Seven Stanford University researchers are among the 120 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists are elected to the NAS by their peers.

The new members from Stanford are Barbara Block, the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences and professor of biology in the School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) and professor of oceans in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability; Dan Boneh, the Cryptography Professor in the School of Engineering; Joan Bresnan, the Sadie Dernham Patek Professor in Humanities, Emerita, in H&S; David Lobell, the Benjamin M. Page Professor and professor of Earth system science in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability; Monika Piazzesi, the Joan Kenney Professor in Economics in H&S; Alice Ting, professor of genetics in the Stanford School of Medicine and professor of biology in H&S; and Jelena Vuckovic, the Fortinet Founders Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering.

Barbara Block is an animal physiologist and biological oceanographer who studies the physiology, ecology, genetics, and evolution of tuna, billfish, and sharks. Block and her team study how large pelagic fish utilize the open ocean and she helped develop electronic tags to track the movements of large marine predators. Block also investigates the mechanism by which some of these species actively regulate their brain and eye temperatures using extraocular muscle specialized for thermogenesis. She also established a captive population of bluefin and yellowfin tuna at Stanford. These studies provide invaluable data for better management of our marine resources.

Dan Boneh is a professor of computer science and of electrical engineering and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford. He heads the Applied Cryptography Group and co-directs the Computer Security Lab. His research focuses on applications of cryptography to computer security. His work includes cryptosystems with novel properties, web security, security for mobile devices, and cryptanalysis. He is the author of over a hundred publications in the field and is a Packard and Alfred P. Sloan fellow.

Joan Bresnan’s research uses theoretical models to explore how languages vary and the cognitive sources of this variation. She collaborates with linguists, psychologists, and computer scientists to develop and test probabilistic models of how grammar varies in individuals and groups of people over space and time. She is one of the original designers and developers of Lexical-Functional Grammar. She also created the Spoken Syntax Laboratory at Stanford’s Center for the Study of Language and Information to provide resources for collaborative work on syntax using multiple sources of evidence and modern statistical models.

David Lobell’s research focuses on agriculture and food security, specifically on generating and using unique datasets to study rural areas throughout the world. His work, which has advanced the world’s understanding of the effects of climate variability and change on global crop productivity, involves the innovative application of remote sensing, statistics, ecosystem modeling, and agronomy.

Monika Piazzesi specializes in macro-finance, the intersection of macroeconomics and financial economics. She has developed influential models of the yield curve for bonds incorporating the impact of monetary policy on interest rates. Her research analyzes the causes of boom-bust episodes in housing markets, the effects of inflation in asset markets, and banks’ risk exposures. She is the president-elect of the American Finance Association and former director of the Asset Pricing Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Alice Ting creates technologies to map out cells and parse the signals and circuits that support cellular function. Ting draws from a variety of protein engineering techniques to identify, quantify and manipulate molecules that may play critical roles in cell and animal behavior. She is developing methods to understand how different organ systems communicate with one another to affect different biological functions, and she is exploring signaling in mitochondria and in the mammalian brain.

Jelena Vuckovic’s research focuses on optics and light manipulation at nanoscale. Harnessing developments in the semiconductor industry, her lab engineers platforms that both probe fundamental science and hold promise for future information technologies. Her work prioritizes the study of solid-state quantum emitters, such as quantum dots and defect centers in diamond and in silicon carbide, and their interactions with light. Her lab also works on transforming conventional nanophotonics with the concept of inverse design, where they design arbitrary optical devices from scratch using computer algorithms with little to no human input. Through these efforts, she aims to enable a wide variety of technologies ranging from silicon photonics to quantum computing.