Faculty at UC Merced

Sayantani Ghosh
PI, Physics

A condensed-matter physicist with a focus on hybrid “smart” devices for sensing and energy. She is part of the leadership of two research and educational centers at UC Merced: NASA-funded Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES) and NSF-funded Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines (CCBM). 

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
Environmental Systems

A soil biogeochemist, using field, wet-chemistry, and spectroscopic tools to study the cycling of essential elements in the soil system. She is the Interim Associate Dean for the Graduate Division and part of the leadership team of the NSF-funded ADVANCEGeo project at UC Merced.

Michael Scheibner Physics

A condensed-matter physicist whose research interests broadly encompass nanostructured materials, focusing on the control, scalability, and technological applications of interactions between quantum systems.

Mehmet Baykara Mechanical Engineering

An expert in nanoscale mechanics and metrology, focusing on two-dimensional materials and atomic force microscopy, and part of the MACES leadership team.

Thomas Harmon
Environmental Systems

An environmental engineer with experience in measuring and modeling chemical fate and transport in environmental media, including the design, fabrication, packaging, and deployment of microsensors in environmental research. He is the lead investigator for a UC Multicampus Research Initiative program on Labor and Automation in California Agriculture.

Teamrat Ghezzehei
Environmental Systems

Soil and environmental physicist with expertise in measuring and modeling water, gas, and heat fluxes in soil and their role in the soil environment’s habitability for plant roots and microbes. He is the co-chair of the International Soil Modeling Consortium.

David Strubbe

A computational condensed-matter physicist, studying atomic-scale structures, vibrations, and interactions with light in photovoltaic and 2D materials. He is part of the leadership teams of MACES and a minority-serving institution (MSI) collaboration with LLNL.

Samuel Traina
Environmental Systems


Tao Ye
Chemistry and Biochemistry


Son Nguyen
Chemistry and Biochemistry


Jennifer Lu
Materials and Biomaterials Science and Engineering


Peggy O’Day
Environmental Systems

Marc Beutel
Environmental Systems

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Tiziana Bond


A capability leader at LLNL, enabling nanotechnology for small form-factor sensors and enhanced energy harvesting/generation exploiting new areas of plasmonics, metamaterials, and surface-enhanced Raman/infrared phenomena. She is an active member of the LLNL engineering mentoring program.

Jennifer Pett-Ridge


Group leader of the Environmental Isotope Systems at LLNL, and adjunct professor at UC Merced. She is a soil biogeochemist and microbial ecologist who has pioneered the use of NanoSIMS isotopic imaging for environmental science. She leads a multidisciplinary team that integrates biogeochemistry, stable isotope probing, advanced imaging, molecular microbial ecology, and computational modeling.