MRI: Acquisition of an SEM with EDS elemental analysis and STEM detector for Research and Education at Hofstra University and Nassau Community College

  • Williams, Jason J.D. (PI)
  • Beck, Stephen S.J. (CoPI)
  • Sobel, Sabrina S.G. (CoPI)
  • Seagull, Robert R.W. (CoPI)
  • Diangelo, Justin Robert (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


An award is made to Hofstra University for the purchase of an analytical scanning electron microscope (SEM) with three vacuum modes (including extended vacuum mode - ESEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS), and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) detector. Faculty will use this new SEM for research and training across disciplines at Hofstra University (including researchers from the Division of Natural Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) and by faculty from the Department of Biology at Nassau Community College. In total, 14 Hofstra faculty members and their students among five disciplines (Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, and Physics) and Biology faculty from Nassau Community College will be the major users of the equipment. The grant will also support the research endeavors of two Academic Centers at Hofstra University: the Center for Climate Study and the Center for Condensed Matter Research. Specifically, the equipment will allow this interdisciplinary group of faculty and their students to carry out research activities such as the following: 1) impacts of nutrients on the regulation of physiology and metabolism in Drosophila, 2) improving crop yield in cotton through the study of factors affecting the conversion of epidermal cells to fibers, 3) exploration of chemical mechanisms involved in aluminum corrosion, and 4) investigating the ultrastructure and functional morphology of polychaete worms and parasitic isopods. All of these represent long-standing questions within the fields of the researchers.

Acquisition of the new SEM will strengthen Hofstra's (a Primarily Undergraduate Institution) ongoing efforts in basic research, thus supporting the University's mission to foster excellence in scholarly research and teaching. In addition, the acquired SEM would support the collaboration with faculty from Nassau Community College (NCC, the largest single-campus community college in NY with >40% of the students representing ethnic minorities). This new SEM will allow the PIs to increase their recruitment of well-qualified students from the pool of under-represented groups through established programs such as the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (designed to increase the number of historically under-represented students in the sciences). Studies enabled by this SEM will provide a wide range of societal benefits, such as a better understanding of: fat storage in model organisms (with implications on human biology), crop yield in cotton, aluminum corrosion, and the evolutionary history of parasitic isopods (including those of commercially important hosts). Public outreach from the research will include professional development workshops (administered through the Institute for the Development of Education in the Advanced Sciences at Hofstra), during which local college and high school educators will be trained in the applications of SEM.

Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/16


  • National Science Foundation: $449,016.00


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