Mary Kate Donais
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Director of Material Science, Castel Viscardo archaeological site
Expertise: analytical chemistry, metal speciation in the environment (especially mercury), environmental measurement technologies, and archaeological material characterization.
Can discuss: how environmental measurements are performed, including those for methylmercury, PCBs, PAHs, pesticides, and trace metals; how analytical chemistry can applied to archaeological materials.
Research interest: the Nudibranch, a "snail that lost its shell" that is found along the seashore in tidal pools and rocks and can steal the toxins and stinging cells of their prey.
Can discuss: marine ecology, especially invertebrate biology; marine biodiversity; ocean and shore health; bioprospecting.
Ph.D., City University of New York
Research interests: behavior, evolution and evolutionary ecology of birds; geographic variation in bird song and the ecology of seabirds in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Studies variation in Mourning Warbler songs throughout breeding range, and whether "cultural evolution" has occurred in this species. Sees birds and changes in song as good models to study similar phenomena in evolution of human language.
Hear Pitocchelli discuss researching the Mourning Warbler.
Research interest: laser induced phenomena and electro-optics engineering.
Other: developed laser systems in the photonics group at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) for atmospheric sensing projects; works with a group from NASA-GSFC's Laboratory for Atmospheres on the development of algorithms for extracting atmospheric buoyancy waves from scanning lidar (laser radar) data.
Can discuss: quantum information, quantum computing, and quantum cryptography; real analysis; abstract algebra; relativity, gravity, and cosmology; history and foundations of modern physics, math, astronomy; political and sociological aspects of sciences; mechanical, civil, aerospace, and electrical engineering.
Other: most expert in quantum mechanics and thermodynamics; major contributor to the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers; editor of The Quantum Times, newsletter of the Topical Group on Quantum Information; avid fly fisherman, woodworker, singer.