She's a Scientist

New video series

Nominate a researcher

Welcome to “She’s a Scientist,” a new video series launched to highlight the work of female researchers on campus. “She’s a Scientist” videos started as part of Nebraska Today’s celebration of Women’s History Month 2021 and will continue as a regular feature through the year. To nominate a researcher for the series, email nebraskatoday@unl.edu or call 402-472-8515.

She's a Scientist with Rebecca Wachs

Wachs back pain research may help reduce opioid dependency

Rebecca Wachs, assistant professor of biological systems engineering, is studying new ways to treat chronic lower back pain. Ultimately, her work could help reduce opioid addiction as the drug is prescribed in roughly a third of low back pain cases. Click through to watch a video about Wachs’ research. Learn more about Wachs. Video

Nicole Iverson

Iverson using biomedical engineering to create sensors that could detect diseases in cells

Biomedical engineer Nicole Iverson uses nanotechnology in the hopes of creating sensors that will detect diseases inside human cells. Learn more about Iverson's work. Video

In the News, 11/12/20: Husker research team earns grant to improve nitric oxide sensors

She's a Scientist with Rebecca Roston

Roston studies biochemical changes in plants when temperatures rise and fall

Biochemist Rebecca Roston gets under the skin of crop plants to make them more cold-resistant. Learn more about Roston’s work. Video

A rendering of methane-producing microorganisms and molecules of isoprene, the primary chemical component of synthetic rubber. A strain engineered by Nebraska's Nicole Buan and colleagues has yielded isoprene levels that outpace those of yeast, E. coli and other microorganisms engineered for the same purpose

Engineered microbe excels at ‘breathing rubber,’ could curb reliance on petroleum

Burning rubber? Tired. Breathing rubber? Inspired. The single-celled microorganisms known as methanogens are, no surprise, known for emitting methane: in the guts of humans and other animals, in hydrothermal vents that gash the ocean floor — almost anywhere, really, that oxygen is not. But biochemist Nicole Buan and colleagues at UNL have now genetically engineered a species of methanogen that can also yield sizable amounts of isoprene, the primary chemical component of synthetic rubber. Promisingly, that isoprene production substantially outpaces the yields of other microorganisms engineered for the same purpose. Learn more about Buan’s work. Article

Tala Awada, physiological plant ecologist and associate dean for the Agricultural Research Division, takes readings from a soybean plant in her Hardin Hall lab

Plant ecophysiologist Awada talks effect of climate change on Nebraska vegetation

Plants and their environments can tell us much about how the planet is changing, and what may come next. Tala Awada, a physiological plant ecologist and associate dean for research in UNL's Agricultural Research Division, has spent years learning about climate change through the study of trees and plants. She’s also trekked through the Nebraska Sandhills and the pine forests of Greece to study plants in their environments and solve problems, such as the management of invasive species, changed ecosystems and disease. Learn more in this Asked and Answered Article

Eileen Hebets

Hebets discovering, sharing wonders of arachnids

Eileen Hebets, Charles Bessey Professor of biological sciences. Hebets conducts world-class research and outreach on the wonders of arachnids, spinning their extraordinary feats of evolution into broader lessons on the natural world. Learn more about Hebets’s work. Video

She's a Scientist with Rebecca Lai

Lai melds magic, Harry Potter into chemistry lessons

The unique teaching approach of Rebecca Lai, associate professor of chemistry, melds magic and Harry Potter to teach Huskers about the basic elements of chemistry. Learn more about Lai’s work. Video

Video: Bonita Sharif's research has an eye on the future

Sharif’s eye-tracking study aids software developers

Bonita Sharif, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and her research uses eye-tracking technology to help software developers write better code. Learn more about Sharif's work. Video

kate lyons

Lyons examines fossil records across space and time

Biologist Kate Lyons looks to the fossil record of elephants and mammoths to predict the future of today's large mammal communities. Learn more about Lyons’s work. Video

Deirdre Cooper Owens

Cooper Owens talks medical racism

Deirdre Cooper Owens, Charles and Linda Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine and director of the Humanities in Medicine program, describes her work interrogating medical racism — especially the experimentation on enslaved Black women — and how she approaches teaching students during grand rounds in medical schools and in her history classes here on campus. Cooper Owens also explains how structural and medical racism are making the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately worse for communities of color. Podcast