Executive Committee

Executive Committee Biographies

Jacinta Conrad

University of Houston
Jacinta Conrad is a soft matter physicist studying transport, dynamics, and rheology of particles (including colloids, nanoparticles, bacteria, and viruses) within soft, complex matrices using experiments and simulations for applications in materials processing, antifouling, environmental remediation, and disease detection.

Kathleen Stebe

University of Pennsylvania
Kathleen J. Stebe is the Richer and Elizabeth Goodwin Professor in the School Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on directed assembly in soft matter and at fluid interfaces, with an emphasis on confinement, geometry, and emergent structures for novel functional materials.

Aparna Baskaran

Brandeis University
Baskaran's research centers on understanding theoretical principles that underlie nonequilibrium phenomena in soft materials and physical biology. It involves close collaboration with experimentalists and computer simulators to understand and model particular systems, ranging from granular systems, in vitro cytoskeletal suspensions to swimming microorganisms.

Karen Daniels

North Carolina State University
Daniels’ group investigates a number of problems in the deformation and failure of soft materials: most recently granular materials, liquid metals, networks, and gels. When not in the lab, she likes to spend time in the outdoors, which has led her to contemplate the implications of her research for geological and ecological systems.

Rae Robertson-Anderson

University of San Diego
Rae's research interests focus on microscale mechanics and macromolecular transport properties in bio-inspired soft and active matter systems. Her lab - comprising primarily undergraduates - develops novel optical tweezers microrheology and fluorescence microscopy techniques to probe these systems across broad spatiotemporal scales and from steady-state to far from equilibrium. Inspired by the crowded and composite nature of biological cells, Robertson-Anderson's group also designs and engineers crowded biopolymer composites to address critical questions in soft and active matter physics.

Daniel Blair

Georgetown University
Blair’s research interests are primarily experimental and are generally focused on nonlinear rheology and structural characterization of colloids, gels, emulsions, active fluids, and biopolymer networks with a focus on developing new experimental measurement techniques based in quantitative microscopy methods. He has numerous collaborations with other experimental groups as well as theorists/simulators, engineers and biologists from academic institutions, national laboratories and industrial labs.

Heinrich Jaeger

University of Chicago
Heinrich Jaeger works in the field of soft condensed matter. His current research combines experiments and simulations to investigate the self-assembly and properties of nanoparticle membranes, the rheology of concentrated suspensions, the nonlinear mechanical behavior of granular materials, and jamming-based soft robotics.

Nathalie Vriend

University of Cambridge
Nathalie Vriend's research program on granular materials involves detailed laboratory experiments and targeted field work, she also employs numerical simulations and theoretical modelling to complement observations, often in collaboration with scientists from multidisciplinary fields. She has active projects in granular rheology and avalanching, dune structure and migration, and sound propagation. In the past she worked on the dynamics of real snow avalanches, singing sand dunes and seismic wave propagation.

Elizabeth Mann

Kent State University
Elizabeth Mann is a soft matter experimentalist interested in structure, dynamics and interactions at soft interfaces: from protein-lipid interactions at the surface of model lipid droplets to factors controlling liquid-liquid phase separation. She enjoys collaborations with biologists, chemists, engineers, and mathematicians.

Irmgard Bischofberger

Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT
Irmgard is an experimentalist working in the fields of fluid dynamics and soft condensed matter. Her group’s research interests include the spontaneous pattern formation from fluid instabilities and drying processes, structure formation in flowing liquid crystals and non-equilibrium phenomena in soft gels.

Kerstin Nordstrom

Mount Holyoke College

Kerstin Nordstrom studies flow dynamics of granular materials and microfluidic systems. Her lab (of primarily undergraduate women) uses experimental and simulation techniques to do so, with an intentional focus on projects that undergraduate students can design, build, and execute themselves. Particular topics of interest include bottleneck flows of granular materials, flows of active particles, and microfluidic models of biological fluid flows in vessels and periarterial spaces.  She also does physics education research, with a particular focus on the experiences of marginalized groups. 


Evelyn Tang

Rice University
Evelyn Tang is an assistant professor in the physics department and Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice University. Her group develops theory and computation for emergent behavior in non-equilibrium systems, such as the circadian rhythm, learning, and the dynamics of microtubules. She enjoys using topology and geometry to understand why the behavior of these complex systems is so robust and effective.

Nuris Figueroa Morales

University of Colorado, Boulder
Nuris Figueroa-Morales studies the transport of solid particles and swimming microorganisms in complex geometries as well as viscoelastic and anisotropic synthetic and biological fluids. Her experiments and simulations address the long-distance transport of bacteria and microplastics in porous media, using tools like microfluidics and image analysis.

Ephraim Bililign

University of Chicago
Ephraim Bililign is a physics graduate student studying the dynamics and structure of odd materials, such as liquids and solids composed of spinning particles, in colloidal experiments.

Sophie Ettinger

University of Pennsylvania
Sophie Ettinger is a graduate student studying experimental soft condensed matter. Her research interests include nematic and lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals in novel geometries, and their interactions with interfaces, colloids, and nano-particles.