Official newsletter of the LSU College of Science
Dear friends,

My how the time has flown. In my first semester I have met nearly all of our faculty, a host of supportive alumni and friends, and many outstanding students. Each of you has eased this transition and welcomed me warmly, making it a pleasure to be back home.

This has been a history-making year for LSU and the College of Science. The university brought in its third largest freshman class and its most diverse class. Our community of faculty and student researchers have received national awards and a graduate student team even broke a world record.
Our faculty are well funded netting more than $30 million in external research, and widely published landing cover stories and featured articles in Nature, Science, and hosts of other prestigious scientific publications and journals. Among our outstanding students are a Goldwater Scholar, NSF Graduate Research Fellows, a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, and even a Homecoming Queen.

As 2014 comes to a close, I want to thank you all for supporting the LSU College of Science. Our achievements are due to the hard work and dedication of our faculty, students, and staff, and the support of our alumni and friends.


On behalf of the LSU College of Science, I wish you a
joyful Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year.

Cynthia B. Peterson
Dean and Seola Arnaud
and Richard Vernon Edwards Jr. Professor

You can view the fall diploma ceremony online at 


LSU Holds 285th Commencement 

College of Science Honors Graduates
during Fall Diploma Ceremony


The LSU College of Science recognized the remarkable achievements of more than 120 graduates during its fall diploma ceremony, held Friday in the Maddox Field House. The college's 2014 class included four University Medalists recognized with LSU's highest honor, and 27 who graduated with Latin honors.

The commencement address was given by LSU Vice Provost for Diversity Dereck Rovaris who encouraged the graduates to use their time wisely and make a difference in the world.

"You have been given the gift of a future, a gift of time, and a gift of these degrees. The question is what will you do with all of that? Will you make a difference? Will you make a contribution? Will this planet be better because you were here?" Rovaris asked.

"You are Tigers, so I know the answer is yes. Dedicate yourself to making a difference." 


 > More  


Physicist's Contribution to the
Discovery of Dark Energy
Earns One of Science's Richest Awards  
LSU Professor of Physics & Astronomy Bradley Schaefer is a shared recipient of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics "for the most unexpected discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, rather than slowing down as had been long assumed." The award recognizes his collaboration with 50 other researchers on the discovery, which also won a Nobel Prize in 2011.


> More

NASA Mission Patch Designed by
LSU Space Day Students Sent Into Orbit


As part of the LSU Space Day activities hosted in March, participating schools presented a custom designed Orion mission patch, as astronaut crews do for their missions. The winning patch, designed by Parkview Baptist students, flew on the Orion EFT 1 flight December 5. The patch, which included the phrase "Going Above and Beyond," was designed by Zachary Donze, son of David Donze, LSU associate professor of biological sciences, and Hollie Hale Donze, research assistant in LSU's Socolofsky Microscopy Center.  


 > More  

Renowned Chemist Richard Zare
Presents "Chemistry in the
Service of Human Health"

Richard Zare, a noted chemist widely recognized for his research in the area of laser chemistry gave both a public talk and research lecture presented in honor of LSU System Boyd Professor Philip W. West, the first chemistry professor to be awarded LSU's highest professorial rank, Boyd Professor.

> More 

Dean Peterson Discusses LSU's Efforts
to Bridge the Gender Divide in STEM Fields

Efforts to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, was the topic of a recent article published by the LSU Reveille, the university's student paper. The piece featured commentary by College of Science Dean Cynthia Peterson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Megan Macnaughtan, and other women in STEM across campus.

> More  


LSU Researchers Discover New Method to Convert CO2 to a Valuable Organic Compound

An LSU research team, led by Andrew Maverick, Philip & Foymae West Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and acting associate dean in the LSU College of Science, has discovered a cyclic copper complex that converts carbon dioxide to oxalate changing the environmental pollutant into a more useful organic compound. The team, which includes Maverick, LSU Research Associate Frank Fronczek and postdoctoral researcher Uttam Pokharel, have co-authored a paper about their discovery to be published in the December edition of Nature Communications.

> More

Chemistry Chair Receives
2014 Southern Chemist Award

LSU Department of Chemistry Chair and William White Tison Professor Luigi Marzilli was awarded the 2014 Southern Chemist Award during the annual meeting of the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society on Dec. 4. The award, presented each year since 1952, recognizes one outstanding chemist in the Southeastern United States.

> More

Carol Wicks and George Stanley
Named AAAS Fellows

Carol Wicks, chair of the LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics and Frank W. and Patricia Harrison Family Professor, and George Stanley, Alumni Professor of Chemistry, are two of the three LSU faculty named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

Each Fellow is elected by their peers for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
"The distinguished faculty who have been elected as AAAS Fellows represent LSU's high level of research expertise and impact as recognized by worldwide leaders in their respective fields," said Kalliat T. Valsaraj, vice chancellor for research and economic development of the LSU Office of Research and Economic Development.


LSU Boyd Professor Honored with 2014 Oesper Award

Isiah Warner, Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, LSU System Boyd Professor, and Philip W. West Professor of Chemistry, is the 2014 recipient of the Oesper Award. Warner was presented with the award during a symposium and banquet held at the University of Cincinnati October 24. 

> More


Mapping the Tree of Life

An international team of scientists has completed the largest whole genome study of a single class of animals to date. As part of the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium - comprised of more than 200 scientists from 80 institutions across 20 countries - LSU researchers' work was published in three research papers featured in a special issue of Science.

One of the flagship papers titled, "Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds," presents a well-resolved new tree of life for birds, based on whole-genome data. Several LSU scientists are co-authors on this paper, including Robb Brumfield,Roy Paul Daniels Professor of Biological Sciences and director of the Museum of Natural Science, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Brant Faircloth, Curator of Genetic Resources Frederick Sheldon and former Museum of Natural Science Post-doctoral Researchers Elizabeth Derryberry and
John McCormack.


Seeing the Forest for the Trees

LSU Professor of Biological Sciences Kyle Harms and PeterGreen, a senior lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, have devised an analysis to test the long-standing hypothesis that the patterns of composition and diversity among a forest's mature trees are largely set by processes that occur in trees' earliest life stages. The results of this analysis are the first quantitative evidence that the earliest life cycle stages of individual trees are more critical than later stages to the overall relative abundances of mature trees in a forest. Their findings will be published online in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. 

> More 


Physical Challenge
|  With assistance from the
Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars Program operated through LSU's University College, military veteran Todd Moulder has been able to continue his pursuit of knowledge in the challenging world of quantum physics.

> More 

LSU geology graduates and sisters Angela LaGrange Scott and Kelly Poret

Sisters Share their Love of Geology, LSU 
and Giving to the LSU College of Science 


LSU Geology alums Angela LaGrange Scott and Kelly Poret
have more in common than their field of study;
they're sisters.

"She's my older sister and she was very studious, so she was a huge role model. My siblings and I looked up to her," Poret said. "Most people feel that they have to live up to their older siblings, and we had some very high standards to follow."

The family tradition began when Scott attended a geology field camp her freshman year at LSU. The experience opened her eyes to a career she had never considered. 

> More 



The College of Science would like to welcome the newest members of the Dean's Circle. Thank you for your contribution to the teaching and research activities in the college.

  • Dr. Wayne and Mrs. Lynne Homza, October 2014
  • Dr. Dr. Kathleen M. McManus, October 2014
  • Dr. Robert and Mrs. Susan Perlis, November 2014
  • Dr. Carol Wicks and Mr. Butler Stringer, November 2014
  • Dr. William and Dr. Sheri Wischusen, November 2014

> View full list of DC members 



Submit Items