An Interview with Zhiming Liu: Promoting Science!

Feb 21, 2019 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

1)   Professor Liu, I understand that you have just been elected to a very high office in the state of New Mexico. Tell us about it .

I was informed that in early November of 2018 I was nominated to run for the vice president for the New Mexico Academy of Science (NMAS) .  In early December I was requested to send a copy of my complete CV to the Secretary of the NMAS so that she could distribute it to all Board Members, Program Directors, and other members of the organization.  A general election was held in late December.  The result of the election was verified and announced at the NMAS Board meeting on January 26, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2)   Where did you get your educational training in the realm of science?

I received a BA in 1982 from Shanghai Ocean University, an MS in 1990 from the University of Washington, and a PhD in 1994 from Texas Tech University.  All of the three universities are very prominent institutions in the United States and China. I greatly appreciated the scientific training that I received from my major professors in these universities. They are highly respected scientists of great integrity.

3) Tell us about the New Mexico Academy of Science, and your new role in it.

NMAS is a statewide organization founded in 1905 and has been very active in promoting science education and scientific research across the state. 

You can find the following information in its website: 

(1). Vision: the New Mexico Academy of Science will be the premier advocate and resource for science and science education in New Mexico; 

(2). Mission: the mission of the New Mexico Academy of Science is to serve the state of New Mexico and its communities by publishing science and science education materials, giving recognition for contributions to science and science education, fostering scientific cooperation, raising public awareness of the importance of science and science education, and providing advice on matters related to science and science education; 

(3). National Affiliations: the NMAS is affiliated with the National Association of the Academies of Science (NAAS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

As the Vice President working with other eighteen Board Members and Program Directors I am actively involved in overseeing six regional science fairs and one state science fair, organizing a series of science lectures by distinguished scientists, supporting an annual research conference, giving awards to teachers for excellence in science education and scientists for their significant contributions to scientific discovery, publishing New Mexico Journal of Science, working with the state government and the legislature for the implementation of new science education policies across the state.  

4) How have you promoted scientific research and scientific education?

I am currently a Full Professor in the Department of Biology at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) where I has served as Assistant and Associate Professor since 1998. Over the past years my students and I have continuously conducted scientific research using fishes, amphibians, plants, and bacterial cells. I have sponsored a large number of high school and university students in research projects, with nine of my students receiving awards for excellence in research. 

I have also been very active in teaching.  Each semester I teach 4  different courses such as General Biology, Cell Biology, Endocrinology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Developmental Biology, Undergraduate Seminar and Assessment at undergraduate and graduate level.  I served as Secretary, President-elect, President (two terms) of the ENMU Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, when the Chapter received two prestigious awards for outstanding performance from national Sigma Xi headquarters.

5) What are you currently researching ?

My research interests span several disciplines including reproductive physiology, cell and molecular biology. Graduate and undergraduate students in my laboratory study physiological regulation of fruit cracking in  jujube (Ziziphus jujuba), and molecular mechanisms of seed abortion in an endangered tree species (Davidia involucrata). 

We also study the effects of environmental pollutants on gene expression, steroid production, and ovulation of an amphibian species (Xenopus laevis).

6) Do you have the website for the New Mexico Academy of Science and what would we find there?

Yes, NMAS has a website: https://www.nmas.org

Home www.nmas.org New Mexico Academy of Science strengthens science advocacy and education programs in New Mexico.

We are going to update this homepage soon by adding a lot more information.  At this moment in this website you can find issues of New Mexico Journal of Science, annual research conferences, science fairs, science teacher workshops, newsletters, student paper competitions and prize winners, and other information. 

7) What have I neglected to ask ?

We greatly appreciated the participation from New Mexico school teachers, students, parents, state government officials, and legislators in many science-related activities over the past years. We always welcome your memberships and donations to support science education and scientific research in New Mexico! Let’s work together and make New Mexico science great again! 


Brief Description of Dr. Liu

Dr. Zhiming Liu was elected to be the Vice President of New Mexico Academy of Science (NMAS) on January 26, 2019 in Albuquerque. NMAS is a statewide organization founded in 1905 and has been very active (https://www.nmas.org) in promoting scientific research and science education across the state. NMAS is now overseeing six regional and one state science fairs, organizing a series of science lectures by distinguished scientists, supporting an annual research conference, giving awards to teachers for excellence in science teaching and scientists for their contributions to scientific discoveries, publishing New Mexico Journal of Science, and working with the New Mexico state government and the legislature for implementing new science education policies (e.g., next generation science standards).

Dr. Liu is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Biology at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) where he has served as Assistant and Associate Professor since 1998. Dr. Liu received a BA in 1982 from Shanghai Ocean University, an MS in 1990 from the University of Washington, and a PhD in 1994 from Texas Tech University. 

He received numerous research and teaching grants and has published 37 science papers in the fields of genomics, reproductive physiology, cell and molecular biology.  He has sponsored a large number of high school and university students in research projects, with nine of his students receiving awards for excellence in research.  

Dr. Liu has also been very active in teaching.  Each semester he teaches 4 different courses such as General Biology, Cell Biology, Endocrinology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Developmental Biology, Undergraduate Seminar and Assessment at undergraduate and graduate level.  

He has served as a faculty senator and chaired many committees for the community and university.  Additionally, Dr. Liu served as Secretary, President-elect, President (two terms) of the ENMU Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, when the Chapter received two prestigious awards for outstanding performance from national Sigma Xi headquarters.

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