President Paul Doss

  • Professor of Geology, University of Southern Indiana
  • PhD, Northern Illinois University

Dr. Paul Doss is Professor of Geology at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Doss has served as the Supervisory Geologist for Yellowstone National Park and the NPS Coordinating Scientist for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He was honored as the Integra Distinguished Professor at USI in 2007 and IUPUI School of Science Distinguished Alumnus in 2016. His current scholarship focuses on bedrock aquifers in Southern Indiana, and the impacts of commercial groundwater extraction, ecosystem restoration, and climate change on aquatic resources in Manistee National Forest, Michigan. At USI, Doss teaches courses on Environmental Geology, Environmental Science, Geology of National Parks, and Water Resources, and directs student research. He is an active proponent of incorporating scientific and environmental knowledge into the daily lives of everyone, and into the development of sound public policy at local, state, federal, and international levels.

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President-Elect Marc Milne

  • Associate Professor of Biology, University of Indianapolis
  • PhD, Ecology, Old Dominion University

Marc Milne is Associate Professor of Biology and a Ron & Laura Strain Honors College Faculty member at the University of Indianapolis.  He teaches General Biology, Evolution, Conservation Biology and Entomology, and maintains a research laboatory of undergraduate students studying spider ecology and taxonomy. Marc's graduate work at Old Dominion University focused on ecological interactions between spiders and the carnivorous pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. While at ODU, Marc also developed expertise in spider taxonomy, scientific illustration, and mosquito behavior.  He currently works with the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment to study the effects of fire on spider assemblages in central Indiana forests. He has identified and described new spider species in both Indiana and Virginia.  Marc was most recently the chair of the Biodiversity and Natural Areas Committee, and has led multiple successful BioBlitz events. 

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Immediate Past President Eric "VJ" Rubenstein

  • Associate Professor of Biology, Ball State University
  • Ph.D., Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Eric “VJ” Rubenstein is Associate Professor of Biology and Co-Director of the Biotechnology Certificate program at Ball State University, where he has been a faculty member since 2012. At Ball State, Dr. Rubenstein teaches Cell Biology courses and investigates conserved mechanisms of protein quality control in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Discoveries in his lab have potential implications for neurodegenerative conditions and cholesterol-related pathologies. Dr. Rubenstein and his students have shared their research in 18 presentations at the Indiana Academy of Sciences Annual Meetings, in presentations at international conferences, and in peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Rubenstein has previously served as Chair and Vice Chair for the Cell Biology section of the Academy. A former amateur competitive eating champion, Dr. Rubenstein enjoys running, hiking, reading, and watching television in his spare time.

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Secretary Michelle Marincel Payne

  • Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • PhD, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Michelle Marincel Payne is an environmental engineer and Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  She holds a BS in Nuclear Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla and Missouri University of Science and Technology.  At Rose-Hulman, Michelle co-leads an Undergraduate Research Community to support undergraduate learning through research.  She works with students to investigate the use of engineered wetlands to remove stormwater pollutants.  Michelle served as the Engineering Section Chair of the Academy prior to her election as Secretary.

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Treasurer Michael S. Finkler

  • Professor of Biology, IU-Kokomo
  • Ph.D. Miami University

Dr. Finkler has presented at the Annual Meeting, been awarded an IAS Research Grant, organized the Annual Meeting at IU Kokomo in 2009, and was Zoology Section Chair. He served as Budget Committee Chair and was President in 2012-2013.  In June 2015, he accepted the duties and responsibilities of Treasurer. Mike brought public visibility to the Academy as President when he appeared on “Inside Indiana Business”. Mike is also active in Community Service, as a Biology instructor for “Science Rocks”, a summer science camp program for middle school-aged students from underrepresented groups.

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Chair, Foundation Tom Dolan

  • Biology Professor Emeritus, Butler University
  • Ph.D., University of Georgia

Dr. Dolan recently retired from the Dept. of Biological Sciences, Butler University, after 33 years of teaching and research. He regularly taught courses in genetics and evolution as well as organismal courses in mycology and phycology.  Research interests focus on the biology of the Oomycota. Dr. Dolan joined Butler in 1985. His background in budgeting and fiscal administration led him to consecutive terms as department chair, followed by extensive service on university committees and work groups focused on university budgeting and capital allocation.  Dr. Dolan has served IAS since 2012 as an Academy Foundation Trustee.

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Chair, Research Grants James D. Mendez

  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, IUPUC, Columbus
  • Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Mendez's research interests focus on the extraction and isolation of chitin from underutilized sources. Chitin is the second most abundant natural polymer on the planet, and its slightly modified version, chitosan, have found uses in a wide variety of fields, ranging from agriculture to medicine. His research group is currently modifying existing procedures for the isolation of chitin from these conventional sources to use with other abundant materials, such as crawfish shells, cicada sloughs, mealworm exuviae, and lobster shells. J.D. was elected to the Research Grants Committee in 2015.


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Executive Director Delores Brown

  • Executive Director, IAS
  • Ph.D., Indiana State University

With over 30 years of executive level experience in organizational management, higher education administration and community partnership, Delores has done an excellent job recruiting new members, bringing corporate and community sponsorship to our IAS Annual Meetings, and has raised the professional profile of IAS. Previously, she was the Dean of Admissions for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine; Co-principal investigator on a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) grant; and founding Director of Health Education for the Howard University Cancer Center.

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Member-at-Large Azeem Ahmad

  • Assistant Professor of Biology, Marian University
  • PhD, UC-Davis

Dr. Azeem Ahmad is an Assistant professor of microbiology at Marian University. Prior to joining Marian University, Dr. Ahmad had a long academic and research career. Most recently, he was involved as a scientist to study plant pathogens of soybean and corn at Iowa State University. He also has industry experience working Dupont company Pioneer Hi-Bred International as a Research Scientist. He acted as the lead scientist for isolating and identifying novel lactobacillus species for silage fermentation. Dr. Ahmad has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students, served as judge for state-wide science fairs, and served on many committees for the advancement of science throughout his academic career. He has been a member of the American Society for Microbiology since 1992, and an active member of the Indiana Academy of Science. He served the Academy as chair of the Microbiology and Molecular Biology Section, and as member of the Proceedings Editorial Board. He continues to serve as a senior scientist mentor for teacher participants in the IAS/Indiana Department of Education STEM Program.

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Member-at-Large Jennifer Kowalski

  • Associate Professor, Butler University
  • PhD, Harvard University

Jennifer Kowalski is a cellular neurobiologist who uses the roundworm, C. elegans, to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control neuronal signaling balance.  She has been a member of the faculty at Butler University since 2009.  Jennifer served the Academy as Vice Chair and Chair of the Cell Biology section from 2013-2015, and was a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force.  She was recognized as a Fellow of the Indiana Academy of Science in 2018.

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