Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

The School of Science at IUPUI Hires Prestigious Faculty and Cutting-Edge Researchers

Release Date: 
Sep 9 2011

The School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) proudly announces the appointment of two associate professors and an assistant professor to the Department of Earth Sciences.

“At IUPUI, collaboration is a reality – not only across the campus but with the community,” said Kevin Mandernack, Ph.D., chair of the earth sciences department. “The appointment of these faculty members reinforces the department’s commitment to becoming a true innovator in using the tools of the earth scientist to better understand the impact of environmental issues on all aspects of our life.”

Greg Druschel, Associate Professor

Greg Druschel, Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI

Pamela Martin, Assistant Professor

Pamela Martin, Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI

William Gilhooly, Assistant Professor

William Gilhooly, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI

Greg Druschel, Ph.D., recipient of a 2010 NSF CAREER award and a national leader in microbial geochemistry whose research impacts critical areas including groundwater contamination, asbestos reactivity, and the chemical signatures of microbial life past and present. He will join the Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI as an associate professor in January.

Druschel’s current research focuses on the emerging field of microbial geochemistry as he studies the junction between geology, chemistry, and microbiology – taking a detailed look at both the microbial and chemical picture of various geologic and environmental systems. He has extensive experience in the links between nutrient availability and oxidation-reduction (redox) activity in hydrothermal systems, caves, sediments, wetlands, lakes, and soils. He has developed new electrochemical techniques to investigate how iron, sulfur, oxygen, carbon, manganese, arsenic, and uranium are impacted by microbial activity.

“I study the interactions of microorganisms with minerals and water in a range of environments – from wetlands, soils and lakes to human lungs,” said Dr. Druschel. “At IUPUI and its new Center for Urban Health, I’ll have a great opportunity to use the tools and experience of mineralogy and geochemistry to collaborate with others across disciplines in developing strategies to understand and deal with the environmental systems that affect human health.”

Druschel comes to IUPUI from the University of Vermont where he held appointments in the Department of Geology, the Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering and Mathematics. In 2010, he was received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the most prestigious awards granted by the NSF in support of faculty members early in their careers who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and integration of education and research.

Druschel is co-editor-in-chief of Geochemical Transactions and associate editor for four other environmental science journals.  He earned a doctorate in geochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.S. in geology from Washington State University, and B.S. degrees in geology and earth science from Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio. 

Pamela Martin, Ph.D., an intellectual leader in sustainability science whose study of food production systems focuses on the environmental impact of regional and small scale agriculture, joins the Department of Earth Sciences and the Department of Geography in the School of Liberal Arts as an associate professor. She has also been appointed Director of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) at IUPUI.

“I am actively working in two distinct areas. My research in paleoclimate reconstruction broadly focuses on reconstructing changes in past ocean conditions on geologic as well as anthropogenic timescales,” said Martin. “My interest in past climate change drew me towards research focused on environment, agriculture and food as related to energy, climate change and disruption of natural biogeochemical cycles.”

In sustainability, Martin’s current research is focused on understanding the impact of changes to the current mainstream food and agriculture systems at multiple scales – local, regional, continental and ultimately global and includes components addressing the urban environment and food (in)security. These current trends highlight the importance of this neglected area of research—state and local governments as well as the USDA are actively promoting a move towards more small-scale, local, and organic food supplies.

Martin comes to IUPUI from the University of Chicago where she was an assistant professor in the Department of Geophysical Sciences. While there, Martin developed an interdisciplinary group whose research on environment, agriculture and food connected classroom research and student learning with government, community and corporate agencies. She has collaborated with the Illinois Farms to School initiative as a model for national Farms to School programs and has provided technical input to many City of Chicago agencies, including the Department of Planning and the Department of the Environment.

Martin earned a doctorate in geological sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara after graduating with a B.S. degree from the University of Chicago.

William Gilhooly, Ph.D., joins the Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI as an assistant professor after completing four years of post-doctoral training at the University of California, Riverside and serving as a lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis.

Gilhooly is a stable isotope geochemist and his research focuses on the study of biogeochemical cycles to understand the evolution of ocean chemistry and early life.  The stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur provide an excellent basis for recognizing ancient biosynthetic pathways and will help forecast environmental changes expected with global climate change.  Most recently, he has been studying modern basins that undergone significant changes in chemistry, including the transition of freshwater Lake Bonneville to the modern Great Salt Lake and the development of Lake Champlain from a proglacial lake, to marine, to ultimately a freshwater lake. The study of these transitions within sedimentary sequences offers insight into understanding global change and the evolution of the biosphere.

“My goal in teaching is to link my scientific interests to the class material and demonstrate to students the relevance of geochemistry in their own lives,” said Gilhooly. “I hope to give students at IUPUI an appreciation for the way our planet works, how science helps us understand its history and how to better live within it.”

Dr. Gilhooly earned his B.A., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia.

The School of Science is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy. For more information visit science.iupui.edu