Supporting Critical Research
San Diego State University's Research Horizons series highlights remarkable early
career faculty and their burgeoning research endeavors. Visit our faculty spotlight page to learn more about the great work of our professors.
Research Horizons: Examining Coastal Faults
Geologist Jillian Maloney works to predict earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis in
Research Horizons: Addressing the Needs of Nurses
SDSU nursing professor Amanda Choflet studies substance abuse among nurses, with the
hope of one day creating interventions to reduce risky behaviors.
Research Horizons: Understanding Urban Wildfire
Engineering professor Alicia Kinoshita studies how fire alters landscapes and impacts
Research Horizons: Motivating People to Live Tobacco Free
Communication professor Rachael Record studies how to encourage people to shed excuses
and make healthier decisions.
Research Horizons: Unraveling the Mysteries of Spider Silk
Chemistry professor Gregory Holland is on a quest to develop a material just as hardy
as true spider silk.
Research Horizons: The Science of Smell
Nutrition professor Surabhi Bhutani is on a quest to improve health by better understanding
our sense of smell.
Research Horizons: Christal Sohl's Quest to Cure Cancer
Chemistry professor Christal Sohl studies how enzymes, the protein workhorses of human
cells, go rogue in ways that lead to cancer. Unlocking the relationship between enzymes
and cancer could help researchers develop new treatments for patients.
Research Horizons: Amanda McClain's Work to Reduce Food Insecurity
Nutrition professor Amanda McClain studies ways to reduce food insecurity. She has
found that by participating in food assistance and community service programs, the
food insecure can reduce stress and improve their health.
Research Horizons: Nick Barber's Work to Save the Disappearing American Prairie
Biology professor Nick Barber is working to save one of the most endangered ecosystems
on the planet: America’s tallgrass prairie. In research supported by the National
Science Foundation, Barber studies how to restore the prairie and support the biodiversity
of the plants, animals, and microorganisms that live there.
Research Horizons: Erica Forsberg’s Gut Reaction Lab
Why do we get that sinking feeling in our stomach when we are nervous? Chemistry professor
Erica Forsberg analyzes how the bacteria in our guts communicate with our brains.
Her “gut reaction” lab studies how the beneficial bacteria in our guts produce compounds
that alter how we feel and how our brains function.
Research Horizons: Arianne Miller's Self-Care Psychology
Most people know the importance of engaging in self-care, but many of us nevertheless
neglect our emotional and physical well-being. Counseling and school psychology professor
Arianne Miller’s research aims to identify and remove the obstacles that prevent people
and communities from participating in the vital practices that promote health and
Research Horizons: Lluvia Flores-Rentería’s California Flora Research
How is climate change affecting Southern California flora? Biology professor Lluvia
Flores-Rentería’s studies how plants interact with fungi and microbes, and how those
interactions are influenced during episodes of extreme climate, such as drought or
Research Horizons: Yea-Wen Chen’s Intercultural Communications Research
Why are conversations with people who disagree with us on political issues so difficult
to have? Intercultural communications professor Yea-Wen Chen studies how people communicate
about sensitive issues like politics or healthcare. Her research considers how communication
affects communities and people groups, and how the ways we communicate about different
cultures inevitably influences diversity, inclusion and social justice.
Research Horizons: Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya’s work to build healthy environments
for abuse victims
How can we create healthy environments for families that have experienced domestic
violence? Social work professor Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya studies difficult issues
like domestic violence and child maltreatment. She researches, designs and hopes to
eventually implement interventions and programs that serve victims in ways that are
culturally and socially relevant to them.