The Faculty Senate Honorary Degree and Awards Committee has recognized both Professors Almirall and Jaffe with a Faculty Award for Excellence in Research & Creative Activities. The formal conferral of this award will occur during the Faculty Convocation Award Ceremony and Banquet on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 5:30pm.
Professor Almirall's Research
During the last year Prof. Jose Almirall was the PI and recipient on seven (7) separate research awards from five different agencies to support his research group. The National Institute of Justice (2 awards), the National Science Foundation (2 awards), the Technical Support Working Group (DoD), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) awarded a combined > $ 1. M in research funds, including an NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) grant for the commercialization of research developed his laboratory. In addition, the IFRI research facility (TEAF) under his direction generated $ 51,300. in funding to support the operation of the TEAF. He was able to support a visiting scientist on sabbatical in his group, three post-doctoral fellows and 6 different graduate students on research assistantships or external fellowships for 8 semesters. Their research has led to the publication of 5 papers in high-quality journals, one book chapter and a total of 36 presentations by his group at scientific conferences and in workshops. His students have been co-authors in all 5 of the scientific publications and chapters and he graduated 3 PhD students and 3 Masters students in the last year. Prof. Almirall has received 3 full patents, 2 provisional patents and recently filed a disclosure on an invention improvement “Cryofocused sampling of volatiles from air using Peltier-assisted Capillary Microextraction” in April 2016. Dr. Almirall was appointed as co-Editor in Chief of the Elsevier journal Forensic Chemistry and is one of only 3 academics to serve on the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB), a national standards setting organization sponsored by NIST. He recently completed an INTERPOL research collaboration and serves as a consultant to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and to the IAEA on forensic science matters.
Professor Jaffe's Research
Dr. Jaffe is a Professor of Environmental/Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and the George Barley Chair of the Southeast Environmental Research Center at FIU, for which he served as Director for ten years. He has been a PI for 16+ years on the NSF-funded Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program (FCE-LTER; ca. $15 Million) and is a co-PI on the recently awarded NSF-CREST grant (ca. $5 Million) and other NSF grants. He has received significant funding over recent years also from the South Florida Water Management District and other government agencies. In recent years, research at the Jaffe-lab has focused on the effects of land-use and fire on the composition and environmental dynamics of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM). An important part of this work was focused on the consistent presence of dissolved black carbon (DBC), a highly polycondensed, molecularly complex group of combustion-derived aromatic compounds, in aquatic environments world-wide. On a global scale, fluvial DBC flux estimates were shown by Jaffe’s research, as the missing component in the black carbon budget. This work, performed in collaboration with international partner institutions, was published in Science in 2013, and complements other related work from the Jaffe lab on the molecular characterization of DBC, the molecular structure identification of dissolved black nitrogen, the characterization of DBC sources in remote environments including glaciers in Alaska and lakes in Antarctica, the first report of the dynamics of DBC and particulate black carbon (PBC) after a major fire event, and many others. In addition, the group has been active in the field of carbon cycling in mangrove systems, trophic dynamics, stable isotope geochemistry applications in environmental chemistry, and analytical methods development for organic geochemistry purposes including 3D-fluorescence, high field 2D-NMR, ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry, compound-specific stable isotope analyses (incl. deuterium), and others.