeling. Leung describes a hierarchical framework to systematically evaluate climate simulations at regional scales and insights from several studies that analyzed simulations generated as part of the hierarchy to understand discrete challenges in regional climate simulations. Leung is a world-renowned leader in regional climate modeling, is co-principal investigator of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program, and is a designated fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, the AGU and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. Read the full article.
Szanyi and Peden featured in Chemical & Engineering News
In the August 26 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, Mitch Jacoby discussed the research of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists Janos Szanyi and Charles H.F. Peden, and their team. The article "Pinpointing Intermediates," identifies the key geometries and oxidation states in catalysts for NOx cleanup, and shows the connection to enzyme catalysis. Szanyi was quoted explaining how tailoring the catalyst can help certain engines meet emission standards.
Climate Modeling of Geoengineering: Meeting report featured in EOS
Dr. Ben Kravitz, atmospheric postdoctoral researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, co-authored "Robust Results from Climate Model Simulations of Geoengineering" published in the August 13 edition of EOS. The publication is a summary report from the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) meeting held in April 2013. Solar geoengineering—deliberate reduction in the amount of solar radiation retained by the Earth—is a proposed temporary way of reducing some of the effects of greenhouse gases while mitigation is in progress. GeoMIP uses climate models developed around the world to simulate the effects of solar geoengineering in response to greenhouse gas emissions.
Ben Bond-Lamberty Blogs for PLOS Biology
Sharing his expertise, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's scientist Dr. Ben Bond-Lamberty authored an introduction to the Ecological Impact of Climate Change Collection for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) journals. As an editor for PLOS ONE, Bond-Lamberty curated a list of publications in conjunction with the 2013 Ecological Society of America meeting. His article presents the broad range of research within the Collection that reveals the multi-faceted impacts of climate change on ecological and human systems. The article is published in PLOS Collections and on the PLOS EveryONE blog.
The Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a nonprofit publishing, membership, and advocacy organization with a mission to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Bond-Lamberty works out of the Joint Global Climate Research Institute, a partnership between PNNL and the University of Maryland.
See also: Discover Magazine news release, "How 9 Well-Known Critters are Weathering a Changing Climate," and the Huffington Post news release "PLOS Research Predicts Climate Change ‘Winners' and ‘Losers'."
Nigel Browning Commentary in Nature Chemistry
Nigel Browning serves as the Chief Science Officer on PNNL's Chemical Imaging Initiative
A commentary by Dr. Nigel Browning, the Chief Science Officer for the Chemical Imaging Initiative at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was recently published in Nature Chemistry. The commentary featured recent four-dimensional electron microscopy (4D-EM) work done by the research group of Nobel prize winning scientist Ahmed Zewail. Browning highlighted the wealth of new information 4D-EM has revealed about how electronic phase transitions occur in individual nanoparticles, how the particle-to-particle variability changes the speed and magnitude of the transition, and how interactions between nanoparticles control the ensemble-average response of the system. The power of 4D-EM to image structural dynamics on the scale of a few hundred nanoseconds and allow the switching dynamics to be quantified makes a unique contribution to the study of nanostructures. A broad class of electronic phase transitions in individual nanomaterials can now be studied directly using 4D-EM.
Johannes Lercher Quoted in Nature
Dr. Johannes Lercher, who is PNNL's Institute for Integrated Catalysis Director, was quoted in "Here, there and everywhere," in May 23, 2013, in Nature. The article discusses scientists who travel extensively in their job and how they manage the additional challenges and opportunities it brings. Lercher was quoted because in addition to his work in Richland, Washington, he is also a professor at TU Munich in Germany. In regards to his situation, Lercher states, "It broadens your horizons. You can do things you cannot do in a single location."
Kerstin Kleese van Dam
Kerstin Kleese van Dam Authors Big Data Article
The Multimodal Analysis and Integration Framework for Chemical Imaging lead at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Kerstin Kleese van Dam wrote about the need for in-situ management and analysis of massive experimental data sets in Datanami. The Rapid Experimental Analysis Framework and Component Library, REXAN, is discussed. Developed through the Chemical Imaging Initiative, REXAN provides a library of analytical components for essential actions, including compressions, feature detection and visualization. In the future, Kleese van Dam expects to see a publically available REXAN repository with open-source and proprietary components that allow scientists to build near-real-time analysis tools.
Sotiris Xantheas' Work Highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News
Research by Dr. Sotiris Xantheas at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on how the classic SN2 bimolecular nucleophilic substitution reaction, a reaction of fundamental importance in organic chemistry, is halted in the gas phase by just two or three water molecules was highlighted in a 2-page story in Chemical & Engineering News, February 25. The reaction exchanges atoms or functional groups attached to an electron-deficient carbon center. The reaction works well in organic solvents, but not in water. Xantheas and his colleagues at Hiroshima University, in a Communication which will appear in the Angewandte Chemie International Edition, combined theory and experiment to gain a molecular-level understanding of how the water stops the reaction.
Morris Bullock Named Geek of the Week
Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis Director Dr. R. Morris Bullock was selected as Geek of the Week. Bullock was chosen for this honor for his foundational research in affordable, earth-abundant catalysts. You can learn more about Bullock's inspirations, aspirations and role models in GeekWire's article.
Dick Smith interviewed for R&D Magazine
R&D Magazine explores systems biology with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Dr. Richard (Dick) Smith and other former scientists of the year in the article "Beyond the Genome," published February 26. Smith, who is a Battelle Fellow and Director of Proteome Research at PNNL, was the magazine's 2010 Scientist of the Year, selected for his pioneering work in effectively combining the development of new technology with its application to biological systems to gain new insights.
New AAAS Fellows Honored
Laboratory Fellow Nigel Browning, Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Anthony Peurrung, Associate Laboratory Director for Fundamental & Computational Sciences Douglas Ray, and Associate Laboratory Director for Environmental Molecular Sciences Allison Campbell (left to right) were inducted as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the 2013 AAAS meeting in Boston. Learn more about our newest AAAS Fellows.
L. Ruby Leung Quoted in Science
Dr. L. Ruby Leung, atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted in a Science magazine News & Analysis article about global and regional modeling. The article describes a recent study by climate modelers to gauge the effectiveness of regional models to predict regional change. Leung, a world-renowned leader in regional climate modeling, is co-principal investigator of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program, which recently evaluated temperature and precipitation results from six regional climate models over a 30-year period.
Jim Fredrickson Quoted in Science News
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Fellow Jim Fredrickson was quoted in the February 3 issue of
Ben Kravitz Quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Dr. Ben Kravitz, atmospheric postdoctoral researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was quoted in "As Temperatures Keep Rising, Geoengineering Gets a Closer Look" published in the January 28th edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle is a publication for college and university faculty members and administrators. Kravitz was sought after for his expertise on the impacts of climate engineering techniques. The article features the topic of geoengineering, including Kravitz's comment regarding the use of iron sulfate to grow phytoplankton in the Pacific Ocean. This research has implications for climate warming.
Evgueni Kassianov Aerosol Research Featured in Eos Research Spotlight
Dr. Evgueni Kassianov, atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was lead author on a publication chosen for a January 15 Eos "Research Spotlight." Eos, a newsletter for members of the American Geophysical Union, highlights selected new research from all of the AGU journals. The spotlight features Kassianov's research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, concerning the unexpected role of large, "coarse-mode" aerosols in relatively clear-sky conditions. The research has implications for calculating the effects of these sunlight-scattering particles on the Earth's energy budget. For more on this research, see "Invisible Giants in the Sky"