31-10 Thomson Avenue L.I.C, NY 11104 M204 Hours: Monday-Friday 9-5pm (718) 482-5940 Fax: (718) 609-2024
I have a wide range of research experiences and interests, primary within the fields of Invertebrate Zoology, Biogeography, Evolution. My Master’s project in Arachnology (1979) was performed at Far East State University and dedicated to orb-weaving spiders (Araneae, Araneidae) of South East Russia. In 1989, I earned my Ph.D. in Entomology from Novosibirsk Biological Institute. My professional career I began in “Kedrovaya Pad Natural Reserve” as a Research Scientist, where I participated in and performed various scientific projects in Field Zoology.
After arrival in the United States, I was invited to participate in a project on ground spiders of Australia in American Museum of Natural History, where I have worked from 1996 to 2005 as a Curatorial Assistant in Spider laboratory in Department of Invertebrate Zoology. My teaching career I began in 2006 at Hostos Community College (CUNY). From 2010 I am an Assistant Professor at the LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), where I teach courses on Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Anatomy and Physiology of Vertebrates.
I am working on several projects in invertebrate zoology, biogeography and evolution. I am continuing research in systematics, taxonomy, and biogeography of Australasian ground spiders (Araneae, Gnaphosidae). Currently, in collaboration with Dr. Vladimir Ovtsharenko, I have finished the first book “Revision of Australasian ground spiders” and preparing next book on genus Encoptarthria with description, evolutionary relation and geographic distribution of 45 new spider species. I also participate in study of invertebrate dynamics in Black Rock Forest, as part of the larger project “Ecosystem Consequences of Foundation Taxon Loss”. The third ongoing project concerns organization and function of ground spider’s reproductive organs.
Carol Haspel received her PhD from The City University of New York in 1986 and joined the faculty of LaGuardia Community College in 1987 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1991 and then to Full Professor in 1997. She served as the Coordinator of Human Anatomy & Physiology from 1987-2013 and in that capacity continuously explored ways to improve the Human Anatomy and Physiology curriculum while supervising more than 20 instructors. In 2006 she was asked to extend her responsibilities and to act as the Science Coordinator for the Natural Sciences Department. Her pedagogical focus, curriculum development, has lead her to develop an 18-week Human Anatomy & Physiology course, introduce clay modeling in lieu of cat dissection into Human A & P, design mini-courses to enhance student success in science (Science Express and Science CPI Exam Preparatory Course), teach and develop cluster courses such as Introductory Science and Anatomy and Physiology for ESL students and co-develop and team-teach Genes and Society for Liberal Arts Students. Dr. Haspel has published eight scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Keller obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of New Mexico in 1999. His PHD work was performed in the lab of Martin Chalfie at Columbia University where he studied the sense of touch, neuronal microtubule dynamics, and Touch Receptor Neuron development in Caenorhabditis elegans. A three year break from graduate school allowed Dr. Keller to teach biology and human anatomy at Central New Mexico Community College and work for the New Mexico Department of Health where he used DNA technology to diagnose disease in commercial and wild animal populations. Dr. Keller returned to Columbia and obtained his PHD in 2011. Prior to his appointment at LaGuardia in September 2012, Dr. Keller taught introductory biology and human anatomy at Hostos Community College, Lander College for men, and LaGuardia as an adjunct professor. Dr. Keller currently teaches SCB 201 (fundamentals of biology).
Research interests include:
Education: MD diploma from UMAN Medical School Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Issued title and license of Doctor of Medicine Surgery and Midwifery by the National Secretariat of Public Education, Mexico, 2004. Teaching: LaGuardia Community College since January 2007: Fundamentals of Human Biology I-SCB203 and II-SCB204 (Anatomy and Physiology) lecture and lab; Principles of Biology SCB115.
Non-teaching college activities: Integration of Digication ePortfolios into the Human Biology curriculum, a project funded by a 2010-2011 minigrant from CTL, together with Professor Howard Motoike.
Participant of Carnegie Seminar for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2011-2013.
Volunteer tutor at The English Language Clinic at LaGCC and Science Study Halll E312.
Other Interests: Swimming, tennis, biking, soccer, travel, painting, numismatics, ASL. Personal: Live in Brooklyn with wife and two sons, ages 13 and 7.
Holly Porter-Morgan, Assistant Professor of Biology, received her PhD in Biology with specializations in Ecology and Plant Sciences from the Graduate Center, CUNY after attending the New York University for a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She then conducted post-doctorate work on predictive modeling and geospatial technology for conservation as a research scientist at the New York Botanical Garden.
Dr.Porter-Morgan directs the Environmental Science Program at LaGuardia and teaches courses in Biology, Ecology, GISc, and Environmental Science. She is currently serving as a research mentor for the NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program.
Dr. Porter-Morgan’s research interests lie at the confluence of Environmental Science, geospatial technology,and Conservation Ecology. Currently, she is studying the potential for bioremediation to supplement proposals for water quality remediation at a local Superfund site; Newtown Creek, Queens. This research examines measures of organismal diversity and water quality and is being conducted with a number of collaborators including the Newtown Creek Alliance.
The second portion of her research is a geospatial (GISc) investigation of the environmental hazards affecting residents of the communities surrounding Newtown Creek. This work incorporates field data collected by student interns with predictive models and data submitted by organizations including the EPA, DOH, and DEC.
Howard Motoike received his B.S. in Zoology from California State University Long Beach and Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Miami. His expertise is in the structure and function of voltage-gated ion channels. He is also a Research Associate at Columbia University in the Department of Cardiology where he conducts research on the voltage and calcium activated potassium channel. His interests include all types of muscle contraction, signal transduction pathways and receptor pharmacology. He has held positions at the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University before accepting his appointment at La Guardia Community College. He has taught SCB-203 (Human A&P I), SCB-204 (Human A&P 2) and SCB-115 (Biology for Non-Majors) at LAGCC. Research Interests of Howard K. Motoike, Ph.D.
Doctor Lucia Fuentes did her undergraduate studies in the University of Geneva in Switzerland, received her Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Costa Rica and her PhD in Plant Virology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her post-doctoral work involved the study of cell-to-cell movement of viruses into embryonic plant tissues. While doing her post-doctoral work at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Vancouver, she developed and directed a series of workshops for professors from the Universidad Agricola de Nicaragua, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, on molecular techniques for detection of plant viruses.
Before joining LaGuardia in spring 2013, Dr. Fuentes worked at Douglas College in British Columbia, for over fifteen years. At Douglas, she taught and developed curriculum for courses in Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Evolution, and Biochemistry. She also served as representative of the Faculty of Science and Technology on Education Council, the college-wide committee responsible for approving curriculum and advising the College Board on educational matters. In 2002, she submitted a proposal, supported by the Biology Department, which resulted in the assembly of a cell biology laboratory for both teaching and research purposes. For the past eight years, Dr. Fuentes has worked in collaboration with her colleagues on determining macrophage recognition mechanisms of microbial pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) via pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Specifically, she is interested in elucidating the mechanism by which bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) augments the phagocytosis of zymosan (yeast cell-wall derived particles) by macrophages. Research Interests of Lucia Fuentes, Ph.D.
Dr. Entezari completed her Bachelors in Biology at Tehran University, Iran. Then she completed her Master’s and Ph.D in Anatomical Sciences at the Medical University of Tehran, Iran. She later travelled to the U.S. and worked at the Feinstien Institute of Biomedical Research Center, North shore LIJ as a research assistant, and completed her postdoctoral work at the pharmaceutical Sciences Department at St. John’s University, College of Pharmacy. Dr. Entezari has been a part of the Natural Science Department at LaGuardia Community College since 2008. She teaches Fundamentals of Human Biology I (SCB203) and II (SCB204), and Fundamentals of Biology I (SCB 201). In addition to teaching at LaGuardia, Dr. Entezari has also taught at Tehran Medical University, Queen College and St.John’s University.
Dr. Entezari’s research focuses on oxidative stress and its role on the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and their effects on macrophage functions. She is also one of the research mentors of the NIH BRIDGS program at the Natural Science Department.
Her studies and research interests can be categorized into 2 major areas:
Dr. Radhakrishnan completed her Bachelors in Zoology and Masters in Biotechnology at the University of Madras, India. She then completed her PhD in Biology at the Department of Brain, Behavior and Evolution at Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Radhakrishnan then travelled to the University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL for a post-doctoral position. Dr. Radhakrishnan currently teaches Fundamentals of Human Biology I (SCB203) and runs an active research lab.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s research interests are largely focused on ecological immunology and the interactions between reproduction and immunity. These interests are pursued using insects as models such as the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster and the Chinese preying mantis Tenodera sinensis.
Current research projects include:
Priyantha Wijesinghe was born in Sri Lanka and had his early education in Sri Lanka and in England. He became interested in spiders, insects and other terrestrial invertebrates while an undergraduate in zoology at University College London (University of London) (1983). After a period of employment in Sri Lanka as a systematic entomologist, during which he studied the spider fauna of Sri Lanka, he pursued graduate studies at the City University of New York and the American Museum of Natural History, obtaining his PhD in 1997 for a systematic study of the spider family Salticidae (jumping spiders).
Here at LaGuarda Community College, where he is an Associate Professor in Biology, Professor Wijesinghe coordinates and teaches two courses that together comprise the general biology sequence. He continues his interest in the systematics of spiders and other taxa, as well as the history of natural history exploration in South Asia, documentation of the fauna of Sri Lanka, and ecology and natural history in New York City.
Randall began teaching at La Guardia Community College in 1996 as an adjunct in the Natural and Applied Sciences Department. In 2011, he was hired as a full-time Substitute Lecturer. Randall received the degree of Master of Science in Biology at New York University, where he was awarded a series of teaching fellowships. He subsequently studied animal behavior and earned a Master of Philosophy in Biology at the CUNY Graduate Center. His graduate research concerned the role of androgens on the sexual and aggressive behavior of the male ringdove, Streptopelia risoria. The research was conducted at the American Museum of Natural History and at Barnard College. Randall was also awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health.
At La Guardia, Randall has taught the following courses: Topics in Biology, General Biology, and Fundamentals Of Human Biology 1 and 2. He can often be found in the Science Learning Center helping students.
Randall also co-wrote a chapter in the book, Androgens in Birds (Raven Press, edited by Dr. Carlos Beyer).
Sarah E. Durand, Associate Professor of biology, received a dual 4-year BA/MA degree in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Pennsylvania for a field study that examined shorebird foraging patterns in the intertidal zone along the Maine cost. Her doctoral degree in Neurobiology and Behavior was conferred by the Center for Molecular and Behavior Neuroscience of Rutgers University for a dissertation on novel auditory pathways in the avian brain, which received the Dean’s Dissertation Award for Excellence. For her postdoctoral work, supported by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship, she studied the parrot forebrain system for vocal learning at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Durand has published in and reviewed for the Journal of Comparative Neurology (JCN), co-authored papers for Nature Reviews Neuroscience and the New York Academy of Science and has reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation.
By way of the NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate grant to LaGuardia, Dr. Durand mentors research students in both ecology and neuroscience, with two students in the latter group winning "Best in Neuroscience" awards at the national conference for minority research students, ABRCMS. She is currently assisting development of the new major in Environmental Science that emphasizes collaboration with local high schools, community organizations and government agencies and she directs the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program at LaGuardia.
Dr. Burl Yearwood obtained his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Yearwood obtained his PhD degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His research dealt with the preparation of precursors for the production of semi-conductors. Dr. Yearwood also investigated the type of compounds formed between organo-aluminum compounds and organic sulfur and selenium complexes.
Dr. Yearwood conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Kentucky. His research dealt with the formation and study of the tetrafluoroaluminate ion (which can act as a phosphate mimic in the body). Dr. Yearwood also looked at the synthesis and characterization of organotin compounds, and their as biocidal agents in marine paints
Dr. Yearwood is currently the chairperson of the Natural Sciences Department at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY). He has taught Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, and Introductory Chemistry at LaGuardia. Presently his research deals with the analysis of environmental toxins in Newtown Creek River, a Superfund site, in Long Island City.
Dionne A. Miller is an assistant professor of chemistry in the Natural Sciences Department of LaGuardia Community College. She received her PhD in Physical Chemistry from the CUNY Graduate School and University Center in 2008. Her dissertation was titled “Optical Properties of Solid Thin Films by Spectroscopic Reflectometry and Spectroscopic Ellipsometry”. Dr Miller’s current research interests are in the optical properties of nanoshell thin films and how the elucidation of these properties will influence the design of applications involving these particular nanoparticles.
She received her B Sc in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies, Mona and also holds postgraduate diplomas in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies, Mona and Technical Education from the University of Technology, Jamaica.
Dr Miller has extensive experience in college teaching. She held the position of Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Technology, Jamaica from 1996 – 2000 and, while completing her graduate studies, was an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Bronx Community College and the City College of New York. Dr. Miller is currently the coordinator of the chemistry program and also serves as the coordinator for SCC201: Fundamentals of Chemistry I. She also has developed and teaches a hybrid online course for SCC201.
Dr. Alberts received his bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from the University of Manchester, UK, and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Cambridge, UK. His PhD research focused on the development of quantum mechanical methods for predicting the properties of small molecular systems.
Dr. Alberts conducted Postdoctoral research at the University of Georgia, USA, and then taught Chemistry and led active research groups as a Lecturer at the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, UK. He was also a visiting researcher at the European Bioinformtics Institute in Cambridge, UK, where he worked on computational approaches for simulating protein-ligand complexes.
Dr. Alberts has significant experience working in the area of Computational Chemistry in the commercial environment. At De Novo Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, UK and Schrödinger in NYC, he was Principal Scientist and led research teams focused on the development and application of state-of-the-art methodology for Computational Drug Discovery.
Dr. Alberts was appointed to the Faculty in the Natural Sciences Department at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) in September 2011. He currently teaches Organic Chemistry, Fundamentals of Chemistry II, Introductory Chemistry and Foundations of Chemistry at LaGuardia. His research work involves application of computational drug discovery methods to design potential new drug candidates for targets of therapeutic interest, including tyrosine kinases, GPCR’s, matrix metalloproteases and metabolic enzymes. He also collaborates with external research groups on projects focused on simulation of biological systems, such as membrane proteins, DNA polymerases and key biopolymers.
Dr. Janet Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the Natural Sciences Department of LaGuardia Community College. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from the CUNY Graduate School and her BS magna cum laude from the City College of NY.
Dr. Gonzalez’s research involves the use of small organic molecules as a starting point for in silico and cellular approaches towards protein-ligand interactions concentrating on the serine protease, beta-lactamase expressed by Mycobacteriumtuberculosis. This approach to engineer non-ß-lactam inhibitors may provide new building blocks to either restore the activity of ß-lactam antibiotics or to circumvent ß-lactamase mediated resistance.
Dr. Gonzalez has extensive teaching experience and has taught at Lehman College, Bronx Community College and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. She is currently the coordinator of the Organic Chemistry program.
Dr. Hussain received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Poona, India. He conducted research involving the synthesis and characterization of new heterocyclic compounds. He conducted post-doctoral research at The Ohio State University on poly aromatic hydrocarbons and their mechanism of action as carcinogens. Dr. Hussain has taught Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, and Introductory Chemistry at LaGuardia. He currently conducts research in Natural Products and also synthesis of Anti-oxidants. Before joining La Guardia he was Sub. Associate Professor of Chemistry at Lehman College (CUNY) and worked as Research Scientist at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for 6 yrs prior to the teaching.
Jaime Nieman holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from CUNY. His research interests are focused on laser-induced photochemistry and spectroscopy, as well as on reactions using atomic and molecular beams. He has published papers in these fields and he is also the co-inventor of a patent titled “Laser Initiated Chain Reactions for Producing a Sintered Product”. He has been a Visiting Scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and a Research Associate at the Laser Institute of Brooklyn College. Jaime has worked in industry and has consulted for both industry and government.
Jaime spent a year as a Visiting Associate Professor at the CUNY Graduate School in the Chemistry Department. Since 1991 he has been at LaGuardia Community College. He has taught General Chemistry, Biological Chemistry and Topics in Chemistry. He currently coordinates and teaches the Fundamental of Physics sequence (SCP201 and SCP202) as well as Topics in Physical Science (SCP101).
Dr. Frost received a Bachelor of Sciences degree in mathematics and physics from The City College of New York (CUNY) and a Master of Science and a PhD. degree in physics from New York University. Dr. Frost has taught mathematics, physics, and computer science at New York University, Lehman College (CUNY), Medgar Evers College (CUNY), and at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria (4 years) before coming to LaGuardia. Dr. Frost is currently conducting research at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies on the campus of Columbia University. His research interests are Polarimetry studies of aerosols in the earth’s atmosphere and aerosol studies of Jupiter’s stratosphere. Dr. Frost is also the coordinator of the physical science courses in the Natural Sciences Department.
Dr. John Toland received his Ph.D. in physics from Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) in 2011 and his M.S. Degree in physics in 2009 from the same institution. Dr. Toland’s thesis research centered on modeling the rotational sensitivity of multiple interferometers connected in series. Dr. Toland explored the effects of size varying interferometers both due to random imperfections and chains with designed size variations. Dr. Toland received his Bachelor’s degree in physics form Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) in 2005.
Dr. Toland continues his research into simulating the transmission properties of multiple interferometers to determine how their geometry affects their rotational sensitivity. He is extending this work to explore the effects due to other geometric phase shifts subject to interferometer geometries studied with phase shifts associated with rotation. Dr. Toland is also exploring the possibilities of incorporating heavily parallel processer computation into his work; he is part of an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration at Stevens Institute of Technology that has been recognized by NVIDA as a research center for parallel processing using the CUDA programming language.
Doctor Toland has been teaching physics courses at LaGuardia since the Fall of 2012 and previously taught physics course ate CUNY: Kingsborough Community College and at Stevens instate of Technology. He has experience teaching both algebra and calculus based general physics courses and laboratories.
Dr. Xin Gao received her PhD in Physics from the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY in 2012. Dr. Gao also earned an MS degree in Quantitative Methods and Modeling from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in 2008. Her PhD dissertation was focused at the interface of physics, mathematics, business and economics. She developed an improved one factor model to price Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), developed an analytical solution to the pricing of heterogeneous CDO portfolios and presented this work at the International Conference on Applied Mathematics, Modeling and Computational Science (AMMCS-2011).
Dr. Gao also has rich research experience in experimental physics, more specifically, studying, developing and using new kinds of organic polymers doped with rare earth complex solutions as the emitting material in electroluminescent devices. This research work involved thin-film preparation using vapor deposition and spin coating techniques. It also required sophisticated skills in acquiring and analyzing the fluorescence and absorption spectra of the rare earth complex solutions and the light-emitting Diode (LED) devices made with them. Her work in this area has been published in different peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Gao also has significant experience in college teaching. Before joining the Natural Sciences Department at LaGuardia Community College, she taught diverse courses as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Baruch College, Fashion Institute of Technology and BMCC for several years.