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Meet the STEM-IQ Administrative Team:


Allen Landers

Allen Landers - College of Sciences and Mathematics
Principle Investigator

Dr. Landers joined the Auburn faculty in 2003. He is interested in physics problems that deal with fundamental atomic and molecular phenomena that he explores through interactions of molecules with ionizing radiation. In addition to experiments in his laboratory at Auburn, he regularly does experiments at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. He has a wide variety of interests that include playing piano, chess, and basketball. Dr. Landers is the 2014 recipient of the Auburn University Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach.

Mary Lou Ewald

Mary Lou Ewald - College of Sciences and Mathematics (Director of COSAM Outreach)
Project Management, Co-PI

Mary Lou received both an undergraduate degree in physics and a master’s degree in zoology from Auburn University and has been the Director of Outreach for Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics for the past 14 years. COSAM Outreach hosts about 20 programs each year that focus on K-12 students and teachers with the goal of promoting scientific literacy in the region.

Paul Cobine

Paul Cobine - College of Sciences and Mathematics (Biology)
Mentoring Scientist, Co-PI

Dr. Cobine and his lab are focused on the mechanisms for recruitment and distribution of metals. Metal availability is a limiting factor for cell survival, therefore mechanisms to maintain the appropriate metal concentration have been highly conserved. His lab focuses on how metals are distributed, stored and used in mitochondria; the majority of these studies use the model organism Sacchoraomyces cerevisiae. His lab also explores the metal requirements of the pathogen Xylella fastidiosa in infection and the subsequent development of disease. Generally the studies combine direct metal-binding analysis with assessment of physiological outcomes, using protein chemistry, spectroscopy and genetics.

Virginia Davis

Virginia Davis - College of Engineering (Chemical Engineering)
Mentoring Scientist, Co-PI

Dr. Davis and her lab focus on the fluid phase assembly of cylindrical nanomaterials, such as single walled carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanorods and nanowires. These materials display fascinating mechanical, electrical, thermal, sensing and antimicrobial properties but must be assembled across multiple length scale in order to exhibit these properties to their full potential. Dr. Davis’s lab studies the chemical and physical properties of these materials as well as processing of these materials.

Brian Helms

Brian Helms - College of Sciences and Mathematics (Biology, Natural History Museum)
Mentoring Scientist

Dr. Helms is an Assistant Research Professor at the Auburn University Museum of Natural History. An astacologist (crayfish scientist) and stream ecologist by training, Brian is actively involved in crayfish conservation efforts and has conducted and directed research in streams and wetlands across Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. He devotes a considerable amount of time to teaching, mentorship, and outreach in association with the Museum. When not doing these things, he likes to run, ride, float, and pick guitar.

Joni Lakin

Joni Lakin - College of Education
Project Evaluator

Dr. Joni Lakin is the Evaluator for STEM-IQ and will be collecting data to show program effectiveness. She’s an assistant professor at Auburn in Educational Foundations and teaches educational research and measurement classes. She completed her B.S. at Georgia Tech and her Ph.D. at The University of Iowa. Her 5th grade science project compared the growth rates of plants fed with Pepsi (caffeine + sugars), Sprite (just sugars), or plain water (control), but she forgot to measure her plants for several weeks and had to “interpolate” data points for the poster. She did not receive a prize, but learned better project management skills and record keeping that she brings to the present project.



Last Updated: 09/01/2016