New Research Chairs in Fundamental Science

The Faculty of Science is pleased to announce three new Research Chairs in Fundamental Science, one in the physical sciences, one in the life sciences and one in mathematical/computational sciences.

The awards recognize and support researchers in the Faculty of Science who are conducting outstanding fundamental research in these areas. Chairs are awarded $20,000 in funding per year, for three consecutive years, to support new research initiatives, renewable for an additional two years, and receive three credit hours of teaching relief per year.

The 2019 research Chair award recipients in fundamental science are:

Life Sciences

Margaret Docker

Margaret Docker, (Biological Sciences), conducts research on the evolution, systematics, and population genetics and genomics of lampreys, an ancient group of jawless fishes. Her recent interests include the evolution of alternative life history types in lampreys (i.e., closely related species that are indistinguishable as larvae but, following metamorphosis, adopt dramatically different feeding and migratory habits), and the genetic basis of sex determination and sex differentiation in lampreys. She is also developing and applying environmental DNA techniques for detecting the presence of lampreys and other aquatic species based on the DNA they leave behind in the water. Her research has applications to the control of invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes, and to the conservation of threatened native lamprey species. Margaret has just finished editing a two-volume book entitled Lampreys: Biology, Conservation and Control for Springer’s Fish and Fisheries series.


Physical Sciences

David Herbert

David Herbert, (Chemistry) is a synthetic inorganic chemist, and leads a research team probing the ability of chemistry to answer critical questions in energy and sustainability, all through the lens of fundamental bonding and reactivity at a molecular level. This includes designing novel molecules and materials for solar energy capture and conversion, and molecular battery materials for off-grid energy storage, in addition to applying electrochemistry and catalysis in the pursuit of environmentally friendly alternative routes for the production of value-added chemicals.


Computational Sciences

Yang Wang

Yang Wang (Computer Science), works on computer vision and machine learning. His research involves developing algorithms that automatically understand images and videos, including image classification, object detection, human action recognition and image segmentation. The general methodology of his research is to leverage techniques in machine learning to solve problems in computer vision. His research has potential applications in many real-world domains, including surveillance, entertainment, image/video search, health care and assistive technology.