The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science February 2011  
Welcome to the February 2011 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newletter provides information about College of Science events involving students, alumni, faculty and staff. To contribute items for inclusion, please send an email to If possible, please include a high-resolution headshot photo of those mentioned in your items.
Veerabathina, UT Arlington team make physics fun for kids at Aviation and Transportation Career Expo    

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
The Dr. Andy Baum
Memorial Fund

Andrew Baum
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Andrew Baum, professor of Psychology and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Nov. 22, 2010. Donations to the fund may be mailed to: UTA College of Science/Dr. Andy Baum Memorial Fund P.O. Box 19047 Arlington, TX 76019

Calendar of events

Friday, March 4 UT Metroplex Day
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., UT Southwestern, Dallas Metroplex Day is a symposium on research opportunities between UT Arlington, UT Dallas and UT Southwestern.
More information here
March 14-18
Spring Break; no classes.
Wednesday, March 23 'A Night with the Science Guy' ACES keynote address with Bill Nye
7:30 p.m., Texas Hall As part of the Maverick Speaker Series, "Science Guy" Bill Nye will deliver the keynote address for the 2011 ACES symposium.
Thursday, March 24 Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES)
8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Hereford University Center The all-day symposium features students' presentations of their research projects, with awards being presented by a panel of judges in a variety of categories. The day is capped off by a reception and awards ceremony.
More information here.
Saturday, March 26 Memorial service for Dr. James Kopp
2 p.m., Japanese Gardens pavilion, Fort Worth Botanical Gardens A service celebrating the life of longtime UT Arlington psychology professor James Kopp, who died Nov. 19.
Monday, April 4 - Friday, April 8 UT Arlington Science Week
A full week of special events celebrating the College of Science. More details coming soon!
Wednesday, April 13 Health Professions Day
12-2 p.m., University Center Students can receive information from a variety of medical schools and health profession institutions.
Friday, May 6
Last day of classes for Spring 2011 semester.
Thursday, May 12 College of Science Spring 2011 Commencement
4 p.m., Texas Hall
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

UT Arlington's planetarium, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is now equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in planetarium software. The new Spring 2011 schedule has been released; see details here.
Maverick Science
Read the latest edition of Maverick Science
The Fall 2010 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is here. The magazine includes features on College of Science faculty, students alumni, as well as the latest news on what's happening in science at UT Arlington. Pick up a free print version in the Dean's Office (Life Science Room 206) or read the online version here.
COS T-Shirt
College of Science
T-shirts are here

The new College of Science
T-shirts are here, and they're only $10 each! They're shortsleeve, 100% cotton, with a small College of Science- UT Arlington logo on the front and a full color logo on the back. Available in S, M, L and XL. Available in the Dean's Office in Life Science Room 206.
Follow the College of Science on Facebook
Facebook LogoKeep up with the College of Science on Facebook, the largest social networking site in the world! 'Like' our page and learn about the latest College of Science news and events on campus. Find our page here.

Physics lecturer Nilakshi Veerabathina, fourth from left, and a team from UT Arlington made a series of presentations for students at the 7th Annual Aviation and Transportation Career Expo.

     A team from UT Arlington led by physics lecturer Nilakshi Veerabathina helped make physics fun as well as educational at the 7th Annual Aviation and Transportation Career Expo on Dec. 10. The event, hosted by D/FW Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration and American Airlines, was attended by 4,100 K-12 students and over 1,000 teachers and administrators from schools around North Texas. The attendees learned about aviation, transportation and science in general through a series of fun demonstrations.
     UT Arlington's team included undergraduate students Nelson Cardenas and Dondre Rose from the UTA chapter of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and Robert Allen, Aaron Baka, Robert Bruntz, Sophia Cockrell, Jimmy Corbin, Chris Limon, Robert Lord and Elijah Murphy from the UTA chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS).
     Physics demonstrations included use of liquid nitrogen; mechanical electrical generators to create spark discharges and mild shocks; wheels and rotating stools for moment of inertia; hand-made spectroscope, various assemblies of mirrors and lenses, big soap bubbles, and optics apparatus to explain the properties and uses of light. For more information on the expo, click here.

Hurdle's research on treating persistent bacterial infections published in microbiology journal
Julian Hurdle
Biology assistant professor Julian Hurdle led four-member research team whose work, "Targeting bacterial membrane function: an underexploited mechanism for treating persistent infections", has been published in the January edition of the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology.
     The review discusses "the emerging concept that disrupting the bacterial membrane bilayer or proteins that are integral to membrane function (including membrane potential and energy metabolism) in dormant bacteria is a strategy for treating persistent infections. ... Despite some drawbacks, membrane-active agents form an important new means of eradicating recalcitrant, non-growing bacteria."
     Read the full online article here.
Grover presents lecture at International Workshop on Partial Differential Equations Models in Biology
Jim Grover

     Biology professor James Grover delivered a plenary lecture on Dec. 17 at the International Workshop on Partial Differential Equations Models in Biology, at the National Center for Theoretical Science, National Tsing-Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
     The lecture was titled, "Resource storage and competition in variable environments: Lagrangian computational approaches and reaction-diffusion approximations."
     Grover has done extensive research in the ecology and physiology of algae and other aquatic micro-organisms. He specializes in the study of water quality in rivers, lakes and reservoirs; theoretical ecology; algal ecology; and biodiversity.

Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society welcomes eight new members in Fall induction ceremony
Sigma Pi Sigma Members
New Sigma Pi Sigma members include, from left: Edwin J. Baldelomar, Dr. Jaehoon Yu, Swapnil Baral, Robert C. Allen, Sophia J. Cockrell, Jimmy Corbin and Robert William Lord. (not pictured: Dr. Ali Koymen).
     The UT Arlington chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society held its Fall 2010 induction ceremony on Nov. 22, 2010.
     Six undergraduates and two faculty members were honored with induction, bringing membership of UT Arlington's chapter to 233. New inductees include: (students) Robert C. Allen, Edwin J. Baldelomar, Swapnil Baral, Sophia J. Cockrell, Jimmy Corbin, Robert William Lord; (faculty) Dr. Jaehoon Yu, Dr. Ali Koymen. Chapter advisor Ramon Lopez made a presentation on the history and purpose of Sigma Pi Sigma.
     Learn more about Sigma Pi Sigma here.
Melotto awarded $252K supplement grant for NIH-funded study of pathogens in leafy vegetables
Melotto Obulareddy
Assistant professor of biology Maeli Melotto and collaborator Sheng Hang He of Michigan State University have been awarded an ARRA research supplement in the amount of $252,664 to supplement their $1.85 million National Institutes of Health grant titled "Stomate- based innate immunity against bacterial infection in Arabidopsis."
     For more about Melotto's research, see her lab webpage here.
     Nisita Obulareddy, a graduate student researcher in Melotto's lab, was selected to make an oral presentation of her research in August at the National Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society held in Charlotte, N.C. The abstract of her presentation, "Towards understanding coronatinedependent suppression of Arabidopsis innate immunity," was published in the society journal.
Ph.D. student Cooper wins award for poster presentation at human brain imaging retreat
Crystal Cooper
     Crystal Cooper, a Ph.D. student in the Health Psychology and Neuroscience program of the Department of Psychology, won an award for her poster presentation on Nov. 4 at the 2010 Greater Dallas Human Brain Imaging Retreat. Posters were judged based on quality of research, clarity of presentation, and aesthetics. Cooper's poster was titled "Successful recollection of names involves a network of brain regions including the left hippocampus and left inferior parietal lobe."
     Cooper received a bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2007 and a master's in Health Psychology and Neuroscience in 2009, both from UT Arlington. Assistant professor of psychology Tim Odegard is her faculty advisor.
Perrotti publishes paper, presents research with graduate students at 4th annual meeting of OSSD
     A paper by assistant professor of psychology Linda Perrotti and graduate students Samara Morris Bobzean, Torry Dennis and B.D. Addison was published in the Nov. 20 edition of Brain Research Bulletin. The paper was titled "Influence of sex on reinstatement of cocaine-conditioned place preference".
     Perrotti, Dennis and Bobzean presented a poster, "Sex differences in cocaine reward," at the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., from June 3-5.
Bobzean received a travel award from OSSD to attend the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego from Nov. 13-17.
     Perrotti presented research done in her lab by herself, Dennis, X. Jiao, R.J. Servatius, K.C.H. Pang and K.D. Beck, titled "Neural mechanisms for active-avoidance behavior", at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego from Nov. 13-17.
     Bobzean received a two-year, National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge-to-Doctorate (LSAMP-BD) scholarship in September.
Sharma, students publish work in physics journals, make presentations at state, national meetings
Suresh Sharma
     News from physics professor Suresh C. Sharma:
A paper by Sharma, graduate student Rajarshi Chakraborty, and undergraduate student J. Kyle LaRoque, "A study of the structural and vibrational properties of diamond nanoparticles grown by chemical vapor deposition", was published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Nano Research.
A paper by Sharma and Alfonso Hinojosa, "Effects of gold nanoparticles on electro-optical properties of a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal", was published in volume 97 of the journal Applied Physics Letters (2010).
A review by Sharma, "A review of the electro-optical properties and their modification by radiation in polymer-dispersed liquid crystals and thin films containing CdSe/ZnS quantum dots", was published in volume 168 of the journal Materials Science and Engineering B (2010).
A paper by Sharma and R.A. Ramsey, "Effects of gamma radiation on the dielectric and electro-optical properties of a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal", was published in volume 405 of the journal Physica B (2010).
Sharma presented an invited colloquium, "Nanoparticles-induced changes in the electro- optical properties of certain liquid crystal", at Texas A&M-Commerce in September 2010.
Sharma and Chakraborty have submitted a paper for publication, "Evidence for hexagonal diamond nanoparticles in samples grown by chemical vapor deposition".
Sharma's students made two presentations at the March 2010 national meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) in Portland, Ore.: "A study of the structural, optical and electronic properties of diamond nanoparticles" (Chakraborty, LaRoque, Sharma) and "Effects of gold nanoparticles on the electro-optical properties of a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal" (Cecil Shive, Hinojosa, Sharma).
Sharma's students made two presentations at the Fall 2010 Texas Section of the APS (TSAPS) meeting in San Antonio: "Possible mechanisms behind recently observed effects of incorporating gold nanoparticles into a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal" (Hinojosa, Sharma) and "Evidence for hexagonal diamond in CVD grown diamond thin films" (Chakraborty, Sharma).
Chakraborty, a Materials Science and Engineering student, recently completed his M.S. thesis, "A study of diamond nanoparticles", under Sharma's supervision.
Chakraborty and LaRoque received an award for best poster presentation at the Fall 2009 TSAPS meeting in San Marcos for their project, "Chemical vapor deposition of nanodiamonds and study of their structural, optical and electronic properties".
As then-chair of the executive committee of the TSAPS, Sharma presented the group's first Distinguished Service Awards to three members, including retired UT Arlington professor of physics L.M. Diana, at the TSAPS Fall 2009 meeting in San Marcos.