New York Blog

Introducing the Nature Network NYC Hub Leaders

Chris Wiggins is an associate professor of applied mathematics at Columbia. His research is in applications of machine learning and statistical inference in biology, including expression data, image data, biophysical time series data, and biological networks. He started the ‘Nature Network NYC Group’ (now the NYC Hub) in March 2007 in disbelief that Nature didn’t recognize that NYC was already a hub.


Jeffrey Lancaster is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the chemistry department at Columbia University. His research focuses on the intersection between photochemistry, polymer chemistry, and surface chemistry, and he specifically is interested in universal methods for surface functionalization. Jeffrey became involved with the NYC hub after a chance encounter with Nature Network’s Lou Woodley on a train in Austria on their way to the 60th meeting of Nobel Laureates and Graduate Students in Lindau, Germany. He is also a freelance web designer, maintains an interest in the history of science, is relatively new to the blogosphere, and tends to overuse ellipses…


Jonathan Zwart (@brideyrevisited) is an observational cosmologist at Columbia, from where, via a telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile, he stares at the cosmic microwave background – the now-faint radiation produced when ions in the early Universe became cool enough to combine with electrons – in order to understand the early Universe. Before that Jon was fortunate enough to spend all of his noughties in (the old) Cambridge, where he was a co-founder and later editor of the science magazine BlueSci. Don’t tell his boss, but in his spare time he’s been updating a best-selling popular astronomy book, of which more in due course he’s sure.

Meanwhile, Jon’s exploring this awesome City and speaking fondly of Blighty. He is fascinated by the interaction of science and faith. He also loves learning about, and evangelizing about, science in all its forms – do let him know if you spot a good talk coming up. Or, if you can give him a job from next June, he’d be wrapped to hear from you, too.


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