Amy Bower, Ph.D
Dr. Amy Bower completed her Bachelor of Science in Physics at Tufts University and her Ph.D in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Since then, she has been a prolific researcher, educator, and advocate for blind individuals in the sciences. She has received several notable awards, including the Unsung Heroine of Massachusetts Aware by The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, the University of Rhode Island Distinguished Achievement Award from the Graduate School of Oceanography, and the Henry Bryant Bigelow Chair for Excellence in Oceanography.
She has been featured at numerous conferences and interviews, such as ACB Radio’s “Speaking Out for the Blind”, TEDX Woods Hole, and the Texas FOCUS Conference. Throughout her career, she has often participated in outreach to blind and visually impaired students, particularly those at the Perkins School for the Blind.
She is currently Senior Scientist in the Department of Physical Oceanography at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with her research interests centering on, “Observation and analysis of large- and meso-scale ocean circulation; structure and dynamics of western boundary currents; inter-gyre exchange processes; structure and dynamics of isolated vortices and their role in the distribution of water properties; marginal sea circulation and overflows; pathways and fluxes of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; Lagrangian methods.”
Personal Website: https://www.whoi.edu/scientist/abower/
OceanInsight outreach program: https://web.whoi.edu/oceaninsight/about-amy-bower/
Stephanie DeLuca, Ph.D
Dr. Stephanie DeLuca earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her Ph.D in Chemical and Physical Biology from Vanderbilt University. She has received the following awards and honors: National Federation of the Blind’s Oracle Scholarship for Excellence in Computer Science, National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, a Fulbright Scholarship for pre-doctoral work at the Justus-Liebig Center Contractors Association Scholarship, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular biology Public Outreach Committee.
Dr. DeLuca is currently working at the American Chemical Society Office of Public Affairs as a Science Policy Fellow, where her primary responsibilities are to “monitor, analyze, and develop public policy regarding federal research funding, education and workforce, energy and environment, and biotechnology” (LinkedIn).
Some of her recent research includes work on membrane proteins, the peptide hormone ghrelin, and comparative small-molecule ligand docking. Notably, she has developed “novel protein modeling methods” for a software suite that is used by scientists internationally (ACS).
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-deluca-01931b22
Henry Wedler, Ph.D
Henry “Hoby” Wedler is a current UC Davis doctoral chemistry student with a focus in Organic Chemistry. Before meeting his advisor Dean Tantillo, Hoby planned to do his graduate work in history where the obstacles for blind students are fewer. Dean Tantillo was a strong encouragement and advocate for Hoby realizing a career in his greatest passion–chemistry. Together, they have worked to innovate tools for blind students in computational chemistry. Hoby is working to attain total independence in his research and studies, and has utilized 3D printing towards this end.
Hoby is very active on behalf of blind students in sciences. He founded Chemistry Camp, which “invites visually impaired students to explore science up close and personal,” co-founded Developing Capacities which pairs UC Davis students with blind students for day-long woodturning courses.
Hoby Wedler received the White House Champion of Change in 2012 and Advocates in Disability Award from HSC Foundation in 2013, and well as the Future Teacher’s award from UC Davis.
UC Davis bio: https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/news/henry-hoby-wedler
Geerat J. Vermeij, Ph.D
Dutch-born Dr. Geerat J. Vermeij, professor of geology at the University of California at Davis, has been blind from glaucoma since he was three years old. Dr. Vermeij is an evolutionary biologist and paleontologist whose focus is on the functional morphology of marine molluscs; the coevolutionary reactions between predators and pretty; and their effects on morphology, ecology, and evolution. “Whether the rocky spire of a 400-million-year-old fossil or the glassy dome of a modern-day cowrie, Dr. Vermeij is quietly reading tales from the history of life.”
His books include Evolution and Escalation, Privileged Hands: A Scientific Life, The Evolutionary World: How Adaptation Explains Everything from Seashells to Civilization, A Natural History of Shells, and Biogeography and Adaptation: Patterns of Marine Life.Dr. Vermeij received his Ph.D. from Yale, and is a distinguished professor and recipient of the 2004 UC Davis Faculty Research Lecturer Award.
UC Davis bio: https://geology.ucdavis.edu/people/faculty/vermeij