Dr. David Cornelison

Dr. David Cornelison has been working as an educator and scientist in Arizona and Missouri universities for the last 25 years.  Since 2010, he has been the head of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University.  His research interests lie at the intersection of experimental condensed-matter physics and astrophysics, while his educational efforts have focused on outreach to the K-12 school system.   Most of all, he believes in curiosity-driven learning in the sciences and all other fields.

Anders Sandberg, Creative Commons

Nuclear power has been struggling for years with a perception that it is inherently unsafe.  At the same time, other considerations, like climate change, have made the search for safer fuels and reactors an important area of research.  One of MSU’s researchers, Bob Mayanovic, happens to be studying these processes in collaboration with a team of MSU students and staff from Los Alamos National Lab.  He talks to STEM Spots about the larger problem and his work to better understand the underlying mechanisms in these materials.

Emily McTavish / KSMU

We all know that many plants need pollinating and that this activity is crucial to the agriculture on which we depend.  However, in most cases, our understanding can be somewhat simplistic, centering on the honeybee and its relationship with various flowers.  It turns out the interactions between pollinators, of which there are many besides honeybees, and plants is a complicated one.  Not only is the development of the characteristics of both plant and animal dependent on each participant, there are other forces at work in the relationship, namely microbes.  Dr.

We all know that many plants need pollinating and that this activity is crucial to the agriculture on which we depend.  However, in most cases, our understanding can be somewhat simplistic, centering on the honeybee and its relationship with various flowers.  It turns out the interactions between pollinators, of which there are many besides honeybees, and plants is a complicated one.  Not only is the development of the characteristics of both plant and animal dependent on each participant, there are other forces at work in the relationship, namely microbes.  Dr.

IRRI Images / Flickr, Creative Commons

Our own immune systems do so much for us.   And yet, we don’t  fully understand how they go about their jobs. To get to the root of the matter takes many years of study, combining cellular biology, clinical work with patients, and animal studies of disease models.   Christopher Lupfer is one of the scientists engaged in teasing out the details and works in the Department of Biology at Missouri State University.  He stops by STEM Spots to talk about the bugs inside us and the machinery that combats them.

NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

It is now well known that planets orbit nearly every star we can see.  Astronomers are constantly working to fill in the details and understand the development of solar systems from the wide array of candidates visible to us.  This work is done initially by space-based satellites, as finding the exoplanets requires large telescopes and is best done outside the earth’s distorting atmosphere.  However, to lock down the characteristics of the detected bodies requires extensive follow-up work, some of which is being done here in the Ozarks.  Mike Reed, an astronomer here at Missouri State Univ

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