b'Carnegie Science|Fall 2020 3Carnegie WelcomesTwo Biologists and an AstronomerBrittany Belins Ph.D. research involved developing new tools for in vivo imaging of actin in cell nuclei. Actin is a major structural element in eukaryotic cellscells with a nucleus and organellesforming contractile polymers that drive muscle contraction, the migration of From left to right, Brittany Belin and Phillip Cleves joined the Department of Embryology staff immune cells to infection sites, and the movement of signals from onein August and September, respectively; Johanna Teske joined the Earth and Planets part of a cell to another. Using the tools developed in her Ph.D., BelinLaboratory in September.discovered a new role for actin in aiding the repair of DNA breaks inImages courtesy Brittany Belin, Phillip Cleaves and Carnegie Institution for Sciencehuman cells caused by carcinogens, UV light, and other mutagens. Cleves received a B.S. in biology from the University of Belin changed course for her postdoctoral work in DianneArkansas, Fayetteville, and a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology Newmans lab at Caltech, where she studied soil bacteria calledfrom the University of California, Berkeley, before his postdoctoral rhizobia that can convert nitrogen in the atmosphere into fertilizerwork at Stanford University. Cleves has extensive teaching and for legumes such as soybeans and peanuts. She focused on howmentoring experiences and has received numerous prestigious lipids known as hopanoids affect the biophysical properties ofhonors and fellowships, including a national Barry M. Goldwater rhizobial membranes and how membrane-based processes inScholarship as an undergraduate and a Ph.D. fellowship from the rhizobia that are mediated by hopanoids can impact theNSF GRFP, and he helped secure several national and international interactions between rhizobia and plant hosts. funding awards as a postdoc.Belin received a B.S. in biochemistry and philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in biophysics from the UniversityJohanna Teske became the first new staff member to join Carnegies of California, San Francisco, before her postdoctoral work at Caltech.newly named Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) in Washington, Belin has extensive teaching and mentoring experiences andD.C., on September 1, 2020. She has been a NASA Hubble Fellow at the has received numerous prestigious honors, including receivingCarnegie Observatories in Pasadena, CA, since 2018. From 2014 to awards for the best undergraduate and Ph.D. theses at Notre Dame2017 she was the Carnegie Origins Postdoctoral Fellowa joint and UC-San Francisco, respectively, and Ph.D. fellowships from bothposition between Carnegies Department of Terrestrial Magnetism the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships(now part of EPL) and the Carnegie Observatories.Program (NSF GFRP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) F31Teske is interested in the diversity in exoplanet compositions program. As a postdoc she was a Simons Foundation Fellow for theand the origins of that diversity. She uses observations to estimate Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund and currently holds a Pathway toexoplanet interior and atmospheric compositions, and the chemical Independence Award (K99/R00) from NIH. environments of their formation via their host star compositions. She plans to join and start interdisciplinary collaborations at EPL in Phillip Cleves Ph.D. research was on determining the geneticthese areas with other staff members. changes that drive morphological evolution. He used the emergingAs a Carnegie postdoc, Teske joined the Planet Finder model organism, the stickleback fish, to map genetic changes thatSpectrograph (PFS) team, which uses PFS on the Magellan Clay control skeletal evolution. Using new genetic mapping and reversetelescope to find and characterize exoplanets. PFS data capture genetic tools developed during his Ph.D., Cleves identified regulatoryvariations in a stars orbit (a wobble) caused by the gravitational tug changes in a protein called bone morphogenetic protein 6 that werethat a planet has on the star. With collaborators, Teske recently responsible for an evolved increase in tooth number in stickleback.started a survey of small transiting planets detected by the space-This work illustrated how molecular changes can generatebased TESS satellite, which finds dips in stellar brightness as the morphological novelty in vertebrates. planet moves in front of a star. Her objective is to measure the planets Cleves returned to his passion for coral research in hismasses to help unravel their compositions and formation histories. postdoctoral work in John Pringles lab at Stanford University, whereTeske enjoys learning about and using different astronomical he developed new genetic methods to study corals and their responseinstruments, including high-resolution optical and near-infrared to climate change. He focuses on understanding the intracellularspectrographs and imagers. She is especially eager to work on future symbiotic relationship corals have with dinoflagellate algae. Thisinstrumentation for the Magellan and Giant Magellan telescopes. nutritional symbiosis is critical for the survival of corals in nutrient- Teske has received numerous honors and awards, including poor tropical waters. However, warming oceans caused by climatea NASA Exoplanets Research Program grant, two Carnegie change has led to the breakdown of this symbiosis, called coralScience Venture grants, a Carnegie Postdoctoral Innovation and bleaching, resulting in mass mortality of corals worldwide. ClevesExcellence Award, a NASA Keck PI Data Award, and the wants to understand the genetic and cellular mechanisms controllingUniversity of Arizona, Astronomy Department Outstanding this symbiotic relationship and its breakdown due to stress.Service Award, among others. She received a B.S. in physics from Cleves has developed novel genetic and cellular methods inthe American University in Washington, DC, with Carnegies reef-building corals and a laboratory model organism for coral toAlycia Weinberger serving as an advisor, and a Ph.D. from the address these questions. He applied the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editingUniversity of Arizona in astronomy. In addition to her research, technique in corals on the Great Barrier Reef, which allows for theTeske is heavily involved in outreach, mentorship, and creating investigation of gene function in corals for the first time.more-inclusive environments in astronomy.'