Tag Archives: Syracuse University

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “The Earth History Of Oxygen”

Saturday – February 17, 9:30-11:00am

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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Speaker: Zunli Lu, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Overview: Oxygen is an essential gas for many life forms on Earth today, but it did not exist in the atmosphere during early episodes of Earth history. Geochemists invested great amount of effort to study how trace level of oxygen first appeared at about 2 billion years ago and then rose to its concentration of modern atmosphere. Even when the atmosphere was rich in oxygen, global oceans experienced catastrophic oxygen losses in the last 100 million years. Last but not least, on-going global climate change and nutrient pollution are leading to the expansion of marine dead-zones and more frequent hypoxia. This talk will explore the Earth history of oxygen, addressing causes and evidences for changes in oxygen levels.

Biography: Zunli has been with Syracuse University since 2011 after obtaining his PhD at University of Rochester and completing post-doctoral research at University of Oxford (England). He is interested in using chemical analyses and computer simulations to solve puzzles in the Earth system at different time scales. He is in charge of a clean lab and mass spectrometer to measure trace elements in water, rock and fossil samples. Climate change and oceanography are his main areas of teaching at SU. Other than research, writing and teaching at university, Zunli plays volleyball, table tennis, and particularly enjoys fishing. He’s also learning skating and skiing with his 5 year old boy.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Stranger Than Fiction: A Journey Through The History Of Life”

Saturday – October 21, 9:30-11:00am

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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Speaker: Emily J. Judd, PhD Candidate, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Overview: The Earth is very old – 4.56 billion years old, to be exact. Yet it took about a billion years for life to first appear, and another 3 billion years or so to evolve to the complex forms we see today. Together we will journey through geologic time, from the very beginning of life through to the appearance of humans. We will explore the interactions between organisms and the Earth around them -not only how they’ve adapted to changing environments, but also how they’ve caused changes to the environment, from altering the landscape to oxygenating the atmosphere. Through the lens of the fossil record, we will look at the explosion of complex, multicellular life more than 500 million years ago, the transition from life in the oceans to life on land, the rise (and fall) of dinosaurs, the diversification of mammals, and eventually, the evolution of humans.

Biography: Emily Judd is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. Before coming to Syracuse, she earned her BS in Geology, with a minor in Philosophy from the Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. Emily’s primary field of research is paleoclimate, or the reconstruction of ancient climates. Her research focuses on greenhouse climate intervals – times in Earth’s history when there was no ice near the poles, but instead there were palm trees and crocodiles. She looks at chemical signatures in fossils from these warm intervals to investigate how different environments respond to large-scale changes in climate, so that we may be able to better predict those changes in the future. These days, much of Emily’s work involves looking at 50-million year-old clams from Antarctica to assess seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation. When not in the lab, Emily enjoys exploring the great outdoors, be it hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing, as well as reading, traveling, and spending time with her giant 12-year-old dog.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Secrets, Strength & Sleep: Three Short Talks with Three Student Scientists”

Saturday – September 16, 9:30-11:00am

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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Talk 1: “Behind the Cause: How Computational Simulations Can Help Fight Disease,” by Elise White, Senior at Binghamton High School

Overview: Envision a revolutionary ability bestowed upon you allowing unlimited insight into the complex depths of your body and the biological world. You become witness to the thousands of processes and theories described in textbooks, freely watching and even manipulating thousands of atoms and molecules interact on a timescale a billion times smaller than a second. Focus – Alzheimer’s – a disease that attacks your brain and erases its memories. Using this incredible ability, you can attempt to illuminate the cause of such a horrible disease. Join Elise as she shares the journey of doing precisely that, and learn how computational simulations are revolutionizing modern research!

Short biography: Propelled by a family tragedy, Elise began researching the Tau protein and the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. As a result, Elise became a 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist, where she received a Special Award. She also was selected to compete in the New York State Science Congress, and was there awarded highest honors in the physical sciences.

Talk 2: “Making Cool Things Out of Light,” by Hari Nanthakumar, Senior at Christian Brothers Academy

Overview: As part of the Hosein Research Group of Syracuse University, Hari creates materials that are ultra-light and ultra-strong. They can be applied in spaceships and airplanes resulting in fuel-efficiency, making travel much cheaper and requiring significantly less gas, and allowing spaceships to feasibly reach Mars and other planets. Learn how we make these fascinating materials, all by pointing LED lamps at a liquid and causing an interesting reaction.

Short biography: Hari has performed research at SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University. He was a 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist, and there received an Honorable Mention from NASA. Hari published a paper as lead author in Elsevier’s Results in Physics, was a 2x Silver Medalist at the GENIUS Olympiad, and was featured in reports by NewsChannel 9 WSYR and SU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Talk 3: “Sleep or Sleeplessness?” by Neil Khurana, Senior at Fayetteville-Manlius High School

Overview: Sleep plays an important role in our health and well being, but many of us seem to not get enough of it. Sometimes the disturbance of the biological clock may give rise to sleep disorders. Learn about a diagnostic tool, which may drastically change the future of treating the global sleep epidemic!

Short biography: Neil worked as an intern at Quadrant Biosciences, and volunteered as a research assistant at the Department of Neurosurgery and Neurosciences at Upstate Medical University. Neil was a 2017 Intel International Science Fair Finalist, and there received a third-place award.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.