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School of Science Welcomes Six New Tenure-track Faculty Members

School of Science Welcomes Six New Tenure-track Faculty Members

The School of Science is pleased to welcome six new tenure-track faculty members, who each joined TCNJ beginning Fall 2012.  Brief biographical sketches for our new colleagues are listed below.


Wendy L. Clement (Biology) is an evolutionary biologist and plant systematist whose research examines the evolutionary history of plant biodiversity.  She received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Minnesota and comes to TCNJ from Yale University, where she was a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. Since her first field studies in Hawaii as an undergraduate at Ithaca College, Wendy has continued to study plants in Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, and Vietnam.  Her work integrates molecular phylogenetics, morphology, biogeography, and pollination ecology to describe the evolution and present-day distribution of plants such as figs. In addition to a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, her most recent publication in BMC Evolutionary Biology examines the utility of DNA barcoding in woody plants.  Wendy is also a fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching (FIRST-IV) in which she works with a network of post-doctoral scholars to design and teach inquiry-based, student-centered biology courses.


Kathryn T. Elliott (Biology) earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute pre-doctoral fellowship. Subsequently, she received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation to study large genetic rearrangements at the University of Georgia. Her studies focus on rearrangements that lead to increases in the number of copies of a gene. She uses a soil bacterium as a model system to study these rearrangements, which occur in all organisms and contribute to antibiotic resistance and the development of many cancers. During her postdoctoral training, K.T. incorporated her research into the classroom in courses at the University of Georgia and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.  Dr. Elliott was also on the faculty of the Citizen Science program at Bard College.  She has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, and presented at national and international meetings.


Gary H. Dickinson (Biology) is an organismal biologist who specializes in marine invertebrate physiology. He earned his Ph.D. at Duke University and went on to hold two postdoctoral appointments, first at the National University of Singapore, Tropical Marine Science Institute, and second at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine. Dickinson employs an integrative and highly interdisciplinary approach to study biological adhesion, shell growth, and larval behavior in marine invertebrates. He is especially interested in assessing how environmental stressors, such as ocean acidification and global warming, will affect these biological processes. Dickinson has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, has co-authored book chapters, and presents regularly at national and international meetings.


Edward Kim (Computer Science and Interactive Multimedia) will earn his Ph.D. from Lehigh University in the area of computer graphics and computer vision.  He obtained both his MSE in computer graphics and game technology and BSE in computer science with a minor in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has held positions at the National Library of Medicine, Wharton Business School, and Moberg Research, a small medical research company outside Philadelphia.  His research is in the area of scalable and parallel semantic multimedia analysis and retrieval.  Specifically, he focuses on high performance (GPU) computing, medical image analysis, data collection through crowdsourcing, and high-level knowledge representations.  He has published in a variety of peer-reviewed conference proceedings, journals, and book chapters. 


Tuan Nguyen (Physics) received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. After completing a postdoctoral appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory working on precision atomic physics experiments, Dr. Nguyen entered the field of neuroscience. He recently finished postdoctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh studying neural microcircuits. His research focuses on studying the physics of networks, specifically those formed by neurons. Dr. Nguyen relies on interdisciplinary techniques such as laser photostimulation, fluorescence microscopy, and neural modeling to investigate network properties and dynamics of large neuronal populations grown in vitro.


Nina Peel (Biology) earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow (UK) and her masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Cambridge (UK). Following her Ph.D. work, Dr. Peel completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. While at the NIH she taught a course focused on the biology of stem cells.  Dr. Peel has a passion for science communication and has engaged a variety of audiences in scientific discovery while volunteering with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, The Smithsonian Museums, and the Science Center of Northern Virginia. Nina’s research focuses on understanding the regulation of cell division in the microscopic worm, C. elegans.  Because many of the same genes regulate this process in worms and humans, Dr. Peel’s research has relevance for understanding human cancer.