Faculty and Professional Advisers

Please see the list below for information on current female Physics and Applied Physics faculty, as well as an ongoing list of professional and non-Columbia advisers. Individual research/bio pages are linked in the name. Each person below has given us permission to list them on our website as advisors and connects for CSWP members.

Columbia Faculty Advisors

Latha Venkataraman (lv2117 (at) columbia.edu)

Research Interests: [We] measure fundamental properties of single molecule devices, seeking to understand the interplay of physics, chemistry and engineering at the nanometer scale. The underlying focus of our research is to fabricate single molecule circuits, a molecule attached to two electrodes, with varied functionality, where the circuit structure is defined with atomic precision. We measure how electronic conduction and single bond breaking forces in these devices relate not only to the molecular structure, but also to the metal contacts and linking bonds. Our experiments provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of electron transport, while laying the groundwork for technological advances at the nanometer scale. 

Tanya Zelevinsky (tanya.zelevinsky (at) columbia.edu )

Research Interests:  Fundamental science with ultracold molecules; atomic and molecular clocks; precision measurements in molecular physics and quantum chemistry.

Georgia Karagiorgi (georgia (at) nevis.columbia.edu)

Research Interests: As a leading member of the Columbia Neutrino Group, she is involved in operations and data analysis for the MicroBooNE experiment at Fermi US National Lab, and in the design and construction of the future SBND and DUNE experiments.

Elena Aprile (age (at) columbia.edu )

Research Interests: The Aprile Group uses liquid xenon (LXe) to detect and image radiation from a variety of physics phenomena in astrophysics and particle physics. Prof. Aprile has been involved for many years in the development of cryogenic noble liquid detectors and has carried out, with her students, postdocs and colleagues from around the world, many measurements of the properties of liquid argon (LAr), liquid krypton (LKr), and LXe (see publications). Currently the group is focused on the XENON Dark Matter Experiment, while continuing R&D to improve the performance of noble liquid time projection chambers, with a special emphasis on combining the ionization and the VUV scintillation from these materials for precise energy measurement and imaging.

Robin Bell (robinb (at) ldeo.columbia.edu) – Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor in the Polar Geophysics Group

Field of Interest: Ice Sheet Dynamics and Mass Balance, Continental Dynamics, Estuarine Processes, Linkages between ice sheet processes and subglacial geology. Interaction of ecosystems and geologic systems from microbes to benthic habitats. Tectonic uplift and feedback mechanisms, Interaction of tectonics and ice sheet dynamics. Gravity and magnetic measurement techniques for marine and airborne applications. Gravity gradiometry.

Siu-Wai Chan (sc174 (at) columbia.edu)

Research topics: Transmission electron microscopy; thin films, grain boundaries and interfaces; high Tc superconductors; electronic ceramics. The focus of Chan’s research is a systematic study of grain boundaries and interfaces relating their geometry, structure, chemsitry, and energetics with their electrical properties.

Zsuzsanna Marka (zsuzsa (at) astro.columbia.edu )

Research Topics: searches for gravitational-waves (LIGO)

Professional / non-Columbia Advisors

Clara Moskowitz (cmoskowitz (at) sciam.com) (Scientific American)

Bio: Clara Moskowitz is a Senior Editor who covers astronomy, physics, spaceflight and mathematics for Scientific American. Previously, she spent five years at SPACE.com, where she was assistant managing editor. Clara has a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. In astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University.

Ellen Yorke (yorkee (at) mskcc.org) (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)

Bio: I am a medical physicist in the Clinical Physics service, which works to provide safe and effective radiation therapy to cancer patients. One of my primary research interests is reducing treatment complications by finding — and eliminating — aspects of radiation dose distributions that have led to complications in the past. I am also interested in developing practical methods to improve the accuracy of radiation therapy by minimizing the effects of breathing motion on the position of a tumor. As a former college physics teacher, I remain interested and involved in education at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where I work with young medical physics and medical residents.

Miranda Holmes-Cerfon (holmes (at) cims.nyu.edu) – (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU)

Bio: I am an applied mathematician, who uses and develops tools to address problems in science and engineering. My mathematical work draws on many areas of pure and applied mathematics, but areas of particular interest include stochastic analysis, statistical mechanics, computational geometry, and rigidity theory. My scientific work focuses mainly on modeling physical systems, including those in materials science, fluid dynamics, soft-matter physics, geophysics, and oceanography.

Anastasia Romanou (anastasia.romanou (at) nasa.gov) – (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NYC)

Research Interests: Global carbon cycle and climate. Large-scale circulation of the oceans, meridional overturning, air-sea interactions and variability, gas-exchanges through the air-sea interface, climate variability, turbulence and mixing parameterizations, ocean and coupled ocean-atmosphere. General Circulation Models.

Jillian Bellovary (jbellovary (at) amnh.org) (American Museum of Natural History, NYC)

Jillian has a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Washington, and is currently an assistant professor at Queensborough Community College. Jillian studies the formation and evolution of massive black holes using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. She is interested in how they form in the early universe, how they grow to become the behemoths we see today, and whether or not we can find them in dwarf galaxies. She is involved in BridgeUp:STEM, and serves on the Committee for the Status of Minorities in Astronomy. Jillian served in the U.S. Peace Corps and lived in The Gambia, West Africa, for two years, where she taught college physics and had many adventures. In her free time she enjoys knitting socks and playing roller derby.

Agnes Mocsy (agnes.mocsy (at) yale.edu) (Pratt Institute / Yale University)

Ágnes is a Professor of Phsyics and Astronomy at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and a researcher in theoretical physics, holding a visiting scientist appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, NY. She is a public speaker, promoter of science and evidence-based reasoning, explorer of the gender and racial landscape of science, and engager of science as muse for art and design. As filmaker, her first film Smashing Matters: Behind the Science Scene premiered at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival. See more at www.smashingmatters.com. In 2016 she was elected as Fellow of the American Physical Society. As physicist, Ágnes studies the theory of strong nuclear interactions, the force holding the atomic nucleus together, making the existence of protons an neutrons possible. She investigates the matter formed at temperatures as high as several trillion degrees. This matter permeated the infant universe a microseciond after the big bang and is now re-created at Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY, and CERN, Switzerland. She held positions at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, as Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, at the RIKEN-BNL Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory, as visiting Associate Professor at Yale Universiy, New Haven, CT, following her sabbatical stay at the École Polytechnique and CEA Saclay in Paris, France.

Marilena LoVerde (marilena.loverde (at) stonybrook.edu) (Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Research and Background:
I am an Assistant Professor in the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University. I was an undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley, I did my PhD at Columbia University, and I spent time as a post doc at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

My research is in theoretical cosmology. I am broadly interested in developing tools to use observations of galaxies and the cosmic microwave background to learn about the origin and evolution of the universe. I have spent a lot of time thinking about: weak gravitational lensing, primordial non-Gaussianity as a test of inflation, and the cosmic neutrino backround. My current research focuses on the massive cosmic neutrino background and structure formation.

Gabriela Gonzalez (gonzalez (at) lsu.edu)

My research is on detection of gravitational waves. I am a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in Louisiana State University, where there is a large group of people working on the subject, both in theory and experiment. LSU is only 30 miles away from the LIGO Livingston Observatory (picture on the left). The LIGO project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is building gravitational wave detectors in two observatories, one in Hanford, Washington, and another in Livingston, Louisiana. The detectors are essentially very long Michelson interferometers (4km, or 2.5 miles long!), which will detect minuscule differential changes in the length of the arms when a gravitational wave arrives to Earth, bringing information from astronomical events very far away. Near 100 Hz, the LIGO detectors are able to detect changes in distance smaller than 10-19 meters in the difference between the 4km long arms. Read more on her profile on APS Minority Physicist Profiles!

Kendall Mahn (mahn (at) pa.msu.edu) (Michigan State University)

Bio: Kendall Mahn joined the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2014 as a high energy particle (HEP) experimentalist. In 2016, she became the ninth member of the department to receive a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship since the program’s inception in 1955. In the Fall of 2017, she became one of two analysis coordinators for the T2K Experiment. Her statement of research interests follows.

Kelle Cruz (Kelle.cruz (at) hunter.cuny.edu ) (Hunter College)

Research Interests: Observational Astronomy. Optical and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Low-Mass stars and Brown Dwarfs. Low-mass Populations of Young Moving Groups. Read more on her profile on APS Minority Physicist Profiles!

Nadya Mason (nadya (at) illinois.edu) (Mason Research Group)

Our research focuses on transport in nanoscale and mesoscopic systems— graphene, nanostructured superconductors, and topological insulators. These systems often exhibit new properties due to confinement and strong electron correlations. An improved understanding of the nature of electronic transport in such systems has profound implications and impacts for topics ranging from high-temperature superconductivity to quantum computing. Our experiments connect unique materials, nanoscale structures, and electron correlations to novel fabrication and low-temperature measurements. Check out her profile as part of APS Minority Physicist Profiles.