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Seven PNNL scientists elected 2010 AAAS fellows

January 11, 2011 Share This!

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Leonard Bond has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to engineering.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Liem Dang has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to chemistry.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher César Izaurralde has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Allan Konopka has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to biological sciences.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Jun Li has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to chemistry.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Bill Morgan has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to biological sciences.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher Greg Schenter has been elected an AAAS fellow for his contributions to chemistry.

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Seven scientists from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their exceptional efforts to advance science and apply it to real-world problems.

The PNNL honorees and the AAAS sections that elected them are: Leonard Bond, engineering; Liem Dang, chemistry; César Izaurralde, atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences; Allan Konopka, biological sciences; Jun Li, chemistry; Bill Morgan, biological sciences; and Greg Schenter, chemistry. This year's elections bring a total of 47 PNNL researchers who have been named AAAS fellows.

Leonard Bond

Bond specializes in developing methods and instruments that use ultrasound, a high-frequency sound that's inaudible to humans, to examine everything from cells to power plants. Often used to view a fetus inside a pregnant woman's belly, ultrasound hits an object and bounces back a signal that helps describe the object's makeup.  He also uses computer models to better understand ultrasound wave movement and behavior. Bond currently uses ultrasonics to help inspect both aging nuclear power plants and advanced nuclear reactor systems, but he has also employed it to examine gas pipelines, rocket motors and defense systems, among other applications.

Bond is a PNNL laboratory fellow. He was also the founding director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at Idaho National Laboratory. He's a fellow of the U.K. Institute of Physics and a senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Liem Dang

Dang develops and uses computer models to study how molecules interact at liquid interfaces.  His models specifically focus on the potential for molecules to be polarized, or have slight differences in electric charge, and how that affects molecular behavior at liquid interfaces. Dang and his then-postdoc, Tsun-Mei Chang, developed a widely used and cited chemical model called the Dang-Chang model, which accurately portrays the properties of water-based systems in changing environments. His research helps explain how pollutants react in the atmosphere and how toxic metals are transported across liquid interfaces.

Dang is a member of PNNL's molecular theory research group and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He's also an adjunct professor in chemical engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia, and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

César Izaurralde

Izaurralde researches how carbon and nitrogen cycle within agricultural soil, and how soil, water and plants are affected by human actions and climate change. He has helped develop and improve computer models that examine climate change in agricultural systems and biogeochemical cycles in soil. Izaurralde has also contributed to several climate change assessments and is often asked to provide scientific information regarding climate change to policymakers. His research has advanced scientists' understanding of soil carbon sequestration as a tool to mitigate climate change and sustainability issues associated with biofuels production.

Izaurralde is a PNNL laboratory fellow at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between PNNL and the University of Maryland. He's a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy and an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Maryland.

Allan Konopka

Konopka examines the ecology of microbes to understand how they adapt to changes in their habitats, including water and soil that's either above or below the Earth's surface. For example, he investigated how cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, produce sugar polymers to sink so they can access nutrients lower in the water column and then get rid of the polymers to rise and take advantage of the sunlight they need for photosynthesis. He currently studies how microbial communities in below-ground soils affect the movement and chemical form of contaminants like radionuclides at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state.

Konopka is a PNNL laboratory fellow and is an associate director in PNNL's biological sciences research division. Before joining PNNL, he was a biological sciences professor at Purdue University for 30 years. He's on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Ecology and The ISME Journal.

Jun Li

Li focuses much of his research on lanthanides and actinides, heavy elements with the atomic numbers 57 to 71 and 89 to 103 on the bottom of the periodic table. To understand compounds made of these and other elements, Li develops computational models and considers the effects of relativistic quantum mechanics. He also uses theoretical models to explore metal clusters, surfaces and nanomaterials. His research can be used to advance methods that produce clean energy and remove pollution from the environment.

Li currently splits his time between EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory on PNNL's campus, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He's an editorial board member for the Journal of Cluster Science and Current Chemical Biology.

Bill Morgan

Morgan's research focuses on the biological effects of low-dose radiation on human health. He and his PNNL colleagues examine radiation's effects on humans by using a 3-D skin model. Morgan's research in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and other fields helps protect people against radiation's adverse effects.

Morgan directs PNNL's radiation biology and biophysics low-dose radiation research program.  He serves as a scientific representative for several national and international regulatory agencies. He is a consultant for the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. He's also an adjunct professor at Washington State University Tri-Cities, the University of Washington and the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore.

Greg Schenter

Schenter develops mathematical models to advance how scientists simulate molecular behavior. He calculates how small, light molecules and atoms move and react in solids and in solution. To do this, he considers the effects of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics. This research is helping build better batteries and alternative fuels. Schenter also developed a theory of how droplets form, or nucleate, that improved on previous theories and is changing the way scientists see cloud formation, fuel cells and more.

Schenter is a PNNL laboratory fellow, as well as a fellow of the American Physical Society. He has been a mentor to many scientists and students at the postdoctoral, doctoral, graduate and undergraduate levels.


This press release was amended on Feb. 10, 2011, to add Jun Li.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. The association will honor its new fellows at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in February.

Tags: Awards and Honors

EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, is a national scientific user facility sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Science.  Located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., EMSL offers an open, collaborative environment for scientific discovery to researchers around the world. Its integrated computational and experimental resources enable researchers to realize important scientific insights and create new technologies. Follow EMSL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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