Publications and achievements submitted by our faculty, staff, and students. 


Student Team Leader: Luke Halonen. Team Members: Julian Quick, Skira Brathwaite, Kevin Brenes-Melgar, Solomon Clark, Matthew Collins, Anthony Eggink, Grant Goddard, Lori Jones, Mathew Nyberg, and Arrow Walker. Faculty Advisor: Douglas Saucedo Environmental Resources Engineering

On May 8th, the team received the Honorable Mention (2nd place) award for innovative system design and excellent analysis in the Hydrogen Education Foundation’s 2014 Hydrogen Student Design Contest. The team designed a modular, drop-in hydrogen fueling station that can be installed in under a 7 days, and dispense 5 kg of high pressure hydrogen fuel in under 5 minutes. See for more details.

Submitted: May 12, 2014

Faculty Bruce O'Gara Biological Sciences

Bruce A. O'Gara, Professor of Zoology and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, was recently profiled in the Member Spotlight section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) website. Read the full text here: "…":….

The AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the prestigious scientific journal, Science. The profile entitled "Bruce O’Gara teaches his students how to find an answer" details how Prof. O'Gara works with students in his research laboratory to provide practical training to help them advance in their scientific careers. Featured in the profile is the research of senior Cellular and Molecular Biology major Araik Sinanyan on the endocrine disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and its effects on the regeneration of lost body parts of an annelid worm. Also featured in the profile are quotes from HSU graduate Michael Smeaton, who attributes his experiences in O'Gara's laboratory as being an important factor in giving him the confidence to earn a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and perform postdoctoral work at Cal-Tech and Stanford.

Submitted: May 9, 2014

Student Reggie Blackwell Biological Sciences

Reggie Blackwell ('14) has landed an NSF Graduate Fellowship to pursue a PhD at Scripps Institute beginning in fall 2014. His project is titled "Invasions within Humboldt Bay California by cryptic species of bryozoans (watersipora spp.) spatial and temporal dominance by three clades."

Submitted: May 7, 2014

Student Holly Leopardi Physics & Astronomy

Holly Leopardi ('14, Physics) recently took second place in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Division at the CSU Research Competition May 2 and 3 at CSU East Bay. Leopardi's project was titled "Tests of Gravity Below Fifty Microns." Her faculty advisor was C.D. Hoyle, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy.

Leopardi was recently named 2013-14 Outstanding Student of the Year for Outstanding Co-Curricular Contributions. She plans to enter the University of Colorado, Boulder's Ph.D. program in Physics this fall.

Submitted: May 5, 2014

Student Kamila Larripa, Miriam Garai, Michael Malocha, Marika Leitner, Tyler Mobray, Andrew Harter, Molly Shea, Stephanie Corah, Eric Stuck, Paul Mullan Mathematics

Three HSU student teams advised by Kamila Larripa were honored for their performance in the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications Annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling.
More information can be found here:

Submitted: May 5, 2014

Faculty Tim Bean Wildlife

Wildlife Professor Tim Bean has received $15 thousand from Save the Redwoods League to develop a landscape-level map of habitat suitability for white-footed voles. His research wil provide an understanding of the white-footed vole habitat requirements in redwood systems at the landscape and home range scale and knowledge of occupied areas to aid further research.

Submitted: May 2, 2014

Student Joanna R. Murphy Environmental Resources Engineering

Joanna Murphy was recently selected as one of the recipients of the 2014 North American Membrane Society (NAMS) Elias Klein Travel Supplement. At the NAMS meeting, she will present her and her co-author's paper "A Two-Dimensional Modeling of Direct Contact Membrane Distillation with Bench Scale Experimental Validation."

Submitted: April 25, 2014

Student Jennifer Warmack Oceanography

Jennifer Warmack has been selected to receive a 2014 CSUPERB Presidents’ Commission Scholar Award in the amount of $8,000 to fund the project titled “Preventing Psedo-Nitzschia Blooms through Forward Osmosis Treatment of Wastwater." She will conduct her summer research project in the laboratory of ERE Assistant Professor Andrea Achilli.

Submitted: April 25, 2014

Faculty Lori Dengler Geology

Geology Professor Lori Dengler will present the Berkeley Lawson Lecture at the University of California, Wednesday April 16 5:30 p.m. in the Banatao Auditorium of Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS). More information at

Submitted: April 14, 2014

Student Cheryl Bondi, Dr. Sharyn Marks Biological Sciences

Cheryl Bondi, former HSU Biology grad student (Advisor, Dr. Sharyn Marks, HSU Zoology) just won the Best Student Paper recently won an award for her thesis research in the 2013 volume of Copeia. The paper is titled "Differences in flow regime influence the seasonal migrations, body size, and body condition of Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) that inhabit perennial and intermittent riverine sites in northern California." Copeia 2013:142-153.

Submitted: April 9, 2014

  Brian Wallace, Tyler Martin, Aaron Perez, Ryan P. Dunne, Nicholas A. Campbell, and Zachary Ruiz Environmental Resources Engineering

The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) just announced the results from the 2014 Mathematical Modeling Contest. Once again, two student teams from the HSU Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) department participated in this four day long contest. Competing against thousands of universities, each team produced a report summarizing their solution to one of three possible problems.

The team consisting of Brian Wallace, Tyler Martin, and Aaron Perez selected a problem that required they build and analyze a mathematical model to analyze the performance of the "Keep-To-The-Right-Except-To-Pass" rule in light and heavy traffic. The team's report was awarded the score of Meritorious. Only 25 (0.4 percent) of the 6,755 teams working on this problem scored higher, and 90 percent of the teams received lower scores.

The team consisting of Ryan P. Dunne, Nicholas A. Campbell, and Zachary Ruiz selected a problem that required building a network model for determining influence in a large co-author network and measuring impact within a set of foundational papers in network science. This problem required teams to mine a large data set and understand concepts from the informational sciences to build an effective model for these complex phenomena. The team's report was also awarded the score of Meritorious. Only 11 (1%) of the 1,028 teams working on this problem scored higher, and 86% of the teams received lower scores.

Congratulations to the members of both teams for their high achievement in this event.

Submitted: April 9, 2014

Faculty Steve Railsback, Matt Johnson Mathematics

Drs. Steve Railsback (Mathematics) and Matt Johnson (Wildlife) collaborated on a paper recently accepted for publication in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." The paper presents a mathematical model on the controversial trade-off between allocating land for crop production versus conservation of biodiversity. Their model shows that, for coffee farmers, growing trees to attract birds not only benefits biodiversity, it also boosts net crop production because birds help control insect pests. The paper will be published next week.

Submitted: April 3, 2014

Faculty Andrea Achilli Environmental Resources Engineering

Dr. Achilli recently published an article that introduced a novel application of pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) in seawater desalination. In the paper, PRO was evaluated in conjunction with reverse osmosis (RO), in a system called RO-PRO desalination, to reduce the energy requirement of seawater RO desalination. The minimum net specific energy consumption of the system was found to be approximately 40% lower than state-of-the-art seawater RO. Full article: "":

Submitted: February 21, 2014

Student Meiling Roddam Fisheries Biology

Meiling Roddam ('14, M.S. Fisheries) has received a 2014 California Sea Grant State Fellowship. Roddam will work at the interface of scientific research and policy, and determine how to incorporate that science into the Delta Plan. Previously, Roddam worked for California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Fisheries Technician in the Klamath River Basin and in the Smith River Watershed. Prior to that, Roddam was an AmeriCorps member with the Watershed Stewards Project, a special project of the California Conservation Corps. Roddam earned her undergraduate degree in marine biology at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she studied harmful algal blooms in the Monterey Bay.

Submitted: February 13, 2014

Student Dr. Kamila Larripa and students Mathematics

Nine HSU mathematics students participated in the Consortium for Math and its Applications' (COMAP) annual international math modeling contest Feb. 10. The contest challenges teams of college students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems. The HSU students who participated were: Miriam Garai, Michael Malocha, Marika Leitner, Tyler Mobray, Andrew Harter, Molly Shea, Stephanie Corah, Eric Stuck and Paul Mullan. The students came from a variety of math backgrounds, including those who had just completed Calculus to upper division math and physics students. Contest results are available in April.

Submitted: February 12, 2014

Alumni Ryan Gustafson Environmental Resources Engineering

Ryan Gustafson, a recent graduate from the ERE program, received a Viterbi Graduate School PhD fellowship to pursue a PhD in Environmental Engineering with Prof. Amy Childress at the University of Southern California. He will be funded for four years to continue his research on membrane distillation that he started last year at HSU with Dr. Andrea Achilli.

Submitted: February 12, 2014

Alumni Nathalia Holt Biological Sciences

Nathalia Holt ('02, Biological Sciences) has written a book that tells the personal stories of two men whose HIV infections were cured in distinct yet essentially related ways, revealing the imminent promise of a cure for HIV. "Cured: How the Berlin Patients Defeated HIV and Forever Changed Medical Science," is forthcoming from Penguin in February. Holt is an award-winning research scientist specializing in HIV biology. Her research has led to major developments in the HIV gene therapy field. After receiving a Bachelor's degree from HSU, she trained at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard University, the University of Southern California and Tulane University. She lives with her husband and their daughter in Boston, Massachusetts.

Submitted: January 16, 2014

Faculty Jeffrey Kane Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management

Assistant forestry professor Jeffrey Kane recently published an article in the journal Oecologia asserting that the number of resin ducts a tree has can help predict how resistant the pine is to beetle infestation. The results of the paper, combined with the findings of an earlier study, provide information that may be useful to land managers who are trying to keep public parks and other relatively small forested areas healthy. In the first study, researchers demonstrated that a certain type of slippery bark protects trees from pine beetle attacks, which can kill trees. For the full article, visit

Submitted: January 8, 2014

Faculty Mark Colwell, Luke Eberhart-Phillips, Wendy Pearson Wildlife

Mark Colwell and his former graduate students, Luke Eberhart-Phillips and Wendy Pearson, recently published three papers addressing various aspects of the population and reproductive biology of the Snowy Plover. This federally listed species has a small population in Humboldt County, which Colwell and his students have studied for 13 years.

Submitted: December 18, 2013

Faculty Kathleen H Sienko, Amir Sabet Sarvestani, Lonny Grafman Environmental Resources Engineering

Amir Sabet Sarvestani and Kathleen H. Sienko of University of Michigan, with Lonny Grafman of Humboldt State University, presented an "Open-Source, Wiki-Based Medical Device Compendium for Global Health" at the Second WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices in Geneva, Switzerland.

Submitted: December 4, 2013