Joan Wennstrom Bennett, Ph.D. (NAS) (Chair), has been a distinguished professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers University since 2006. Prior to coming to Rutgers, she was on the faculty at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, for more than 30 years. The Bennett laboratory studies the genetics and physiology of filamentous fungi. In addition to mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites, research focuses on the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by fungi. These low-molecular-weight compounds are responsible for the familiar odors associated with molds and mushrooms. Some VOCs function as semiochemicals for insects, while others serve as developmental signals for fungi. The Bennett lab has tested individual fungal VOCs in model systems and found that 1-octen-3-ol (“mushroom alcohol”) is a neurotoxin in Drosophila melanogaster and causes growth retardation in Arabidopsis thaliana. It also inhibits growth of the fungus that causes “white nose syndrome” in bat populations. In other studies, the Bennett lab has demonstrated that VOCs from living cultures of Trichoderma, a known biocontrol fungus, can enhance plant growth. Investigations on the mechanistic aspects of fungal VOC action are under way using a yeast knockout library. Dr. Bennett was associate vice president for the Office of Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (“SciWomen”) at Rutgers from 2006 to 2014. She is a past editor-in-chief of Mycologia; a past vice president of the British Mycological Society and the International Union of Microbiological Societies; and past president of the American Society for Microbiology and the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005.
Jonathan Allen, Ph.D., is a bioinformatics scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research focuses on the development and application of new software tools to address various genome sequence analysis problems, including prediction of genetic virulence markers in viruses, detection of genetic engineering in bacteria, and eukaryotic gene prediction. Dr. Allen is currently working with the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array, which is capable of comparing the DNA of microorganisms in a specific location or environment with a vast library of stored viral, bacterial, and fungal genetic sequences.
Jean Cox-Ganser, Ph.D., is research team leader for the Field Studies Branch, Respiratory Health Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). For the past 15 years she has been principal investigator for research studies on the respiratory health effects of dampness and mold in office buildings and schools, and she is author or coauthor of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and reports resulting from this research. Dr. Cox-Ganser is one of the most knowledgeable and influential researchers in the world on dampness, mold, and respiratory disease. Of special interest is her many years of experience guiding and participating in detailed and technically rigorous health hazard investigations of buildings. Indoor ecology is interesting, but knowledge of building structures and their operation is equally interesting and important in understanding the indoor biome.
Jack Gilbert, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. from Unilever and Nottingham University, United Kingdom, in 2002, and received his postdoctoral training at Queens University, Canada. He subsequently returned to the United Kingdom in 2005, coming to Plymouth Marine Laboratory as a senior scientist, until his move to Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago in 2010. Currently, Dr. Gilbert is in the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago and is group leader for microbial ecology at Argonne National Laboratory. He is also associate director of the Institute of Genomic and Systems Biology, research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History, and senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Dr. Gilbert uses molecular analysis to test fundamental hypotheses in microbial ecology. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on metagenomics and approaches to ecosystem ecology. He is currently working on generating observational and mechanistic models of microbial communities in natural, urban, built, and human ecosystems. He is on the advisory board of the Genomic Standards Consortium (www.gensc.org) and is the founding editor-in-chief of mSystems journal. In 2014 he was recognized on Crain’s Business Chicago’s 40 Under 40 List, and in 2015 he was listed as 1 of
the 50 most influential scientists by Business Insider and in the Brilliant Ten by Popular Science.
Diane Gold, M.D., is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is also an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her research focuses on the relationships between environmental exposures and the incidence or severity of respiratory diseases, including asthma. The environmental exposures considered encompass indoor allergens, including fungi, smoking, outdoor ozone, and particles. She investigates the environmental exposures that may explain socioeconomic, cultural, and gender differences that have been observed in asthma severity. These include perinatal exposures and family stress, as well as exposure to the allergens and pollutants mentioned above. Dr. Gold is also interested in the cardiopulmonary effects of particles on the elderly.
Jessica Green, Ph.D., is an ecologist and engineer who specializes in biodiversity theory and microbial systems. She is a professor of biology at the University of Oregon, where she codirects the Biology and Built Environment Center. She is also chief technology officer of Phylagen, Inc., a microbiome company based in San Francisco, and external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. Her research blends molecular biology, data science, and bioinformatics to understand and model complex microbial communities interacting with each other, with humans, and with the environment. Dr. Green has received numerous awards, including a Blaise Pascal International Research Chair sponsored by Île-de-France, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and a TED Senior Fellowship. She received a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Charles Haas, Ph.D., is L. D. Betz professor of environmental engineering and head of the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University, where he has been since 1991. He also holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Emergency Medicine of the Drexel University College of Medicine and in the School of Public Health. He received his B.S. (biology) and M.S. (environmental engineering) from the Illinois Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He served on the faculties of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Illinois Institute of Technology prior to joining Drexel. He codirected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/U.S. Department of Homeland
Security University Cooperative Center of Excellence–Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA). He is a fellow of the International Water Association, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Risk Analysis, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. Dr. Haas is a board-certified environmental engineering member by eminence of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He has received the Dr. John Leal Award of the American Water Works Association and the Clarke Water Prize. Over his career, he has specialized in the assessment of risk from and control of human exposure to pathogenic microorganisms and, in particular, the treatment of water and wastewater to minimize microbial risk to human health. Dr. Haas has served on numerous panels of the National Research Council. He is a past member of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors.
Mark Hernandez, Ph.D., PE, is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests lie at the cusp of molecular biology and civil engineering, focusing on the characterization and control of biological air pollution, both natural and anthropogenic. His recent work has focused on engineering disinfection systems for airborne bacteria and viruses and on tracking bioaerosols through natural weather patterns and catastrophic events (such as Hurricane Katrina). Dr. Hernandez is a registered professional civil engineer and an active technical consultant in the commercial waste treatment and industrial hygiene sectors. He serves as an editor of Aerosol Science and Technology and is the director of the Colorado Diversity Initiative. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in environmental engineering and his B.S. in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Robert Holt, Ph.D., is an eminent scholar and Arthur R. Marshall, Jr. chair in ecology at the University of Florida. His research focuses on theoretical and conceptual issues at the population and community levels of ecological organization and the task of linking ecology with evolutionary biology. He focuses on basic research, as well as bringing modern ecological theory to bear on significant applied problems, particularly in conservation biology. He approaches ecology by moving beyond traditional analyses of single species or interacting species pairs by focusing on an immediate level of complexity (community modules), which are small sets of interacting species, patterns of interactions found across many ecosystems. Dr. Holt is currently researching how predators influence infectious disease dynamics in host populations that are also prey.
Ronald Latanision, Ph.D. (NAE), is a senior fellow at Exponent, Inc., an engineering and scientific consulting company. Prior to joining Exponent, he was director of the H. H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and held joint faculty appointments in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. He led the School of Engineering’s Materials Processing Center at MIT as its director from 1985 to 1991. He is now an emeritus professor at MIT. In April 2015, he was appointed an adjunct professor in the Key Laboratory of Nuclear Materials and Safety Assessment of the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In addition, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, ASM International, and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) International. From 1983 to 1988, he was the first holder of the Shell distinguished chair in materials science. He was a founder of Altran Materials Engineering Corporation, established in 1992. He served as a principal and corporate vice president before assuming his role as a senior fellow at Exponent. Dr. Latanision is a member of the International Corrosion Council and serves as co-editor-in-chief of Corrosion Reviews with Professor Noam Eliaz of Tel Aviv University. He is editor-in-chief of the NAE quarterly publication The Bridge. He has served as a science adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in Washington, DC. In June 2002, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to membership on the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, and he was reappointed for a second 4-year term by then-President Barack Obama. Dr. Latanision received a B.S. in metallurgy from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from The Ohio State University. He is an honorary alumnus of MIT.
Hal Levin, B.Arch., is a research architect with Building Ecology Research Group. He has conducted research and provided consultation in the areas of building impacts on occupant health and comfort, as well as on the larger environment. For almost 40 years he has been involved in research and consulting that have included the integration of knowledge about indoor and outdoor air pollution, as well as other risk factors into the design of residential, educational, and commercial buildings and communities. His work includes many efforts to design buildings with minimal negative impacts on occupants or the larger environment, including the design of ventilation, building materials selection, energy consumption, and total environmental quality. Mr. Levin is a fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). He is a contributor to chapters in several
books, including Indoor Air Quality Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 2001), and is a former associate editor of the journal Indoor Air.
Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEED AP, is a university professor and former head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author, and educator who has spent more than 30 years focusing on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future. She has served on 10 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panels and the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment and has given four congressional testimonies on sustainability. Ms. Loftness is the recipient of the National Educator Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture Students and the Sacred Tree Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). She received her B.S. and M.S. in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served on the national boards of the USGBC, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment, Green Building Alliance, Turner Sustainability, and the Global Assurance Group of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She is a registered architect and a fellow of the AIA.
Karen Nelson, Ph.D., is president of the Rockville campus of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), where she has worked for the past 15 years. She was formerly director of human microbiology and metagenomics in the Department of Human Genomic Medicine at JCVI. Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology, and metagenomics. Since joining the JCVI legacy institutes, she has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts; was involved in the analysis of the microbiota of the human stomach and gastrointestinal tract; and led the first human metagenomics study on fecal material derived from three individuals, which was published in 2006. Additional ongoing studies in her group include metagenomic approaches to studying the ecology of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, reference genome sequencing and analysis, studies with nonhuman primates, and studies on the relationship between the microbiome and various human and animal disease conditions. She has authored or coauthored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and edited three books and is currently editor-in-chief of the journals Microbial Ecology and Advances in Microbial Ecology. She also serves on the editorial boards of BMC Genomics, GigaScience, and the Central European Journal of Biology. Dr. Nelson was a member of the National Research Council Standing Committee on Biodefense for the U.S. Department of Defense and is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineer-
ing, and Medicine’s Board on Life Sciences. She is a fellow of the American Society for Microbiology. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies and her Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Jordan Peccia, Ph.D., is a professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University and director of Yale environmental engineering undergraduate studies. His research group applies classical and molecular biology to solve environmental problems. The current research thrusts in his laboratory include (1) applying molecular biology techniques to investigate the diversity, origin, and fate of airborne biological material; (2) developing functional genomic approaches for controlling microalgae growth in biodiesel production; and (3) understanding human pathogen exposure and in vitro toxicity responses associated with land applied biosolids (sewage sludge).
Andrew Persily, Ph.D., is chief of the Energy and Environment Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and has performed research into indoor air quality and ventilation since the late 1970s. His work has included the development and application of measurement techniques for evaluating airflows and indoor air contaminant levels in a variety of building types, including large mechanically ventilated buildings and single-family dwellings. These procedures include tracer gas techniques for measuring air change rates and air distribution effectiveness, measurements of contaminant concentrations, and envelope airtightness. He has contributed to the development and application of multizone airflow and contaminant dispersal models. Dr. Persily was a vice-president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) from 2007 to 2009, and he is past chair of the ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee (SSPC) 62.1, responsible for the revision of the ASHRAE Ventilation Standard 62. He is currently chair of Standard 189.1, Design of High-Performance Green Buildings. He is a past chair of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Subcommittee E6.41 on Air Leakage and Ventilation Performance and past vice chair of subcommittee D22.05 on Indoor Air Quality. Dr. Persily was named an ASTM fellow and an International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) fellow in 2002, and an ASHRAE fellow in 2004. He received a B.A. in physics and mathematics from Beloit College in 1976 and a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1982.
Jizhong Zhou, Ph.D., is George Lynn Cross research professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology and director for the Institute for Environmental Genomics, University of Oklahoma; adjunct senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and adjunct professor
at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His expertise is in microbial ecology and genomics, with current research focused on (1) molecular community ecology and metagenomics, particularly in terrestrial soils and groundwater ecosystems important to climate changes, bioenergy, and environmental remediation; (2) experimental evolution and functional genomics of microorganisms important to environment and bioenergy; (3) pioneering development of high-throughput metagenomic technologies, particularly functional gene arrays for biogeochemical, environmental, and ecological applications; and (4) theoretical ecology, particularly ecological theories and network ecology. Dr. Zhou has authored more than 500 publications—with more than 29,000 total citations and an H-index above 90—on microbial genomics, genomic technologies, molecular biology, molecular evolution, microbial ecology, bioremediation, bioenergy, global change, bioinformatics, systems biology, and theoretical ecology. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001; the R&D 100 Award in 2009; and the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 2014, which is the U.S. Department of Energy’s highest scientific recognition. He is a senior editor for the ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology) Journal and mBio and a former editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.