Department Chair

Harney Science Center 145

Marcelo F. Camperi is the former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He studied physics at the Universidad Nacional de la Plata, in Argentina. He received his PhD from Boston University in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, working in topological field theory and some phenomenology of elementary particles. Upon graduating, he became interested in the study of the brain from a physicists' point of view. Other interests also include computational physics, mathematical physics, and in...

  • PhD from Boston University

Full-Time Faculty

Harney Science Center 107D

Brandon R. Brown pursued doctoral training in superconductivity and low-temperature physics, with postdoctoral work in science communication. Once at the University of San Francisco, he shifted his research focus to sensory biophysics. He and his collaborators and students explored the electric and magnetic sensory abilities of a variety of creatures. Brandon served as associate dean for sciences, during which time the university completed planning stages for the Lo Schiavo Center for Science...

  • PhD, Oregon State University (Vortex Dynamics in High-temperature Superconductors)
  • High-temperature superconductivity
  • Sensory biophysics
  • History of science
  • Science communication
  • Fundraising

Professor Camblong's research has been centered on miscellaneous topics in quantum field theory, gravitational physics, and many-body theory. His main focus has been on developing general frameworks, with applications to fields as diverse as condensed-matter physics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, and quantum gravity. Some of the highlights of his published research over the past decade include collaborative work on: a geometrical and gauge-invariant approach to...

  • PhD, New York University, 1993
  • A geometrical and gauge-invariant approach to the quantum effective action
  • Many-body formulation of magnetotransport for inhomogeneous systems
  • Nonlinear redefinitions of quantum fields in path integrals
  • Path integral treatments of singular...
Harney Science Center G28

I am excited about using high-precision control of light to create and control extremely brief pulses of electrons! My main tools are ultrafast lasers and field emission tips. Much of my earlier graduate work concentrated on improving the exquisite control of light fields achieved by the optical clock and ultrafast laser communities.

With undergraduate research students at USF, we investigate the ultrafast field emission process. Students have designed, built, and characterized femtosecond...

  • PhD, JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2007
Harney Science Center G42

My research interests are in observational cosmology. Fourteen years after the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe (Nobel Prize 2011), a standard model of the universe (and its variations) has been established but fundamental questions about the nature of dark energy remain unanswered. Along with collaborators in the Supernova Cosmology Project led by Saul Perlmutter at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, I am working on the following projects and would like to engage...

  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Physics (2004)
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Milka Nikolic's research focuses primarily on developing spectroscopy methods for plasma etching and cleaning technologies. She is interested in both theoretical and experimental approaches to solving mysteries of plasma physics. In particular, Milka works in combining various numerical methods with widely used optical emission spectroscopy technique to obtain fundamental plasma properties. Understanding these properties plays an important role in surface modification processes.


  • Old Dominion University, PhD in Physics, 2013
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Aparna Venkatesan is a cosmologist working on studies of “first-light” sources in the universe. She also works actively in cultural astronomy and space policy. She is recognized internationally for her research and DEI leadership, featured widely in the media, and received numerous prizes and awards. Dr. Venkatesan is deeply committed to increasing the participation and retention of underrepresented groups in astronomy and the sciences, and is active in developing co-created scientific...

  • MS and PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago
  • BA in Astronomy, Cornell University
  • Cosmology
  • Cultural Astronomy
  • Dark Sky Advocacy
  • Impacts of Satellite Constellations
  • STEM partnerships with Indigenous communities, Indigenous Knowledge

Part-Time Faculty

  • SF State University, MS in Physics, 2011
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  • PhD, University of California San Diego, 1995

Kathryn Kooistra is an adjunct professor in the physics department and her primary interest is in astronomy. She grew up in New Jersey and moved out to San Francisco to pursue her Masters in 2016. In addition to teaching, she also gives shows at the California Academy of Sciences, where she presents on everything from comets to black holes.

  • San Francisco State University, MS in Physics with a Concentration in Astronomy, 2019
  • Muhlenberg College, BS in Physics, 2015
  • Physics
  • Astronomy

Heiko Lemke was educated at the University of Giessen, Germany. His focus there and at the Jülich Research Center was applied physics and scientific instrumentation for scanning tunneling and magnetic force microscopy. His PhD studies led him to research thin magnetic films of the ternary Nd2Fe14B alloy and their application in micro-technology. He continued researching aspects of his PhD subject as a post-doc at UC Berkeley.

His venture into private industry was as the lead engineer in a...

  • University of Giessen, Germany, PhD, Applied Physics, 1994
  • University of Giessen, Germany, Diploma, Applied Physics, 1990
  • Applied physics

Aaron White is an adjunct professor focusing on science education and outreach, with specialties in physics and astronomy. He’s worked as a science communicator at several museums, produced and hosted science videos for Youtube, been a panelist at Comicon, and done science advising for video games. 

His graduate thesis investigated new approaches for teaching undergraduates cosmology, and how to integrate multimedia tools into instruction. Previous projects involved refining our understanding...

  • San Francisco State, MS in Physics (Astronomy), 2019
  • University of Michigan, BS in Astrophysics, 2011
  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Science Communication
  • CWRU, Ph.D. In Physics, 2007
  • Research scientist in KOI, NY
  • Post-doctor in UCSF, SF