Travel Awards Program
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has created the travel award program for postdocs to support their professional development during their postdoc training at Penn State. Since 2010, several postdocs across the University Park campus have taken advantage of the travel award program. The fund is intended to assist postdoctoral scholars who have been selected to present results from their research at professional meetings and conferences.If a postdoc is seeking funds to supplement travel to a research collaboration site, project evaluation or professional development not directly related to presenting their research, they should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
These are the past award winners for the years 2016-2017.
Dr. Weston Eaton
Weston M. Eaton is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education (AESE) Department at Penn State. His dissertation examined renewable energy technology development from the perspective of people living in communities where bioenergy facilities were proposed for development. A key part of this research explored how communities construct cultural resources around previous and ongoing extractive and industrial development and draw on these resources when making sense of and responding to new technological projects. As a postdoctoral researcher with the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD), Wes partnered with Extension professionals to develop resources intended to improve university-public engagement around emergent, complex, and contested science and technologies. A next step is to extend existing and develop new partnerships in order to apply the resources developed with the NCRCRD. As a postdoctoral research associate at Penn State, his research focuses on efforts to expand the emerging bioeconomy in the Northeast USA.
Related Links: http://aese.psu.edu/directory/wme107
Dr. Hui Yang
Solid-state NMR spectroscopy has been one of the most important tools to study the polymorphic structures of cellulose as well as the interactions between cellulose and other macromolecules in plant cell walls. However, due to the complicated nature of plant cell walls, the linkage between the molecular structures of cellulose and its solid-state NMR spectrum is still missing. Hui Yang is interested in unravelling this linkage between using computational methods, such as Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods, and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations.
Dr. Cherisse Du Preez
Cherisse Du Preez is a postdoctoral scholar at Pennsylvania State University working in Dr. Charles Fisher’s laboratory. Cherisse is studying the ecology of the hydrothermal vents in the Lau Basin, Pacific Ocean (due north of Tonga). She uses two- and three-dimensional imaging to study the fine-scale spatial distribution of vent animals in response to physical and chemical environmental conditions.
Dr. Patricia E. Roman
Patricia E. Roman studies the mental and cerebral processes involved in speaking and understanding a second language in bilinguals and learners of a second language. Her most current research deals with the factors that predict high proficiency in bilinguals and the development of related activities to improve second language learning.
Related Links: https://sites.google.com/view/roman-patricia-e
Dr. Raghav Poudyal
Raghav Poudyal is broadly interested in RNA biochemistry, artificial cells, origins of life, test-tube evolution of biomolecules and synthetic biology.
Related Links: www.raghavpoudyal.com
Dr. William J. Horton
William J. Horton’s primary interest is in the genetic, molecular and behavioral underpinnings of circadian rhythms and sleep. Receiving this travel award has allowed him to present some work on the effect of light exposure on human cognition, especially as it relates to mother/child interactions and the potential for poor parenting decisions & child maltreatment.
Dr. Paolo Margaria
Molecular and cellular biology of the interactions between obligate plant pathogens (viruses and phytoplasmas) and their hosts. Specifically, the research at PSU (Dr. Rosa laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology) was focused on the characterization of plant ourmiaviruses defective in movement and on the sub-cellular localization of the viral movement protein in the host cell.
Related Links: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=E0ZNd5kAAAAJ&hl=it
Dr. Marzia Angela Cremona
Marzia Angela Cremona works with development and generalization of statistical techniques (in particular of Functional Data Analysis techniques) to be applied to genomic and epigenomic datasets relevant to the study of regional variation in mutation processes and features characterizing the genome.
Related Links: https://sites.psu.edu/marziacremona
Dr. Yin-Ting Yeh
Yin-Ting Yeh studies the applications of Nanomaterials in infectious disease studies.
Dr. Elisabeth M. Whyte
Elisabeth M. Whyte is interested in how children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders learn social and communicative information. In addition, she seeks to measure the effectiveness of autism interventions designed to improve social and communication skills.
Related Links: http://sites.psu.edu/scherflab/people/
Dr. Eric C. Yip
Eric C. Yip is interested in intraspecific cooperation and conflict in both social and sexual contexts. He has previously studied the costs and benefits of group living in spiders, as well as the effects of sexual cannibalism on mate choice. His current research examines sexual behavior in the goldenrod gall fly and how its host plant, a voyeur of fly sex pheromone, influences sexual selection. This work has also led to the exploration of plant defense and its broader impacts on the goldenrod population and community.
Dr. Allison Baczynski
Allison Bacynski is interested in periods of climate change that took place in Earth’s past in an effort to better understand what might happen in the future as a result of human-induced climate change. In particular, she studies the effects of climate change on carbon that is stored in soils. One of the major questions today is whether soils are a source or sink for carbon and how they will react to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Currently at Penn State she is developing a new generation of instrumentation for stable isotope analyses that will help us answer this critical question.
Dr. Laurel Pearson
Laurel Pearson’s research focuses on human population genetics and human variation, with a particular interest in the genetic and environmental contributions to complex disease and health disparities.
Dr. Neil Kuanhsun Huang
Researcher in the College of Health and Human Services within the Department of Nutritional Health.
Dr. Diwakar Bastihalli Tukaramrao
Researcher in the College of Agricultural Sciences within the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.